In response Simon Bottery, Director of Policy at Independent Age, said:
“Today’s figures from the HSCIC show that over 20,000 careworker jobs have been lost in councils since 2011. Most care services depend upon people – they cannot be performed by machines or carried out remotely – so the loss of this number of jobs is deeply worrying and illustrates starkly the fact that around 360,000 fewer elderly people are now receiving care from their councils compared to five years ago.
Combined with the rise in careworker jobs in the private and voluntary sectors, the figures confirm that many council care services are being contracted out and some abandoned altogether, with many older people no longer eligible for council support funding their own care directly from private care agencies.
The reduction in qualified social worker jobs also raises question marks over councils’ ability to properly implement the Care Act when it comes into force in April, requiring them to carry out many more assessments than previously as more people become eligible for funding and register with their councils to count spending towards the ‘cap’ on care cost which will come into force in 2016.”