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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:

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:

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 /

Warren Kirwan – Scope 

020 7619 7702/

The polling

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

Notes to Editors



Delayed discharge is an ‘ever increasing problem’

February 9, 2017

The Care and Support Alliance responds to the delayed discharge figures published by NHS England.

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

“Today’s figures are another indication of how much pressure our health and social care system is under.

“There is no plan on how to stop the ever increasing problem of people being left in hospital, which delays patient’s recovery and costs the NHS millions. This is a national crisis.

“On Tuesday, a report by the National Audit Office (3) showed the Government’s plan to integrate health and care is not working. The Government urgently needs a plan, backed up with funding, to fix the crisis in our care system.

“A lack of social care means more people are going to A&E, and a third of delayed discharge is caused by social care not being in place. Undoubtedly the funding crisis in social care is heaping needless pressure onto on over stretch NHS.

“Last year alone we saw the NHS losing 650,000 bed days (1), costing the up to £300 million (2).

“The Government needs to urgently address people’s care needs and fill the gap in social care funding.”

Note to Editors

1 .Delayed Transfers of Care Data 2016-17

2. Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations. An independent report for the Department of Health by Lord Carter of Coles

3. National Audit Office report:

The Care and Support Alliance represents more than 90 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care

Delayed discharge continues to strain NHS

January 12, 2017

Delayed discharge figures, published today by NHS England, continue to demonstrate the increasing impact of social care underfunding.

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

“These figures give us an indication of the state of the NHS itself and clearly it’s in a critical condition, with today’s numbers being the highest recorded in the month of November since records began (1).

“The Government needs to find a cure to the unnecessary pressure social care is placing on our overstretched NHS.

“Social care is driving people to hospitals and GPs, as they have nowhere else to turn. People who need care at home for basics like eating, washing and getting out of bed are falling into crisis, needing hospital care and then because of the lack of social care, aren’t able to leave hospital.

“This social care crisis, needs immediate attention, the Government haven’t adequately filled the widening financial hole in social care budgets and so social care demands will continue to overwhelm the NHS. Last year alone saw the NHS losing 650,000 bed days (2), costing up to £300 million (3) a number that will inevitably rise as we get deeper into winter.”

“The Government must not dismiss the growing calls for greater investment into social care, otherwise, more and more people who could receive the care they need at home will be trapped in NHS wards.”

1 ) November delayed discharge figures:

2 ) Delayed Transfers of Care Data 2016-17

3 ) Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations. An independent report for the Department of Health by Lord Carter of Coles. 

The Care and Support Alliance represents more than 90 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.


Council tax rise to pay for care is ‘a drop in the ocean’

December 15, 2016

Today, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid presented the local government settlement, allowing councils to increase council tax by 6% over two years to raise extra funds for adult social care.

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

“We welcome any extra money for our chronically underfunded care system which currently leaves at least 1 million older and disabled people without the care they need.

“But this temporary injection of cash is a drop in the ocean and  does nothing to solve the long challenges facing the system.

“The crisis in care has resulted in unnecessary pressure on the NHS, with delayed discharge reaching record highs. Fixing our social care crisis will free up NHS beds and budget.

“This Government needs to urgently look at a long-term funding solution to create a care system that we all want to see, which ensures: there are beds in care homes for people who need it; that home care gives people dignity in their own home; that carers don’t have to work themselves into ill health to care for their family; and that hospitals don’t have to prop up a falling system.”


–       The Care and Support Alliance represents over 90 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

Supportive Statistics

–  Government investment in social care has fallen by one third in the last five years (2010 – 2015). This amounts to an overall shortfall of £4.6 billion in investment in social care, due to £1.6 billion worth of cash cuts in social care budgets:

– More than a million older and disabled people are unable to get the care they need. Source: Age UK, Health and Care of Older People:

-Delayed discharge rates are at record breaking highs and at levels we normally only see during winter crisis: