Charities say care changes could see thousands of people losing out

  • Campaigners are warning that thousands of adults in England could lose access to home care under draft government guidelines.

    The new regulations set out the care needs someone must have to qualify for council-funded care. Charities say the criteria will lead to many people being shut out of the care system. However Care Minister Norman Lamb has said the new system will be fairer, reports the BBC. /images/careandsupport.jpg

    The changes will be introduced in April 2015 and will see all local authorities in England use the same minimum guidelines for determining whether they should provide care. Currently, councils currently fund care at one of four levels - low, moderate, substantial or critical.

    In the proposed criteria it is similar to the "substantial" category that most councils currently use.

    In a table published by the Department of Health last year, it was discovered that 130 of the 152 councils who provided care did so at the substantial level. Three councils paid at the higher critical level, and ministers believe that about 4,000 extra people living in those areas will become eligible for help as the rules will be eased.

    However, nineteen council areas that currently pay for moderate or low needs fear that the amount of care provided will be reduced due to the criteria becoming stricter.

    The Care and Support Alliance said it was concerned the proposals "hardwire in the status quo of highly rationed care rather than create a preventative system that lives up to their big ambitions and keeps people from being isolated and ending up in A&E".

    Richard Hawkes, chairman of the Care and Support Alliance - a coalition of 75 organisations representing older and disabled people and their carers, said: "The government has passed up the chance to drive through a genuinely preventative system.

    "It has instead hardwired the year-on-year rationing that's seen people squeezed out of the system. Without that help, people's lives fall apart. This will also place unbearable pressure on family carers."

    Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, welcomed a "standardised" system, but said the new regulations were "restrictive" and "not good enough".

    Ms Abrahams said: "The regulations are written in such a way that we worry that people with dementia who need help to continue to live at home with dignity could be screened out, together with those who struggle with dressing, or washing, or going to the toilet or preparing food. From now on the inability to do just one of these fundamental things will not be enough to qualify you for support and Age UK's concern is that without it, some older people's needs will escalate, undermining their capacity to continue to live at home."

    Rachael Byrne, executive director of care and support for Home Group, one of the UK's largest providers of social care services, said: "Many people who have relied on care from their local council will find themselves squeezed out. This will place an intolerable strain on an already overstretched NHS.

    Mr Lamb said: "Until now it's been hard for people who need care and their carers to know if they are eligible for care and support from their council and this has varied depending on where they live.

    "Our national eligibility criteria will make the system fairer by clearly setting out what level of needs must be met by all local authorities, putting an end to this variation."

    The consultation is open until 15 August and centres on the changes that will come into effect from April 2015.

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

Related articles

  • Read More

    Adults with vulnerabilities in custody are not receiving appropriate support

    A report commissioned by the Home Office has said that lack of awareness and a shortage of trained volunteers means police often go ahead without on present, reports the BBC.Home Secretary Theresa...

  • Read More

    Chief inspector warns cuts are affecting adult social care

    Andrea Sutcliffe has said that many carers ended up being "the sort of care worker you wouldn't want them to be", reports the BBC.Adult social care budgets have been cut by £4.6bn since 2010 - a 31%...

  • Read More

    Social care services for adults struggling due to budget cuts

    There is a £ shortfall to councils in England warns the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and freezing care provider fees to save money is no longer sustainable, reports the...

  • Read More

    People with vulnerabilities left at risk by policy makers

    ‘Solutions from the Frontline’, published by a coalition of charities looks into the ideas and experiences of service users. It investigates how the new government along with national and local...

  • Read More

    Social landlords in Wales hope to save the NHS £1.7m

    The savings will come from housing 33 patients under the care of the Aneurin Bevan University health board, through a project called ‘In One Place.' This project places patients who have a mental...

  • Read More

    New supported housing service for people needing care after hospital

    The service will provide supported accommodation for people who no longer need specialist medical care, but who are no longer able to return home due to changes in their home care needs. It is hoped...

  • Read More

    Proposal for an extension on the integration of health and social care in Staffordshire

    Staffordshire County Council wishes to agree on a new deal which will help to improve integration between health and social care for its residents, reports ITV.The deal, if agreed, will extend the...

  • Read More

    Older people and people with disabilities finding it hard to get state funded care

    Social services leaders are warning that many people with disabilities or older people with care needs are facing the challenge of having to pay for their own support at the end of the next...

  • Read More

    The number of people using food banks has risen by 1,468%

    Latest figures by the Trussell Trust show that 913,138 adults and children have received three day's emergency food and support from its food banks over 103/14 which is an increase of 346,992 since...

  • Read More

    Support for patients with vulnerabilities with eased pressure on hospitals

    Teams of social workers and NHS staff will soon become available seven days a week under new care plans, reports the BBC.Ministers are predicting that pressures will ease on hospitals from April once...

The Welfare Reform Act: Universal Credit, Sheltered and Supported Housing The content was concise and to the point. The content was relevant to our service, and gave us a better us a better indication of were stand with upcoming changes. Rosie Kaur - Panahghar


Briefing Signup