Adult social care services are forecasting an overspend of more than £400m this financial year, amid reports of widespread care home closures and growing pressure on NHS budgets, a new survey has found.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services survey also found 62% of councils have seen residential and nursing home closures in the past six months while 57% have had home care providers hand back contracts. Adass said almost 11,000 people using council-funded care were affected by this.
In addition around four-fifths of directors have quality concerns with one or more social care provider in their area.
In total 129 out of 152 directors of adult social services in England responded to the survey. They reported a projected overspend of £441m on a budget of £13.8bn that will be met through the use of reserves or other one-off funding to plug the gap. The projected overspend is more than two-and-a-half times the 2015-16 overspend of £168m. Adass said some of the larger overspends reflected a reduction in funding from NHS to social care.
More than two thirds (68%) of directors said they were having discussions about reductions to continuing healthcare funding which is provided by the NHS for people who have long-term health care needs. More than half (56%) reported increased demand for healthcare activity to be undertaken by social care staff; and a similar figure (51%) reported growing demand as a result of people with very high needs not being admitted to hospital.
Adass’ immediate past president Ray James said: “The evidence is irrefutable. Social care desperately needs additional funding brought forward in the autumn statement.
“If that money is not forthcoming, the consequences for councils, for care providers and for the NHS are deeply distressing.
“But most of all it places the wellbeing of over one million people who currently require state-funded long term social care and their carers at greater risk.”