Local authorities have warned the underfunding of social care is making it impossible to fulfil their duties under the Care Act leaving it on the brink of failure.
The stark warning comes in the Local Government Association’s (LGA) submission to the Treasury ahead of the Spring Budget.
Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Councillor Izzi Seccombe, said the Care Act was in “grave danger of falling apart and failing” unless new funding is found.
Councillor Seccombe said: “If no new money is urgently announced, then government needs to be honest and upfront with the public about the limitations of the care and support we can provide, and the fact that as a society we will no longer be able to meet the ambitions and objectives of the Care Act.
“Genuinely new government funding is now the only way to save the Care Act, and to protect the services caring for our elderly and disabled people and ensure they can enjoy dignified, healthy and independent lives, live in their own community and stay out of hospital for longer, reducing the pressures on the NHS.”
The LGA forecasts a number of potential outcomes as a result of the failure of the Act, including: providers pulling out of the market or going bust; growing unmet care needs; increasing turnover of a stretched care workforce; greater pressure on hospitals and GPS; and more people stranded in hospital.
Just 8% of directors of adult social care in councils say they are confident in their capacity to meet the full duties of the Care Act in the coming financial year, according to the latest ADASS budget survey.
The LGA estimates the overall funding gap facing social care of at least £2.6 billion by 2020.