Social Care Leader Condemns Under-Funding

Leading social care spokesman Mike Padgham has called for an end to under-funding after a damning report exposed a ‘catastrophic’ situation for vulnerable older people.

The report, by Age UK, revealed that at least 800,000 older people are going without help as a result of funding cuts.

Age UK research found that the proportion of over-65s getting help either in their own home or a care home had fallen by a third since 2005-6.

Its report, Care in Crisis, reveals that spending on social care services for older people has dropped by £769m since 2010.

Mr Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire), called the situation ‘unacceptable’.

“Thousands of our most vulnerable people are being denied the vital care that they need to live with independence and dignity and in 2014 in a civilised country, that is unacceptable,” he said.

“The social care sector has argued for more than a decade that care for older and vulnerable people is chronically under-funded but nothing has been done to address the situation.

“Here we have the hard evidence of people going without the care they have a basic human right to have.

“The Government says it wants to give older and vulnerable adults independence and dignity, but Age UK’s figures show that that just isn’t happening and unless we see an end to under-funding of social care, the situation can only get worse.”

According to Age UK, last year, under 900,000 over-65s got help – one in 10 people in that group – compared with 15% seven years ago. The number of people over 65 receiving help from social care services has fallen by 335,000 in the past seven years, despite the fact that the number of people in that age group rose by more than a million in that period.

The type of help people receive includes help in the home with daily tasks such as washing, dressing and eating as well as care home places.