Social Care System 'Not Fit for Purpose' Elderly Can Pay Up to Pounds 7,000 a Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Phillips

THE social care system has been branded "not fit for purpose" after figures revealed elderly people are paying up to pounds 7,000 a year for home care services.

Coun David Rogers, chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, accused the Government of underfunding local authorities, leaving councils with "tough decisions" over the services they can provide.

Statistics released by the Labour Party showed marked rises in the cost of council services for elderly and disabled people over the past year.

Analysis of data from 93 out of 153 councils in England showed there has been a 13% rise in the cost of meals on wheels, with the price of a meal rising from pounds 3.17 to pounds 3.44.

There has also been a 33% increase in transport fees, with the average cost of travel to places such as day care centres now standing at pounds 2.32 per journey.

Labour said the data also revealed a "postcode lottery" in the amount people pay for social care, with huge disparities across the country.

People living in the London borough of Tower Hamlets pay nothing for personal care, while those in Cheshire East are charged more than pounds 20 an hour, for example.

Coun Rogers said: "These results highlight what we already know ... the current social care system is not fit for purpose. …