Latest News

The Care and Support Alliance’s response to the Queen’s Speech

June 21, 2017

Vicky McDermott, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“We welcome the inclusion of the social care consultation in the Queen’s Speech. It must finally be a priority for the Government and the consultation must not be an excuse to kick the issue into the long grass.

 

“The fact is we’ve had 20 years of consultations and commissions but there has been a political failure to act to secure sustainable funding for care. The case for reform has never been so strong. The Government needs to act quickly to find a solution that ensures people get the care they need. Currently at least one million people do not get this care. The current system is woefully inadequate, the help that our most vulnerable older people and disabled adults and their families rely on simply isn’t there.

 

“The election showed that people are deeply worried about social care. Reforms need to deliver enough money, look at both the social care for older people and disabled working age adults and address the unfairness people face when trying to get the basic care they need.

 

 

Note to editors

The Care and Support Alliance represents more than 80 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

Media Contact:

Mel Merritt, Tel: 020 7923 5770 Email: mel.merritt@nas.org.uk

Chair of Care and Support Alliance stepping down

May 9, 2017

Today the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) announced that Vicky McDermott will be stepping down as Chair as she is leaving her post as Chief Executive of the Papworth Trust. The Chair of the Alliance is selected from Senior Managers from within the coalition.

Vicky will be leaving in September to become Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Optical Council.

Vicky McDermott said: “It has been a real privilege to lead the Care and Support Alliance, especially in what has been a crucial time for the issue of social care. In my remaining months, there is still much to do so it will be business as usual for the Alliance.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and a member of the CSA Management Board and Senior Advisory Group said:

“Vicky has done a brilliant job bringing the sector together at a time of great challenge and opportunity for social care, and while she has been leading the CSA social care has risen significantly up the policy agenda, giving us real hope for the future. She will be greatly missed by everyone in social care but she leaves the CSA in good heart and we wish her all the best for the future.”

A new chair will be announced in July.

Note to editors

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA) is a coalition of more than 90 of the country’s leading charities who are calling for a properly funded care system.

For media enquiries please contact ari.haque@nas.org.uk on 020 7923 5723

Take part: survey of social workers’ looks at care package cuts

April 13, 2017

Community Care and the Care and Support Alliance have launched a survey asking adult social workers about the decisions they are making about peoples’ care in the current financial climate.

Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/G35B6VS

Directors of adult soConversation graphic shutterstock image 20140910_0cial services were clear at the start of the last financial year that 24% of planned savings in 2016-17 would come from cutting services or reducing the personal budgets of people who receive care and support (ADASS Budget Survey 2016). We want to know whether and how these cuts have been realised, and the impact on older and disabled people and their carers.

The survey is aimed at adults’ social workers currently practising in England and any other local authority social services staff whose role includes carrying out care package reviews.

It takes approximately 5-10 minutes and can be completed anonymously. It’s open until 10 May.

Community Care is an online resource for social care professionals in the UK. Any data provided will be held by Community Care and shared with the Care and Support Alliance.

If you have any questions relating to the survey, please get in touch with Fredi Cavander-Atwood, co-chair of the CSA Policy and Research Group: fredi.cavander-attwood@mssociety.org.uk

Spring Budget 2017: CSA Response

March 8, 2017

The Care and Support Alliance’s response to the March Budget, 2017.

Vicky McDermott, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Today’s announcement is a welcome reprieve for social care but it isn’t a long term fix

“By committing an extra £1bn for social care in 17/18 and £1bn for the following two years, the Government has finally started listened to older people, disabled people and their carers to recognise the scale of the social care crisis.

“The Chancellor talked about fairness, however this money doesn’t create a fair social care system on its own; it just keeps our unfair social care system as it is for yet another year. The Government must ensure that all of this money benefits social care.

“The Green Paper on the future financing of social care must not kick this issue into the long grass and must quickly set out plans for a sustainable social care system. The clock is ticking and our social care system is still in crisis.

“Our current system is brutally unfair and leaves at least 1.2million adults without the basic care they need. Currently, inadequate social care puts people’s health at risk, increases pressure on families, means the NHS has to provide more expensive care to look after neglected people, and sees many care homes and other services closing because they aren’t given a fair price for care.

“This budget keeps the wolf from the door for another year. The Government must act quickly on longer term reforms.”

Lack of social care is piling pressure on surgeries and A&Es

March 3, 2017

Almost 9 out of 10 GPs (89%) think reductions in social care are leading to extra pressures in their surgeries. Even more (93%) think that the lack of social care is leading to extra pressure on A&Es and contributing to increased delayed discharges from hospital.

Ahead of next week’s budget, the poll of over 1000 GPs reveals an overwhelming 92% of GPs think social care services are failing to give patients sufficient care. Currently at least 1.2 million older people and disabled people (1) do not receive the care they need, a 48% increase since 2010. When people don’t get the basic care they need, they are more likely to fall into crisis and need more expensive medical attention.

Key findings include:

  • 9 out 10 GPs (92%) are not confident that social care services currently provide a sufficient level of care for patients.
  • Almost 9 out 10 of GPs (89%) think reductions in social care have contributed to pressures in their surgeries and (93%) think this has led to increased pressures in A&E and contributed to an increase in delayed discharges from hospital.
  • GPs also think that things are going to get worse, with 8 out of 10 GPs (81%) thinking care services would worsen over the next two to three years.
  • Almost 9 out 10 GPs (88%) think that due to cuts to social care there is less care than just two years ago
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) GPs thought that 1 – 5% of appointments could have been avoided if better social care was in place, another 30% thought 5 – 10%, and more than 1 in 10 (12%) thought as many as 21 – 30%.

 

Vicky McDermott, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Our social care system is letting people and their families down by denying them basic care such as help getting out of bed, getting out of the house or even having a fresh meal. More than a million people with difficult conditions are being denied the chance to live as well as they deserve.

“GPs are on the front line, a witness to what happens when you take basic care away from people – it damages their health and means they need more expensive care from the NHS.

“Philip Hammond needs to use the budget to invest in social care. The Government needs to address the crisis in social care, which is resulting in the NHS picking up the tab and people not getting the care they need.”

The poll was commissioned by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) – a coalition of more than 90 of the country’s leading charities – who are calling for a properly funded care system.

The coalition has warned that the Government’s attempts to increase funding into social care have been being inadequate and “a drop in the ocean” compared to what is needed. Social care funding has fallen by £4.6 billion, a third, over the last 5 years (2).

Hospitals are experiencing record delayed discharge, with delays because of a lack of home care increasing by 230 per cent from August 2010 to Dec 2016. Last year the NHS lost 650,000 bed days (3), costing the NHS up to £300 million (4). NHS Chief Simon Stevens last year highlighted: “The most immediate need is social care. If home care disappears and care homes close, A&Es are quickly overwhelmed. We need creative solutions.”

One in eight over 65s has some level of unmet need (5). In the UK, around one in three people rely on, or have a close family member that relies on, the care system (6). Currently carers provide care worth £132bn, the equivalent to the UK’s total health care annual spend (7) and over 2 million people have already given up work to care.

Social care user Rachel Looby, 34, from Harrogate, needed medical help after her hours were cut (further details below). She said:

“When my hours were cut it was a stressful time for me. I took the wrong medication and ended up in hospital, and this made me feel like my health had not been considered at all. Being in hospital left me feeling anxious and upset and I worried if something else might happen once I got home.”

Dr Jon Orrell, a practising GP from Dorset, added:

“As a GP for 30 years I have never before seen patients being let down by social care services as they are now. I see patients who are unable to feed themselves or cook being bounced back to the NHS to get food supplement cartons to drink alone, instead of real meals.

“Recently I had a case of a son who had been caring for his mother and despite being granted respite breaks he never received it because funding was cut. Eventually,he became exhausted and his mum had to go to hospital. I regularly see the false economy of cutting social care, people only end up needing more help because basic care wasn’t there in the first place.”

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Colleagues right across health and social care are currently struggling to meet growing patient demand, with scarce financial and workforce resources – and it is our patients who are suffering the consequences.

“When social care is not properly resourced, it undoubtedly has a knock-on effect on GPs and our teams, as well as our colleagues working in hospitals. We must start seeing good healthcare as a tripod, with robust general practice, hospital and social care services as three linked elements; all must be appropriately resourced, and all working together in harmony, for us to provide care that is in the best interests of patients.

“We hope these figures encourage the Government to review funding for the whole of health and social care – and to implement the pledges made in NHS England’s GP Forward View, including £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more full time equivalent GPs by 2020 – so that we can all deliver the care our patients need and deserve.”

Personal story of how social care cuts led to need for NHS care:

Rachel’s Story 

Rachel, 34, from Harrogate is visually impaired, has dyspraxia and autism.

For a long time Rachel received 17 hours support a week. This involved help with basic tasks such, as cleaning and cooking, as well as help with managing her money, medication and personal care.

However her support was reduced to just five hours per week. This meant she only had help with basic tasks. With no one to help her manage her medication Rachel missed doses and had a seizure. To make things worse, while recovering Rachel mistook her dog’s flea medication for her own and became very ill for which she had to be hospitalised.

These two incidents, understandably, knocked her confidence, and she became demotivated and stopped taking her anti-depressant medication. This led to her becoming depressed and socially isolated.

For more information or interviews please contact either

Mel Merritt – Care and Support Alliance 

020 7923 5770 /mel.merritt@csa.org.uk

Warren Kirwan – Scope 

020 7619 7702/  warren.kirwan@scope.org.uk

The polling

Medeconnect polled 1006 regionally representative GPs between 14th and 23rd February 2017. 

Notes to Editors