Friday, 6 September 2019

Brexit-obsessed Britain is a country with a nation called England where old men in need of social care are lost in a "sea of inertia"

Britain in 2019 is a country where the failure of funding to keep pace with rising demand created by more and more old men and women living longer and longer, can be explained by the fact that nearly £8bn has been cut from Council Adult Social Care Budgets since 2010, which has meant that 1.4 million old man and women went without help, which means they no longer get help with basic activities such as :

* getting out of bed
* washing
* going to the toilet

In its Report 'Care in Crisis', the charity, 'Age UK', said services for older and sick and disabled people were 'under extreme duress' and unable to respond to rapidly growing need : 'Growing levels of desperation described by those individuals, families and professionals on the sharp end bear testament to a system working at full pelt, stretched to its limit and still failing people left, right and centre.'

It also highlighted fears that the market for residential care in England in many areas was failing, with half of councils witnessing the closure of domestic home care providers in their area in the past year and a third seeing residential care homes shut down.

Age UK’s Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams said the Report painted a “frightening” picture of what might happen to social care unless the Government intervened decisively to lift massive pressure on local authority social care budgets. “When you strip out the complexity the story is really very simple: demand is going up but funding and supply are going down, leaving increasing numbers of older people to fend for themselves, rely on loved ones if that’s an option for them, or pay through the nose via a hefty stealth tax without which many care homes would not stay afloat.” 

The Report is the latest in a string of recent reports highlighting the fragility of the social care system in the face of massive underfunding. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said in June that the system was adrift "in a sea of inertia” as Brexit dominated Government Ministers’ energy and attention.

Again, will heed be paid to the cross-party Lords Committee, including two former Chancellors, which in July called for an immediate £8bn investment to tackle the long-neglected “national scandal” of social care which had left more than a million vulnerable older people without proper support ?

And should heed be paid to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who said in July that he had a “clear plan” to fix the social care crisis ?  In fact, subsequent reports suggest that, having shelved the long-delayed social care green paper commissioned by his predecessor, Theresa May, his own blueprint was unlikely to be published before the end of the year.

The fact is that social care services in some areas of England are so fragile that they face complete collapse next year and inestimable hardship to old men and women unless the Government commits substantial extra investment

Should old men and women in England best take heart when s Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said : “We have given local authorities access to nearly £4bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410m is available for adults and children’s services. The Prime Minister is committed to fixing the social care system and we will outline proposals in due course.” ?

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