Joint report warns £344m needed for social care in Wales by 2021-22

Current funding arrangements from Welsh Government will not cover the expected increases in cost and demand facing social care, the Welsh Local Government Association has warned.

A joint report by WLGA and ADSS to the National Assembly for Wales’ Finance Committee estimates that next year’s additional pressure of £99m in social services will become £344m by 2021-22, due to unavoidable direct and indirect increasing workforce costs coupled by an ageing population in need of social services.

Population projections estimate that by 2035, the number of people aged over 65 in Wales will increase by 33%, with the number of those over 85 set to rise 107% according to the Institute of Public Care’s Daffodil system.

Councillor Huw David (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Social Care said: “Whilst we are grateful to Welsh Government for their recent £10m funding to deal with winter pressures in social care, it is clear that one-off boosts are not enough to cover increasing financial pressures let alone significantly increased demand and cost pressures in future.”

“As our ageing population increases, so too does the demand on social care services. Whether it be home adaptations, occupational therapy, financial support, residential or home care or much more besides, these are services that make a real and significant difference to people’s daily lives.”

“Given the scale of the challenges, radical long-term solutions are urgently required. Now is the time to have a real debate about fundamental changes to social care funding, and to do away with the short-term sticking plaster approach that is no longer fit for purpose.”

WLGA and ADSS joint evidence submission to the Finance Committee’s ‘The Cost of caring for an ageing population’ inquiry can be downloaded here.