Older people miss out on support under new rules
Published on 28 June 2013 03:30 PM
The government is attempting to end the 'postcode lottery' over care in England by creating a national eligibility criteria. But charities are concerned older people who need support with everyday tasks won't get the help they need.
Under new draft rules published today by the Department of Health all councils in England would have to fund services for those whose judged to have 'substantial' needs from 2015.
Care Minister, Norman Lamb has said the draft regulations, which are being published for discussion ahead of a formal consultation next year, would set the minimum threshold at 'substantial' - the level at which most councils currently operate.
Older people who need help with everyday tasks will be excluded
Charities, such as Age UK, are saying the criteria has been set too high and would exclude people who need help with everyday tasks.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK commented: 'We have always said national eligibility criteria are welcome for reasons of consistency, but only if they are set at a fair level. We believe the equivalent of "substantial" sets the bar too high: "moderate" would be much more in tune with the spirit of the Government's new Care legislation, and with what the public has been led to expect.
'Although this may sound like a technicality the final decision about these criteria 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.'