Elderly and vulnerable to suffer in latest £800m cuts

 

Services for the elderly and disabled face a fresh round of cuts because of a new £800m squeeze on social care budgets over the next year, it was disclosed last night.

The extra savings will bring to more than £2.6bn the amount of cash that has been trimmed from care spending by town halls at a time when demographic pressures are rapidly growing.

Council leaders warned that the moves would lead to vulnerable people losing basic help with washing and getting out of bed, as well as meals-on-wheels services.

The figures will cast doubt on plans being announced in the Queen's Speech today by the Coalition Government to overhaul the care system and to boost help for carers.

Some pressure has been eased by the transfer of money from the National Health Service to councils' social care budgets.

But a survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services forecast that councils will still need to cut care spending by £800m in the year to April 2014. This is on top of savings of £1.8bn since 2012, when austerity measures began to bite.

The association warned that the savings could not all be achieved by increasing efficiency, but would affect the quality of support given to many elderly and vulnerable people.

Sandie Keene, its president, said: “Gazing into the next two years, without additional investment from that already planned, an already bleak outlook becomes even bleaker.”

The survey found 13 per cent of the planned spending cuts - equivalent to £104m - would result in the direct withdrawal of services.

When asked which areas had been affected to date, 30 per cent of social services directors said fewer people were able to access services, while nearly half said care providers were facing financial problems.

Mrs Keene warned: “It is absolutely clear that all the ingenuity and skill we have brought to cushioning vulnerable people as far as possible from the effects of the economic circumstances cannot be stretched any further.”

The Local Government Association said: “The stark reality is that if such vast sums of money continue to be taken out of the care system it could be in very real danger of collapse.

”The combined long term pressures of a rapidly ageing population, increasing costs and a 33 per cent cut to local government budgets means that we need an urgent injection of money to meet rising demand in the short term.“

A Department of Health spokesman responded: ”We have already seen examples of local authorities redesigning services to find more efficient ways of working.

“Many local authorities are innovating and achieving much greater integration between health and care services, thereby improving care for people and optimising use of resources available.”

 

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York