Home Finance specialist Councils fail to keep up with care demands despite rising costs

Councils fail to keep up with care demands despite rising costs

  • The number of councils registering applications drops by 18% and no councils in the East Midlands, East of England and South East are keeping data, according to Key FOI
  • Only 6% of councils make no changes to deal with Covid-19
  • Nearly 600,000 are receiving care funds from the councils, Key’s Care Report: Addressing Care shows

Local councils are failing to keep up with adult care inquiries despite rising costs and an aging population, making the need for accurate information more vital than ever, access to care data shows. information from Key, the senior finance specialist.

Failing to follow up on inquiries exposes councils to sudden increases in demand for care and pressure on their already stretched budgets, Key warns. The number of local authorities registering inquiries from members of the public seeking adult care fell 18% from the previous year. Councils in Yorkshire, where 29% of recorded inquiries were the top performers in the country, but in the East Midlands, East of England and the South East no councils reported having recorded enquiries.

Keys Care Report: Addressing Care – the third he has published since 2019 – quizzed councils across Britain on demand for adult social care and also quizzed the over-55s on how they would like to receive care in the future and how they would pay for it. Almost two in three (64%) of over-55s said they would prefer to receive care in their current home or the one they are moving to, according to the research.

Rising costs for municipalities

The number of people receiving financial support for care increased by 15% to 598,494 in the most recent figures which were recorded as the UK entered the COVID-19 crisis, reflecting the impact of aging population on council finances.

About 40% of people receiving care were fully funded. This rises to 76% in the North East and 64% in the East of England and drops to 19% in Yorkshire and 24% in the West Midlands.

The impact of COVID on municipal finances

Only 6% of councils surveyed have made no changes to adult care provision during the pandemic, 71% have increased their funding for care homes and 71% have increased the number of regular checks to protect adults.

More than half (56%) have set up a new hotline or phone number for Covid-19 queries, 55% have increased the number of people assigned to support vulnerable adults and 48% have increased the number of social and care workers they employ. Only one in 20 (5%) gave tax relief to local authorities for care homes.

east of england 100% 66.67% 16.67%
South West 62.5% 62.5% 6.25%
London 68.57% 74.29% 8.57%
yorkshire 92.86% 85.71% 7.14%
South East 66.67% 66.67% 0
Scotland 48.39% 58.06% 3.23%
North West 86.96% 86.96% 0
West Midlands 64.29% 57.14% 14.29%
East Midlands 77.78% 77.78% 11.11%
Wales 77.27% 81.82% 9.09%
Northeast 61.54% 53.85% 0
BRITAIN 70.15% 70.65% 5.97%

Will VigorousCEO of Key, said: “Today’s report highlights the extreme pressure local councils are under and the tough choices they have to make to balance the books. That said, it is extremely concerning that they do not record the number of people who contact them in relation to adult social care, as this makes resource planning much more difficult at a time when it is of a vital importance.

“With changes to the way the country approaches care due to come into effect in October 2023, the next 18 months will be critical as councils, consumers and the organizations that support them work to prepare. As this progresses, it should be kept in mind that 64% of people want home care and there are already a variety of financing options, including equity release, who support this desire.

“The hard truth is that even with the extra funding, most people will have to pay something for care in old age if they need it. As a country, we must rise to the care challenge and make smart, sustainable choices that benefit all members of society.

Jacqueline Berry, Director at My Care Consultant, comments: “Local authorities across the UK have faced growing demand for aged care services in recent years, which the pandemic has made worse, leaving resources stretched and large backlogs of support requests. With the government’s planned introduction of the care cap in England in October 2023, Key’s annual report highlights the reality that for many local authorities meeting the challenge of meeting the government’s care proposals will only increase pressure on their resources.

“Given this context and the fact that many people will still have to pay significant sums for their care, understanding the limits of the government’s proposals and preparing as soon as possible for future costs of care has probably never been so important.”