Vulnerable and elderly adults in Kirklees missed out on care they needed – because the council couldn’t provide it.
Almost 100 hours worth of social care was never given during one week last year.
Social care can be anything from assisting someone with personal hygeine or minor medical issues to making meals and helping with housework.
According to a Freedom of Information response, Kirklees Council failed to give a total of 98 hours of care it had agreed to provide during the week commencing August 28, 2017.
The number of people affected has not been revealed but most social care appointments are for just 15 minutes, meaning dozens of people are likely to have been affected.
The unmet care hours are up from zero just 18 months before.
By contrast Calderdale Council recorded only 8.25 hours of unmet care during the same period in 2017, again up from zero in the week in 2016.
The unmet hours related to temporary additional care needed by three service users.
Unmet care hours are soaring across the country with Kirklees by no means the worst.
In a week in August/September last year, 54,000 hours of social care went unmet by councils across Britain, including 6,430 in Edinburgh and 2,890 in Oxfordshire.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “The increasing demands on the adult social care system is a national problem, and in Kirklees we are providing care to more elderly people with more complex needs.
“Almost 15,000 hours of home care is delivered to almost 1,200 people across Kirklees each week.
“Whilst we are aware that there is a waiting list, which is often due to service users preferring to wait for their provider of choice, the waiting list accounts for only 0.6% of the total hours of care delivered in Kirklees.
“As a council, we ensure that the ongoing care needs, and the needs of carers, for those service users waiting for a home care package, are continually assessed and alternative support provided if necessary.
“The council continues to work closely with providers through forums, workforce development support and best practice events.
“We have also recently awarded new homecare contracts which will allow us to continue offering access to high quality and reliable home care services with minimal disruption for service users.”
Across Britain, at least 985 died between being assessed for social care and starting their package. Councils said this may be due to social care being delayed after a person is admitted to hospital or a person dying soon after assessment.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that councils in England have seen an average 26% real-terms cut in funding between 2009/10 and 2016/17.
In the 2015 Autumn statement, the government announced a social care precept, to raise money through increased council tax to pay for adult social care.
Kirklees has taken up the option to levy an additional 3% last year and this year but they will not be allowed to do it again in 2019/20.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director said: “1.2 million older people in our country have some unmet need for care and behind this startling statistic there are real human beings struggling to cope and live decently.
“They include far too many older people who are marooned in hospital beds, or housebound, or who are totally reliant on relatives to carry out daily tasks like washing and dressing that the rest of us never think about because we can do them for ourselves.
“This is why the Government must stand by its pledge to bring forward proposals soon for putting social care on a sustainable footing.”