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Charities fear bigger care cuts to come

30 March 2011

Research shows families already struggling with cuts as councils plan to axe more services for older and disabled people.

A survey conducted by over forty leading care charities, which are part of the Care and Support Alliance, has shown that nearly one in four (23%) disabled and older people and their families have already had their services cut even before councils implement deep cuts due to their budget reductions in April 2011.

The survey, carried out to provide evidence to the Government’s Commission on the Future Funding of Social Care, revealed councils are already cutting services as they respond to a 26% cut in their funding from central Government.

Responses from over 1,000 disabled and older people, people with long term conditions and families caring for them, showed that the pressure of shortages of funding, increasing care charges and a struggle to get services including transport and respite care is pushing families to breaking point.

  • Nearly half (43%) could not afford essentials like food and heating, as a result of changes like increased care charges.
  • Over half of respondents had seen their health suffer as a result of changes to services
  • 52% were struggling to maintain their independence
  • 48% of carers and disabled people were finding it harder to stay in employment

Funding for social care has failed to keep pace with an unprecedented demand. The charities are calling on the Government to ensure that reform of the social care system meets the historical shortfall as well as being socially and financially sustainable in the long term.

In a joint statement, the charities said: 

“We are extremely concerned that services which were already failing to keep pace with changing demographics are being cut back further. These cuts are having an impact on families before the major cuts to local authority funding bite from April 2011.

This research shows that significant numbers of families affected by illness and disability are going without the care and support services they need. This will only be exacerbated by bigger cuts to come as the government reduces funding to local councils. Too often people are falling between the gaps in the health and social care systems, leaving disabled and older people without support, and heaping more pressure on families.

There is no doubt that this mix of chronic underfunding and sustained cuts could have serious economic and social consequences unless these challenges are met now.

“The outlook for our society looks bleak for many families unless the Government and the Commission for Funding Social Care take bold steps to ensure that we have a sustainable funding system for social care.  Unless solutions are found which lever significant amounts of additional funding into social care, it will not just be disabled and older people and their families who pay a heavy price, but our economy and employers who face losing large numbers of people who are forced to give up work to care. “


Carers UK (Chair of Care and Support Alliance).
Alzheimer’s Society
British Red Cross
Centre for Policy on Ageing
Contact A Family
Counsel and Care
Crossroads Care
Disability Alliance
English Community Care Association
Every Disabled Child Matters
Grandparents Plus
Independent Age
Learning Disability Coalition
Macmillan Cancer Support
MS Society
National Council for Palliative Care
National Centre for Independent Living
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
Relatives and Residents Association
Stroke Association
United Response



Steve McIntosh, Carers UK, Tel: 0207 378 4937, Mob: 07875724088


The Care and Support Alliance was set up in July 2009, it is a consortium of over 40 organisations that represent and support older and disabled people, including disabled children, those with long-term conditions and their families. The Alliance has been at the forefront of raising political awareness of the chronic underfunding of social care and continues to work to achieve sustainable reform of the care and support system and how it is funded.

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support is an independent body responsible for the review of the funding system for care and support in England. Launched on 20th July 2010, the Commission is chaired by Andrew Dilnot with Lord Norman Warner and Dame Jo Williams as fellow Commissioners. The Commission will be building on the extensive body of work that has already been done in this area and provide recommendations and advice on how to implement the best option to Government by July 2011. While the Commission is hosted by the Department of Health, it is independent of both the Department and Government.

Care and Support Alliance evidence available from

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