Charity’s social care scorecard outlines “calamitous” cuts to older people’s care

Age UK has pulled together figures from 22 pieces of research to demonstrate the problems facing social care for older people

Older social care is in “calamitous, quite rapid decline” according to Age UK, a leading charity which has drawn together existing figures to provide an overall picture of the system.

Age UK has brought together and analysed the previously published figures and research on social care spending and the number of older people receiving care, to create what is being referred to as a social care “scorecard”.

Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams said she believed the scorecard laid bare the “devastating” realities of the state of the care system, by pulling together stark figures from 22 separate datasets.

She said: “Policymakers owe it to the public, older people especially, to confront the crisis in social care and its consequences.

“Above all, this scorecard makes clear that for any policymaker to acknowledge the need for investment in the NHS while omitting to mention social care is not good enough.”

source: Age UK

source: Age UK

The figures:

  • Spending on social care services for older people in England has fallen by £1.1 billion from 2010-11 to 2013-14, even when government-mandated transfers of funds from the NHS to councils are taken into account.
  • The number of older people  receiving home care has fallen by 32% since 2010 while day care places have declined by 67% over that time.
  • Nearly a third of older people who have difficulty carrying out essential daily activities like washing, going to the toilet and getting out of bed do not receive any formal help to do so.

Abrahams said this meant hundreds and thousands of older people in need of social care were being left “high and dry”.

Responding to the report,  Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA)’s community wellbeing board, described the system as chronically underfunded.

She said: “The combined pressures of insufficient funding, growing demand, escalating costs and a 40% cut to local government budgets across this parliament means that despite councils’ best efforts, they are having to make tough decisions about the care services they can provide.”

The Age UK findings follow news that the government would provide an extra £25m until the end of the financial year to help councils in areas where NHS hospital pressures are greatest reduce levels of delayed discharges.

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2 Responses to Charity’s social care scorecard outlines “calamitous” cuts to older people’s care

  1. Carol Thorne January 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    In my area, the criteria for Blue Badges is, or is being interpreted as, so strict that to qualify one has to be virtually bed-bound and unable to make use of it.
    Also, libraries and One-Stop shops are being amalgamated, with a very much reduced staff being expected to do both jobs. Apart from the issue of staff being un-trained for both jobs, it means there will be neither the space available nor the staff to help facilitate the many support and social groups which at present take place in the libraries and library staff assist.

  2. jim kennie January 27, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    The problem with the health and social care sector is that it is split between “not for profit’ public sector and charities etc who all work on surplus and deficits , and the ‘for profit’ private sector that lives or dies by the hideous word ‘profit’.
    The public sector hold the reins and the purse strings and clearly do not understand that if you starve the private sector it will die.
    It is like trying to mix oil and water. The public sector have clearly shown that either they do not like the private sector and relish abusing it, or they do not understand its mechanism as they push it perilously close to the cliff edge of bankruptcy. it would appear it is a mixture of the two.
    Cutting Local Authority budgets which are passed on with more cuts to the beleaguered private sector with total disregard for forced increases in costs like minimum wage, while at the same time demanding higher standards is a very clear example of the curdling effect of mixing two anti bodies together.
    There is little or no private sector representation on most think tank panels. Explaining the nuts and bolts of this to the powers that be as the wheels are shearing off the private sector is long overdue. If a sharp and significant correction upwards in care home fees and home care fees is not imminently implemented I fear the health and social care sector will disintegrate into a service totally lacking in any proper provision.