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Social Care Postcode Gap Expands for Older People

Social Care Postcode Gap Expands for Older People

According to figures that expose gross inequalities in access to social care, older people in England’s most deprived areas are twice as likely to lack the help they need when compared with those in richer locations.

According to figures that expose gross inequalities in access to social care, older people in England’s most deprived areas are twice as likely to lack the help they need when compared with those in richer locations.

The official analysis is also another sign that, because of cuts, this has damaged the ability of councils in poorer areas to meet the growing demand for care, which has notability put pressure on the NHS.

The figures show that a third of men aged 65 and over in the most deprived areas (33%) have an unmet need for at least one “activity of daily living”, such as washing, dressing or going to the toilet.

In the least deprived locations, the figure falls to 15%. Meanwhile, 42% of women over 65 in the most deprived areas have an unmet need for at least one activity, compared with 22% of their equivalents in the richest areas.

The discriminations were exposed in the latest figures from the official Health Survey for England. To calculate this data, they used information on income, employment, education, health, crime, housing and living environment to find the most and least disadvantaged locations. Local authorities with the highest proportion of deprived neighbourhoods are in Middlesbrough, Knowsley, Hull, Liverpool and Manchester.

The Tory chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Izzi Seccombe, said: “Social care need is greater in more deprived areas and this, in turn, places those councils under significant financial pressures. Allowing councils to increase council tax to pay for social care, while helpful in some areas, is of limited use in poorer areas because their weaker tax base means they are less able to raise funds.

“In more deprived areas there is also likely to be a higher number of people who rely on councils to pay for their care. This, in turn, puts even more pressure on the local authority.

“If we are to bridge the inequality gap in social care, we need long-term sustainable funding for the sector. It was hugely disappointing that the chancellor found money for the NHS but nothing for adult social care in the autumn budget. We estimate adult social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by 2020.”

Simon Bottery, from the King’s Fund, said: “We know that need will be higher in the most deprived areas – people get ill earlier and have higher levels of disability, and carry that through into social care need.

“We also know that the councils that have the greater need to spend are, on average, raising less money through the precept [earmarked for funding social care].”

With this being said, there is a worryingly high number of cases where individuals are not getting the right sort of care and depriving them of their basic needs. This also means that these series of factors have led to poor areas finding themselves at the sharp end of the care crisis. Demand for help is higher in more deprived areas, while the councils catering for them have suffered the most from central government cuts and are the least able to raise extra funds.

Additionally, this has now caused a knock-on effect for the NHS seeing elderly patients ending up in hospital unnecessarily after accidents at home, while they cannot be discharged unless they have adequate community care in place.

Here at Compass CHC, we know how important it is to get the right care for yourself or your loved one, as well as getting costs covered for care home fees or care in general. If you need any advice regarding NHS continuing healthcare funding, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Author: Fiona Gilbert BSc (Hons), MA


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