Care crisis will deepen and force older people and their families to struggle on their own

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Following the Spending Review by Chancellor George Osborne, Stephen Burke the director of Good Care Guide comments as follows: “The Chancellor has failed to tackle the growing care crisis. Increases of up to 2% in council tax and in the Better Care Fund are completely inadequate to meet the funding gap in care for older and disabled people. They will make the care system even more of a lottery.

“With an ageing population and rising demand for care, shrinking budgets mean that many more elderly people will go without help. They will be forced to pay for care themselves, or rely on family and friends for help, or struggle on their own. There will be a massive impact on the NHS as more older people will need hospital and emergency care.

“There is now the very real prospect of the mass closure of care homes and home care providers because of the continued squeeze on fees paid by councils. There will be huge consequences for older people and for the NHS.

“By 2020 the care crisis will force the vast majority of older people needing care and their families to fend for themselves. There will be no security of care for those who need it most.”

One Reply to “Care crisis will deepen and force older people and their families to struggle on their own”

  1. Bruce Potter, who leads the health and care practice at the law firm Blake Morgan, said: “The NHS has for some time held back from taking the decisive and radical service changes that everyone agrees need to be made to tackle its budgetary and service growth challenges, until more funding was made available.

    It’s pretty clear that after today, the Government won’t be giving the NHS any further large amounts of advanced funding to deliver the Five Year Forward View, and so now it has to get on with making what it does have work. That means above all integration, the vanguards and the new models of care – providing joined up sustainable healthcare services. The extra funding today will help, but critically there will not be enough new funding to allow rapid service transition, it will take longer than the NHS (and patients) might want, but it still has to happen.

    The other point is that after today the NHS certainly can’t expect significant help from any other parts of government to deliver that reform because everywhere else has suffered major cuts to budgets.

    Specifically in the social care space, which is of vital interest to the NHS to support early discharge, the new 2% precept that local councils can levy for social care is in effect a whole new taxation system. It will take time to establish, never mind collect. Significant receipts from this local care tax won’t be seen for a long time.

    More over how the NHS spends its money will be in even sharper focus now than ever before. NHS England has clearly been given special treatment and this will mean that the burden of delivering integration will fall on the NHS much more than other parts of local or central government. The NHS has to accept that the special treatment it has received comes at a cost, but surely it would rather have that burden and the funding it has got, so it has a chance to lead and deliver the change that is desperately needed.”

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