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Age Concern/Help the Aged slam care rationing in top councils

Almost two-thirds of top-rated councils in England bar people with moderate needs from accessing social care, Age Concern and Help the Aged said today.

The merged charity released figures showing that 35 of the 56 councils that received a three-star rating from the Commission for Social Care Inspection in last year’s star ratings restricted eligibility for care to people with ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ needs.

Overall, just under three-quarters of councils restrict care to people with ‘critical’ or substantial’ needs, meaning those with care needs defined as ‘moderate’ or ‘low’, under the fair access to care services guidance, are excluded from public funding.

Age Concern and Help the Aged said many such older people were disabled and housebound and called on the government to ensure that the forthcoming adult social care green paper ensured all those with moderate needs received care.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: “This is just one example of how the crumbling care system is failing our older people. The reality is that even the ‘best’ local councils are leaving many older people to struggle without the care they need, slowly stripping away their dignity and independence.”

David Rogers, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said councils could not afford to provide support for more people.

He said: “People who work in social care would like to be able to help and support every single individual in some way so they can lead a happy and healthy life into old age, but in three quarters of cases the financial situation is not allowing councils to offer much more than the minimum. It is a sad situation indeed.”

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