£1bn social care funding gap piles pressure on NHS

Commenting on a report from The King’s Fund, which shows that local authority social care services face a funding gap in excess of £1 billion by 2015, Helga Pile, UNISON’s National Officer for social care, said:

“Local authorities are already struggling to protect adult care spending – those councils with the highest levels of deprivation are facing funding cuts much higher  than the 27% average.

“With stricter criteria to qualify for care and hiked up charges, people are being priced out of the help they need. Services and resources, such as day centres and meals and wheels, are shutting down and quality and reliability are suffering as a result of privatisation to the lowest bidder.

“All this adds up to real misery for hundreds of thousands of people who rely on social care, and higher costs for councils and the NHS, as demand escalates.

“The NHS cannot be expected to pick up the pieces of this huge funding gap. The Government must stop savage public spending cuts, or see both social care services and the NHS crumble under the pressure.”

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