Postcode Lottery in Social Care to End?
- 01 Jul
New draft rules are introduced by the government in an attempt to end "postcode lottery" in social care.
The rules state that all councils in England would have to fund social care services for anyone deemed to have "substantial needs".
The draft rules will come in to force from 2015 and is an attempt to remove the postcode lottery that older and disabled people are affected by in social care.
This is when different local authorities offer different services depending on what they have available, so a person's needs would qualify for assistance in some areas and not in others creating social care assistance subject to postcode.
Charities have said that the threshold to qualify for the guaranteed help is too high and would exclude many people who need help with everyday tasks.
However, councils are concerned that with new eligibility criteria, some councils that are already struggling will not be able to afford the extra care required, and want assurances from the government that the extra costs will be fully funded.
Councils can assess people as having "critical", "substantial", "moderate" or "low" needs, and decide who they provide social care services to based on this assessment. Currently there are only four councils in the country that provide care for people in all four categories - 16 councils fund those with "moderate" needs while most, 130, only fund those with "substantial" or "critical" needs. In some of the harder hit areas, services provided have been significantly reduced out of necessity in recent years due to budget cuts, down to the minimum required.
There are worries that following the increase in requirements, some councils will have to provide more care than they are able to, and some could run out of money.
The government says a national minimum would stop councils reducing services due to budget cuts and would level out variations between local authorities.
Charities are concerned that although it is a step in the right direction to ending postcode lottery of social care, it will exclude too many people who need the help.
Age UK's Michelle Mitchell says the criteria for eligibility is crucial:
As it stands millions of older people and their families who have assumed they will benefit from the government's social care reforms will miss out.
But there is still time for the government to change their minds and Age UK will be campaigning to persuade them to do so.
Richard Hawkes, head of the disability charity Scope, said:
Under the proposals more than a hundred thousand disabled people who need care to get up, get washed and dressed and get out would be shut out of the system.
The National Autistic Society said new criteria "overlooks" autistic people who would not be recognised as needing support:
The proposals for who qualifies for social care support leave the government's spending review promise in tatters.
People with the disability often require support with everyday activities like getting washed and dressed, but the draft criteria restrict eligibility to those with a physical or mental impairment, which could mean that those who don't have a formal diagnosis miss out on support altogether.
Only 63 out of the 152 local authorities [in England] have a diagnostic pathway in place for adults with autism, so a huge group are at risk.
In 21st-century Britain, most people would agree that someone who cannot get out of the house independently is deserving of support. But the proposals are too vague to commit to this.
Image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/115354
- 26 Aug
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...
- 11 Aug
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%...
- 04 Jun
Social care services for adults struggling due to budget cuts
There is a £1.1.bn 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...
- 03 Jun
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...
- 20 Apr
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...
- 17 Apr
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...
- 15 Apr
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...
- 17 Mar
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...
- 11 Nov
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...
- 30 Oct
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...
What are the Future Funding Arrangements for Supported and Sheltered Housing? "Information on Exempt Accommodation & DWP Review was very informative, but also commend your approach in delivering workshops/conferences in a proactive way, and use of email and your website as a public resource" P.C. - The Hyde Group