Almost 90% of GPs fear that social care services are not providing a sufficient level of care for patients leading to extra pressure on surgeries and other parts of the health system.
These findings are from a poll of over 800 GPs commissioned by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA).
Key findings from the poll include:
- Almost nine out of 10 GPs (88%) do not believe social care services currently provide a sufficient level of care for their patients.
- Nearly three quarters (71%) believe care services will worsen over the next two to three years.
- Almost nine in ten (88%) believe reductions in social care have contributed to the pressures faced in their surgeries.
- More than nine out of ten GPs (92%) do not believe there is a sufficient level of care provided to prevent patients presenting at A&E or for them to avoid delayed discharge from hospital.
- 85% of GPs believed that cuts to local authority budgets mean that there are less care and support services available now than five years ago.
The CSA argues that the care system is on its knees, with demand going up at the same time as chronic underfunding has seen fewer and fewer people getting support. Councils report that around £3.5bn has been taken out of the system since 2010, while LSE research has revealed that 500,000 people who would have received care in 2009 are no longer entitled to it.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer's Society, said: “Social services have been cut to the bone, increasing pressures on already stretched GP and hospital services. The situation is unsustainable and threatens to push thousands of vulnerable older people, many with dementia, into crisis.
“Political parties must stop treating social care as the poor relation of the better funded NHS. The government knows that reform and full integration is a necessity, but this can't be achieved on a shoe-string budget. We fully support the call for serious investment in care in the next budget.”