The beleaguered health and social care system in the UK has been hit by another particularly depressing report, this time from Age UK.
The charity’s research has found that many bed-bound individuals are not getting the help they require.
Moreover, many any elderly individuals are left without a place to go as councils cut rates they pay for care and local authority residents are evicted in favour of those who can pay for luxury retirement accommodation.
At present, 1.2 million people over 65 do not get the help they need – this figure has risen by 48% since 2010.
One in five vulnerable individuals who need help with tasks such as washing and dressing is on their own. Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, stated that the charity’s research suggested that 4,900 people cannot wash, dress, eat, get out of bed.”How they are managing, I can’t imagine,” Ms Abrahams said.
Councils have cut social care spending by £160 million in real terms in the last five years. These cuts have knock-on effects on the NHS, particularly in the form of ‘bed blocking‘ which has increased by 40% in the past year alone. Such is the crisis in social care, that NHS head, Simon Stevens, has told the government to stop fetishising the NHS and spend more fund on social care instead. That, and perhaps consider new health care models.
Unit 3A: Economy and the impact of austerity.
Unit 3A: Welfare State – the NHS and its problems, consensus over NHS spending.