Growing Elderly Population ‘Putting Pressure’ On Adult Social Care
The growing elderly population in England’s county and rural areas is now starting to add significant pressure on adult social care services, with a new study revealing for the first time ever that these regions now have as many people over 65 as children and young people.
Research from the County Councils Network (CCN) shows that the older population has swelled by more than a million people in the last ten years. In addition, it was found that county authorities are receiving funding from the government based on outdated formulas, which is exacerbating the situation.
As a result, social care services in these regions are hundreds of millions of pounds worse off when compared to England’s cities and large towns. Furthermore, it was found that next year’s planned care reforms will deliver an additional multi billion-pound shortfall.
But analysis shows that if a new funding formula was developed, county and rural councils would see at least £440 million in extra funding each year.
CCN adult social care spokesman councillor Martin Tett said: “The failure to reform an outdated council funding formula has left social care services in these areas already hundreds of millions of pounds worse off.
“The reforms to social care in England will have a further disproportionate impact on county areas. Unless the government provides more funding and changes to the distribution of money for its flagship adult social care reforms, the quality and accessibility of care services could be further worsened.”
Current government reforms include a cap on care costs of £86,000, a more generous means test and a new fair cost of care.
Mr Tett observed that both the means test and cap are underfunded and “create significant workforce challenges”. He went on to say that the government must look again at the quantum and distribution of resources to ensure that local authorities aren’t facing “significant unfunded burdens”.
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