Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Elderly and disposable

More than 50,000 people have died waiting for care while ministers dither over long-awaited plans to overhaul the funding of social care, a charity has claimed.

Age UK estimated that 54,000 people – or 77 a day – have died while waiting for a care package in the 700 days since the government first said in March 2017 it would publish its social care green paper, which has since been delayed several times.
Age UK said tightening eligibility for council-funded social care meant 626,701 people – 895 a day – have had requests for social care refused since March 2017. More than a million older people had developed an unmet care need in that time, such as needing help with washing or dressing, it added.
The claim came as a cross-party group of MPs warned that the government was “in denial” about the perilous state of English local authority finances – a crisis driven by a growing demand for the care of vulnerable adults and children. The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) said that after eight years in which central government funding had halved, councils were under “enormous pressure” just to maintain essential services. MPs accused ministers of having no meaningful plan to ensure local authority finances were sustainable in the future. Overall spending by local authorities on services fell by 19.2% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2016-17, according to the report.

Councils have warned that adult social services services are under strain because of £7bn cuts to care budgets since 2010. An estimated £700m of social care cuts were made by English councils over the past few months alone, although the government announced £650m of extra social care funding for next year in the autumn budget. There is widespread concern in local government that the funding squeeze, coupled with rising demand for adults’ and children’s social care services could push more authorities into insolvency.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: “These tragic new figures demonstrate just how many older people are now suffering from the government’s failure to act decisively on social care. No one can say whether some of those who have died might have lived longer had they received care, but at the very least their final weeks and months might have been more comfortable and their families’ lives made easier had they been given more support.”

1 comment:

aberfoyle said...

Who dare ignorant,too locked in their hans manipulation,to notice the cripple staggering for a seat.