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Social care survey highlights good care but doesn’t tell whole story

05 June 2013

Carers UK has responded to figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showing 65% of carers receiving social care support were satisfied with the services they and their families received.

The survey, of almost 60,000 carers receiving support, showed that:

  • 43 per cent of respondents felt they were encouraged and supported in their caring role, 40 per cent reported they had some encouragement but not enough and 16 per cent said they had no encouragement or support.
  • 42 per cent of respondents said they had as much social contact as they wanted with people they liked, 45 per cent said they had adequate contact, but 14 per cent said they had little social contact and felt socially isolated.
  • 6 in 10 said that, relating to getting enough sleep and eating well, they were able to look after themselves - but 26 per cent said they felt they couldn't look after themselves well enough with 14 per cent said they were neglecting themselves.

Responding to the results, Emily Holzhauasen, Director of Policy for Carers UK, said:

“These figures show positive satisfaction rates amongst those families who are receiving some social care support . This is welcome and the results highlight examples of the difference that the right support can make to carers’ health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

However the figures do not show the whole picture. Many carers are used to struggling alone, and saying you are grateful of and satisfied with a specific service  does not mean that they are receiving enough help. The survey highlights significant numbers who were accessing services but saying the help was not enough, many were still feeling isolated and were neglecting their own health and wellbeing as a result of caring.

Furthermore these figures do not take account of the millions of carers who do not qualify for social care services.

As we prepared for national Carers Week next week, Government cannot ignore the growing crisis in our social care system.

By next year over £2.6 billion will have been taken out of social care budgets in the last few years, at a time where demand for care and support services is rising rapidly. As greater numbers of older and disabled people need care, the numbers able to access social care services are falling.

Whilst care professionals are doing their best to deliver good quality care services in a difficult financial climate, without funding to meet growing demand, we will see more families pushed to breaking point and further examples of poor quality care and neglect. Unless the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review tackles this funding crisis, the Government will be unable to turn some of the significant and welcome measures in their Care Bill into reality.”

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