CSA Press Release: The English public has given a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the care system (31 August 2014)

See coverage by Sky News and The Sunday Telegraph: 

http://news.sky.com/story/1327512/warning-over-dramatic-rationing-of-care  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/11063984/Only-one-in-four-have-faith-in-system-to-care-for-them-in-old-age.html

75 leading charities: one of the largest ever independent surveys of social care in England shows people back funding increase

- Six in 10 people are not confident they will receive sufficient care; that goes up to seven in 10 for over 60s

- Two thirds of those aged 60 and over in England believe government should be doing more in this area and less in others

- Along with health services, support for elderly and disabled people is the biggest priority for where the electorate would want to see the Government increase expenditure

– One in three in England rely on, or have a close family member that relies on, the care system

The public has sent a loud, powerful and unambiguous message that they are concerned about getting care if they or their loved ones can’t live on their own.

Released today, one of the largest ever surveys of public attitudes to social care, reveals the sheer number of people who rely on – or have a close family member that relies on – care to do tasks as basic as washing or eating.

But the YouGov survey of more than 4,500 people in England, commissioned by the Care & Support Alliance (CSA), shows around a quarter believe that if they need it, they will receive enough care that would allow them a good quality of life.

The majority of people are demanding the Government acts.

Along with services such as hospitals and GP surgeries, support for older and disabled people is the biggest priority for where the electorate would want to see the Government increase expenditure.

When it comes to just older people the figures are even starker.

Two thirds of people aged 60+ believe the Government should be doing more.  Around seven in 10 are not confident they will receive good care.

The independent poll was commissioned by 75 of the country’s leading charities who are campaigning, alongside the millions of older and disabled people and their carers, for a properly funded care system.

The CSA argues that the system is on its knees, with demand going up at the same time as chronic under-funding, leading to a tightening of eligibility, which has seen fewer and fewer people getting support.

Councils report that some £3.5bn has come out of the care system.

LSE research shows that 500,000 people who would have got care in 2009 are no longer entitled to it.

Age UK are reporting that almost 900,000 older people in England and Wales who struggle with such basic tasks as washing and dressing are being left to fend for themselves.

In June the Government confirmed that it’s not planning to reverse the trend that has seen the majority of councils restrict care to only those with the highest needs when it sets its national level for eligibility, due to come into effect in April 2015.

The findings come as the Government prepares to roll out major reforms to care – including ending the postcode lottery, capping care costs and rolling out the Better Care Fund, and as the debate about integrating care and health intensifies ahead of the publication of the findings of the Barker Commission.

Richard Hawkes, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Care is well and truly an election issue.

“The message from the public is loud and unambiguous. It’s a real vote of no confidence.

“They are worried about who will care for them or their loved ones, if they can no longer do basic things for themselves.

“Above all they want the Government to invest more money in the system.

“Every day, our 75 organisations hear horror stories of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.

“This is also putting unbearable pressure on family carers.

“Chronic underfunding has led to a dramatic rationing of care. We need a long-term funding commitment for social care by the Government.”

“The new Care Act, and the Better Care Fund, are bold and ambitious bids to address the crisis, and move us closer to a preventive, more integrated, system that keeps people out of crisis and living independently.

“But unless care is properly funded it will be the next Government’s first crisis.”

For more information please contact Daniel Mazliah at the Scope press office on 02076197203 / 07970813630 / Daniel.mazliah@scope.org.uk

The Care and Support Alliance
Set up in July 2009, the C&SA is a consortium of over 75 organisations that represent and support older and disabled people, including disabled children, those with long-term conditions and their families, and campaigns to keep adult care funding and reform on the political agenda. http://careandsupportalliance.wordpress.com/

The polling

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4,685 English adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 9th July 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all English adults (aged 18+). www.yougov.co.uk

Social care
This is taken from the NHS explanation of social care:

“Some people need practical or emotional care or support to lead an active life and do the everyday things that most of us take for granted. The social care system provides this support for those who need it to help them keep their independence and dignity…

“…The adult social care department, part of your local authority’s social services, is responsible for assessing people’s need for ‘community care’ or ‘social care’ services. It arranges or provides these services, and might give financial support to meet certain needs.

“…Services provided can include: help in your home with things like cleaning and shopping; disability equipment and adaptations to your home; day centres to give you or the person who cares for you a break; day care for your child if either you or they are disabled; care homes; support for carers; financial support.”

Here’s the Government’s info on social care.

Care Act
The Care Act received Royal Assent on 14 May. The CSA has called the Act ‘a real achievement’ and praised a series of positive amendments during its passage, including the right to an independent advocate for some of the most vulnerable people.

CSA members respond to our YouGov findings revealing majority of public concerned about care

THE BRITISH RED CROSS

Mike Adamson, Acting Chief Executive of the British Red Cross said:

“It is clear that care is an issue which the majority of people have real concerns about, young and old alike. People are not confident that our care system would provide them with the support they would need if they were to lose their independence.

“From 2015 the new Care Act will set eligibility for state-funded care at a level which will mean only those with the most serious needs will qualify for support.

“This is despite a wealth of evidence that supporting people with moderate and low-level needs makes economic sense. It enables people to live fulfilling lives in which they can participate in society and can prevent the need for further support from the health and social care system.

“In our experience this is particularly true for frail older people, who are often capable of living independently but could need support at critical times such as following a discharge from hospital.

“Creating a care system which is truly committed to wellbeing, prevention and integration is clearly a priority for everyone, but it will not happen if the Government does not ensure that there is sufficient funding at all levels of the system.”

THE NATIONAL AUTISTIC SOCIETY

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said:

“The funding and eligibility models for social care do not stack up.

“The care system should give people with autism the support they need to stay safe and healthy, and protect them from abuse, neglect and loneliness. Proper investment is needed to ensure this is the case.

“The voting public are crying out for a proper commitment to rectify the care system. This demand must be heeded before it is allowed to deteriorate any further.”

AGE UK

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK says:

“These polls underline how anxious older people now are as more and more people become aware of just how broken our social care system has become and realise that they really can’t rely on care to be there for them if and when they need it.

‘People of all ages deserve to feel confident that if they need help they will get it. Instead, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people and their families are being abandoned to sink or swim alone and simply struggle as best they can with those everyday tasks such as dressing, or washing, or going to the toilet or preparing food, that the rest of us take for granted.”

MIND

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“Social care services are incredibly important in helping some people with mental health problems stay well and live independently in the community but many find it hard to access the support they need. Mental health problems are often hidden or have fluctuating symptoms and, in a cash-strapped system, people with mental health problems lose out because they struggle to demonstrate their need for care and support.

“Investment in social care for people with mental health problems would lead to savings to the wider welfare and healthcare systems, as people stay well and active in the community, are more likely to return to work and are less likely to require costly acute healthcare.​”

ANCHOR

Mario Ambrosi, Anchor’s Head of Corporate Affairs says:

“The Alliance’s report sends a clear message to the government: more needs to be done to support the social care sector through increasing its funding.

“While increasing funding to the sector is key, there are other issues identified in Anchor’s recent Grey Pride manifesto that must be addressed, such as institutional ageism in health, lack of appropriate retirement housing, and the dysfunctional relationship between the NHS and social services.

“We at Anchor believe that to really make changes that will benefit older people today and future generations, someone must take on this responsibility at Cabinet level. This is why we have been calling for a Minister for Older People since 2011. It is imperative the government shows that it is prepared and committed to addressing the needs of Britain’s ageing population.”

SENSE

Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy at Sense, said:
“This survey reveals that three out of four people are deeply concerned about the level of social care they would receive if they needed it. But for the deafblind people we support, this is already the reality and many are not receiving the support they desperately need.

“Without the right support deafblind people risk becoming trapped in their homes without the opportunity to participate in the community. Inadequate social care has a knock on effect and results in further demands on the NHS.

“The results of the survey show that social care is high on the agenda for most people and that there is a need to fix what is currently a broken system. Not just for the people that need care now, but for everyone that will in the future. The Care Act is an incredible opportunity to ensure the future of social care in this country. It is vital that the Government releases enough funds for local authorities to provide the right level of support for what is currently a chronically underfunded system.”

MIDLAND HEART

Commenting on the Care & Support Alliance YouGov poll into the level of funding for care needs, Ruth Cooke CEO Midland Heart said:

“Appropriate Government funding to deliver the right care system is absolutely critical. Every single local authority we work with is faced with massive financial pressures. We are told we will lose 50% funding in some adult social care areas by the end of the year, with local authorities having to make incredibly difficult choices about what they fund and what they cut.

“Providers also need to make changes to the services we deliver -often we work with the same customers as our health colleagues and we also want the right reform to give the best outcomes for our customers.  Too much is at stake if our health and care services don’t deliver – for our most vulnerable customers  it’s their dignity, their health, quality and enjoyment of life.”

ACTION ON HEARING LOSS

Responding to the CSA YouGov poll, Paul Breckell, Chief Executive of charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID), said:

“As the UK’s largest hearing loss charity and a member of the Care and Support Alliance, we support the call for increased investment into the extremely underfunded social care sector. One in six of us has some form of hearing loss and with a growing ageing population this figures is set to increase dramatically. Many of those already affected by hearing loss are denied access to the support and equipment they need to stay healthy, safe and independent and the 250,000 care home residents with hearing loss are often left isolated in a world of silence due to a lack of support and deaf awareness. Effective management of hearing loss can have a huge impact on people’s health, wellbeing and safety and improves the management of any other health conditions that they have, reducing the need for more intensive care and saving the NHS millions of pounds in the long run.”

MENCAP

Mencap spokeswoman, Loraine Bellamy, who has a learning disability, expressed her pleasure at hearing the public’s backing for greater funding in social care. However, the survey revealed a huge lack of confidence in the care system, with just 3% of people saying they were very confident that they or a close family member would get a sufficient level of care provided to have a good quality of life. While 24% say there were fairly confident and 13% said they did not know.

Mencap spokeswoman Loraine Bellamy, who has a learning disability, said:

“I am delighted to hear that the public want to see more money spent on social care. For myself, and many other vulnerable people, social care means we are able to go out and be part of our communities. Without help with things such as managing money, washing or medication many vulnerable people would be stuck indoors and isolated. I am lucky enough to have a full-time job, but this is possible because I receive the support I need. Without the support of social care I fear of going back into my shell and being isolated.

“I am glad the government can now see how the general public thinks social care is one of the most important issues for the entire country. I hope they listen to this message and do not ignore the country’s wishes for more funding in the care system”

UNITED RESPONSE

Shan Nicholas, United Response Interim CEO said, “The clear “vote of no confidence” issued in the Care & Support Alliance survey displays that the public are waking up to the reality of the social care crisis.  Local Authority budgets are being squeezed down to providing a level of care that is at best just “sufficient”.  However, United Response firmly believes that meaningful social care should be far more than just the bare minimum – it is about respecting dignity and providing choice. Ultimately, the care we provide to the most vulnerable sends a clear message about our priorities as a society. We need to get those priorities right.”

CSA responds to Age UK estimates of almost 900,000 older people with unmet care needs

Richard Hawkes, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Every day, our 75 organisations hear horror stories of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.

“This is also putting unbearable pressure on family carers.

“The new Care Act, and the Better Care Fund, are bold and ambitious bids to address the crisis, and move us closer to a preventive, more integrated, system that keeps people out of crisis and living independently.

But as today’s figures show chronic underfunding has led to a dramatic rationing of care. We need a long term funding commitment for social care by the Government.”

CSA responses to the 2014 Care Act consultation

The consultation on the regulations and guidance to the 2014 Care Act opened on 6 June.

Throughout the consultation, the Care & Support Alliance has been actively engaging with the Department of Health and have submitted responses to the consultation on particular issues of importance. You can find the responses we have submitted so far, here. This page will be updated as more responses are submitted.

The consultation closed on 15 August.

E-action – national eligibility criteria consultation (July 2014)

Age UK have put together an e-action that makes it easy for people to respond to the consultation on the national eligibility criteria.

Take the e-action here: http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=31&ea.campaign.id=30327

CSA members can share this on social media and encourage their audiences to have their say on the national eligibility criteria. It is not specific to older people and can be used by any member organisation.

The e-action asks people about their personal experiences of care, is very short and includes an easy-read guide to the regulations. Responses are then sent to the Department of Health to feed into the consultation, reflecting the personal views of our supporters.

CSA Press Release: Response to Public Accounts Committee Report on Adult Social Care (10 July 2014)

On 10 July, the Public Accounts Committee published a report expressing concern over the care reforms.

The Committee said that the Government “does not fully understand” the scale of the problems faced by local councils and care providers in looking after increasing numbers of elderly and disabled people despite funding cuts.

Their report found that the Care Act reforms are “risky, are not supported by new money, and do not acknowledge the scale of the problem” and calls for a more “realistic timetable” for implementation.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said that “we are facing a great adult social care squeeze, with need for care growing while public funding is falling.”

The report: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/adult-social-care-substantive/

News coverage in the Belfast Telegraph: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/mps-concerned-over-care-reforms-30420888.html

Richard Hawkes, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“This is the third warning in a week that the care system is on its knees.

“Every day our 75 organisations hear horror stories of older and disabled people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house.

“This is putting unbearable pressure on family carers – as well as older and disabled people themselves.

“The new Care Act is a bold and ambitious bid to address the crisis – it will end the postcode lottery, ensure carers get more support, and promote wellbeing and personalised support.

“At the same time, Better Care Fund plans to integrate health and social care move us closer towards a preventive system that keeps people out of hospital and out of crisis-care.

“But sitting behind this is a bigger picture of chronic underfunding, which has led to a dramatic year-on-year rationing of care.

“The Care Act, with its emphasis on prevention, is a vital part of the solution, but the government must act now to put the social care system on a sustainable financial footing.”

 

CSA Press Release: Response to ADASS survey of social care budgets (02 July 2014)

Today the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have released their influential annual survey of social care budgets: http://www.adass.org.uk/social-care-services-unsustainable-adass/

The survey shows the continuing significant impact of budget reductions on the social care sector.  The survey shows that:

- Taking into account increasing need, there has been a 26% reduction in social care budgets over the last four years;

- This amounts to over £3.5 billion savings from adult social care;

- Nearly 50% of Directors of Adult Social Care think that fewer people will be able to access care services in 2015-16.

Richard Hawkes, chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Every day we hear from older and disabled people who are going without the support they need to get up, get dressed and get out of the house. This is also putting unbearable pressure on family carers.

“Councils are now warning that chronic underfunding will only make this situation worse.

“The new Care Act is bold and ambitious.  But delivering on it is dependent on putting the social care system on a sustainable financial footing.

“The Better Care Fund is an important step towards integrating health and social care, and can play a big part in the solution.

“But as today’s figures show, this must be accompanied by a long term funding commitment for social care by the Government.”