A quarter of a million older people in England could lose access to publicly funded home care next year on the back of the comprehensive spending review.
Figures published by Age UK show that a 7% real terms cut to older people’s social care funding next year would mean that 250,000 older people would lose access to care funded by councils.
Of this group, 100,000 would have to go without care as they would not be able to fund it privately, the figures produced by the Personal Social Services Research Unit found.
It also predicted a 23% rise in unmet need – in terms of hours of personal care required but not provided – and said that informal carers would need to provide 25% more care.
“Millions of frail, vulnerable older people rely on care at home,” said Age UK’s charity director, Michelle Mitchell. “If the government is serious about looking after society’s most vulnerable, it must keep social care funding under review and if necessary, increase the money it has set aside for care, should it become clear it is not enough.”
A cut of at least 7% in real terms to adult social care next year is quite likely.
The government announced cuts of 28% to its local government funding from 2010-11 to 2014-15 in the CSR. But the biggest cut – over 10% in real terms – will come next year.
Councils may be able to mitigate this through efficiency savings, limited rises in council tax and using £0.8bn in funds allocated to the NHS to spend on adult care services such as reablement.
What do you think the spending review’s impact will be on social care? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emailse