New figures show how the Government is failing to deliver the approach on social care that we need.
People who need help to stay living independently in their own homes are being let down. This failure is contributing to an extraordinary waste of money as more people end up in more expensive hospital care or in a care home. Figures from FOI requests to local authorities reveal the number of people getting the adaptations that they need to stay in their own home has fallen by 12 percent since 2010 and 5,500 fewer people are now getting help which would prevent them falling or seriously injuring themselves.
Whilst the latest figures show that in the year to June, £247 million was spent on delayed discharges from hospital – enough to pay for almost 37,000 home adaptations.
Home adaptations are a lifeline for older and disabled people, helping them to stay living independently in their own homes. The Government’s huge cuts to local authority budgets mean councils have been forced to reduce the amount of money they spend on these vital adaptations. This is a false economy, as more older people end up going to hospital or into a care home when they don’t need to. This is terrible for them and their families and is an extremely poor use of taxpayers’ money.
Huge cuts to social care are piling further pressure on local hospitals. £3.5 billion has been cut from local council care budgets since 2010 and a quarter of a million fewer older and disabled people are now getting vital services like home care visits, which help them get up, washed, dressed and fed.
Hospital services need to change to improve the quality of care, and give clinicians and the public the power to make these changes happen. We need real reforms so that everyone gets the right care, in the right place, at the right time.