Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees invite people to sign letter to Chancellor to help save social care in the region and beyond
Published on 01 March 2023 12:36 PM
“Help us end the long wait for care” says Charity as it calls on the Chancellor to use the Spring Budget on 15th March to help the millions of older people who are waiting for good, reliable care and support to live with dignity.
Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees is inviting people to sign a letter to the Chancellor in a bid to use the Spring Budget on 15th March to help the millions of older people in the region and around the country who need good, reliable care and support.
The social care system remains under extreme pressure and is getting worse. Underfunding continues to be one of the biggest issues in the sector and despite new funding announced in 2022, local authorities and care homes don’t have the financial resources available to meet rising demand.
Age UK analysis shows that in England, 28% of people who had asked for a social care assessment had been waiting six months or more just to find out what, if any, support they can get. This has resulted in 2.6 million people in England aged over 50 unable to get care, including hundreds of thousands who are stuck on waiting lists for support or even just waiting to have their needs assessed. That means millions left struggling to go to the toilet, eat, get dressed or wash because they can’t do these things unaided.
There is also a postcode lottery in some areas of the country when it comes to care. Despite the 2014 Care Act introducing a national system, local areas are still making different decisions about who gets care leaving many older people without enough, or any, support. more than six in 10 councils say they are having to prioritise assessments and are only able to respond to people where abuse or neglect is highlighted, or for hospital or reablement discharge[v]. And families continue to be at breaking point – cuts in local authority care services have placed increasing pressure on unpaid carers who are left to cope alone.
The stats on the issues in social care are sobering and speak for themselves:
- In the last decade the demand for care has increased as the population has grown. There are now 1.7 million more older people[i] and 857,000 more adults with disabilities[ii].
- Almost 170,000 hours a week of home care could not be delivered because of a shortage of care workers during the first three months of 2022, seven times more than Spring 2021[vi]
- In the last decade the Government has frozen capital thresholds which determine if you are eligible for help with you care bills. If the means test had kept up with inflation since 2010/11 it would be nearly £6000 (£5995) higher than now – effectively a 20% cut
- 28% of people who had asked for a social care assessment had been waiting six months or more[iii]
- 14,000 people a week are having their request for care turned down[iv]
- 1 in 10 (1.6 million) of over-60s in the UK are already cutting back or stopping their social care, or expect to do so in the months to come, because they can’t afford the cost[vii]
To date over 25,000 people have signed a letter calling on the Chancellor to use the budget on March 15th to help the millions of older people in need of good care and support.
Lisa Butland, chief executive at Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees said: “There’s many, many people in our area who are struggling to cope without adequate care and support. Many are relying on the goodwill of family, loved ones and neighbours. But this isn’t good enough. The statistics we have gathered at Age UK illustrate the scale and depth of this ongoing problem, so it should be no surprise to Ministers that the demand for social care is going up as our ageing population grows. In addition, the experience of living through the pandemic has accelerated this trend.
“What matters is that Government recognises this increasing demand for care from older people, and disabled people too, and does something about it. That is why we are sending a letter to the Chancellor to use next month’s budget to reduce waiting lists, backlogs, and ensure older people can get the care and support they need. It is becoming ever harder to access good, reliable care in many places, and we fear the problem is getting worse. Government needs to invest the resources to expand the availability of social care, so every older person who requires some help actually receives it.”
More information on Age UK’s social care campaign here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/care-in-crisis/
You can sign the letter to the Chancellor here: https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/117503/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=Website
[v] ADASS Waiting for Care Report May 2022
[i] ONS estimates of the age 65+ population of England for mid year 2011 and mid year 2020, the most recent year for which data are available. Accessed https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/bulletins/annualmidyearpopulationestimates/mid2019estimates and https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland
[ii] Age UK analysis of data drawn from the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Data were collected 2009-11 (wave 1) and 2018-2020 (wave 10) and accessed here: http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-6614-14. Estimates of the proportion of people aged 18+ in England with a disability were scaled up to the age 18+ population of England using ONS mid-year population
[vi] ADASS Waiting for Care Report May 2022
[iii] ADASS Waiting for Care Report May 2022 adass-survey-waiting-for-care-supportmay-2022-final.pdf
[iv] Age UK analysis of NHS Digital (2020), Adult Social Care Activity and Finance Report, England – 2019-20, accessed here: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-andinformation/publications/statistical/ adult-social-care-activity-and-financereport/2019-20 We have used the most recent data for 2019/20. We have assumed that the number of people who had their request for formal care denied each day has remained the same as the average for 2019/20.
[vii] Age UK Polling, undertaken by Kantar using a self-completion online survey, 4-17th October 2022. total number polled was 1623. Kantar use robust methods to ensure that their sample is representative of the UK population aged 60+.