Home Group backs new poll fears over social care
Caring Times, October 2014
Social care services provider Home Group has echoed the findings of the largest ever public survey of social care in England – calling on the Government to pump major new investment into the ailing system.
The YouGov survey of more than 4,000 people found that seven out of ten respondents over 60 are not confident they will receive good care when they need it and only 25% believe they will receive the care they need that will allow them to lead a good life.
Home Group is one of 75 of the country’s leading charities who form the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) which commissioned the poll and who are campaigning, alongside millions of older and disabled people and their carers, for a properly funded care system.
The CSA argues that the system is on its knees, with demand going up at the same time as chronic under funding has seen fewer and fewer people getting support. Rachael Byrne, executive director of care and support at Home Group which provides social care services to 30,000 people each year, said the survey detailed just how deep public concern ran regarding the future of social care.
“The proper funding of social care for a growing and ageing population is an issue which this Government and future administrations can no longer shy away from,” said Ms Byrne.
“The majority of people surveyed fear they won’t get the level of care they need in their latter years to help them lead a decent quality of life. Next to more investment in the NHS, the proper government funding of social care is the biggest priority for people.
“Social care has suffered for years from chronic under funding and we have reached the point today where professionals fear they will no longer be able to help all those vulnerable people who desperately need their support.
“The people receiving care are often viewed as being on the fringes of society – the elderly, people with mental health issues, people with long term conditions and individuals suffering from drug or alcohol dependency. But it also affects the many families struggling to care for loved ones and a growing number of very young people who are caring for their parents.
“We know that one in three people have experience of personally relying on, or have a close family member that has experience of relying on the care system.
“Home Group wants a significant injection of new money into local social care economies to deliver support for all those who need it. Such an investment needs to be substantial – we estimate £2.8bn to deliver help to all those who need it. The alternative though will mean placing a huge additional strain on already overstretched A&E departments and GPs surgeries which will be the places vulnerable people turn to for help they no longer receive.” In June the Government confirmed that it’s not planning to reverse the trend that has seen most local authorities restrict care to only those with the highest needs when it sets its national level for eligibility due to come into effect from April next year. Age UK says almost 900,000 older people in England and Wales who struggle with such basic tasks as washing and dressing are being left to fend for themselves. And CSA research shows that 500,000 people who would have got care in 2009 are no longer entitled to it. Earlier this year the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) warned that a further reduction in government funding of £266m over the next year will mean that local authority social services departments will no longer be able to absorb growing demands for their help.