This evening there’s a Panorama programme at 9.00 o’clock showing how people are suffering because of the collapse of social care funding – both individuals and Local Authorities – Councils.

DO WATCH IT

It looks at a care home in Somerset and talks to the Council.  People are in tears. The programme  shows the strain and emotional stress on families where social care is needed but the money isn’t available.

(Previously, Age UK revealed that more than 50,000 older people had died waiting for care in a 23 month period, and 636,000 were denied it altogether.)

Sir Andrew Dilnot, author of the study in 2010 that made recommendations to the government that included a cap on what people would have to pay was interviewed on BBC News this morning.

He recommends an increase in tax, INCLUDING older people (but he didn’t say ONLY older people) to fund a proper level of social care.  He also pointed out that it is a [relatively] small group of older people who need social care and not a huge amount of money (in the scheme of things.)

The Government’s promised green paper has been delayed again and again, most recently for two years now.

Asked why the Government doesn’t do anything about it, Sir Andrew said he thought it was because it’s not in MPs post boxes!  He said carers were too exhausted to complain to their MPs.

As Christians we are told to bear one another’s burdens.  We’re also called to be a voice for the helpless. We need to watch this evening’s programme and write to our MPs.  

 Incidentally, there are other, dreadful stealth cuts happening, where funding is being cut almost at a moment’s notice for people with terminal illness.  The Daily Telegraph has reported how the NHS has started slashing its Continuing Health Care funding, (not the same pot as social care funding)  where people with a medical condition are funded in care homes in a series of ‘stealth cuts’.  “Jean Jarvis, 93, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and is in a wheelchair, has lived in a care home in Purley, Surrey for more than 10 years, with her fees covered by the NHS.  But in  January 2018 her daughter Gill was told the funding would be withdrawn, with just weeks’ notice, and without her mother even undergoing a face-to-face assessment.”

There are more cases.  These are people living with terminal and often crippling diseases.

See https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/25/elderly-patients-progressive-diseases-see-nhs-funding-withdrawn/

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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