Philip Hammond must inject new funds in the spring budget
The government’s strategy for social care is failing, and the system may fall apart in the worst affected areas this year or next, according to a new report from Age UK.
The organisation has found that 1.2 million over-65s currently lack the care they require, a 17.9 per cent increase on last year and a 48 per cent increase on 2010. In other words, one in eight older people now live with an unmet care need.
While the government claims to be responding to the social care crisis, Age UK director Caroline Abrahams warns that its measures — financial transfers from the NHS, the social care precept and calling on family and friends to do more — are inadequate.
“Our analysis shows there are problems with all three approaches, which in any event are not enough to make up for the chronic shortfall in public funds: the NHS is now under such financial pressure that it can’t keep bailing out social care; the amount the social care precept can raise doesn’t match the needs in an area — with the poorest places at great risk of losing out; and new Age UK analysis shows that the numbers of families and friends coming forward to care are not keeping pace with a rising ageing population.”