Local authorities in the UK are spending on average £556m more on care and many are seeking new cost-effective solutions to help manage the soaring demand and costs associated with an ageing population.
Figures from NHS Digital show that there has been a 3% increase in expenditure compared to last year with one council in Somerset expected to spend £65m on care service this financial year – 40% of its budget.
North Somerset Council is looking at new solutions to try and manage the demand. In particular it is looking at the increased use of occupational therapy aids and telecare. A spokesman told a local newspaper that the need for services is likely to increase as people live longer and become increasingly frail.
“Since April this year, the council has seen an eight per cent increase in new people making contact with adult social care,” the spokesman told the North Somerset Times.
“Home care costs have also increased and this is due to the number of older people becoming more frail and the inability of family carers to provide care to loved ones, this often results in home care packages increasing over time.
“The number of children with significant health problems are living into adulthood and requiring care when they reach 18 years old and these also contribute to the increase costs of adult social care.”
North Somerset council currently has more than 2,800 people in its care and spends about £9.4m on supported living each year.