Vulnerable people facing care 'lottery' warn MPs
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Communities, Health, Regulation
There are fears among MPs that vulnerable people face an uncertain future if the coalition government's flagship care bill passes without further amendment.
A survey of more than 100 MPs commissioned by social landlord Home Group showed that a majority think access to care is a "lottery" and that the system is underfunded.
The care bill, which is currently passing through parliament after gaining Commons approval earlier this month, proposes the biggest shake-up of state-funded social care in 60 years.
Home Group's survey found:
• Half of MPs surveyed believe the care bill will increase costs to the public sector.
• 65% think that demand for social care will greatly increase in the next decade.
• 52% think the care bill will reduce access for those with low needs in future.
• Around half of respondents have negative perceptions of social care.
• While 89% of MPs have met people receiving social care, only 7% of MPs have delivered social care and none have received it.
Rachael Byrne, Home Group's executive director care and support, said: “We are gravely concerned that the bill focuses statutory funding on people with significant needs. In overlooking those with moderate needs it exposes vulnerable people to a sliding scale of decline that will ultimately cost the state in the long run.
“The care bill has many qualities that will bring greater coherence to a system which has evolved over the decades, however stark questions remain as to how it will be funded.
“Unless the care system is adequately funded, demographic and other changes will mean fewer and fewer people will be able to access the help they need.
“Over 11 million people alive today will live until they are 100. Whoever leads the next government needs to understand that investing in social care is a ‘must have’ and not ‘an add-on’ and commit to significant investment in social care if the ambitions of the Care Bill are to be met.”
Home Group provides general needs housing and supported housing services targeted at helping vulnerable people take control of their own lives.
It works with almost 30,000 vulnerable people through more than 500 supported housing, justice and health services each year.