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Cold comfort for older people needing care

31 October 2018 – £650 million for social care sounds good but compared with the massive £7 billion of cuts to social care funding since 2010, it is a paltry amount.

Government funding of councils will still reduce by 77% from 2015/16 to 2019/20 – going from nearly £10 billion to £2 billion.*  This will result in even fewer services for older people in desperate need.

the Chancellor needs to remember that they, too, were tax payers

Liverpool council, for example,  now supports 6000 fewer people than they did in 2010** and Age UK estimates that over 1.4 million older people are now without the services they need.

As older people deteriorate without care, they reach crisis point.  They have to turn to the NHS as their last resort.  As a result, A&E attendances by those aged 65 plus increased by 35% (from 2.9 million to 3.9 million) between 2010 and 2016, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) ***

What’s more, there’s no guarantee that the £240 million to Councils to support people to leave hospital more quickly will reach them.  Councils have other collapsing services to think about, too.

In any case, just discharging people from hospital without the follow up help that frail older people need is a false economy.  Hospital just becomes a revolving door, to which people will return once their temporary care packages are removed.

It’s also small comfort to those still waiting for help.  It does nothing to increase preventive services which prevent people reaching crisis point.

Instead of treating older people as bed blockers and a drain on resources, the Chancellor needs to remember that they, too, were tax payers and are entitled to get decent, properly staffed and resourced professional services, not just these crumbs from the Government’s table.

 

* https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/england-council-budget-cuts-government-austerity-social-services-essential-care-safety-a8559486.html

 ** https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/council-budget-cuts-what-liverpool-12613097

 *** https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13070

 


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