Council support drops while care home admissions rise, says report


The number of working-age disabled people who received support from their local council dropped sharply last year, while the number admitted to care homes increased, according to a new report.

The report found that the number of working-age disabled people receiving community services – such as home care, equipment and direct payments – from their council fell by five per cent from 2010-11 to 2011-12, while the number admitted to permanent residential care rose by two per cent.

The report was put together by Towards Excellence in Adult Social Care (TEASC), a partnership that includes the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Think Local Act Personal, which focuses on personalisation.

Their report also found that just over half of all eligible people – more than 600,000 – now receive their council-funded care package through a personal budget, although only about 190,000 use direct payments, which allow disabled people greater control over their funding.

The figures suggest councils are increasingly focusing their resources on those with the highest support needs, with the number of disabled people receiving 10 or more hours of home care support a week increasing by 5.7 per cent, but those receiving less than two hours dropping by 14 per cent, and those receiving between two and five hours a week falling by 11 per cent.

Peter Hay, chair of TEASC, said the cuts in provision of home care, services for carers and other “traditional services” did “reflect to some extent the hard hits that local authorities and social care have taken over the past two years and more”.

But he said these cuts could also be partly due to councils’ “sound preventative services”, while “more people might have been redirected to voluntary agencies and so may not be counted in our statistics”.

24 October 2012