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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 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”
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.”