Social care system 'at the point of crisis'

Posted by Peter Rose on

SKY News reports

There are concerns over the financial state of care homes with many being paid less by local authorities than is needed to deliver care. 

It has also meant that providers are either going out of business or are handing back contracts because they cannot afford to deliver services at local authority rates.

England's social care system is "at the point of crisis" and extra funding is just "a sticking plaster", according to a health think tank.

Simon Bottery, senior fellow for social care at The King's Fund, said the Government "can't put it off any longer".

Mr Bottery said: "Without extra money in, we think around £2.5bn is the gap that is going to exist by 2020, without extra money the system is going to get worse and worse.

"Unless we resolve the long term problem, reform the whole system, and make it fairer and clearer for people to understand, this system will just lurch from crisis to crisis."

The care home population is also projected to grow by somewhere between 14% to 34%.

Audrey Starkey, a pensioner with Alzheimer's disease. She sold her house to help pay for her 24-hour live-in carer privately, in addition to money her late husband had set aside as savings.

Audrey's daughter, Marion Wilcock, says she is hoping that when the funds run out her mother will not be aware.

She said: "My dad worked extremely hard, and we are just yomping through his savings because mum's care costs about £1000 a week. That's over £50,000 a year."

"What happens when the money runs out? We are not quite sure, but we will face that when we get there."

Marion said she had looked into residential and nursing homes but after visiting a few she had "come out and just sat in the car and cried".

She added: "There are some very good residential care homes but they are all privately funded... The waiting lists for the ones you might be prepared to use, that you think might be acceptable for your mum, is horrendous.

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