'This survey once again highlights the enormous pressures on social care budgets. Despite the best efforts of local authorities, these will result in further cuts to services and fewer people receiving support.
'Worryingly, half the money being transferred from the NHS budget to support better joint working between health and social care is now being spent on protecting social care services from budget cuts, rather than driving integrated care and other service changes needed to better meet the needs of patients and service users.
'Using NHS funding as a sticking plaster does not deal with the significant challenges facing social care, nor does it help address the emerging funding pressures facing the NHS.
'With the NHS and social care budgets under huge strain, questions about funding are becoming increasingly urgent - politicians must be honest about the scale of these pressures and initiate a public debate about the sustainability of the health and social care system before, not after, the general election.
'In the long term, the big question is how to ensure adequate funding to meet future needs - a question being considered by an independent commission we have established, led by the economist Kate Barker, which will report in the autumn.'
Notes to editors:
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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.