Three-quarters of councils in England said they will cut the amount of care they provide as an annual budget survey shows councils expect to spend £21.4bn this year in England, which will ‘not be enough’.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), which carried out the survey, said that while councils will be spending more than last year, extra cash is offset by inflation combined with growing demand.
It is expected that the reduction in care spending will mean more people are pushed onto the private market.
But ADASS’ report showed that councils feared funding cuts would mean a negative impact on the companies they work with to help vulnerable people live independently.
Almost in three councils have seen home care services close in the last six months.
ADASS warned that reform of the system is desperately needed because of funding cuts to local government in recent years.
It is estimated that around a fifth of people who need care receive help from councils.
Glen Garrod, president of ADASS, said: “As the voice of social care across the country, ADASS is determined that the upcoming green paper delivers the change that the people we care for, and our skilled and dedicated workforce, are crying out for.
“Social care is essentially about making sure we not only look after people with profound and increasingly complex needs, but also help many transform their lives. Sadly, however, this budget survey reveals, once again this essential care and support is just not being given the resources it needs.
“It is of serious concern that we have such a fragile social care market, where 48 councils across the country have seen care providers close or cease to trade in the last six months – this means that people do not have the choice over the care that they should have and the potential to transform lives is being lost.
“It’s also worrying that despite social care’s contributions to reducing pressures on hospitals, NHS pressures continue to have serious impacts on the provision of social care.