A survey by the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) of nearly 4,000 people who need care or look after someone who does reveals the damning reality of a failing care system that is unfit-for-purpose. Those relying on care revealed their experiences of poor care – in the worst cases amounting to neglect – at the hands of a care system that is meant to provide a safety net for them, but which often lacks the resources to do so.
The survey, published in CSA’s report Voices from the Social Care Crisis revealed that because of a lack of care:
- 1 in 5 felt unsafe moving around their own home, and 4 in 10 can’t leave it.
- 1 in 5 said they’ve gone without meals.
- 1 in 4 said they’ve needed hospital treatment and 1 in 8 said they’ve been delayed leaving hospital because of not being able to get the care they need.
- Over a quarter have been unable to maintain basics like washing, dressing and/or visiting the toilet.
- More than 1 in 7 (16%) have had their care packages reduced, even though their needs have increased or stayed the same.
- More than 1 in 5 have not been able to work.
The Alliance is calling on people to add their signature to an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, highlighting the urgent need for him to act now and in the upcoming Green Paper to fix the care crisis.
Currently 1.2 million older and disabled people are unable to get the care they need, almost double the number since 2010. Despite more adults needing care, the number receiving it has fallen by at least a quarter between 2009/10 and 2013/14 alone.
This most recent CSA survey highlights the dangers of not having enough care; the unnecessary pressure being placed on the NHS and how family and friends who step in to try to fill the gap are being pushed to breaking point.