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Doubts over social care capacity uncovered in survey

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Confidence among leaders and chief executives that their councils have the capacity to deliver adult and children’s social care has plummeted, according to research.

A quarterly survey of 150 councils conducted by the New Local Government Network (NLGN) thinktank recorded a confidence score of 37 out of 100 for the delivery of adult social care services, compared to a score of 47 from the last survey in March.

Similarly, the confidence of leaders and chief executives in their councils’ capacity to deliver children’s social care fell from 46 to 35.

The survey also found almost half said they would expect a no-deal Brexit to increase their costs for providing care for the elderly and those with disabilities.

NLGN director Adam Lent said the findings are further evidence that care for the most vulnerable is in crisis.

“Leaving aside the appalling human cost, it is daft to spend billions of extra pounds on the NHS while social care goes to the wall,” he said. “The less care the elderly, disabled and at-risk children get, the more they will turn up at A&E putting pressure on the health service.

“It is vital the chancellor addresses this irrational policy in his Budget by accepting that the £20.5bn ‘birthday present’ for the NHS is shared with councils.”

LGC’s confidence survey this month found 57% of senior officers were doubtful that children’s services would be protected from further cuts, while two-thirds said they were doubtful that adult social care would be protected.

The NLGN survey also found 97% of leaders and chief executives are planning to increase council tax next year to address reductions in funding and rising demand for services.


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