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Crisis in funding of social care

(60 Posts)
MarthaBeck Wed 06-Feb-19 14:15:09

According to Age UK: 50,000 elderly have died waiting for social care package. More than 50,000 people have died waiting for care while ministers dither over long-awaited plans to overhaul the funding of social care, Age UK estimated that 54,000 people have died.
Why is the Gov dragging its heels in tackling this crisis?

Beammeupscottie Wed 06-Feb-19 14:39:25

To save money.

gillybob Wed 06-Feb-19 14:53:45

My guess MarthaBeck is that they do not have a clue just how to fund this. I would hazard a guess that most of these deaths will have been the poorest people in society from the poorest LA's.

For example..... Raising taxes. Not going to be popular with the young having to pay out more and more just to stand still.

Raising council taxes...... our council tax is already up there as one of the highest in the country yet we are a very poor borough in the NE of England with the lowest wage brackets.

Raising NI (see above raising taxes) this would not only hit hard working young people but would also undoubtedly hit struggling employers already paying ridiculous amounts in what is effectively an employment tax.

Raising inheritance tax def not popular with those wishing to leave a substantial inheritance to their children/grandchildren.

EllanVannin Wed 06-Feb-19 15:06:48

Stop sending billions in foreign aid ! Charity begins at home.

JenniferEccles Wed 06-Feb-19 17:24:18

EllanVannin I completely agree with you.

The foreign aid budget is a scandal especially as so much of it just goes into the pockets of corrupt regimes, rather then helping the poor overseas.

Just think what good those billions each year could do here.

Luckygirl Wed 06-Feb-19 17:48:55

I have been pursuing a conversation with my MP on this subject; a conservative who is an excellent constituency MP - same about the party allegiance! But this MP recognises that the cutting of grants to LAs so that they can meet their responsibilities is a disaster.

LAs have legal obligations set under statute - but they have insufficient money to meet these - it is an unholy mess. All it needs is for the government to prioritise services to the under-privileged and follow that with the money.

Lazigirl Wed 06-Feb-19 17:50:35

Foreign aid ((0.7% of government's overall budget) is not simply a rich country such as ours transfering money to a poor country for altruistic reasons, but I hope we do consider we have a moral obligation as a rich country. Foreign aid is given in long term British interests and is given for many different political reasons. For example, commercial access, rewards for an approved government, for military allies, diplomatic reasons, to help prevent terrorism, migration and disease to name but a handful. Nothing's straightforward is it?

Lazigirl Wed 06-Feb-19 17:59:11

I agree Luckygirl but they are focussed on Brexit whilst the country is crumbling.

grannypauline Thu 07-Feb-19 20:06:27

Scrap Trident - save billions, and, possibly, the planet

Iam64 Thu 07-Feb-19 20:25:24

Luckygirl is correct, l.a.'s have statutory responsibilities but the austerity agenda means they don't have the finances to meet their statutory responsibilities to any client group, including the elderly.
I now feel I worked in a golden age, during the late 70's and 80's when we had in house resources to support our communities. So far as the elderly were concerned, we had teams of Home Care workers, who could visit, lay the fire, make a cup of tea and chat to the 'client'. A hot meal was delivered mid day, cooked in our kitchens, and delivered by our drivers and their assistant. A "no reply to meals on wheels" would be phoned in and a social worker or social work assistant sent out to see if Mr X had gone to the pub or had fallen and was unable to get up.
Gradually, l.a's had to outsource all those services. They're now run by private agencies and the carer gets 15 minutes max. The carer isn't paid for the travel between visits.
Gillybob we can afford it, honesty.
As for 'charity begins at home' - tell that to the starving children in the Lebanon or the children being bombed in Syria. We are a wealthy country and can afford to offer assistance to those in need.

notanan2 Thu 07-Feb-19 20:31:49

Its not just about funding. It is also about staffing. The funding is often in place long before the care being started because there are no carers available.

I've also known people who self funded who couldnt get anyone, all the agencies could offer was wait lists.

Iam64 Thu 07-Feb-19 20:43:23

The staffing issues are linked to pay and conditions. That’s linked to the fact private agencies want to make profits, understandably.
It’s my belief that education, criminal justice, social care and health care are areas that should be not for profit

grannypauline Thu 07-Feb-19 20:50:19

Please include:utilities and railways.

Iam64 Thu 07-Feb-19 21:11:29

Thanks grannypauline, you’re right to add those essentials

Luckygirl Thu 07-Feb-19 22:10:38

Funding is key, but part of the problem lies in the outsourcing, which is based on political dogma and not on what is best for those in need of help. It is inefficient, detached, lacking commitment and a sense of pride and team working. It is simply massively inferior to the sort of services that we provided in house, as Iam says.

If I needed some help for a client, I walked down the corridor and talked to the home care organiser. If that care was not working well, I would knock on that same door and we would talk it through. I knew the monitoring and inspection procedures and had confidence in the services I was initiating.

The same with LA residential homes - we knew how they were run, monitored and the training and support that the staff were receiving. We were all pulling together to achieve the best.

It is a fragmented mish-mash now. How e claw our way back from this mess I do not know.

FountainPen Thu 07-Feb-19 22:29:03

Private equity firms buying and selling care homes to make money for their investors. You & Yours from 2018 on the financing of Four Seasons Care Homes:

www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b09qb08h

MissAdventure Thu 07-Feb-19 22:47:43

My mums care package was half an hour, three times a day.
Social services were rather irate when we pointed out that some visits were three minutes long.
Some days were condensed into 4 hours, with those breakfast, dinner and bedtime calls being made between those hours.
They didn't care.
Perhaps if they worked smarter they could better fund those in need.

Iam64 Fri 08-Feb-19 06:52:02

MissA were those services from companies outsourced from the l.a.? I don't know any social work areas that provide their own home care these days, it's all had to be outsourced because their own staff have been made redundant (austerity)
My experience is as Luckygirl says, we worked in the same buildings, knew each other well and worked cooperatively to meet the needs of clients we also had known often over years. I'm not saying it was perfect but I'm certain it was better than current provision.

Anja Fri 08-Feb-19 07:42:53

I simply doesn’t make sense that these services are outsourced to private companies who then make a profit

Lazy accounting by LAs.

Bring these services back in-house. Care Homes too.

Iam64 Fri 08-Feb-19 07:51:59

Anja - is it lazy accounting by la's?
I remember the pressure to close residential care homes and outsource services because it would be cheaper. Of course, it was never going to be cheaper because profits had to be made, it also lacks the quality that in house services had.
I agree bring the services back in house but, how do you d that when every year la's have their budgets cut by a government with no interest in quality and an ideological need to use private not public.
The private children's provision is massively expensive and offers very poor quality of care.

MissAdventure Fri 08-Feb-19 08:05:54

Yes, Iam, it was a care agency.
We couldn't understand how social services could be quite happy to pay for half 1.5 hours a day when actually getting sometimes 10 mins.

Iam64 Fri 08-Feb-19 08:11:19

Thanks Miss A, I thought as much. Shocking isn't it. I've already said I know things weren't perfect when services were in house but, they were so much better than they are now.
So much depends on the relationships between service users and those providing the service. In our team, we had established contact with Mrs S over a number of years. The home carer was part of our team and if she said Mrs S was struggling, we'd re-assess. We had contact numbers for family members, sometimes they'd call into the office to see the case manager. Not perfect but person centred. I feel genuine despair at the way things have changed.

Anja Fri 08-Feb-19 08:22:18

Iam there was a move by LAs to outsource as much as they could at one time....refuge collection, home care packages, sell off Care Homes, etc.. They even paid ‘consultant agencies’ vast amounts to show them where they could ‘save money’!

This meant workers were forced to accept differentay and conditions, and there was less regulation, standards dropped, relations with workers deteriorated and so on.

False economy.

I was working for an LA at the time in the 1990s when this was becoming the thing to do. Any idiot could see what the end result would be, except that is the Council Officers and the Elected Councillors. The former simply wanted these services off-loaded and the latter hadn’t a clue.

If you’ve ever worked for local government you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Anja Fri 08-Feb-19 08:23:47

MissA and sometimes it is the ‘customer’ who is being ripped off as, if they can afford it, they have to pay for their own ‘care’ package.

Anja Fri 08-Feb-19 08:25:22

..workers were forced to accept different pay and conditions...