Is The Social Care White Paper Missing The Point?
12 Jul, 2012
With the release of the Social Care White Paper yesterday, Roger Hargreaves, Divisional Manager Community Meals, gives his thoughts on it's content.
The Government is perhaps missing the point with its plans for care loans for those who can’t afford to support themselves at home. The real focus should be on safeguarding those services that keep the elderly out of the care system in the first place.
Take for example meals on wheels, a service that is conspicuous by its absence from today’s announcement. Reduced funding cuts for front-line services such as this have been well-documented over recent months but less well-documented is the financial – not to mention social – argument for such services in helping elderly people remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
The cost of care home provision in the UK is expected to reach a staggering £15.6 billion* by 2020, while the estimated cost of domiciliary care provision will be far lower at £1.2 billion with an additional £51.3 million subsidy for the provision of a ‘Meals on Wheels’ service. This is why we believe there is the potential opportunity for the UK economy to save in excess of £1 billion each year, by keeping people in their own homes for longer, through the support of a robust ‘Meals on Wheels’ service.
There comes a time when entry into the care system can no longer be delayed, but any measures that help elderly people remain in the comfort and dignity of their own homes will ultimately go a long way to making considerable cost savings in the longer term.”
You can tweet @Roger_apetito your thoughts on the Social Care White Paper.
*‘Investing in Preventing Strategies – Adult Social Care Report (2011)’, which pulls together a range of research in the field from sources such as the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office