Care and Support Alliance press release: CSA Response to the King’s Fund report on the future of health and social care (03 April 2014)

The Care and Support Alliance today responded to the publication of the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England by the King’s Fund.

Richard Hawkes, chair of the care and support alliance, said:

“This report is another stark reminder that the social care system is on its knees.

“Councils, charities, care providers, older and disabled people and their families are united in their concern that chronic underfunding is having a serious impact on the well-being of those who rely on care to get up, get dressed and get out of the house.

“The Government’s flagship care reforms are close to being agreed.

“We have to get the funding right – councils say the Better Care Fund is not enough.

“But the most important decision for older and disabled people will be who gets and who doesn’t get care in the new system.

“We’re extremely worried that hundreds of thousands of people who need care to get around the house, to communicate with family, friends or colleagues or to play a part in their community won’t get it.

“Without that support people become isolated, can’t contribute to society, risk slipping into crisis and ending up in A&E. This will also place huge pressure on family carers.

“The Government is working on the final version of their plans for who is in and out of the new system.

“We’ve got a positive set of principles for a new care system. But the Government must be bold, go further and properly fund a care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families who care for them – the support they need to live independently.”

ENDS

CSA Press Release: People who can’t move around their home won’t get support under care plans (26 March 2014)

People who need help to move around their home, to communicate with family and friends or take part in their community will risk losing local care and support, according to new analysis of Government flagship reform of care.

As the influential Public Accounts Committee prepares to investigate the care system, the Care and Support Alliance is releasing the findings of an investigation into Government plans for who will and who won’t get care under the new system.

As part of its wide-ranging care reforms that Government is planning to set a nation-wide level for who’s eligible for council-funded care.

It published its plans last year, when the Care Minister revealed he wanted to set eligibility at a higher ‘substantial’ level. This excludes people with so-called ‘moderate’ needs, who need help with several aspects of personal care, or of work, education or training. Research by LSE showed that this would mean 362,000 older and disabled people would be shut out of the system altogether.

But to get a clearer picture, organisations in the CSA commissioned disabled people, carers, social care experts and lawyers to take a closer look at the plans.

The analysis, which has been seen by the Department of Health, offers the first glimpse of who in practice will miss out on social care under the new system:

• Communication and social interaction needs are not included in the regulations. People such as those on the autistic spectrum, those with brain injuries or sensory loss, who need support to engage in social activity with friends and family and to prevent isolation, risk being excluded from the care system.

• Mobility around the home is not accurately reflected in the regulations. Being able to move around your home is vital to independence.

• There’s no explicit reference to choice and control in the regulations, which could impact on disabled people’s ability to have a say over how they live

The Care and Support Alliance is releasing the new findings to coincide with the PAC investigation, which begins today.

The Alliance is sending the findings to the Committee and is urgently calling on them to challenge the Government to explain who is in and who is out of the system.

The backdrop is the Care Bill, which reached its final stages in Parliament last week. The Government will then publish their final plans for who is in and out of the system in May.

Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:
“These findings are incredibly worrying for older and disabled people and their families.

“The Government is clear the recovery must be about providing people with security.

“If you’re old or disabled that means knowing that if you need support to get up, get dressed and get out; that you won’t be trapped in your home.

“The Government’s flagship care reforms are close to being agreed.

“There are imminent decisions about who will get care in the new system.

“We’re extremely worried that hundreds of thousands of people who need care to get around the house, to communicate with family, friends or colleagues or to play a part in their community won’t get it.

“Combined with setting the threshold at a high level this means increasing numbers of people will be unable to get vital care and support.

“Without that support people become isolated, can’t contribute to society, and risk slipping into crisis and ending up in A&E.

“The Government is working on the final version of the plans. We’ve got a positive set of principles for a new care system. But the Government must be bold, go further and properly fund a care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families who care for them – the support they need to live independently.”

Notes to Editors:
For more information contact Warren Kirwan or Daniel Mazliah in the Scope press office on 020 7619 7200 or email warren.kirwan@scope.org.uk or daniel.mazilah@scope.org.uk

Research with disabled people
- Scope spoke to 423 social care users and carers to gain feedback on the new eligibility criteria for social care proposed by the Government in the Care Bill.

o Via an Online Survey hosted by an independent research agency, Opinium. Total respondents: 392. (229 people in receipt of social care and 163 carers).

o Via 8 telephone interviews and 1 face-to-face interview with disabled people. (Including 4 people with communication difficulties (dual sensory loss); 2 people with mental health problems; 3 people with mobility issues (including 1 respondent with a progressive condition)

o Via 2 focus groups (1 run with National Autistic Society with a mix of 10 people on the autistic spectrum and carers; 1 run with Mencap with 12 people with a learning disability)

- The research was carried out between 23rd October 2013 and 20th December 2013.

The CSA expert seminar
The event brought together 24 people with experience in local government, policy, social work and the law. The seminar involved two discussion groups, the first on the current iteration of the regulations and the second focused mainly on an outcomes based approach to eligibility.

The CSA
The Care and Support Alliance was set up in July 2009. It is a consortium of more than 70 organisations that represent and support older and disabled people, including disabled children, those with long term conditions and their families.

Eligibility
Under the current care system of the 152 councils in England, government figures (“Social Care Legal Reform IA”; 2.5 table 8) show 86% now offer care only to those with the highest level of needs – deemed as ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ needs. In those areas this means older and disabled people who are unable to undertake several aspects of personal care, or of work, education or training are no longer eligible for council-funded care.

The Care and Support Alliance is calling on the Government to set eligibility in the new system at ‘moderate’ so as many people as possible benefit from the new system, and get the preventative support that keeps them from falling into crisis and ending up in A&E.

The final decision on where the national threshold will be set will be published for consultation in May 2014 and voted on in autumn 2014.

Scope Report – Feedback from carers and social care users

CSA response to the Budget (19 March 2014)

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

“The Chancellor is clear the recovery must be about providing people with security.

“If you’re old or disabled that means knowing that if you need support to get up, get dressed and get out; that you won’t be trapped in your home.

“The Government’s flagship care reforms are close to being agreed.

“They’re radically overhauling the creaking system.

“There are imminent decisions about who will get care in the new system.
“We’re really worried that hundreds of thousands of people who need care, won’t get it. Without that support people become isolated, risk slipping into crisis and ending up in A&E.

“The budget, the decision on eligibility and the upcoming Public Accounts Committee investigation on funding for care –  these are all opportunities for the Government to commit not just to a set of positive principles, but to creating a properly funded care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families who care for them – the support they need to live independently.”

 

Tell George Osborne to end the care crisis on 19th March

The Care and Support Alliance is calling on the Chancellor George Osborne to urgently invest in care on Budget Day, 19th March 2014.

Please help us send a strong message to the Government by taking part in our Thunderclap on social media today. http://thndr.it/1itiEwl. Taking part is as easy as a click of a button. By signing up before 19th March, you will give this message a louder voice.

Our care system is in crisis. It can’t cope with a rapidly ageing population, and people living longer with illness and disability.

Half a million older and disabled people have lost their vital support in the last five years. Thousands are being denied the support they need to do everyday tasks like getting up in the morning, making a meal and going to work.

Without this support people are much more likely to end up at crisis point – often in A&E departments.

We need urgent action now so that older and disabled people get the support they need. The Care and Support Alliance is asking Chancellor George Osborne to act now and end this crisis.

13 March 2014 – CSA response to NAO report: Adult Social Care in England

Responding the National Audit Office report: Adult Social Care in England, Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“This is another powerful reminder that chronic underfunding has left the social care system on its knees.

“This means more people struggling to get up, get washed, get dressed and get out of the house; more people becoming isolated, likely to slip into crisis. And, as the report shows poor-quality social care can lead to unnecessary emergency hospital admissions.

“This will place a huge pressure on family carers.

“The Care Bill remains a massive opportunity to improve the way people receive care.

“But we’re only half way there. We now need to focus on getting the funding right – councils say the Better Care Fund is not enough.

“We also need to get the roll-out right – eligibility has to be set at a level that means people that need support to do the basics get it.

“With the budget coming up there’s an opportunity to commit to creating not just a great bill, but a care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families that care for them – the support they need to do the things everyone else takes for granted.”

Contact

 

Warren Kirwan

Press and Public Relations Officer

Scope

020 7619 7200

020 7619 7190

 

CSA respond to the first day of Care Bill report stage

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

“The social care system is on its knees. Chronic under-funding is leaving people without the support they need to get up and get out of the house. Without that support they are more likely to be isolated, fall into crisis and end up in A&E.

“The Minister has recognised the need to radically overhaul the creaking system.

“The Care Bill is a real achievement that will massively improve the way people receive care.

“But we’re only half way there. We now need to focus on getting the funding right – councils say the Better Care Fund is not enough.

“Senior politicians from all parties have joined councils, social workers and charities in calling for greater transparency when it comes to making sure the money is there.

“Paul Burstow is spot on that ‘for decades social care has been the poor relation to health’ that the cost of care is the ‘elephant in the room’.

“We also need to get the roll-out right – eligibility has to be set at a level that means people that need support to do the basics get it.

“With the budget coming up there’s an opportunity to commit to creating not just a great bill, but a care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families that care for them – the support they need to do the things everyone else takes for granted.”

High cost of care

The Telegraph published our joint letter with ADASS, LGA and SOLACE this morning, ahead of the Care Bill second reading in Parliament this afternoon. The letter calls on the Government to support our joint amendment to the Bill, tabled by Paul Burstow, which aims to ensure monitoring of investment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/10686251/High-cost-of-care.html

SIR – Not only has care been chronically underfunded, but there is a £135 million shortfall in new money being given to councils to implement the Care Bill, which enters its final stages in Parliament this week. Better Care Fund money earmarked for joint work between health and social care will instead be spent on introducing carers’ assessments, implementing safeguarding boards, and setting new eligibility criteria. Therefore, the legislation could end up being funded from money otherwise used for acute services.

In the period of the current Parliament, local government’s core funding will fall by 40 per cent, so councils have to cut £20 billion in spending. As a result, councils have had to reduce adult social care budgets by £2.68 billion. Although local authorities have limited the impact on the essential care services that people rely on, these services will inevitably suffer.

We urge the Government to support a joint amendment that will give the Care and Support Reform Programme Board – comprised of local government, the care sector and the Department of Health – the opportunity to say whether the money being made available is the right amount to implement the provisions of this Bill.

Cllr Katie Hall
Chairman, Local Government Association’s Community and Wellbeing Board
Sandie Keene
President, ADASS
Richard Hawkes
Chairman, Care and Support Alliance
Dr Jo Farrar
Lead on health and social care, Solace