More people on individual budgets but social care crisis still looms

The social care personalisation agenda has received a boost with news that the number of people getting individual budgets (IBs) has risen by nearly third in a year.

According to a joint survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the LGA, the number of people in each council getting IBs has risen by 163% to 42 on the 2007-08 average of 16 clients per authority. And the number of people getting direct payments increased by over a third (37%) from 320 to 439.

ADASS president Jenny Owen said: ‘These figures reflect the extent to which our wellbeing role is beginning to kick in, with more and more resources being devoted to providing safe and secure environments for people to live in.’

The survey also found 15% of councils anticipate a reduction in the supply of services as independent care homes close, followed by an increased demand for welfare advice services.

Cllr David Rogers of the LGA called for a plan to cope with the expected hike in demand.

‘There must be a plan for how we look after those who need care and support. Councils are well aware of this ticking timebomb and it is time for all national politicians to prove their committment to this issue by including it as one of their three main concerns.’