Survey highlights neglect in our care system

A survey of almost 4,000 people, carried out by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), has outlined a care system that is ‘visibly failing and unfit for purpose’.

Seeking the views of those who need care or look after someone who does, Voices from the social care crisis revealed that one in five people questioned felt unsafe moving around their own home, with four in 10 unable to leave it. Furthermore, one in four said they’ve needed hospital treatment and one in eight stated that they have been delayed leaving hospital because of not being able to get the care they need.

Despite more adults needing care today than ever before, the number receiving it has fallen by at least a quarter between 2009/10 and 2013/14 alone, with the Kings Fund estimating a £2.5 billion funding gap by 2019/20.

While the NHS is taking on the added pressure of handling the situation, a hospital bed costs £2,800 a week compared to £600 for personal care in a care home and less still for care at home, highlighting the ‘unnecessary inefficiency’ of relying on the NHS to solve the issues.

The alliance is now urging people to add their signature to an open letter to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt, highlighting the need for him to act now and in the upcoming Green Paper to fix the care crisis.

Caroline Abrahams, 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.”

Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, commented on the findings: “Councils take allegations of abuse and neglect extremely seriously and work with local health, care and police partners both to prevent abuse and to ensure the wellbeing of anyone who has been affected. Any form of abuse is unacceptable and we all have a role in ensuring that those receiving care and support are able to have safe and dignified lives and play an active part in their local communities.

“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 Care and Support Alliance is a coalition of more than 80 of the country’s leading charities, including Age UK, MS Society, Independent Age, National Autistic Society and Alzheimer’s Society, Scope.