Social care services are failing to help hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, a new survey has warned today.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) found almost 400,000 people are waiting for an assessment or a service.
A lack of staff also meant 1.5 million hours of commissioned home care could not be provided between August and October, the survey also found.
Half of councils reported they had to respond to a care home closure or bankruptcy over the past six months.
ADASS president Stephen Chandler said: 'This survey confirms our worst fears.
'Red lights are flashing right across our dashboard.
'Despite magnificent efforts by the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care who are delivering extraordinary amounts of care and support, services are failing to meet everyone’s needs and older and disabled people are suffering.'
ADASS called on the Government to take immediate steps to stabilise the care system and fund a £1,000 winter retention bonus for all staff.
Hertfordshire CC is believed to be the first council in the country to fund a £400 bonus payment for frontline health and social care workers as part of a £7.8m investment.
A Government spokesperson said: 'We are committed to delivering world-leading social care - that’s why we are investing an additional £5.4bn over three years, which will allow us to build our comprehensive adult social care reform programme.'