Vulnerable adults at risk as councils face £1bn social care shortfall

Outlook for care provision in England is bleak with cuts eating into resources despite rising need for support, says report.

Vulnerable older and disabled people face further widespread cuts to services in England after council chiefs said they will struggle to cope with a £1bn shortfall in social care funding this year.

Directors of adult social services said the outlook for care provision – from help with cooking and cleaning at home to full-time residential care – was bleak, with financial resources increasingly unable to keep up with the rising need for support.

Additional powers given to councils last year to access extra money for social carethrough the council tax system raised a fraction of the funds needed to cover spiralling costs, according to a survey of social care bosses.

Charities said the cuts could have serious consequences for thousands of vulnerable people who need assistance with basic living tasks such as getting up in the morning, washing themselves and getting dressed.

The survey found many councils saying they would struggle to meet their legal duties to provide care while meeting demands to make savings. There was evidence that after five years of cuts, fewer older people were eligible for help with care.

At least a quarter of the £940m savings target for 2016-17 will come from service cuts or reductions in size of the personal budgets given to people to pay for care and support. Job losses and increased fees and charges are also likely.

Full story The Guardian 13 July 2016