Demand on local authorities for social care grows as 1.9 million requests made to councils for support
NHS Digital has released its annual Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report for England 2018-19, revealing local authorities received a substantial number of new requests and spent over £800million more on social care compared to the previous year.
2018-19 marks the third year the report has been published and comes as pressures surrounding the provision of social care continue to make headlines.
Adult social care activity provided or arranged by local authorities covers a wide range of services including providing home adaptations, community equipment, long-term and short-term care, plus support to carers.
Reviewing the level of adult social care activity provided by local authorities and finance data from 1st April 2018 to the 31st March 2019, the report disclosed that councils in England received 1.9 million requests for adult social care support from 1.3 million new clients for which an outcome was determined, during the period.
An increase of 3.8 percent compared to 2017-18, this is the equivalent to 5,245 requests for support received per day by local authorities, an extra 195 requests per day over the last year.
Alongside the growth in demand for local authority adult social care, spending on social care by local authorities grew to £18.7 billion, representing an increase of £807 million from the previous year – a 4.5 percent increase in cash terms and a 2.6 percent increase in real terms.
“We desperately need a sustainable funding solution for social care. But we also need to reduce demand by investing in prevention.” Dr Alison Giles
Some of this additional spend by councils was related to the Improved Better Care Fund, a short-term government grant programme announced in 2017, providing an additional £2 billion to councils in England over the next three years dedicated for adult social care.
Earlier in October, the Government released figures highlighting the outcomes of the £674 million Improved Better Care Fund spent in 2018-19.
According to the data, people receiving long-term care has fallen each year since 2015-16 to 841,850 in 2018-19, which has been largely driven by a decrease in people aged 65 and over receiving long term care, down 39,060 to 548,435 since 2015-16.
Despite the fall in people aged 65 and over requiring long term care, episode of short-term to maximise independence, such as short-term loans of community equipment, saw an increase of 3.8 percent compared to 2017-18, reaching 255,275, with adults aged 65 and over consisting of 86 percent of the total.
“Urgent action is necessary to secure social care and support over the long-term.” Cllr Ian Hudspeth
Overall, local authorities spent £580 million on short-term adult social care across England and £14.6 billion on long-term care, which consists of residential, nursing and community care.
Commenting on stretched local authorities’ ability to meet the rising costs and demands of adult social care, Dr Alison Giles, Associate Director, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Too many people in later life don’t get the care they need. We need an urgent solution to the growing crisis in social care.
“Demand is growing and resources are stretched, so right now only people with the highest levels of need get help. The risk is that those with less serious conditions will miss out on the care they need now, leading them to need much greater and potentially more costly support in the long run.
“We desperately need a sustainable funding solution for social care. But we also need to reduce demand by investing in prevention. Disability, frailty and some forms of dementia can be prevented or delayed, so we must put more resource and effort into helping people to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.”
Echoing the charity’s sentiments, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, commented: “Urgent action is necessary to secure social care and support over the long-term. The Government’s proposals on the future of adult social care brought forward in the Queen’s Speech need to be substantive and must be brought forward as soon as possible. This also needs to be matched with long-term funding certainty as part of the Government’s forthcoming Autumn Budget.
“Doing so would allow councils to get on with the issues that really matter – from tackling isolation and loneliness, enabling more people with learning disabilities to live independent lives in their own homes, promoting and improving wellbeing, preventing ill health and reducing health inequalities. We know what the issues are, the time for action is now.”https://thiis.co.uk/demand-on-local-authorities-for-social-care-grows-as-1-3-million-new-people-turn-to-councils-for-support/https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/community-nurse-elderly-woman.jpg?fit=1000%2C667&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/community-nurse-elderly-woman.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomReports & ResearchThird Sectoradult social care,Centre for Ageing Better,community equipment,Councils,England,housing adaptations,Improved Better Care Fund,LGA,local authorities,Local Government Association,long-term care,Queen's Speech,short-term care,social careNHS Digital has released its annual Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report for England 2018-19, revealing local authorities received a substantial number of new requests and spent over £800million more on social care compared to the previous year. 2018-19 marks the third year the report has been published and...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine