Hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled people have their requests for help with social care declined in England according to data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
The findings show, of the 1.85 million new requests for adult social care support dealt with by local councils in 2014/15:
- Almost a third (28% or 520,000) resulted in no services provided, while a further 31% (575,000) resulted in the person being ‘signposted’ to other support, such as charities, or to another service such as housing, education or the transport sector.
- 16% were granted ongoing low level social care support, while 12% were offered short-term support with the aim of maximising their independence.
- Only 144,000 requests (8%) resulted in long-term support for the person.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘Our social care system is in crisis, having a devastating impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people in society. Every week we hear from people struggling to access good quality dementia care locally, leaving them completely in the dark about where to turn to for help and support. We also know that a lack of local support has led to a huge increase in unnecessary hospital admissions, and early entry into care homes.’
‘It’s people with dementia, their families and carers who shoulder two-thirds of the £26 billion that dementia costs the economy every year. The recent decision to delay implementation of a cap on how much people pay for care means that this financial burden will continue into the next decade. Other diseases receive significantly more support on the NHS and it is unacceptable that people with dementia, who often need long-term nursing care, are left to fend for themselves. The current system is failing many people and we desperately need adequate funding. The government has the opportunity to end the cuts to social care in the forthcoming Spending Review.’