Social Care Meltdown

Campaigns Social Care

PATIENT: “I’ve been in hospital for weeks… All the hospital staff have been great and very caring. I need to be back in my own home. I’ve been blind since birth and I usually have care workers who visit me at home.” COUNCIL: “Unfortunately, the agencies we commission to provide care across the borough tell us that they simply do not have the capacity to provide the service….” (R. MacDonald Oldham Chronicle 5/10)

SOCIAL WORKER: “Our Director of Social services has told us last week that we have no financial ….  LD services are always seen as the ones eating up most money – but we have many v complex issues to deal with, including the expectation of funding v expensive services coming up from children’s services,  working with people with autism/ Aspergers who fall between the net and who we are not funded to work with but just cannot leave unsupported, lack of health funding etc etc.  Several of our providers are struggling as the money paid to them is being cut again and again – there will come a point where some of them will not be able to survive and still provide a safe service.”

COUNCILS (from Kings Fund Report “So much has come out of the rest of the council, it is going to come out of children and adult services, it is, because there’s nowhere else for this to come from.” (Local authority)

“Next year cuts to social care look completely horrible.” (Local authority)

“So the situation now across the board really with the exception of [council X] is reaching the untenable stage because it is now proving to be almost impossible to find the staff who are willing to work for the low pay which is made available by the councils.” (Home care provider)

PATIENT ON HER DISCHARGE PROCESS (Kings Fund report): “They didn’t tell me when I went in, I’d have to be non-weight-bearing for a month. Nobody mentioned that to me. So therefore, I’d have to hop. But they came to see me to say, ‘well, we don’t think you’re ready to come home, so we’re going to send you to a nursing home or county hospital’. I said, ‘who’s going to look after my husband? Are you sending him as well?’ Oh no. They now wanted the bed, they wanted to get rid of me. I didn’t want to be in the hospital, I wanted to be home, but they said I couldn’t come home. So I said, ‘I thought I was entitled to a week’s care’. They said, ‘there isn’t any care at the moment’. They are in crisis. There is no care. They haven’t got enough trained-up people. They did nothing.”

We need a campaign against social care cuts caused by government austerity. GPs and CCGs need to join in. We are witnessing the hollowing out of social services. So far, it appears that quality is being maintained mainly through the hard work and commitment of staff. But the number of people served and the range of services has dramatically reduced.

We expect that GPs have seen many examples of patients whose lives have been affected by cuts to social care. We expect that Healthwatch may have similar examples. Please send your stories to ……. GP Magazine….Or to Or to Or to @0606