Posted on July 03, 2013

Concerns about government commitment to care services

The recent announcements about the future of care services have not managed to allay fears in the care sector. The chancellor announced that £3 billion of funding would be channelled into social and health care services to enable the services to be fully integrated.  There will also be a large fund available for those authorities that need to prepare for the reforms.  These reforms include caps on funding for individuals and deferred payments for care homes. The care providers have stated that while savings need to be made, the needs in the social care sector are actually growing.  Concerns have also been raised about the government's approach, which has been termed 'sluggish' given that there is already a crisis in the care provision sector. A study has shown that less than one-quarter of the elderly have confidence in the care system, and more than half the service users have recognised the current problems in the care system.  The study also showed a lack of confidence in the government's ability to deal with the care at home crisis.  It is hoped that the government will create the post of an Older People's Minister to address these issues – the Welsh government did something similar in 2012.  It is considered that the elderly need someone to speak up for them in parliament. There are also calls to offer independent financial advice to the elderly as part of the social care system to help them to manage their own funds and guide those who need to pay for their own care.
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