New survey highlights impending crisis in social care

Responding to this year’s survey of adult social care budgets, Richard Humphries, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund said:

‘This survey once again highlights the growing pressure on social care services. With further local government budget cuts to follow, it is not alarmist to warn of an impending crisis in social care and of the risk that this will undermine the performance of the NHS.

‘Our own work shows how pressures on social care services are feeding through into high levels of hospital bed occupancy, contributing to an eight-year high in the proportion of patients spending more than four hours in A&E.

‘It is significant that nearly half the money allocated from the NHS budget to improve joint working between health and social care is being spent on propping up existing services and mitigating the impact of budget cuts. Using NHS funding as a sticking plaster does not address the pressures facing social care.

‘This survey reinforces the need to move much more quickly to achieve closer integration between health and social care and deliver a long-term funding settlement for social care based on the proposals set out by the Dilnot Commission.

‘If ministers do not keep their promise to produce a blueprint for action this side of the summer recess, they will be failing the current and future generations of older and disabled people and storing up problems for the NHS.’

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