Press Story

New figures have shown that the scale of the growing care crisis is hitting the NHS hard, as the Government scrambles to provide extra funding:

  • There were 69,624 bed days lost as a result of delays attributable exclusively to adult social care in January 2017, compared to 31,219 in January 2012.
  • At the point at which it was measured in January, there were 2,498 patients awaiting a transfer of care as a result of delays attributable to adult social care. At the same point in 2012, there were 1,163 patients awaiting a transfer.
  • Waits attributable to social care have risen hugely in some areas:
    - 13,077 days were lost as a result of people awaiting a residential home placement or availability, up 48% in five years (Jan 2012 = 8,824)
    - 12,481 days were lost as a result of people awaiting a nursing home placement or availability, up 178% in five years (Jan 2012 = 4,494)
    - 24,581 days were lost as a result of people awaiting a care package in their own home, up 302% in five years (Jan 2012 = 6,109)

The Chancellor announced £2 billion of new funding for social care to be phased in over the next three years. However, just £1 billion will be provided next year, and the funding shortfall is predicted to be £2.6 billion by 2020. The NHS finances are also in trouble, as shown by IPPR’s recent mapping of sustainability and transformation plans, with the highest deficit of £768.50 per head in Surrey Heartlands. Dr Mark Porter, Chair of the BMA said yesterday that the Chancellor had done nothing to plug ‘the gaping hole in NHS finances’, describing the system as ‘at breaking point’.

The Government are expecting councils to use council tax, business rates and savings in other services to plug the shortfall. This risks leading to a postcode lottery, with wealthier areas able to raise enough but poor areas struggling. This will also add to the squeeze on low income households as council tax is deeply regressive.

Carys Roberts, Research Fellow at IPPR said;

“These figures show the government urgently needs a plan for social care if it to avoid crises in both the health and care sectors. This must involve an industrial strategy and workforce plan so that care workers can deliver care more efficiently. But the Chancellor also needs a sustainable plan for social care funding in the long term.

“While the additional £2 billion announced yesterday is welcome, it’s not enough to prevent a crisis in care and the NHS. The new government green paper on health and social care funding will need to be much more ambitious if this is to be avoided.”



Sofie Jenkinson 07981023031

Becky Malone 07585 772633

Editors Notes:

1. The latest figures were released by NHS England today:

2. Figures given are for delays attributable exclusively to social care, and include delays from both acute and non-acute settings.

3. IPPR’s Sustainability and transformation plan mapping tool is available on IPPR’s website:

4. IPPR recently published a report, 'Care in a post-Brexit climate', setting out a post-Brexit industrial strategy and workforce plan for social care:

5. IPPR aims to influence policy in the present and reinvent progressive politics in the future, and is dedicated to the better country that Britain can be through progressive policy and politics. With nearly 60 staff across four offices throughout the UK, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.

Our independent research is wide ranging, it covers the economy, work, skills, transport, democracy, the environment, education, energy, migration and healthcare among many other areas.