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Number of people receiving social care falls by a quarter

Vulnerable patients requiring services at home drop by the most

Ingrid Torjesen

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The number of adults receiving social services has fallen by a quarter over the last four years, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show, as cash-strapped councils have slashed their spending on social care.

A total of 1.3 million adults received social services in England in 2012-13, a fall of nine per cent on 2011-12 and 25 per cent on 2007-8.

Among these 1.3 million people, 1.1 million received community-based services (a fall of 10 per cent on 2011-12), 209,000 received residential care (down two per cent on 2011-12) and 87,000 received nursing care (less than a one per cent change on 2011-12).

There were 603,000 assessments for new clients in 2012-13 (down less than one per cent from 2011-12 and down nine per cent from 2007-08).

There were 2.1m enquiries made to council departments for support, down less than 1 per cent from 2011/12 and up 1 per cent from 2007-08. Following enquiries, 603,000 assessments were made for new clients, down less than 1% from 2011/12 and down a staggering 9% from 2007/08.

Two thirds (67 per cent or 404,000) of assessments resulted in a client receiving services.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, says: “These figures show how increasingly desperate the care crisis is with the numbers of people receiving care falling, as are the number of people actually being assessed to see if they need support.

“It’s clear that frontline cuts are leaving older people struggling on alone whilst living with chronic illnesses and disability. We already know that there are hundreds and thousands of older people who need help with basic tasks such as washing, dressing or cleaning their teeth and who do not receive it.”

She added: “Nothing will change until the Government accepts the fact that the funding system has failed and acts so that adequate funds are made available. Legislative reform is vital but pointless with insufficient funding in place.”

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