The LGA and ADASS invited senior figures from across the care and support sector to provide their perspective on some of the issues covered in their report, Adult social care funding: 2014 state of the nation. This is Richard Humphries' viewpoint.
The financial woes of adult social care have, like the prospect of change in Sam Cooke’s song, been a long, long time a coming. Council spending on older people has been flat and falling since 2006 when the numbers of over 85s has soared by 25 per cent over the same period. There has been a longstanding failure of public policy to prepare for an ageing population - in which younger adults with disabilities are living longer too.
A succession of independent reviews – Sutherland (1999), Wanless (2006), Dilnot (2011), and most recently Barker – have signaled the growing inadequacy of social care funding. The previous government’s proposals for a national care service ran out of time and fell foul of the ‘death tax’ row before the last election.