Over the last month Britain's biggest provider of care homes for the elderly, Southern Cross, has been beset by financial woes. But across the country an even deeper crisis is unfolding as local authorities implement massive budget cuts.
This week File on 4 investigates how cutbacks are leaving elderly people with insufficient care, and councils with a major financial headache.
The programme also hears from small care home providers who say they are being forced out of business because the fees local authorities now pay them are too low.
And with the report from a Government commission due in a few days, the programme asks whether the gap in funding for the care of elderly people can be closed..
Reporter: Fran Abrams
Producer: Gail Champion.