Postcode lottery for older people worsens

Older people can miss out on care because of where they live, a survey published today by Counsel and Care has found.

Social services budget restrictions and eligibility criteria rather than need are affecting who receives care, the charity’s research revealed.

The postcode lottery is set to get worse, according to its snapshot survey.

All the councils who replied were planning to review eligibility criteria for the forthcoming year in response to budget pressures. Many have increased the level of need at which people receive services.

“We need national criteria which are applied consistently. And we need the funding to support these services. This is the only way the care lottery will be ended,” said Counsel and Care’s policy and communications manager Caroline Bernard.

The survey found that some local authorities charge a flat rate for care services, after financial assessment, ranging from £7 to £16.80 per hour. Others have a weekly cap on charging, varying hugely from £3.91 to £299.

Counsel and Care surveyed 148 local authorities during February.


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