Responding to this year's ADASS budget survey, Richard Humphries, Assistant Director of Policy at The King’s Fund said:
'This survey once again highlights the mounting pressures on social care budgets. There is no hiding the fact that, despite the best efforts of local authorities, a sixth consecutive year of budget cuts will mean further reductions in services and fewer people receiving support. The fact that councils will spend £1 billion less this year on essential services that more of us will need defies demography.
'Social care is now at a crossroads. It is at risk of becoming a residual service, available only to those with the lowest incomes and highest needs, leaving thousands of people and their families struggling to meet the costs of care.
'Social care funding was the ghost at the feast of the election campaign, a subject none of the main parties dared to mention. Politicians must now be honest about the scale of the pressures on services and recognise that additional funding for social care must be a priority ahead of the Spending Review in the autumn.
'As health leaders meet in Liverpool this week, the survey is another reminder that the NHS cannot be looked at in isolation from social care. As the Barker Commission has set out, a new settlement is needed to place the NHS and social care on a sustainable footing for the future.'
Notes to editors:
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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.