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Thousands of elderly people die while awaiting social care

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Age UK research has revealed that 32,115 sick and vulnerable people died while awaiting social care in 2017/18.

On top of the figures, which were the equivalent to 90 people dying each day, research also revealed that the number of beds for the elderly care has dropped by 8,000 in three years.

Caroline Abraham’s, Charity Director at Age UK said: “It’s very sad that so many older people died before they received the social care they had asked for and it makes you wonder what their quality of life was like if they were struggling without the help they needed as they approached the end of their lives.”

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Research revealed that people trapped in hospital cost the NHS £289m a year, equivalent to £550 a minute.

Age UK found that average social care spending per adult fell by 13% between 2009/10 and 2016/17 from £439 to £379, with around 400,000 fewer older people receiving care as a result of tightening eligibility criteria.

The number of care home beds has dropped by 8,000, or 2%, over the past three years, meanwhile, despite rapidly rising demand.

Analysis of CQC figures showed a 6% drop in the number of care homes in England since 2014.

Shadow social care minister Barbara Keeley said: “This is the grim and horrifying extent of the social care crisis: vulnerable people are dying needlessly while waiting for care.

“People in need of care need action now.

“There is less money for social care – that means fewer packages, despite ever-growing demand.

“While Tory ministers delay a funding solution to this crisis by shelving publication of their unnecessary Green Paper, more vulnerable people will die waiting for vital care.”

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The author Lee Peart

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