Cuts In Social Care Are The Root Cause Of A&E Crisis
In response to figures highlighted today by the Labour Party that show an 81% rise in the number of over-90s in England brought to A&E by ambulance, UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham said:
“Andy Burnham is absolutely right to say that a crisis in care has led to the massive increase in older people being rushed to already over-stretched hospital A&E departments. This is a direct result of the draconian cuts in Local Authority spending on social care.
“Regular visits by homecare workers are, arguably, a far more important factor in enabling people to live their daily lives safely and independently in their own homes than GP services. With a massive reduction in the number of people eligible to receive this vital service (highlighted in the recent LSE report), combined with care commissioned by Local Authorities in a way that risks people’s human rights, (as reported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission), the evidence is clear – Government is failing in its duty to support vulnerable and older people properly.
“We call on the Government to redress urgently the cuts in social care funding being implemented by Local Authorities and to direct funding to social care services. This will improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people and deliver savings by reducing the need for the far more expensive care that results from emergency hospital visits.”
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,100 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community. We do this by campaigning, and through leadership and support to social care providers.
Accident and Emergency Attendances in England – 2012-13 report, Health and Social Care Information Centre, 28 January 2014, shows an 81% rise in the number of over-90s taken to A&E by ambulance in the last three years: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13464
“Changes in the patterns of social care provision in England: 2005/6 to 2012/13”, London School of Economics: http://www.pssru.ac.uk/archive/pdf/dp2867.pdf
“Close To Home Recommendations Review”, Equality and Human Rights Commission:
UKHCA has a vetting procedure for its members, all of whom agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found at www.ukhca.co.uk/codeofpractice.aspx.
UKHCA represents 33% of independent and voluntary sector providers in the UK, and estimates that its member organisations employ over 119,000 homecare workers, who deliver over 2.79 million hours of care per week to around 166,000 service users, valued at £1.62 billion per annum.
Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.
The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.
Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from “An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector” at www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?id=109.