Age UK concerned about risks of new care vision
Published on 16 November 2010 03:30 PM
Age UK concerned about risks of new social care vision
Greater choice for care provision welcomed but safeguards are insufficient.
Age UK has welcomed the move towards greater personalisation of social care provision announced by Health Minister Paul Burstow today but is concerned that more vulnerable older people may be put at risk.
Many of the ideas laid out in the Department of Health publication 'A Vision for Adult Social Care: Capable Communities and Active Citizens' have been championed by Age UK but the organisation would like to see more consideration given to safe guarding and whether direct cash payments are appropriate for all individual care users.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK said:
'The personalisation of care budgets is a welcome step forward in allowing greater choice to those older people able to manage their own care.
'However the heavy emphasis in the report on moving people onto receiving direct cash payments to pay for care concerns us as many older people have said that they don't necessarily want to have to become employers of their carers or to have to shop around for provision.
'Many older people begin to need care following a major health crisis such as a stroke and then need to be on a managed care pathway towards reablement. Only after their needs have stabilised would it be appropriate for a personal budget to be considered, but even then their needs must be kept under constant review. Appropriate levels of support must also be provided to help older people to make decisions and manage their care effectively.
'We are also concerned about the light touch approach to safeguarding reflected in the paper. Greater personalisation of care and direct cash payments bring greater risks in terms of safeguarding older people from abuse and we are not convinced by the approach taken in the report.
'We also greatly welcome the increased budget available for respite care. Carers often make great personal and financial sacrifices to care for their loved ones and as a result save the economy an estimated £87 billion a year.
'No matter how much someone loves the person they are caring for, it can be a physically and emotionally draining round the clock task. Having improved access to respite care would help ensure that carers are able to carry on caring for the long term.'
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors
- Case studies are available on request
- The Age UK 'Invisible but Invaluable' photography exhibition celebrating older carers is currently showing at St Martins in the Fields church in Trafalgar Square in London until 21 November.
Age UK works in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office:.Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.
Media contact: Fiona Callister
Telephone: 020 8765 7439
Out-of-hours: 07825 322748