Councils face £500m overspend due to social care crisis

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Councils will overspend by almost £500m due to the social care crisis, a new survey has found.

The ADASS survey of 129 of the 152 directors of adult social services in England predicts further closures of residential and nursing homes, increased handing back of contracts and rising pressure from the NHS.

ADASS immediate past president Ray James, said: “This survey paints a picture of adult social care verging ever nearer to a point of crisis. The funding gaps are a huge concern for the sector because the impact this is having on the lives of thousands of older and disabled people, their families and carers, is both significant and extremely worrying.

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“Adult social care is entering a “perfect storm” which is impacting on vulnerable people who are getting less help and whose need for care won’t stop. Urgent and significant government investment is needed now to address funding for the sector, or thousands of people who rely, or hope to rely, on receiving care, will suffer as a result.”

The survey found that 62% of councils have had residential and nursing home closures, and 57% have had care providers hand back contracts in the last six months.

The closure of services and handing back of contracts has affected an estimated 10,820 people using council-funded care with some of them having to move to a new home.

Nearly four in five councils (79%) have quality concerns with one or more home care and/or residential and nursing care providers (84%).

Some projected overspends, particularly the larger amounts, reflect a reduction in funding from the NHS to social care.

The survey found that 68% of directors have had discussions about reductions in NHS funded continuing healthcare.

A further 56% reported increased demand for healthcare activity to be undertaken by social care staff.

More than half (51%) reported increased demand from people with very high needs not being admitted to hospital.

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