The Care & Support Alliance is warning that the Government’s flagship changes to the social care system, which are introduced today, are “built on sand” without adequate funding for disabled and older people and their carers.
The Care Act is a bold attempt to reform the system, but without more funding, thousands of disabled and older people will continue to be cut out of the care system and denied access to things as basic as getting up, getting dressed and getting out of the house.
The care system is on its knees, with demand going up at the same time as under-funding has seen fewer and fewer people getting support.
LSE research tells us that around 500,000 older and disabled people who would have got care in 2009 are no longer entitled to it, while the LGA and ADASS estimate a £4.3bn black hole in social care services by the end of the decade.
Changes welcomed under the Act include nationally set eligibility criteria for social care and the promotion of wellbeing and integration.
See coverage of the CSA story:
Letter to the Telegraph signed by the Local Government Association, Care Providers Alliance and Richard Hawkes:
Comment pieces from our Chair, Richard Hawkes:
Increasingly it is becoming clear that the public, experts and practitioners are worried about the future of our chronically underfunded care system. Recent polling commissioned by the CSA revealed that almost 90 percent of GPs feared that social care services were not providing a sufficient level of care for patients, with nearly three quarters (71 percent) believing care services will worsen over the next two to three years.
On top of that, last week a ComRes poll for the LGA found three-quarters of MPs agree that central government funding for adult social care should be protected in the same way as money for the NHS. And last year, YouGov polling found more investment in care is a priority for the public second only to the NHS.
Our Chair, Richard Hawkes, made this comment:
“The Care Act is a bold and ambitious piece of legislation.
“The Government deserves credit for ending the postcode lottery, giving older and disabled people greater control over their lives, new advocacy rights and new rights for carers.
“But it will only live up to its promise of a genuinely preventative system that promotes wellbeing if it is properly funded.
“Chronic underfunding of social care has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of support for older and disabled people and their carers, excluding hundreds of thousands of people from the support they desperately need.
“Equally, while we welcome a national threshold for eligibility, by setting the bar at such a high level, the Government has ensured that the year-on-year rationing that has seen people squeezed out of the system, will continue.
“Ultimately, social care is an election issue and whoever forms the next Government needs to urgently address the crisis in care funding, as well as in the health system. Anything else is simply a false economy and the reforms being implemented from today are built on sand and unable to live up to their promises.”