This report from our QualityWatch programme, in partnership with The Health Foundation, examines the scale and scope of cuts to social services for older people in England from 2009/10 to 2012/13.
Focus On: Social care for older people by Sharif Ismail, Ruth Thorlby and Holly Holder, tracks a period of real-terms reductions in Government revenue allocations to local authorities, who provide publicly-funded social care.
The research, which is part of the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation’s QualityWatch programme, reveals that most local authorities are tightly rationing social care for the over-65s in response to cuts, resulting in significant drops in the number of people receiving services.
Our analysis paints a picture of increased rationing of social care in response to deep cuts from central Government, despite the growing numbers of older people in the population Holly Holder, Fellow in Health Policy, Nuffield Trust.
Key findings include:
The study seeks to assess the impact of social care cuts on the health and well being of older people and their carers, but finds that, due to a lack of available data, it is not possible to quantify this.
Holly Holder, Fellow in Health Policy at the Nuffield Trust and joint report author said:
“Our analysis paints a picture of increased rationing of social care in response to deep cuts from central Government, despite the growing numbers of older people in the population. It is highly likely that this is having a negative effect on older people’s health and wellbeing and that of their carers, but without adequate data to assess this impact, the NHS and Government are flying blind.”
QualityWatch is a major research programme from the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, providing independent scrutiny into how the quality of health and social care is changing over time. For further resources and analysis from this programme of work, visit the dedicated QualityWatch website.