More than a million elderly and disabled people are being failed by the social care system with a funding £2.5bn funding gap expected by 2019/20, the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) has revealed.
In a new survey of 4,000 people, the CSA found one in eight had been delayed from leaving hospital because they could not get the care they need and a further one in seven (16%) having their care package reduced despite their needs increasing or staying the same.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “The experiences of thousands of people in this survey are damning evidence that that our adult social care system is broken and unfit for purpose.
“It is especially worrying to have heard stories from people whose care has been cut, even though their needs have either stayed the same or got worse. And the reality is that care cuts aren’t saving the Government money, the NHS is picking up the bill as people are pushed into ill health and crisis because of a lack of basic help. The Government must provide funding now, as well as focus on future reforms, as essential steps towards getting our care system back on track.”
The survey highlighted the experiences of people who had been failed by the system.
Lorraine Hammond, 47, from Lincoln, tried for years to get her mum good help, but carers at home and in two care homes failed to give her the care she needed.
Lorraine said: “The carers hadn’t been feeding her lunch, they had just been leaving cold soup by her bed.”
The CSA said that despite more people needing more care, the number receiving it had fallen by at least a quarter between 2009/10 and 2013/14.
It also revealed the inefficiency of the NHS picking up the cost of care with a hospital bed costing £2,800 a week compared with £600 personal care in a care home and still less for care at home.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “To ensure that those caring for people have the time and money needed to provide effective and safe support, social care needs to be financially sustainable, which requires government to fully plug the funding gap facing adult social care which is set to exceed £2 billion by 2020.
“Government needs to address immediate pressures impacting on the system today, and ensure its Green Paper will deliver reforms to future-proof the long term sustainability of adult social care.”
The Alliance is calling on people to add their signature to an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, highlighting the urgent need for him to act now and in the upcoming Green Paper to fix the care crisis www.careandsupportalliance.com/letter