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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?