Government Action 'Needed As Soon As Possible'
Social care lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have backed a new Age UK report which has raised serious concerns over the levels of funding available to support elderly care.
The charity has warned that its analysis revealed that the budget of £7.3 billion set aside for elderly social care may be the same as in 2011, but was the equivalent of a 4.5 per cent drop once inflation was accounted for.
While the government has suggested the funding is enough to sustain current levels of care and that it is looking to publish plans to revamp the system later this year, Age UK has warned that the funding means some people could miss out on support.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Law team has first-hand experience of this issue after successfully challenging the lawfulness of the cuts proposed to adult social care by Councils in Birmingham and on the Isle of Wight.
Alex Rook, a solicitor who specialises in health and social care work at the firm’s London office, said: “The government has already stated that it is looking to review this area and the concerns raised by Age UK emphasise just why this is needed to be done as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately, we are contacted on a regular basis by some of the most vulnerable members of society, as well as their families and carers, who are seeing the care services they desperately rely on being cut, despite the suggestion from central government that funding is not being reduced.
“It is vital that reassurances are provided that care services are maintained in order to ensure that everyone who needs such support lawfully have their needs assessed and met.
“The government stated that the £7.3 billion was sufficient for council’s not to increase their eligibility criteria for social care this year. In fact some councils did raise their eligibility criteria and further tightening of their budgets will mean that we risk other councils taking similar steps, restricting still further the care for the disabled and vulnerable.”
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