100,000 more people struggle with mobility after existing cuts
GEORGE OSBORNE should think carefully about how deep cuts to adult social care will affect service users, campaigners said yesterday.
At least a million people with mobility problems struggle to get out of bed, wash and dress themselves, having no family help or suitable care available to them, according to new analysis by Age UK.
The figure has risen by 100,000 in the last year alone and more are expected over the course of the next five years of Tory government.
Mr Osborne is set to announce his post-election Budget tomorrow, in which he is expected to detail devastating cutbacks to essential care services as part of his plans to claw £12 billion from vital welfare funding.
More than half of the million people living alone experience daily difficulties with bathing and showering.
Around 180,000 find it hard to feed themselves and 140,000 need help using the toilet.
“To have to struggle alone is unfair on these older people and also unacceptable in a civilised society,” said Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams.
Over the past 10 years, spending on social care services for older people has dropped by one-third from £8.1bn in 2005-06 to £5.46bn in 2014-15, the charity added.
And another £1.1bn is likely to soon be grabbed from social care budgets, said the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
Public-service union Unison shop steward Roger Hutt has personal experience of the brutal effects of cuts to social care. He is a carer for people with mental health and disability problems in Doncaster.
His NHS job was transferred along with his colleagues’ to profiteer Care UK, which immediately slashed wages to below the living wage and attacked working conditions.
The employees recruited to work in care often become jaded, threatening standards in the industry.
“Many do not have the empathy, compassion, knowledge and patience required, which ultimately will lead to incidents of neglect, malpractice and even deaths,” Mr Hutt added.