£1bn 'shortfall' for care services
NHS resources will be squeezed by a £1 billion gap in social care funding, according to a new report.
The health service will come under increasing pressure from people whose needs are not met by local authority services, it said.
The King's Fund think-tank warned that local authority social care services face a funding gap in excess of at least £1.2 billion by 2014/15.
This is despite the extra money pledged for social care in the Government's comprehensive spending review (CSR).
In October's CSR, ministers announced that social care would receive an extra £1 billion a year from NHS funds as part of an overall £2 billion of extra funding every year by 2014/15.
But this was set against a backdrop of 26% cuts in central government funding to local councils over four years.
The NHS has also been tasked with finding £15 to £20 billion in annual efficiency savings over the next few years.
The report calls for one single national settlement for health and social care.
It said: "Mounting demands on care budgets has led the Government to identify additional resources in the spending review and to commission an independent review to recommend a more sustainable way of funding care for the future.
"But a tough spending settlement for local government suggests that a funding gap of at least £1.2 billion could open up by 2014 unless all councils can achieve unprecedented efficiency savings."