People who need help to move around their home, to communicate with family and friends or take part in their community will risk losing local care and support, according to new analysis of Government flagship reform of care.
As the influential Public Accounts Committee prepares to investigate the care system, the Care and Support Alliance is releasing the findings of an investigation into Government plans for who will and who won’t get care under the new system.
As part of its wide-ranging care reforms that Government is planning to set a nation-wide level for who’s eligible for council-funded care.
It published its plans last year, when the Care Minister revealed he wanted to set eligibility at a higher ‘substantial’ level. This excludes people with so-called ‘moderate’ needs, who need help with several aspects of personal care, or of work, education or training. Research by LSE showed that this would mean 362,000 older and disabled people would be shut out of the system altogether.
But to get a clearer picture, organisations in the CSA commissioned disabled people, carers, social care experts and lawyers to take a closer look at the plans.
The analysis, which has been seen by the Department of Health, offers the first glimpse of who in practice will miss out on social care under the new system:
• Communication and social interaction needs are not included in the regulations. People such as those on the autistic spectrum, those with brain injuries or sensory loss, who need support to engage in social activity with friends and family and to prevent isolation, risk being excluded from the care system.
• Mobility around the home is not accurately reflected in the regulations. Being able to move around your home is vital to independence.
• There’s no explicit reference to choice and control in the regulations, which could impact on disabled people’s ability to have a say over how they live
The Care and Support Alliance is releasing the new findings to coincide with the PAC investigation, which begins today.
The Alliance is sending the findings to the Committee and is urgently calling on them to challenge the Government to explain who is in and who is out of the system.
The backdrop is the Care Bill, which reached its final stages in Parliament last week. The Government will then publish their final plans for who is in and out of the system in May.
Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:
“These findings are incredibly worrying for older and disabled people and their families.
“The Government is clear the recovery must be about providing people with security.
“If you’re old or disabled that means knowing that if you need support to get up, get dressed and get out; that you won’t be trapped in your home.
“The Government’s flagship care reforms are close to being agreed.
“There are imminent decisions about who will get care in the new system.
“We’re extremely worried that hundreds of thousands of people who need care to get around the house, to communicate with family, friends or colleagues or to play a part in their community won’t get it.
“Combined with setting the threshold at a high level this means increasing numbers of people will be unable to get vital care and support.
“Without that support people become isolated, can’t contribute to society, and risk slipping into crisis and ending up in A&E.
“The Government is working on the final version of the plans. We’ve got a positive set of principles for a new care system. But the Government must be bold, go further and properly fund a care system that gives older and disabled people – and the families who care for them – the support they need to live independently.”