Care underfunding forces privatisation

The government was accused last week of forcing the
privatisation of community care services through underfunding the

Rita Stringfellow, Association of Metropolitan Authorities
social services chairperson, said: ‘It is privatisation by any
other name.’

A report discussed at the AMA’s social services committee last
week showed that many elderly people who would have received
community care services before the reforms now receive nothing
(News, 20 July).

The survey also revealed that many others who should be
receiving free care from the NHS are having to pay through social

The AMA is currently pressing the government for a substantial
increase in community care funding. It has estimated that there
will need to be an additional £243 million awarded next

Sefton councillor Paul Cummins said underfunding had undermined
his council’s imaginative community care plans.

‘We are unable to meet the needs of those people who are in
greatest need, and the consequence is we have people languishing in
hospital and people dying before they get the nursing home care
they require,’ he said.

The report also illustrated how patchy services had become
around the country, he added. ‘This is a complete disaster.

We do not have a national policy, we have a local mess,’ said

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