England’s social care system in a ‘critical state’ as demand soars by 229% in a year

Health and wellbeing of those receiving care continues to deteriorate, despite government promises, report warns.

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The annual report of the charity Access Social Care reveals a 229 percent rise in the number of social care needs assessment enquiries in 2021/22 compared to 2019/20, with the charity warning that the system is now in a “critical” state.

The data collected across the nation and presented in this year’s study has also provided proof of an increase of 88 percent in the number of enquiries that have been classified as requiring the assistance of a specialist solicitor in the year 2021/22, in comparison to 2019/20.

According to the charity, the substantial increase in the demand for help far exceeds the available resources.

The report also revealed that, in light of growing concerns surrounding the increased cost of living and the aftermath of the pandemic, the number of enquiries regarding problems or concerns about existing social care and support increased by 43 percent in the year 2021/22 compared to 2019/20.

The study expresses concern that the health and wellbeing of those receiving care as well as those providing it has continued to deteriorate.

In addition, in order to satisfy the growing number of clients, customer service hotlines have had to increase the number of employees they hire and the hours they are open.

Kari Gerstheimer, Chief Executive of Access Social Care said: “Once again the State of the Nation report has highlighted serious issues within the English social care system, and at what cost?

“Most local authorities cannot meet the demand for care. This affects all of us. Whether we are self funders or in receipt of state funded care, we will all need social care at some point either for ourselves or for a loved one.

“The Government claims to have fixed social care and continues its promises to help ease the cost of living crisis, but the sums don’t add up. Millions of people are feeling the effects of an underfunded system.

‘We want a social care system that is properly financed, readily available and fairly distributed.

“Currently, vital services are overstretched, and people are going without the necessary social care they so desperately need – something needs to change.”

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