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Two thirds of care requests rejected.

TWO-thirds of older and disabled people in England who ask their local authorities for help with care are turned away, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.

Almost 1.85m requests for support were made last year, but only 650,000 people received help. Of requests for support, only 144,000 resulted in long-term care, which includes places in care homes or home help with tasks such as washing and dressing.

Nearly 220,000 got short-term help, such as rehabilitation after discharge from hospital, and another 300,000 got low-level support such as walking aids and telecare.

The rest either received nothing or were advised to seek help from charities, the NHS or housing services.

Unlike the NHS, social care is not free and most people  pay something towards their care, with some covering the entire cost.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of nearly 70,000 people who received help showed that 65 per cent were extremely, or very, satisfied with their care and 26 per cent were ‘quite satisfied’. Only one in 10 was not. One in 20 did not feel clean or presentable and the same proportion said they did not always get enough food and drink.

Chief executive of the charity Independent Age, Janet Morrison, said: "This is a direct result of £4.6bn cuts to social care budgets since 2010  despite an ageing population which is increasing the need for these services."

The figures come after a coalition of health and care groups wrote to the Government warning that the care sector needed to be protected as the "deepening crisis" was putting people in danger.

The government pointed out that the £5.4bn Better Care Fund had been established in April to ensure NHS money was used for services which support council-organised care.

Chair of the Local Government Association Wellbeing Board, Izzi Seccombe, said: "We need to see a change to the current perverse funding system which, during the last five years, has seen an increase in funding for the NHS but a decrease in funding for social care.

"This threatens to leave councils struggling to commission the essential support which keeps people out of hospital and living healthier and happier lives in their communities."