Adult social care 'under pressure', report says
Adult social care in England is under increasing pressure and the government has "no idea" how long the system can cope, according to an official inquiry.
The National Audit Office also raised doubts over whether an overhaul of care services, which begins in 2015, will be as successful as ministers hope.
A lack of time and information could leave councils struggling to improve services, the report added.
Ministers say they are giving councils £1.1 billion to protect such services.
The NAO found that while demand for adult social care was increasing, spending by local authorities fell by 8% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
Some of this was achieved by delivering care more efficiently, but researchers also found evidence that councils paid providers less, putting financial pressures on some companies who complained of being able to deliver only basic care.
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