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One in ten LAs will have used their resources in three years, says government auditor

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By lealegraien@cogora.com
9 March 2018

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One in ten local authorities (LAs) will have used up their resources within three years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

Speaking at the Westminster Health Forum on priorities for improving care and support for older people today (9 March), NAO director of Local Service Delivery Value for Money Studies Ashley Douglass said that ‘in three years, 10% of LAs will have used up their social care resources’.

One in ten local authorities (LAs) will have used up their resources within three years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

Speaking at the Westminster Health Forum on priorities for improving care and support for older people today (9 March), NAO director of Local Service Delivery Value for Money Studies Ashley Douglass said that ‘in three years, 10% of LAs will have used up their social care resources’.

He continued: ‘LAs funding has been falling. For the past two years, LAs have been drawing more on their reserves, particularly for children services.

‘But they don’t have the money to cover what they spend.

‘If they continue to draw their reserves to the extent that they have been in most recent years, 10% of these will have used the whole of their reserves in three years.’

Failure to meet demand

In 2016/2017, social care spending accounted for around 54% of LAs overall service spend – a 11% increase since 2010/11 – the NAO revealed.

‘Although we are spending more on children social care that we were years ago, none of this addresses the pressures on the demand’, said Mr Douglas.

The NAO shows that between 2010/11 to 2016/17 the number of people over the age of 65 in need of care increased by 14.3% while the number of children being looked-after rose by 10.9%.

Mr Douglas argued that if we’re spending more on one thing, we will end up spending less on something else.

He added: ‘Fewer people are being supported by LAs and less is being spent on them.

‘If you spend less on adult social care, delayed transfers of care (DOTC) will rise.’

Social care cuts

Mr Douglas said that DOTC could come from cuts to social care budget.

Since 2010, adult social care budget has been cut to a total of £6.3bn, an Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) survey found.

NAO data shows that Government funding for LAs has decreased by around 49% between 2010/11 and 2017/18,.

Mr Douglas added that LAs cannot be treated by the NHS or the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) because they don’t have that ‘accountability’.

  

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