[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Social Care FUNDING : GREEN Or RED HERRING PAPER ? Various Schemes And Utter Madness : All Together In This Thread - Page 15 - Carers UK Forum

Social Care FUNDING : GREEN Or RED HERRING PAPER ? Various Schemes And Utter Madness : All Together In This Thread

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
179 posts
" Get on with it " : Wakefield Council to lobby government over social care bill as 30,000 carers across Wakefield " Go unpaid. "

More than 30,000 people across the Wakefield district are caring for loved ones without pay, according to figures put forward by the council's ruling Labour group.

Councillors from the party are set to call on the government to "get on" and publish much delayed plans for the future of social care funding.

Local authorities are creaking under the weight of the rising cost of looking after an increasingly elderly population. But Theresa May's administration repeatedly postponed the unveiling of new proposals on the issue.

And Councillor Faith Heptinstall, Labour's Cabinet member for health, has highlighted the unpaid carers stat - which equates to nearly one in 10 of the district's population - as elected members prepare to discuss the matter at a meeting next Wednesday.

A motion put forward by Coun Heptinstall says: "Our adult social care system is under unsustainable pressure.

"Major reform of the care system is needed if we are to meet the needs of every adult who requires support appropriately and effectively and end the growing social care crisis."

A senior council officer recently said that delays to the bill were causing nervousness among healthcare companies in the private sector, and stifling investment.

Andrew Balchin, Wakefield's corporate director for adults and health, also said the authority "had given up" on trying to get an answer about when the government's plans might be unveiled.

Coun Heptinstall's motion adds: "Investment in our health services is always welcome.

"However, the government’s current sticking plaster approach to funding social care through short-term handouts makes it difficult to plan for the medium to long-term.

"Unless social care is properly funded, thousands of older people will continue to fall through the net, adding to the pressures that we have seen rising every year on our local hospitals."
Social care services in England under extreme duress, says Age UK.

Charity warns services for older and sick people in some areas will collapse without more funds.

Social care services in some areas of England are so fragile that they face complete collapse next year unless the government commits substantial extra investment in next week’s one-year spending review, Age UK has warned.

In its biannual report on the state of care, the charity said services for older and sick and disabled people were under extreme duress and unable to respond to rapidly growing need.

The failure of funding to keep pace with rising demand – nearly £8bn has been cut from council adult social care budgets since 2010 – meant 1.4 million people went without help with basic activities such as getting out of bed, washing and going to the toilet.

“Growing levels of desperation described by those individuals, families and professionals on the sharp end bear testament to a system working at full pelt, stretched to its limit and still failing people left, right and centre,” the report said.

It also highlighted fears that the market for residential care in many areas was failing, with half of councils witnessing the closure of domestic home care providers in their area in the past year, and a third seeing residential care homes shut down.

Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams, said the report painted a “frightening” picture of what might happen to social care unless the government intervened decisively to lift massive pressure on local authority social care budgets.

“When you strip out the complexity the story is really very simple: demand is going up but funding and supply are going down, leaving increasing numbers of older people to fend for themselves, rely on loved ones if that’s an option for them, or pay through the nose via a hefty stealth tax without which many care homes would not stay afloat,” Abrahams said.

( Stealth tax ? Think beyond the box , AGE UK !!! )

“Things are so bad in some places that it is becoming impossible to source care, however much money you have. Certainly, the idea that there will always be a care home or home care agency able to help you in your neighbourhood is increasingly out of date.”

The report is the latest in a string of recent reports highlighting the fragility of the social care system in the face of massive underfunding. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said in June that the system was adrift “in a sea of inertia” as Brexit dominated ministers’ energy and attention.

A cross-party Lords committee including two former chancellors called in July for an immediate £8bn investment to tackle the long-neglected “national scandal” of social care that had left more than a million vulnerable older people without proper support.

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, said in July that he had a “clear plan” to fix the social care crisis. However, subsequent reports suggest that, having shelved the long-delayed social care green paper commissioned by his predecessor Theresa May, Johnson’s own blueprint was unlikely to be published before the end of the year.

Responding to the Age UK report, the Health Foundation thinktank said the English social care system needed £1bn from next week’s spending round to stabilise it financially and prevent collapse, although this would be a sticking plaster and not the long-term plan that is required.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have given local authorities access to nearly £4bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410m is available for adults and children’s services. The prime minister is committed to fixing the social care system and we will outline proposals in due course.”

Labour pledges free personal care for over-65s in England.

Labour is promising free personal care in England for over-65s most in need of it, so they will not have to pay for help with dressing, washing and meals.

At the moment, those with savings of more than £14,250 have to contribute to the cost of home or residential help.

Labour says the pledge, costing an estimated £6bn a year, will double the number of those not having to pay.

It would bring England into line with Scotland, where personal care is free for those with the most severe needs.

In his keynote speech to the Labour conference on Monday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell will say the move will be funded out of general taxation.

A future Labour government would pass legislation to enshrine a right to free personal care for those most in need, consulting on "eligibility criteria to ensure this system works for all".


The devil will be in the details IF ever implemented.

the move will be funded out of general taxation.

The sweetest of music to our ears ... a giant step forward ... in the right direction !!!

More on this breaking news :

Labour to announce it would reverse austerity cuts to adult social care.

Party expected to offer free help with washing, dressing and meals for people over 65.

A Labour government would launch a multibillion-pound plan to reverse austerity cuts to care services and fix England’s growing social care crisis, shadow ministers are expected to announce next week.

A £7bn-a-year programme of free personal care for people over 65 who need help with washing, dressing and eating will be at the heart of the strategy, which is likely to be unveiled by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, on Monday.

The plan would pump an additional £8bn into local authority adult social care departments over the next few years to increase the number of care packages, expand specialist dementia services, and invest in higher pay and extra training for care staff.

Labour would introduce a lifetime cap limiting the amount individuals pay for residential care before state support kicks in. It does not specify a figure but promises it will be less than the £72,000 cap set in the 2014 Care Act, which was never implemented.

“The adult care system is so mired in crisis that we have to do something about it,” a Labour source said. “We have to have a system that is fair across the generations and pools the financial risks.”

The plan would be paid for through general taxation, in a clear rejection of the idea, favoured on some on the right, that fair and comprehensive adult social care services can be paid for through private insurance.

Free personal care was introduced for over-65s in Scotland in 2002 to pay for help with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, going to the toilet, and meal preparation. Numbers receiving free care doubled, but the cost was offset by reductions in costly hospital admissions.

Funding will be distributed to councils according to levels of local need, and national standards of eligibility will be set to attempt to remove the postcode lottery by which individuals with similar needs receive differing levels of care depending on where they live.

Adult social care has climbed up the domestic political agenda in recent months, amid signs of growing political consensus that the system is in crisis. An estimated 1.4 million people who need care are denied it as a result of cuts, means-testing and rationing, while many others receive only basic “clean and feed” levels of care.

Providing care for the growing number of older people – by 2040 a quarter of the UK population will be over 65 – as well as a big increase in the number of disabled people of working age has put huge strain on councils whose finances have been squeezed by nine years of cuts.

Since 2010, £7.7bn has been cut from adult social care budgets in England. Last month the Age UK charity described the care system as “working at full pelt, stretched to its limit and still failing people left, right and centre”. There are fears that in some areas of England private social care providers dependent on council funding could collapse.

It became a key issue for the Tory leadership contenders over the summer, and one of Boris Johnson’s first promises after becoming prime minister was to “fix the crisis in social care”, although plans to publish funding options have reportedly been put back until at least after Christmas.

The sheer expense of reforming social care funding has meant that proposals have been vulnerable in recent years to being denigrated as a “death tax” or a “dementia tax”, meaning any plans for public investment are seen as electorally high-risk.

However, a high-powered all-party House of Lords report in July, chaired by the Tory Lord Forsyth, which anticipated Labour’s policy by calling for billions to be invested in social care, suggests there may be scope for political consensus on the issue.


Pure quesswork as to how this will work ... if ever implemented !!!
A little more ... The Mourning Star ... a little on the bias side ?

Labour's national care service will provide free care for the elderly.

LABOUR will set out an audacious bid to provide dignity and security to everyone in old age tomorrow by vowing to establish a national care service with sweeping new powers.

Shadow mental health minister Barbara Keeley and shadow chancellor John McDonnell will formally announce the policy at the Labour Party conference, promising to vastly increase funding to help people live independently in their own homes.

Labour will outline plans to introduce free personal care for all older people, offering help with daily tasks such as bathing, washing, cooking and assistance around the house.

Any outsourcing of the service has been ruled out, with care provision being provided by local authorities.

Levels of support for care staff will also be massively improved — and Labour has pledged that its national care service will guarantee proper training across the industry.

Workers will also receive a real living wage and zero-hours contracts in social care will be abolished.

The initiative follows years of scandals in which care workers have been paid below the minimum wage by private contractors — only dementia sufferers have been entitled to publicly funded care.

The new service is expected to double the number of people receiving state-funded care while relieving thousands of people of the heavy burden of care costs.

Announcing the policy at the conference, Mr McDonnell will say: “I believe the right to dignity in retirement is a part of that right to health at any stage of life.

“The truth is our social care sector is a national scandal.

“Nearly £8 billion has been taken from council budgets for social care since 2010.

“The result is one million people not getting the care they need, 87 people dying a day waiting for care, more than five million unpaid carers looking after loved ones and and overworked, underpaid care workers are only being allowed 10-minute visits to those they care for because the current system won’t pay for more.”

Ms Keeley will say: “Tackling the crisis in social care is a priority for Labour.

“Our plans for social care will address the immediate crisis in care, double the number of people receiving publicly-funded care and stop people with dementia being treated unfairly by the care system.

“It is vital that social care is a universally available public service which provides dignity, security and compassionate care.

“Our national care service will have these principles at its core.”

General union GMB praised the announcement, saying: “It’s welcome to see Labour putting forward a bold plan to fix a social care sector that has been left to crumble around our ears.”

National secretary Rehana Azam said: “Our highly skilled members working in care are undervalued and underpaid public servants. GMB has been campaigning to professionalise the sector for many years.

“This is in sharp contrast to a serially unreliable and untrustworthy Tory Prime Minister who had promised a plan for social care to great fanfare but has yet again failed to deliver.”

Anyone around in 2009 ... and involved with the discussions then ... will probably share my sense of " Here we go again ... promising the
world ... and finally delivering nothing " ... ???

Any outsourcing of the service has been ruled out, with care provision being provided by local authorities.

Oh well , one out of two ain't bad ... funding through general taxation ... the return of social care to the NHS too much of a giant step
forward , me thinks ???

( As such , social workers will STILL be involved in CHC / NHS Continung Healthcare ... groans heard across the forum ??? )

If Barbara Keeley is to be believed , pampering to the trade unions ... definately not to us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At last , the Daily Chuckle has joined the battle ?

Why no one deserves to die like Mum and Dad: Woman is to deliver Mail's social care petition to No. 10 after seeing her parents spend their £450k savings while battling dementia

Jill Medlock will today help deliver Mail's social care crisis petition to Number 10.

She watched as her dementia-hit parents endured a terrible, undignified decline.

Their care cost £450,000, all but £30,000 of their savings including their house.

350,000 people have urged Government to ensure no one has to sell their home.

The late Peter Banbridge was driven, intelligent, resourceful and not the sort to rely on others. He put a loveless childhood and poor education behind him and went on to take a heroic part in the D-Day landings.

He studied maths and finance at night school and worked his way up to become a bank manager in Peterborough, a district councillor and leading light in the local horticultural scene.

In 1985, he bought his dream home — a light and airy modern house in Northamptonshire with sweeping lawns and a greenhouse for his prize tomatoes — and squirreled away the rest of his savings.

But, in 2007, after behaving increasingly erratically for more than a decade, his wife Joyce was diagnosed with vascular dementia and, in 2012, moved into a £4,400-a-month care home.

Three years later, Peter received the same diagnosis and, over the next few years, almost everything he and Joyce had worked for — the house, savings and shares, in total more than £450,000 — went on care at a cost of nearly £10,000 a month for their separate care homes.

According to their daughter, Jill Medlock, each endured a terrible, undignified decline.

Peter, who, towards the end, suffered from blood cancer, would be left alone in his room with no pain relief. Some days, he would scream and scream for hours.

‘None of the staff had time simply to sit, be with them and ease their anxieties — the sheer volume of work dehumanised them, no one was being kind,’ says Jill, 59, who will today accompany the Daily Mail to Downing Street to hand in its petition — signed by more than 350,000 people — urging the Government to end the social care crisis.

‘No one wants to end their life like this. No one wants to be alone and in pain. They were paying for it all, but they were not treated like people.’

But they were people. Real people who, from challenging beginnings, went on to live good, rich lives — putting more into the community than they took out.

Born in London’s East End in July 1927, Peter spent his childhood being shuttled between an unloving mother and a kinder aunt. He had little in the way of guidance or role models and, desperate to get away, joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 15.

There he flourished. He was sent on special operations when he was little more than a boy, played a part in the D-Day landings, was awarded three medals and, at 16, was put in charge of an entire ship of Italian prisoners of war.

Meanwhile, Joyce, a striking beauty, grew up in poverty in the East End. The third of five siblings, she left to join the WAAF.

Joyce and Peter met by chance in 1955. She was waiting for her then boyfriend outside the Odeon cinema in Islington, North London, when Peter spotted her, strode up in his dashing Merchant Navy uniform and the boyfriend became a distant memory.

They married in 1956, he left the Navy and they went on to have three children, Tony, now 63, Jill and Rob. For decades they moved around the country — from Essex to the Midlands, Lancashire to Plymouth — chasing financial positions. They worked hard and, in 1985, settled in Warmington, Northamptonshire.

After years of ups and downs, they were happy and adored being part of a community. Peter became a councillor first for the parish and then for the district, he was a lifelong member of the Tory party and an avid gardener renowned for his tomatoes and roses. Local flower growers still compete for the Peter Banbridge Bowl.

Joyce loved sewing and art (she’d had to turn down a scholarship to art school as a teenager because of lack of funds) and socialising with her friends from the Women’s Institute. But most of all, she adored her family.

‘She was a very loving mum with the most amazing sense of humour,’ says Jill. ‘She and Dad were happier and closer than they had ever been. They even started organising barn dances together!’

But then, slowly, everything began to unravel. Joyce would get up in the middle of the night, catch a bus and forget where to get off. She became anxious and confused.

In the late Eighties, Peter — ever prepared and organised — had downsized, selling their dream home and buying a more manageable bungalow near by. He also put money aside to pay for Joyce’s inevitable care.

His wife’s decline in the early Noughties prompted him to go one step further and enter into an agreement with a loan company to release equity in the bungalow. (This involves a lender advancing a discounted lump sum in exchange for full ownership of the property, but allows the borrower to continue living in it.)

‘Dad could see what was happening. He had already dipped into his savings to pay for his mother’s dementia care, so he knew he would have to pay for Mum,’ says Jill. ‘He just didn’t expect to have to pay for his, too.’

By the time Joyce moved into her first care home, in 2012, Peter was declining, too. His wife’s more dramatic symptoms had eclipsed his growing mood swings and irascibility.

‘In retrospect, I think they fell ill at about the same time,’ says Jill. ‘He insisted on struggling on and was very private, but the house went to pieces and alarm bells were really ringing.’

By 2015, they were in separate, extremely expensive care homes; bewildered, confused and, despite the vast fees, often neglected.

According to Jill, at Peter’s first care home (which cost £4,300 a month) staff ignored two mini strokes and left him on the floor in his Y-fronts, unshaven and unfed, after he swore at them.

‘He had dementia!’ says Jill. ‘He ended up having a major stroke and was permanently disabled.’

Following his hospitalisation for the stroke, she moved him to a new, smarter, £5,000-a-month home where the care was better.

Meanwhile, her parents’ bungalow was sold by the loan company for £250,000.

Joyce was moved between three care homes. The first, a Bupa home, started well but, after three years, a combination of cutbacks and Joyce’s medical needs made it unsuitable.

‘She was neglected — left with soiled pads and without pain relief,’ says Jill, who is disabled herself. ‘I practically lived there, but I felt so impotent.’

The two subsequent homes were more expensive — nearly £5,000 a month — but not much better.

‘It’s not the staff, it’s the system,’ says Jill. ‘There is no time for human kindness. When you have dementia, you are constantly anxious but no one is holding your hand. No one is sitting with you. It is utterly inhumane to leave patients alone in a room.’

Sadly death, when it came, was not peaceful. Peter passed away in December 2016, aged 89.

‘He died in extreme pain,’ says Jill. ‘He had lost the ability to swallow, he was screaming in pain from the cancer, and the trauma triggered his war memories. He thought he’d been bombed.’

Joyce followed on Good Friday, 2018. She was 92.

In both cases, Jill had to plead and eventually make a spectacle of herself in the care home corridors for them to be given intravenous morphine to ease their pain.

In total, their care cost more than £450,000 — all bar £30,000 of the Banbridges’ life savings.

‘No one deserves to die like this,’ says Jill. ‘But particularly not when you’re paying so much.’

If nothng else , more will be asking questions ... a few , the RIGHT ones ???

IF CANCER , all care would have been FREE ... and funded through GENERAL taxation.
Calls for government to fix social care " Crisis " in Notts.

Politicians from all parties have called on the Government to do more to provide a long-term plan for adult social care in Nottinghamshire.

The issue was debated during a meeting of the county council on Thursday (October 10) and while there was broad agreement about its importance, councillors disagreed on what action should be taken.

The authority has now agreed to send a letter from the leader of the council – Kay Cutts – to the secretary of state for health and social care asking for dates when a plan will be produced.

Social care funding has provided a difficult challenge for local councils, with several factors contributing, including an older population living longer and with more complex needs, a rising cost of care due in part to the rising minimum wage, and significant cuts to councils’ budgets.

A long-expected plan for how social care will be structured in the future has already been delayed several times.

Known as the social care green paper, the Government has missed several of its own deadlines to publish the plan.

During a meeting at County Hall, a motion critical of the Government was brought by Ashfield Independent councillors.

It pointed out the amount the Conservative-led county council is spending on social care was now £11.9 million more than it raised by council tax.

It said: “The green paper aimed to confront two issues: Chronic underfunding of the existing means tested care system caused by the huge cuts in government funding to councils since 2010 and the urgent need to protect self-funding people outside the current system from catastrophic care costs.”

However, the Conservative group at the council asked for this motion to be changed, and put forward its own motion, which was less critical of the Government, but still called on Westminster to publish the green paper.

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak represents Mansfield North for Labour, and told the meeting: “There are a lot of injustices at the moment with social care, one of which is dementia, and the need of people with dementia to sell their homes to pay for their social care requirements.

“I have a son who has fought and won, hopefully, cancer in the last few months, and the care he had from the health service was absolutely incredible, second-to-none, and every last bit of it was funded by the health service.

“And I just see this sense of injustice, because what is the difference between someone who has dementia and someone who has cancer?

“I think everybody should be afforded the same level of treatment, regardless of where it’s coming from, social care or the health service.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are determined to fix the crisis in social care and will set out our proposals in due course.”

My cancer patient with dementia analogy seems to get about alot ?
Tories still to decide on approach to social care crisis that ruined Theresa May's election campaign, health secretary admits

Matt Hancock will not commit to a cap on bills, saying : " I’m not going to get into the details of it. "

The Conservative general election manifesto may not contain firm proposals to solve the social care crisis, the health secretary has admitted.

Matt Hancock said his party was “working on a plan” – after the controversy derailed Theresa May’s campaign in 2017 – but added: “We are not ready to publish it yet.”

He would not commit to the Tories promising a cap on social care bills, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m not going to get into the details of it.”

Mr Hancock also raised fresh questions about the meetings senior British civil servants held with US health firms to discuss the price of NHS drugs in a post-Brexit trade deal, revealed this week.

There had been “no agreement, no formal meetings”, the health secretary said, adding: “No mandate has been set for how these trade talks will happen” – while insisting the price of medicines would be “off the table”.

The comments came ahead of the House of Lords clearing the way for the election on 12 December, with no amendments expected when the bill reaches the upper chamber.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, brushed off Labour’s dismal poll ratings, saying: “I think we will win – I think we will have a majority government by Christmas.”

Noting Boris Johnson had warned his own MPs of a “tough campaign”, adding: “It’s going to be Labour breathing down his neck in this election and overtaking him.”

Mr Hancock argued the Conservatives – unlike in 2017 – now had a “positive domestic agenda” to win over voters, pointing to big-spending pledges on hospitals, schools and the police.

But that campaign was fatally undermined by Ms May’s plans for people to pay more towards their care, initially without a cap, which was dubbed a “dementia tax” on the election trail.

It is now nearly a year since Mr Hancock claimed a green paper to overhaul social care was about to be published. It has been delayed numerous times.

The heath secretary is known to favour a German-style plan for all workers over the age of 40, including pensioners, to pay a new ring-fenced tax - perhaps 2.5 per cent of their wages – ring-fenced for social care.

It is unclear if the Conservatives will put it in their manifesto, if the party fears it runs into fresh opposition from people unwilling to pay the levy.

Labour, at its annual conference, unveiled a £6bn-a-year commitment for elderly people to enjoy free personal care, allowing them to remain in their own homes.

Mr Hancock argued his party would make the election about delivering Brexit and an offer to voters beyond the saga of the last three years.

“What we're proposing is to be able to deliver Brexit on a deal and then to be able to get on to the NHS, to having 20,000 more police, to the increases in spending on schools and strengthening school standards, on to strengthening the environment, and all the other things on the domestic agenda, that only we can deliver – because it's only by having a majority in parliament we'll be able to move beyond all the things that have blocked this from all happening in the last few years,” he said.
Councils " Need billions more to fund adult care as population ages. "

IFS puts the hike in costs down to growing numbers of disabled adults and rising wages.

( Agreed but ... how to finance ... only through GENERAL taxation ... just like OUR NHS ... NOT Council Tax !!! )

Councils will need billions of pounds in funding increases over the course of the next parliament to finance adult social care, an economic thinktank has found.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said a hike in costs was mainly the result of an ageing population, growing numbers of disabled adults and rising wages.

Local authorities depend primarily on council tax and business rates to fund their spending, and a growing gap is likely to emerge between revenue raised and the rising cost of service provision, the IFS reported.

Its analysis suggested that if council tax rises in line with inflation, local authorities will need an extra £4bn a year from central government between now and 2024-25 and £18bn a year by the mid-2030s to maintain social care services at their current level.

If council tax were to rise by 4% a year, twice the rate of inflation, local authorities are likely to need an additional £1.6bn a year in real-terms funding in five years’ time.

David Phillips, the author of the report and an associate director at the IFS, said: “The additional funding announced for councils next year could be just a lull in the storm. Detailed public spending plans for 2021-22 and beyond have not yet been published.

“But we do know that councils will rely on council tax and business rates for more of their funding going forwards … those revenues just don’t look like they will keep pace with the rising costs of services like adult social care – even with council tax bills going up at 4% a year, which is double the rate of inflation.

“That means finding billions more in funding to top up existing local tax revenues, even before thinking about new initiatives like free personal care.”

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s director, said: “The problems facing social care are national, but for too long successive governments have left local councils to carry the can. That’s been grossly unfair to local communities and above all to older and disabled people, more than 1.5 million of whom now have some unmet need for care.

“This is such a big problem now that to have credibility at this election every political party that aspires to govern needs to bring forward a policy to fix care, once and for all.”

People over-65 are expected make up a fifth of the UK population by 2030, according to the charity.
Social care consequences must not be ducked during general election – The Yorkshire Post says.

THIS WEEKEND’S report about an ageing society – and how changing demographics will alter the face of every Yorkshire community in the decades to come – should be placed in the context of the last election.

Theresa May did, at least, acknowledge the importance of the issue in 2017 – the problem was that her party’s manifesto proposals on social care were so cackhanded, and ill-conceived, that they prompted an embarrassing U-turn following a political and public outcry.

Yet the issue has not gone away. Quite the opposite. Its importance has increased still further in the intervening period – demand for care services continues to increase with each passing day – while politicians have simply paid ‘lip service’ to the need to ensure that the elderly, vulnerable and isolated can live with dignity.

Countless promises by Jeremy Hunt and Matt Hancock, the past and present Health and Social Care Secretaries, to publish a policy prospectus have failed to materialise; Boris Johnson appears to have forgotten his Downing Street pledge, on the day he succeeded Mrs May, to prioritise the issue and Labour appear preoccupied with scoring cheap political points rather than grasping the magnitude of the challenge.

However what they fail to realise, as they refuse to deviate from their pre-rehearsed election scripts, is that the cost of inaction is an even greater care crisis that will be even more difficult to reconcile and resolve when the next Parliament convenes. After all, the consequences of this social care vacuum will continue to be felt long after Brexit has been resolved and reconciled.


" Tipping point " warning as social care costs spiral across Yorkshire.

Yorkshire’s population is being split by an age schism that runs far deeper than the traditional divide between town and country, experts have warned.

Along with parts of the rest of Britain, the region is said to be balanced on a “demographic tipping point” that will lead to inequalities in housing and social care if the issue is not addressed by the next government.

The Resolution Foundation, an independent research body focused on economic and social policy, calls for urgent action to address what it says are inequalities in the current system of funding care for an ageing population.

Torsten Bell, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “The level of unfairness in the system at the moment is a disgrace.

“Lots of people who need care are not getting it, while others are having to run down all their assets in order to pay for it.

“As we head into the 2020s we will enter a decade in which we really do see a big increase in the pensioner population relative to the working age population, and we’re going to have to have answers.”

The foundation’s latest report highlights the country’s increasing age profile, warning that “although it may feel like ageing has been on the agenda for a while, we are now at a demographic tipping point and our big transition into old age is only just beginning.”

It says that although the average age in Yorkshire is 40, about the same as the national figure, there are huge variations within the county. In Richmondshire, in the Yorkshire Dales, the proportion of the population over 65 has risen from 15 per cent in 2001, to 21 per cent today. At the same time, the proportion aged under 16 has fallen from 20 to 17 per cent.

But Mr Bell said that although rural areas were ageing faster on average, it was “too simplistic” to plot the age gap on geographic lines.

“We can’t just couch it in terms of old, left-behind places versus young, strong-economy places,” he said.

The foundation warns that new retirees need “clarity” on the level of contributions they will be expected to make towards their own social care.

It also says the country needs “a bigger pooled risk so that nobody has to face huge costs”.

Mr Bell said: “Everyone may have to pay a little bit, but funding cannot be based just on what an area can afford to spend. It should also be based on the need in that local area.”

At a conference on social care in York yesterday, a campaigner held aloft cardboard cutouts of the three main party leaders, who had declined invitations to attend. Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, said the sector was “in crisis” and demanded pledges on reform.
179 posts