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  1. ITV Report

The numbers: Extent of social care delays revealed

Some people are facing long waits to receive appropriate social care. Credit: PA

The elderly and vulnerable are facing desperate waits for social care in England, despite being told they qualify for council funded care visits.

An ITV News investigation found people waiting over six months for their promised care at seven different councils.

377
days was the length of time one person had to wait before their care package could begin

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request was sent to 152 councils, asking the single longest number of days an individual had been waiting for the start of an initial adult social care package on 5th December 2016.

In total, 42 councils - just over half of the 80 who responded - said they had recorded waiting times of over a month.

Half of the councils that responded said they had recorded waiting times of over a month. Credit: PA

The 10 councils with the longest wait for a long term adults social care package were:

  • North Somerset - The longest wait was 377 days. The council said this was due to the specialist nature of the care required. In the meantime, a short term support package has been put in place to provide support.
  • Bournemouth - 319 days.There were 15 people with an open referral and initial service package planned date but no actual start date.
  • Tameside - 302 days. The council said that the individual will not accept the care package from the zoned provider and other providers are unable to deliver the care package. The in-house reablement service continues to provide services to this individual.
  • East and West Herts - 259 days in West Hertfordshire, 140 days in east Hertfordshire.
  • Lincolnshire - 243 days. The council said that this is not a simple case with a multi-layered complexity including safeguarding, personal choice and geographical position.
  • Sheffield - 227 days
  • Oxfordshire - 192 days. The council said that this is a particularly challenging case involving 4 double handed visits a day with specialist healthcare tasks.
  • Kirklees - 181 days
  • Trafford Council - 181 days
  • Northamptonshire - 166 days

It comes just weeks after ITV News revealed one in five councils in England are still commissioning 15 minute social care packages despite a government pledge to abolish them.

The government has signed up to new statutory guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, after it concluded appropriate and compassionate home care could not be provided in under 30 minutes.

Last month, ITV News also revealed that 97% of councils believe the government’s offer of raising the so-called "social care precept" from 2% to 3% will make little or no difference to solving the social care crisis.