Laura Sharman 16 February 2017

Social care system at risk of collapse warns report

One in eight older people are failing to get the care they need, showing the ‘imminent’ danger the social care system is in, a charity has warned today.

A new report from Age UK concluded that the UK is living on borrowed time to save the social care system. It also highlights the ‘major burden’ the failing system is putting on hospitals and family members.

The Health and Care of Older People in England 2017 reveals that nearly 1.2 million aged 65 and over don’t receive the care and support they need for essential daily living activities. This is an increase of 48% more people since 2010, and nearly an 18% rise since last year.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘The Government has tried to prop up older people’s social care in three ways: through financial transfers from the NHS, a social care precept in local areas, and by calling on families and friends to do more.

‘Unfortunately our analysis shows there are problems with all three approaches, which in any event are not enough to make up for the chronic shortfall in public funds.’

The charity is calling on the Government for urgent funding in the Budget for social care.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said the report was ‘extremely worrying’ but was not surprising.

President elect, Margaret Willcox, said: ‘With councils projecting a total overspend on adult social care of nearly £450m by the end of this financial year, increases in demand and cost of social care, providers closing, a rising ageing population and those living with increasingly complex needs, immediate, significant, long-term and sustainable funding is needed to stabilise a care market in crisis.

‘Only genuine new money will solve the crisis which will only get worse whilst we wait for a solution.’

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