DEMAND AN END TO POVERTY THIS GENERAL ELECTION
TAKE ACTION
News

Lack of social care may be costing the NHS £500 a minute

Age UK claims more older people than ever are missing out on vital care and support

Social Care

A lack of social care and delayed hospital discharges is costing the cash-strung NHS £500-a-minute, according to estimates from Age UK.

A total of £289.1m is being drained from the coffers of the health service in England as a result.

Around one in seven older people are living with an unmet care need – up a fifth in the last two years.

Is this what we want for our parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, older neighbours and friends in 2018?

Of the 1.4 million older people affected, more than 300,000 need help with three or more essential tasks, ranging from getting out of bed to going to the toilet and dressing. But these needs are not being met with half receiving no help at all from paid carers, family or friends.

“Our new analysis echoes what we hear all round the country: it is getting ever harder to access care if you need it and increasing numbers of frail, ill older people are being left to manage alone,” said Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director. “If an older person needs social care but can’t get it this is a sure-fire recipe for them to become weaker and less well.

“Is this what we want for our parents and grandparents, husbands and wives, older neighbours and friends in 2018?”

The NHS was celebrated last week as it reached its 70thanniversary and the government marked the occasion by promising a ‘birthday gift’ of extra £20bn funding, however it remains to be seen how much of that will trickle down to social care.

Responding to the Age UK figures, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “No one should be stuck in hospital when their treatment has finished. We expect the NHS to work closely with local authorities to ensure people are treated in the most suitable setting and when they are discharged from hospital they have a care plan in place.

“The government has committed to a long-term plan with a sustainable multi-year settlement for the NHS to help it manage growing patient demand. Health and social care are two sides of the same coin and reforms must be aligned. That’s why our forthcoming green paper will be published in the autumn alongside the NHS plan.”

To mark 70 years of the NHS, The Big Issue gave the health service a check-up of its own and  asked if social enterprises could offer the answer to the lack of social care.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell
General election 2024

'Great pity' major parties are ignoring poverty in election, says Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day
Ismail Kaji of Mencap
Learning Disability Week 2024

People with learning disabilities need to make their voices heard on election day

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals
Learning Disability Week 2024

'I want to get out': The fight for people with learning disabilities to live at home – not hospitals

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions
Labour will ban no-fault evictions, confirms Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
RENTING

Labour unveils plan to fix rental crisis and immediately axe no-fault evictions

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know