Preventive care in London falls short

Some local authorities in London are paying lip service to
developing preventive care for older people and increasing charges
for care services, the King’s Fund has found.

Emerging findings from the health think-tank’s inquiry into older
people’s care services in London show that the needs of many older
people are not being met due to the lack of a “shared sense” of
what services should achieve.

Janice Robinson, King’s Fund health and social care senior adviser,
said, unless “policy dilemmas” over the balance between home and
residential care, funding and the often theoretical commitment to
developing preventive care were resolved, services would not
improve much.

She said too many councils were unable to invest in preventive care
as a result of a lack of money and political pressure to spend more
on children’s services.

“There is a lot of talk about prevention, but it is mostly crisis
care for older people – services are focused on a relatively small
number with the most severe needs,” she said.

She added that eligibility criteria were becoming tougher while
some councils had hiked charges so much that people were unable to
afford day and home services.


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