The latest annual survey from The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), has suggested that care services are likely to more care cuts this year.
This is despite rises in council tax which have failed to solve the shortfall in adult social care budgets across England.
Local authorities were allowed to increase council tax by 2% this year, in order to spend the extra revenue on adult social care.
Most local authorities took advantage of this option, but the survey of 151 social care directors by ADASS found the extra revenue would only meet around half of the shortfall.
ADASS said that a further 39% of the shortfall would have to be covered by cuts to adult social care services, with those provided to the elderly being the most at risk.
Some of the likely outcomes include a reduction in home care hours and day centres being closed.
The balance of the funding deficit could be met by other measures, such as an increase in the level of fees being charged to individuals.
In some local authority areas, the deficit is so dire that the council tax precept would not help at all with this year’s funding shortfall, as the funds were needed to make up the deficit from last year.
ADASS president Harold Bodmer said:
“We have been arguing for some time that adult social care needs to be given the same protection and investment as the NHS.
“Services are already being cut, and the outlook for future care is bleak. We are at a tipping point where social care is in jeopardy.”
The next few years look set to be critical for the care sector.
We expect to see more care home closures and a loss of bed provision, combined with rising demand from an ageing population.