More people needing care but fewer receiving it, report finds

The King’s Fund

A new report by The King’s Fund revealed that the social care system is under “immense pressure” with more people needing care but fewer receiving it.

The new analysis  shows the number of people requesting adult social care has grown by 2% since 2015/16 to 1.8m. However, almost 13,000 fewer people are receiving support and local authority spending on social care has dropped by £700m on 2010/11.

Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund and lead author of the report, said: “This report shows that increasing need among working-age adults, an increasing older population and high levels of existing unmet need are combining to put immense pressure on our care and support system, now and for the future. Yet there is little evidence that the government understands or is willing to act on these trends despite the impact on older and disabled people, their families and carers.”

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The number of over 65s receiving social care from their local council has fallen by 6% due to a freeze on the number of assets people can hold and still be funded for state funded care. Unmet need amongst older people remained high at 22%, the report added.

Meanwhile, the amount it costs councils to pay for care each week has grown to an average of £615 for residential and nursing care, up by 6.6% on 2015/16.

Additionally, the number of nursing and residential care beds available for people aged over 75 has fallen from 11.3 per 1,000 to 10.1 per 1,000 since 2012.

The report also highlights the sector’s growing staffing crisis with around 8% of jobs vacant at any one time and 390,000 staff leaving their jobs each year.

Despite these challenges, 90% of social care users said they were either extremely or quite satisfied with their care in 2017/18.

Simon added: “The social care Green Paper, which still has no release date over two years after it was announced, is an opportunity to set out the fundamental reform we desperately need. But while the Green Paper is delayed, the government must focus on what it can do to support people now. Putting more money into the system in this autumn’s Spending Review would help people to get the help they need while longer-term reform takes effect.”

Steve Ellis, CEO, Legal & General, Retail Retirement Living Solutions, said: “Property wealth could have a potentially significant role to play in addressing the care crisis and the lifetime mortgage market is already well placed to help people unlock the £1trn of housing wealth owned by ‘last time buyers’.  This equity can be mobilised to help individuals cover the costs of social care, as well as giving older homeowners the opportunity to remain in their homes and maintain their independence for longer.”


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The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. It is well known that Social Care is in crisis, not just Adult, but also for Children, but with regards to adults, this is causing a severe impact on persons in need of care and also their families, who are already doing as much as they can, but are expected to do more.

    Also this in turn has an impact on the health services and by doing so is making the Health crisis more substancial.

    But the Government appear to be blinkered and are continuing to reduce funding to Local Authorities, when a substancial increase is required.

    Why is this, maybe because the the view of Government, the media and to some extent the population at large feel that social care is not a requirement for people to have, while health care is.

    When you apply for social care, after many years of struggling to cope as a family, you are made to feel that you should be doing more, because the Local Authorities are short of funding. In many instances you may need to beg and become distruptive, emotional and many other feelings.

    When you do, if you do, receive any sort of care package you are made to feel grateful and are therefore not wishing to be critical, but deep down you are.

    Could this be a reason for the 90% satisfactory rate or what is the point of stating you are not satisfied, because you will not get more and may lose what you have been given.

    Who have issued these satisfaction surveys are they the Local Authorities or as it appears ‘The King’s Fund, but the surveys may be issued under Local Authorities systems.

    How do I know this, for I am one of those family carers, but not in the 90% region, I spend most of my time dealing with my own Local Authority, Sheffield City Council, Continuing Health Care and also the Clinical Commissioning Group, not only in respect of my own family, but others in or arround Sheffield. I run carer support groups and attend numerous meetings and consultations.

    If you wish to contact me direct I can be reached at

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