Councils receive over 5,000 requests for adult social care every day

Local authorities receive 5,100 new requests for adult social care support every day, a total of 1.8 million requests in 2017-18.

The figure is a 1.6% increase from 2016-17, with over 70% of the requests coming from people aged 65 and over, figures from NHS Digital have revealed.

Councils last year spent a total of £17.9bn on adult social care in, an increase of £0.4bn compared to 2016-17, the report said.

Overall, the number of people receiving long-term care provided or arranged by councils have gone down by 1.7% over the last year, and has decreased every year since 2015-16.

But with 1.3 million people contacting their local authority for support in the last year, councils are facing substantial financial pressures and many have been forced to make cuts to adult social care.

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said yesterday: “With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point.

“Councils in England will have seen their core funding from central government reduced by £16bn between 2010 and 2020.

“Over recent years, councils have protected adult social care relative to other services. But adult social care services still face a £3.5bn funding gap by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care. Action is needed now.”

He called for the government to address immediate funding pressures in the Autumn Budget.

Early this month, a report by the Public Accounts Committee said that with the current “council squeeze” on funding, there is “now realistic prospect of progress” for integrated care in the near future.

Despite the recent announcement and allocation of £240m funding for local authorities to spend on adult social care, the State of Care report said that a “tipping point had been reached” in regards to national quality of care.

 Image credit - Dean Mitchell

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