A survey released by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), of councils across England has found that nearly one in three had seen home care services close or cease trading in the past six months, while slightly more had seen residential and nursing homes go under.
Local Liberal Democrat Councillor Meri O'Connell said: “This report is further compelling evidence of the irrefutable crisis in adult social care funding which cannot be ignored.
“Councils in England will have seen their core funding from central government reduce by £16 billion between 2010 and 2020 – almost exactly the same as their planned spend for adult social care for 2017/18.
“The combination of funding reductions, rising demand and increasing cost pressures mean many councils continue to have to make significant savings and reductions within adult social care services to balance their overall budgets.
“The stark consequences of this include an ever more fragile provider market, growing unmet and under-met need, further strain on informal carers, less investment in prevention, and continued pressure on an already-overstretched workforce.
“Liberal Democrats believe that we should immediately raise an extra £6 billion for our health and care services by increasing income tax by a penny in the pound to pay for this. Unless immediate action is taken, the care system will reach breaking point.
“Government needs to address immediate pressures impacting on the system today and plug the funding gap facing adult social care, which is set to exceed £2 billion by 2020, and ensure its Green Paper will deliver reforms to future-proof the long term sustainability of adult social care.
“This survey is a powerful reminder that the financial needs of our care and support system are just as great as, if not greater than, those facing the NHS.”