The cost of providing care has become an increasingly common theme in the complaints made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman over the past year.
Highlighted in its Annual Review of Adult Social Care, the Ombudsman said it is seeing more cases where councils are failing to provide care, or are limiting care, while using cost as the justification.
In one case, a family went from paying nothing for their elderly mother’s care to more than £3,500 a month after the council changed the way it assessed people’s contributions towards their care because of ‘budgetary pressures’.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:
“The issues we are investigating indicate a system with a growing disconnect between the care to which people are entitled, and the ability of councils to meet those needs."
“Care assessments, care planning and charging for care have been key features of our cases this year and a common theme is councils failing to provide care, or limiting it, and justifying this because of the cost. We appreciate budgets are becoming increasingly stretched but authorities’ duties under the Care Act remain and we will continue to hold authorities to account for what they should be doing rather than what they can afford to do.”