The golden threads of prevention

By Steve Carefull | 28 May 2015

Those hoping the new Government will address the growing imbalance between the demand for adult social care and the funds to deliver it will have to accept reality. It is clear that the Conservative administration is committed to driving, and possibly accelerating, the austerity programme it initiated in coalition.

The public sector will have little alternative other than to adapt to continuing pressure on spending until the budget deficit is under control, or the end of the decade, whichever comes sooner.

However, as most commentators with an interest in a viable adult social care sector have pointed out: the status quo looks unsustainable. The UK already dedicates a lower proportion of GDP to caring for its older population than Canada, New Zealand and half of Europe. There will be 2.5 times as many people over 85 in the UK in 20 years as there were in 2010. In the next 12 years we face a 40% increase in the number of people with dementia.

In an ideal world, we would see a steady growth in adult social care funding to at least bridge the predicted £4.3bn gap by 2020. Realistically, aside from any financial support for new Care Act responsibilities, there seems no prospect of an increase in funds for adult social care.

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