Today's Observer reports that
Social care services that support elderly and disabled people are facing “an existential crisis” despite being as important to national wellbeing as the NHS, council leaders will claim on Wednesday.
Councils will have to continue reducing at-home support for older people and paying for beds in care homes because of Whitehall budget cuts, according to the Local Government Association.
Rising costs, the ageing population, difficulties recruiting staff and years of central government reducing its grant have left the service in crisis, the cross-party body claims in a new report.
Councils have had to provide less care at a time of growing need, leaving more vulnerable people isolated and at risk, it says.
Philip Hammond, the chancellor, must recognise the “perilous” state social care is now in and ease the pressures on it when he delivers his autumn statement on 23 November, says the LGA, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales.
Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board and the Conservative leader of Warwickshire county council. said
“The situation is now critical and it is no exaggeration to say that our care and support system is in crisis,” said Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board and the Conservative leader of Warwickshire county council.Richard Humphries, a social care expert at the King’s Fund, said:
“For too long the service has too often been seen by decision-makers as an adjunct to the NHS, rather than a service of equal importance,” she added. Theresa May needed to deliver on her promise of building “a country that works for everyone” as prime minister to avoid the sector suffering even more damage,
“It defies all sense and reason that social care spending will slip back to less than 1% of GDP by the end of the parliament when the number of older and disabled people is increasing and demand for services is rising. This is an unsustainable situation.”Whatever your opinion political (or non-political) party controls your council I suspect none would like to cut back on social care faced as they are with the reality f the situation.
It shows the gulf between Westminster Politicians who may not be directly dealing with the daily crisis local government leaders and Managers face with the Social care and are forced to make cuts in other areas like Libraries and Leisure centres.
Over the last six years firstly the Tories and their Liberal Democrat bag carriers and then the Tories alone have seen council funding cut to the bone.
For the two main parties in Westminster Tory and Labour it may be that they are not worried if their colleagues on a local council get stick for cuts in social care so long as its not MP's in the UK parliament. .
What this show is we need a complete review of the funding of local government
Yes we can give numerous examples of Local Government waste and you can bet that we will see numerous examples in the run up to May elections.
But even the most well intentioned would be councillor, if elected under the banner of the ruling group will have to take very difficult decisions on Social care and how to at least keep up standards.
There will be other reasons to vote for X,Y or Z next May, but unless Westminster admits its responsibility we are faced a bleak future in social care.