Social care needs funds to avert crisis, says Local Government Association

A crisis in social care services is looming unless the government provides more funding to councils in next year’s comprehensive spending review, the representative body for local authorities warned today.

The Local Government Association report says that more funding is essential if the government is serious about its plans to improve adult social care and outcomes for looked- after children.

It says that council budgets are coming under ever increasing pressure due to the ageing population and people with learning difficulties living longer.

It adds that cases are also becoming increasingly complex with the number of older people with mental health needs increasing. It states that 25 per cent of over 85s are developing dementia and one third of these need constant care and supervision.

The report states that in order to manage these rising demands and costs many local authorities have increased eligibility criteria and seven out of ten people are now supported only if their needs are substantial or critical.

The number of children in care has also been increasing the association says, due to improved services identifying more children in need, draining council budgets further.

The report concludes that over the past decade the burden has been increasingly shifted onto the council tax payer but that this must now stop and appeals to the government not to force councils to cut services.

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