Social care system at crisis point

13 June 2019

BBC Panorama’s ‘Crisis in care’ highlighted the state of adult social care in the UK and the human costs of a failing system. 


BBC Panorama on the failings of our social care system was broadcasted at the end of May. It was granted full access to Somerset Council in the interest of depicting how budget cuts are impacting their services and putting the burden on unpaid carers. 

These pressures are being felt in councils all across the country, with more people requesting care but fewer people receiving it. ‘Crisis in care’ put a human face on the price of austerity highlighting the need for reform.

Fuelled by an increase in the number of older people in the population, there has been 1.8 million requests for adult social care, up 2% since 2015/16. 

This was found by a report from The King’s Fund, which also stated that funding to councils was cut by almost two-thirds since 2010.

‘The government has been warned that its ceaseless cuts to local authority funding have very real and painful consequences for people’, says Unite's assistant general secretary for the public sector, Gail Cartmail.

‘Every single MP, who has voted through the Conservative’s austerity agenda, must now hang their head in shame at the realisation that their actions have caused and continue to cause desperate human pain.’

Gail Cartmail continues: ‘Not one of the candidates for Conservative leadership has yet put forward any programme for how the most vulnerable in our society is cared . [It’s] also a shameful failure how tattered our public services have become under their party's stewardship.

‘This has to end. The UK is the fifth biggest economy on the planet.  We can and should find the money to treat our vulnerable with dignity and fairly reward those who care for them too.’

Author: Nicole Bains

Image credit | iStock