A poll of GPs has revealed the extra pressure placed on surgeries and other parts of the NHS, due to chronic underfunding in social care.
More than 800 GPs took part in the poll which showed that:
Almost nine out of ten GPs (88 percent) do not believe social care services currently provide a sufficient level of care for their patients
More than nine out of ten GPs (92 per cent) do not believe there is a sufficient level of care provided to prevent patients presenting at A and E or for them to avoid delayed discharge from hospital
Almost nine in ten (88 percent) believe reductions in social care have contributed to the pressures faced in their surgeries.
Nearly three quarters (71 percent) believe care services will worsen over the next two to three years.
85 percent 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 survey, spearheaded by the Care and Support Alliance, comes ahead of the Care Act coming into force on April 1 and as the Government consults on a cap on care costs.
The Alliance represents over 75 of Britain’s leading charities including RNIB, who are campaigning for social care reform.
Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “The care system is on its knees. The message from GPs is clear – cuts to social care have directly led to extra pressure on primary care as well as huge challenges for hospitals .As more and more of us need support fewer and fewer of us are getting it
“Chronic underfunding has left hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, who need support to do the basics, like getting up or out of the house, cut out of the care system. “People become isolated, can’t live on their own and slip into crisis.”
Dr Jon Orrell, a practising GP from Dorset, added: “The chronic underfunding of care combined with frozen health budgets means that my patients cannot get the health and social care support they need.