A social workers survey has revealed Government spending cuts are taking a severe toll on care delivery.
The Care and Support Alliance survey highlights frustration among social workers unable to provide adequate support for vulnerable people.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said: “This is the first time that England’s social workers have spoken out in such numbers, blowing the whistle on just what a drastic state of decline social care is now in.
“The social workers’ descriptions of what the cuts mean in practice for disabled people, those with mental health problems and older people make for tough reading and it is impossible not to be angered and saddened by them.
“It is though important to remember that while social care is a service administered by local authorities, ‘the buck stops with Ministers’ and the suffering that vulnerable people are experiencing today is the direct result of the decisions successive governments have made to underfund social care.
“The extra £2 billion this Government has pledged will certainly help but the funding gap is far larger, so the situation is certain to worsen without further action.”
The online survey recorded the comments of 469 social workers on the state of social care services.
One worker commented: “Care packages are not getting agreed by the funding panel. I am having to submit reduced care packages to the panel in the hope that some support will get funded, as opposed to none.”
Another added: “I cannot get new packages of care agreed or increases agreed when needs have increased.”
Seven in 10 respondents (68%) said they felt expected to reduce care packages because of cost pressures in their local authority.
More than one in three (37%) said they could not get people the care they required and more than one in four (28%) said they were not confident their reduced care packages were ‘fair and safe’.
Four in five (81%) said family and friends were being expected to provide more support where care had been reduced.