Postcode lottery for social care in the home
Published on 20 January 2011 11:30 AM
Age UK statement on postcode lottery for social care in the home
Senior Age UK spokesman available for interview bids - please contact 0208 765 7511
Commenting on the postcode lottery on the provision of social care in the home, Michelle Mitchell, Age UK Charity Director said:
'Even before public spending cuts start in earnest there is a post code lottery for the cost and availability of services. Many local authorities are now seeking further cost savings, by reducing services, increasing charges and raising eligibility criteria for social care. Over the next four years we will see the harshest cuts to local government funding for a generation and we fear that the least generous councils today will set an example the rest will follow, to the detriment of vulnerable older people who rely on care at home.
'The extent of cuts proposed by local authorities for 2011 are nothing short of alarming - one local authority is seeking to restrict eligibility to people with "super critical needs." Cuts on this scale cannot be made without placing people at risk or creating extreme hardship and isolation.
'We know social services are under pressure to save money in 2011 but where Councils accept that people have needs that qualify for support they have a statutory duty to ensure these are met.
'In some cases, the charges levied by local authorities seem very high. Local authorities need to be transparent about how they work out charges for home care - they are not allowed to make a profit and should also be aiming to cut out administrative costs to make their support more affordable.'
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors
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.
Age UK is inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad. Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.
Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country, Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 475 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services. Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.
Media contact: Hong Ling Dyer
Tel: 020 8765 7511
Out of hours: 07071 243 243