More than a third of NHS trusts in financial deficit have withdrawn funding from services jointly agreed or funded with social care, according to a major report published today.
A survey by the Local Government Association and NHS Confederation, which represents health bodies, said two-thirds of councils were affected by local NHS financial problems.
Two-fifths of social services departments were being forced to deal with increased referrals of cases that appeared to be the responsibility of the NHS.
A quarter were negotiating with or taking legal action against primary care trusts over non-payment of funds, and 7.3 per cent had tightened eligibility criteria for services.
LGA social care spokesperson David Rogers said councils did not want to start a “war of words” with the NHS and that the only way to overcome the problems would be to work more closely together.
NHS Confederation chief executive Dr Gill Morgan said: “It is tempting when you have financial problems of your own to blame someone else or another organisation.
“However, the reality is that when organisations are under financial pressure, this is precisely the time when a collective approach is vital.”
The survey received responses from 55 of 78 local authorities in areas where the NHS is in deficit.