Thousands of elderly people could be forced into care homes under NHS cost cutting plans.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the country say they will not pay for care at home if it is cheaper to send people to a care home, according to research by Health Service Journal and campaign group Disability United.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “This is extremely worrying. It is horrible to think that an older person who wants to stay at home could now be forced into a care home.”
“Not only does this go against government policy of keeping people in their own homes, it ignores the fact that in certain areas there is already a grave shortage of care home beds.”
The investigation found that around 19 of the 37 CCGs in question have banned paying for care at home if the cost exceeds that of residential homes by more than 10%. Another seven said they had set the threshold at 20, 25 or 40% above care home fees.
Simon Bottery, from charity Independent Age, said: “It is frankly outrageous that older people could be made to move into residential care when they are able to live independently in their own home.”