An urgent demand for extra community care cash was made this
week by social services chiefs and charities.
The plea came as social services departments await the imminent
Appeal Court decision on whether councils can cut community care
services because of limited resources.
In a letter to MPs the consortium of 24 groups, including the
Association of Directors of Social Services, the National Council
for Voluntary Organisations and the Royal College of Nursing,
warned that ‘factors which are not built into the original funding
assumptions are rapidly undermining confidence in the policy’.
The consortium said elderly people, young people and children
with physical disabilities or learning difficulties risk being left
off the care agenda because of the extreme pressure on social
services departments’ budgets.
It said the government did not understand the effect of
protecting education in autumn’s revenue support grant to local
authorities. The result was that eligibility criteria must be
tightened further when many people are not getting the services
It also warned NHS acute sector beds will be occupied for longer
than necessary; charges will rise and tight limits will be imposed
on care packages.
The result will be that more elderly and disabled people will
have to enter residential and nursing homes, contrary to community
Tad Kubisa, president of the ADSS, said: ‘Increasingly
departments are forced to concentrate only on those in greatest
need, while withdrawing preventive services.
‘This will lead to deterioration in the conditions of some
people, and their entry into more expensive residential or hospital
The consortium called for: n adequate funds to be made available
in the 1997-8 local government settlement;
– demographic changes to be taken into account; and
– allowance for inflation and recognition of new legislative