Deaths from social care crisis ‘only a matter of time’, after research shows ‘national emergency’ – Disability News Service

Disability activists have warned that it is only a matter of time before the government’s failure to tackle the ‘unprecedented’ social care crisis will lead to the death of service users.

They spoke after news figures from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) showed widespread care rationing and a ‘serious’ and ‘extremely volatile’ situation in councils across England.

ADASS said his research showed there was “a national emergency in adult social care”.

The membership survey was conducted between December 24 and January 5 in response to “member concerns, [the Department of Health and Social Care]providers and others regarding staffing shortages, the fragility of social protection and the impact of winter and the omicron variant on social protection”.

More than half of the 94 social service bosses who took part in the ADASS survey said they needed to take action to deal with the crisis which they considered to be the “least acceptable” options.

Some said they were forced to prioritize ‘life-sustaining care’, like making sure someone can eat and stay hydrated, over helping a disabled person get out of bed in the morning .

Others said they had to leave people with dementia, learning disabilities or mental distress ‘isolated or alone for longer periods than usual’.

And more than two-fifths of councils (43%) said they were “reprioritizing support to those most at risk and to essential activities only”, while 13% said they were limiting support to self- saying “care of life and limbs”. ” – helping service users eat and helping them hydrate, go to the bathroom and change incontinence linen – in at least part of their area for at least part of the time.

ADASS concluded: “The situation is volatile and it is clear that a very significant number of councils are having to make extremely difficult choices about who receives care and support, and at what level of care they can go. wait given the increasing constraints”.

He said the councils were “expecting the government to recognize the seriousness of their situation, which reflects not only the immediate crisis, but also the underlying long-term fragility and underfunding of the sector – which has been raised on several occasions. times over many months and years. ”.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of People with disabilities against cutssaid social care has been “increasingly in crisis” since the Conservative-led government “started cutting funding in 2010”.

But now, in the wake of Brexit and continued low pay rates for welfare staff, ‘this crisis has now reached a point that cannot be allowed to continue’.

She said it was “only a matter of time before disabled and elderly people die” due to government incompetence.

She called on people with disabilities and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) to contact their MPs about the “unprecedented crisis”, and she said DPOs should also raise their concerns. with ADASS.

Anne Pridmore, director of be the bossa user-led organization that supports people with disabilities who employ personal assistants (PAs), said it agreed with Burnip that it was only a matter of time before people disabled and elderly people die because of government incompetence in adult social care.

And she said ADASS research has confirmed the welfare system is “broken”.

She said: ‘The system is broken, the government refuses to fund it and people with disabilities are paying the price.

She said the survey showed directors of social services being forced to implement unacceptable temporary cuts, such as ‘prioritizing life-saving care over giving people lives’ and ‘being unable to assess the risks or to allow caregivers or providers to voice their concerns”.

She said: ‘As a disabled person receiving direct payments, what is glaringly lacking is any mention of direct payment employers and the burden of responsibility placed on them.

“Recruitment and retention over the past two years has been abysmal. People can earn more working at Amazon or Aldi than working in care.

“I’ve been recruiting on and off for 12 months now and I still don’t have a full AP team.

“I started a PA employer support group and the problem is rampant across the country.

“Many have not seen any increase in wages for their employees for five to ten years.”

She called for free, tax-funded social care and better support for PA employers.

Meanwhile, freedom of information responses obtained by The Observer from 96 councils in England showed that nearly 9,000 disabled and older people were unable to get the support they had been funded for due to a lack of carers.

In response to the two searches, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement: ‘Care workers work incredibly hard and we are doing everything we can to support them, including with a support fund. recruitment of £462.5 million, expanding the health and care visa regime and our Made with Care recruitment campaign.

“During the pandemic, we have made available over £2.9bn of specific funding for adult social care.

“Over 50 million PCRs [polymerase chain reaction] and 142 million LFD [lateral flow device] kits have been delivered to care homes and we have invested a further £478 million to support safe and timely discharge from hospital to get patients to the best place for their care and support to continue.

Photo: Anne Pridmore (to the left) and Linda Burnip

A note from the editor:

Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and enable it to continue to produce independent, carefully researched reporting that focuses on the lives and rights of people with disabilities and their user-led organizations.

Please do not contribute if you cannot afford it, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It has been managed and owned by disabled journalist John Pring since its launch in April 2009.

Thank you for all you can do to support the work of DNS…

About Antoine L. Cassell

Check Also

Caroline Flack’s mother Christine says TV presenters need ‘better duty of care’

Caroline Flack’s mother said TV presenters needed improvements in ‘duty of care’ because of the …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.