Rising cost of care provision blamed for increase in adult social care bill
PUBLISHED: 12:30 10 November 2017
The amount of money local authorities spent on social care rose by £556million in just one year, according to NHS Digital.
The figures show a 3.3 per cent increase compared to last year and NHS Digital believes it could be linked to the increasing costs in the provision of care.
North Somerset Council is expecting to spend £65.3million on adult social care in this financial year – which accounts for 40 per cent of its total budget.
The authority cares for more than 2,800 people and spends around £26million on residential care, £10.9million on nursing care and £9.4million on supported living.
A council spokesman said: “The cost of adult social care has increased and this is the case nationally as well as in North Somerset.
“Since April this year, the council has seen an eight per cent increase in new people making contact with adult social care.
“Often people want an assessment of their needs, advice and support on how to care for relatives or friends but also people concerned about no longer being able to fund their own care needs.
“The number of people going into residential care remains stable but the cost of placements in residential and nursing care has increased because of rises in the national minimum wage and the additional cost of employing nursing staff in homes.
“North Somerset has a shortage of registered nurses working in nursing homes and so there is a reliance on agency staff.
“Home care costs have also increased and this is due to the number of older people becoming more frail and the inability of family carers to provide care to loved ones, this often results in home care packages increasing over time.
“The number of children with significant health problems are living into adulthood and requiring care when they reach 18 years old and these also contribute to the increase costs of adult social care.
“Adult social care is meeting these challenges and looking at increased use of occupational therapy aids and telecare to try and manage the demand but inevitably the need for services is likely to increase as people live longer and become increasingly more frail.”
The Local Government Association is calling for the Government to address the social care crisis in its autumn budget.