NHS Digital have published the Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England 2016-17. Commenting on the figures, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:
“There has at last been a real terms cash increase in adult social care, but behind the veneer of good news, the grim reality is that spending is still 1 per cent lower on 2005-06 levels, despite rapidly growing demand. Worse still, whatever cash increases have been observed this year, these have barely resulted in any meaningful increase in actual care on the frontline, with many councils having to spend more money to meet their obligations under the National Living Wage. While the precept on council tax bills injected much needed funding into the social care system, this has proven mostly unsatisfactory with councils in less affluent areas unable to raise as much money as other parts of the country.
“The most worrying aspect of these findings is that, once again, there’s so much variation with nearly 1 in 3 councils in fact reporting a reduction in spending. Older people and their families are still having to accept that it’s very often where they live that proves the deciding factor in what support, if indeed they can access any at all, they go on to receive at home, or in a residential care home. It is high time Ministers provide a sustainable solution to a social care system that in some respects is no better off than it was a decade ago.”