Somerset

'Ageing time bomb' needs new funding model Somerset council says

Panorama documentary
Image caption The documentary featured several families who were struggling to get the help they needed

The Conservative leader of Somerset Council is calling for a cross-party solution to the social care funding crisis after his authority was featured in a documentary.

The Panorama documentary showed how authorities were struggling to fund elderly care amid an ageing population and increasing demand on services.

David Fothergill said: "The time bomb is ticking and it's getting louder."

The government said it wanted "everyone to have access to the care they need".

The Department of Health and Social Care added it had "provided local authorities with access to up to £3.6 billion more dedicated funding for adult social care this year and up to £3.9 billion for next year".

The government added that it would reform the social care system "at the earliest opportunity".

The Conservative-led council has been battling to avoid bankruptcy caused by government spending cuts and the rising demand of social care.

Mr Fothergill added that none of the Conservative party candidates or parties had replied to his concerns.

Image caption Mr Fothergill featured in the documentary about the pressures facing the council

He added that a recent report on funding had sparked some action, but the green paper which was based on the findings "got lost" and had been delayed several times.

"Fifty per cent of the people in Somerset in some areas will be over 65. You can't put the weight of looking after all those people on the other 50 per cent," he added.

BBC Panorama: Crisis in Care was broadcast on Wednesday 29 May at 21:00 BST on BBC One and concludes on Wednesday, 5 June at 21:00 BST.

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