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Care at home for elderly and disabled drop by a third

Due to pressure from budget cuts, the number of frail elderly and disabled people received care at home has dropped by a third in five years.

The new study revealing this information claimed that councils had slashed this number, due to financial restraints.

The study exposes the scale of rationing now being applied to help with basic tasks such as washing or dressing. It was led by academics at the London School of Economics (LSE).

It claims that the contraction in the care system in the past five years alone is ‘unprecedented’ and warns that further reductions are likely.

Details of the study were published as a committee of MPs continues the process of revising the Government’s Care Bill.

The long-awaited shake-up of the system will reportedly introduce a theoretical £72,000 cap on amount anyone in England should have to pay for care in their lifetime.

Although the number of adults in care homes has only decreased by 8% from 2008 – 2013, the number of elderly and disabled people receiving care either in their own homes or care homes during that time frame has dropped by 27%.

“You can’t tackle the winter A&E crisis, without looking at the historic squeeze on social care,” says Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope and chairman of the Care and Support Alliance.

“We now know that community-based care has been hit hard.

“Chronic underfunding has left hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, who need support to do the basics, like getting up or out of the house, out of the care system.

“Without that support they become isolated, more likely to slip into crisis and end up in A&E.

“The Government has put forward strong proposals in its Care Bill, which will greatly improve a social care system which is on its knees.

“But it’s becoming clear that a huge number of older and disabled people will not see any of the benefits of the new system, because of plans to tightly restrict who gets care. This will place huge pressure on family carers.

“We want the Government to have the courage to see its bold plans through, and make sure that those who need support to live independently get community-based care.

“The Minister has engaged with the sector and acknowledged the issue.

“But the Government needs to commit to properly funding the social care system.”