The findings of a new survey of 469 social workers by Community Care Magazine, supported by the Care and Support Alliance, provide evidence of how broken the social care system England has become.
The responses from across England revealed that:
- Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) felt expected to reduce care packages because of cost pressures in their local authority;
- More than 1 in 3 (37%) said they believed they couldn’t get people the care they needed;
- More than 1 in 4 (28%) were not confident that the reduced care packages they had to administer were ‘fair and safe’
- 4 in 5 respondents (81%) said family and friends are being expected to provide more support to ‘fill in’ where care has been reduced.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society said: “It’s incredibly sad to hear that social care staff – despite efforts to secure enough care for vulnerable people – are feeling frustrated and helpless, battling a system preoccupied with saving money. But it’s unfair to blame local authorities – they’re similarly battling slashed budgets, and have no choice but to ration care.
“What we cannot forget is the human price of this bargain-basement care system. From the man with dementia forced to choose between a hot meal and a wash during a homecare visit, to the 82 year old lady with dementia hospitalised with a urinary tract infection because she stopped getting support to have a shower each day, people with dementia are at the mercy of a system on its knees.
“In the upcoming budget, it’s vital that the government urgently plugs the cavernous hole in funding, and end the needless suffering of people with dementia.”