Tag Archives: Care in Crisis campaign

Care in crisis – massive fall in care spend for older people since 2010

This blog was contributed by Jill Mortimer, Policy Adviser at Age UK

Older lady with carer in care home

When we first started our research for the Age UK Care in Crisis 2014 briefing, we expected to find that there had been some reduction in funding for older people’s social care services, given the continued pressure on public funding.

However, we had hopes that the Better Care Fund announced by the Government last year would put the system on a better financial basis, as well as improve the system by encouraging more joint working between health and social care locally.

And we were encouraged by the Care Bill’s emphasis on health and wellbeing as providing a really good starting point for better supporting older people’s aspirations and needs.

However, our research has shown us that the current social care system is in even deeper crisis than it was when we published our last briefing in 2012.

There have been even more dramatic real-term cuts in the funding available to social care services, despite transfers from the NHS to try and protect services. Continue reading

Save Clause 48

ID201148 Care Home A5 -6946

Imagine two people who live next to each other in a care home – one pays for their own care, the other’s is arranged by their council. Did you know that only one of these people has the full protection of the law from abuse and neglect?

It seems absurd but a loophole in human rights law means this is true. Currently, only those who have their residential care arranged by a public body are directly covered by the Human Rights Act. Anyone who pays for their own residential care or receives care in their own home has fewer rights and protections. Age UK thinks this is wrong.

One of the most exciting things that happened when the House of Lords debated the Care Bill was an amendment that sought to close this loophole. It was voting through, defeating the Government. This amendment became Clause 48 of the Care Bill, giving equal protection to everyone receiving care under human rights law. Continue reading

‘He told me he supported the Care Bill – it was really worthwhile meeting with him’

Campaigner Bob

Campaigner Bob

Since October, Age UK has been encouraging people to meet with their MP. With the Care Bill expected to be debated in the House of Commons in the near future, it is imperative that MPs understand how the current crisis in social care is affecting older people and their families. There is no better way than for those with first-hand experience to share their stories with those who will represent them in the debates.

One such campaigner was Bob who lives in London. He gave his account of how he went about lobbying his MP about the Care Bill:

‘For me, social care is a really important issue. Having helped care for both my own parents and my in-laws, I can see how valuable a bit of support can be. My late father-in-law received a care package in the last few months of his life. Even though it was only for a short time, it brought him and my mother-in-law a new lease of life. But it was difficult getting it in place and my mother-in-law still is not receiving the help she needs – it should be universally available. Continue reading

Tackling the future funding of social care

Age UK has responded to a Department of Health consultation on the future funding of social care. This marks the latest stage in the long march to reform how we pay for care. The ‘Dilnot’ Commission on long term care funding recommended a new system whereby the amount that individuals would be expected to pay towards their care needs would be capped. The government has announced that it will implement a modified version of these recommendations. However there are still many unanswered questions about the new system and concern about its complexity.

The proposals are based on a new national system of eligibility for local authority care. The only spending by an individual that will count towards the 440px_older_carers_handscap is that required to meet needs which fall within these criteria – currently set at ‘substantial’ . If the criteria are too restrictive people might have spent large amounts before their outlay even starts to count towards the cap. Age UK has therefore argued that eligibility for local authority care should include people with what would currently be defined as moderate needs. Continue reading