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
people And here is why...
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Luton: We are currently looking for pass...

PPA Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years / KS1 /2 PPA Cover ...

Primary Supply Teachers Required

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: primary teacher Hertfordshire

Primary Supply Teacher

£115 - £121 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teachers Hertfor...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?