Fewer people gain care

Local authorities are providing more intensive home care
services to a smaller number of users rather than meeting the
community care ideal of caring for more people.

Department of Health statistics for a week in September 2000
show an estimated 2.8 million hours were provided to about 398,000
households, comprising 415,000 clients.

While the number of hours increased by 4 per cent from 1999, the
number of households receiving home help or home care fell by 6 per
cent, continuing the trend of previous years.

Jeremy Ambache, a member of the Association of Directors of
Social Services older people’s committee, said: “In one sense the
figures show a success because home care is keeping highly
dependent people in the community. In another sense we are having
to prioritise.”

He said the amount of low-level prevention work carried out by
home care services was limited by budgets, so local authorities
were having to raise their eligibility criteria and target services
at higher levels of need.

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