More than a million elderly people do not get the care they need, a hike of almost 20 percent in the last year, a report from charity Age UK has found.
The report, ‘The Health and Care of Older People In England 2017’, said spending cuts and rising demand had left social care in “a state of collapse”.
Nearly 1.2 million - one in eight of those aged over 65 - live with an unmet care need, while nearly two-thirds of older carers themselves have a disability or health problem.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “Unless something changes the crisis will certainly deepen this year and next, and we think there is now a real risk of a complete collapse in social care in the worst affected areas.
“This is an incredibly serious situation that demands an immediate Government response. We urge the Government to make an emergency injection of funds into social care in the Spring Budget.”
The report said the number of elderly people left with insufficient care has soared 48 percent since 2010.
It found 700,000 people struggle with daily living do not receive any help. A further 487,000 receive help but this does not fully meet their needs.
In 2015/16, more than half of all requests for elderly social care were not granted.
Meanwhile the number of beds in residential homes has dropped, and the number of those providing unpaid care have risen.
Abrahams said: “Some older people and their families are already telling us that they simply cannot find any carers where they live, and we are also hearing of vulnerable older people receiving council-funded care whose help has been significantly reduced, leaving them to manage alone for many hours at a time.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We recognise the pressures of an ageing population, which is why we are giving local authorities access to £7.6 billion of new money for adult social care.
“This Government has gone further to integrate health and social care than any other before it. We have brought budgets together for the first time through the Better Care Fund and given the NHS an extra £10 billion per year by 2020/21 to fund its own plan to build a more responsive, modern health system.
“But this is not solely about money, which is why we are working to find a long-term, sustainable solution which helps local authorities learn from each other to raise standards across the whole system.”