Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Launch Review as Thousands of Elderly People Lose Support Services

Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Launch Review as Thousands of Elderly People Lose Support Services

Article excerpt

The government has ordered a review of the eligibility criteria for adult social care services, after a report by the Commission for Social Care Inspection warned that hundreds of thousands of elderly people were not receiving the care they needed.

The review will feed into a green paper on long-term funding of social care, expected later this year, which will consider the respective roles of the individual, the family and the state.

In its report, The state of social care in England 2006/07, published on January 29, the CSCI notes that council care services had improved for the fifth successive year.

But it highlighted the plight of people who have fallen outside the system as councils have tightened their eligibility criteria in response to financial pressure.

The number of elderly people using social care services fell from 867,000 in 2003 to 840,000 in 2006, despite an almost 3% increase in the population aged 75 or over, it says. The number of households receiving home care dropped by 25% between 1997 and 2006.

The CSCI also attempted to quantify the number of elderly people slipping through the social care net. It estimated that 6,000 elderly people with high support needs - and another 275,000 with less intensive needs - were receiving neither social care services nor informal support. …

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