A new report examining the state of care homes in England suggested the system is “in crisis”.

According to research by charity Independent Age, care homes across the country are struggling to cope with diminishing funds and an increased demand for services.

In Harrow, more than one in ten care homes (12.7 per cent) are deemed ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Its assessments are slightly better in neighbouring Brent, though 9.7 per cent of care homes still received the lowest two ratings.

The Government intends to publish a Green Paper, which will cover funding for all adult social care in England, “at the first opportunity in 2019”. It was initially scheduled for publication in summer 2017.

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said: “These findings are truly alarming, and show thousands of vulnerable older people live in homes that are failing to deliver even the bare minimum.

“Years of dithering by the Government, and the failure to reform the social care system, is a main cause of increased pressures on the care home market and more areas with poor performers.

“Unless the forthcoming Green Paper is bold and ambitious, it will do little to address the crisis in care.”

He added that trends suggest many people living in Britain will live out their remaining months in care homes and that “no life should end in misery”.

In its most recent budget, Harrow Council pointed out that it protected its vulnerable residents as an extra £6 million was put forward for children and adult services.

But it has raised council tax by 4.99 per cent – the maximum allowed without calling a local referendum – to “continue to fund essential services”.

Several care facilities in Harrow are run by the council, while others operate privately or as part of the voluntary sector.

Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick, who represents Headstone South ward, was clear in her opinion that government-imposed savings have been damaging.

She said: “Families here in Harrow need reassurance that vulnerable relatives will be getting the best quality care.

“But our care homes are failing to provide good quality care – and Tory cuts are to blame.

“Social care is teetering on the edge of a cliff after nine years of Tory cuts to Harrow’s budget. If ministers don’t act now, things will get much worse.”