An elderly man says he has been driven to a nervous breakdown because of failures in social care.

Ralph Wakeling, 86, has spent the last ten years caring for his disabled wife with support from carers.

But the father of three says carers do not turn up when they are supposed to, forcing him to get his wife out of bed, wash her, and lift her into a stair lift so she can get to the toilet.

He has now reached “breaking point”, and the county’s social care system could come under increasing pressure unless extra cash is found.

Ralph Wakeling, of Springwell Avenue, Mill End, said: “I have been looking out for my wife for more than ten years without a rest. I think it has finally caught up with me and I had a mini breakdown. I now feel pretty useless.

“It is really hard. I am close to breaking point and I have told them that.

“I just cannot take much more of this.”

The father of three says Hertfordshire County Council is to blame, adding “If they were doing half a job, this would not be happening.”

He continued: “30 minutes a day to get someone out of bed, wash them, take them downstairs and make them comfortable in the lounge, is impossible and is asking too much of the carers.”

This year’s Spending Review – where Chancellor George Osborne outlines the government’s spending plans over the next five years – introduced proposals for councils to increase council tax by two per cent if social care needs more money.

One senior county councillor warns it will be “impossible to deliver the services” people need unless more money is made available, stressing a two-per cent increase in council tax would “only transfer the burden” to taxpayers.

Speaking of Mr Wakeling's case, Spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council Simon Hoggett said: “We have been working closely with Mr and Mrs Wakeling to identify a care package which is suited to both their needs and circumstances.

“However, we are aware that there have been some complaints about the care currently being provided.

“These are being investigated and Hertfordshire County Council will be meeting with the care provider to ensure that the concerns are properly addressed. We are committed to supporting Mr Wakeling in his role as a carer as well as ensuring that Mrs Wakeling is provided with good quality care.”