“Ageist attitudes” are a major cause of a “lost decade” of social care in England, a major report suggests.
The system is now at breaking point and without urgent Government intervention, including fast changes to funding, England’s social care sector will collapse.
A team led by Jon Glasby, a Professor of health and social care at the University of Birmingham, says that despite the legitimate needs of other groups “it is hard to interpret this other than as the product of ageist attitudes and assumptions about the role and needs of older people”.
Local authority spending on adult social care increased in real terms until 2011, but has since declined despite increases in need and demand.
The report found that gross spending fell by 8% between 2009-10 and 2015-16. Spending on nursing care for older people in 2018 was only about £4.5bn, against a projected spending need of £7bn, the Guardian reports.
A separate report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirms the findings.
England’s population has been growing and so spending efforts to reallocate funding fell flat,dropping by 13.5% per adult over the same period.
The Local Government Association estimated in 2018 that adult social care services would face a funding gap of £1.5bn by 2019-20 and £3.5bn by 2024-25.