Ageing population will put pressure on councils18th February 2010
The Audit Commission says that councils will struggle to cope with the financial challenge posed by England's ageing population.
It also warned that if current practices continue, the £9bn annual social care bill will double by 2026.
Ministers are considering changes to the funding system for social care – including a level on people’s estates already dubbed a ‘death tax’ by the Conservatives - but the Audit Commission believes councils must start to look at innovative ways to provide care now.
That includes using technology and the advances it offers including “telecare”.
The Commission has highlighted a number of examples, where technology has been used to provide electronic links between services and people living in their own homes such as exit sensors, fall detectors and flood alerts in case taps are left running.
Audit Commission chairman Michael O'Higgins said: "There are huge financial pressures on councils in the years ahead, but redesigning services and exploiting technology can make them better, more efficient and more personal."
An area of concern was variations in spending levels between authorities on services such as meals, care at home, assessment systems and nursing care.
The charity Counsel and Care charity said that variation was unacceptable.
The Local Government Association said councils were aware of the issues they face.
Spokesman David Rogers said: “We are acutely aware that the future will mean doing things differently to cope with an ageing population, developing new technology with less funding from the public purse and are already making huge strides to adapt to the future.”
Share this page
There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!
Post your comment
Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.
Title: Ageing population will put pressure on councils
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14098
Date Added: 18th Feb 2010