Home care reduced for elderly despite extra £2bn

Many elderly and vulnerable people who receive care in their own homes are having levels of support cut because of funding pressures, despite ministers’ injection of extra money, social workers say.

Cuts include reducing home calls from 45 to 30 minutes, withdrawing help to wash at home or prepare hot meals and fewer visits to help them use the lavatory, according to a report.

Home care is also being more tightly defined in many areas, with local authorities refusing to pay for activities to help people go out and focusing on physical needs, it said.

The reports of squeezed budgets come despite the announcement by Philip Hammond, the chancellor, in March of an additional £2 billion over three years for adult social care.A report by the Social Care Alliance said that the system was buckling under the strain of too few resources and rising demand, based on 469 responses from social workers to a survey conducted online by Community Care magazine.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “The social workers’ descriptions of what the cuts mean in practice for disabled people, those with mental health problems and older people make for tough reading and it is impossible not to be angered and saddened by them.”

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