A report by ResPublica today predicts that the crisis in funding for residential care will cost the NHS £3 billion.
A study funded by the think-tank concluded that care home closures and financial cuts of over £1 billion by 2020 could result in the closure of thousands of care homes. It predicts that some 37,000 beds for elderly care home residents will be lost, meaning many will be forced to be cared for in hospitals.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “It is undeniable that Britain’s social care system is in crisis. Wave after wave of financial cuts are diminishing the support available to the most vulnerable people in society, leaving thousands of people with dementia, who make up 70% of those in residential care, with nowhere to turn to.
“We already know from local government that the social care funding gap is growing by £700m each year, so this report only serves to highlight further the devastating impact that these relentless financial cuts are having. We need a new settlement for residential care and one that crucially meets the care needs of an ageing population. This needs reform in the way we fund care, as well as how it is delivered. The forthcoming spending review provides a prime opportunity to address this urgent need.
“By 2021 there will be over one million people in the UK living with dementia, yet significantly fewer options for care available to them. Two-thirds of the cost of dementia is already paid for by people with dementia and their families or carers. Government-funded support is a life line to many families and the pressure will only increase if social care is cut further and ultimately, pushed to the point of collapse.”