survey published today in the Independent newspaper has found that local authorities are planning to reduce care spending by an average of 3 per cent this year, with many having to make tough decisions on social care.
Some councils are trying to minimise the impact on front-line services through efficiency savings from elsewhere in their budgets, while in others care homes are being shut, social workers made redundant and charges for day care increased.
The survey of more than 30 local authorities found that a number of councils are investing in 'reablement' programmes of intensive help for people to live independently at home so they do not require long-term support. Others favour the use of 'telecare' as an alternative to personal care.
In an interview with the BBC today Sarah Pickup, the new president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said she wants to focus on what local authorities can do while they wait for government to come up with a solution to the mounting problems facing the sector.
The government is planning to publish an adult social care White Paper later on in the year, but the most controversial aspect of the changes - the funding of the system - is not going to be part of that.