It doesn’t help those who are contributing to their Social Care, but since 2010 the Tory governments have been subjecting Local Authorities (LAs) to totally unjustified austerity cuts, thereby drastically reducing the income they have to fund services, but all blame for service cuts is placed on LAs and not the Government, which it should be, Governments have to be made accountable. Yes, we have General elections every 4/5 years, but accountability should be immediate not some years hence.
But LAs are not completely blameless, for the Financial Assessments leave a lot to be desired, for some assessors as, I have come across, don’t fully understand the system they are using to do the assessments.
The biggest omission I find is with regards to Disability Related Expenses, (DREs) which is expenditure which persons with disability/health conditions have to make, but these expenses can be offset to the Social Care charge. Of course, proof of these payments are required and this is perhaps another problem for how many of us keep such information.
So, the problem is at least 2 fold, DREs are not always discussed or if they are not in sufficient detail, but then there is the lack of proof people will have retained to prove they made the expenditure.
Another problem is when disability benefits are increased, this increase is included in the social care calculation, so much of the increase will not be available to the person claiming social care has it has been incorporated into the charge they will have to pay for their social care.
But, another problem is the discriminatory nature of what disabilities and conditions are deemed to be social care as opposed to health care. With health care there is no direct charge to the claimant, as there is with social care.
While social care is processed by the local authority social care department, the health portion is processed by the Health Continuing Health Care department, (CHC) and both processes are dealt with separately, sometimes within the same meeting with the claimant, but in other separately.
If it is deemed that there could be a health element to the care required then further investigation could be in the form of 24 hour health grids where each individual action has to be recorded in detail including the time taken to perform the action. The information I have found is from the previous Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG), but these have been replaced by ICBs from 1 July 2022, but here is the latest information about care I have found.
Then the lengthy process of deciding if there is a health element and if there is the split between health and social care which can be a very lengthy time process. While the implementation of care should not be delayed while this debate is occurring it does in many instances, thereby causing, in some instances, much delay for much need care to be implemented.
All of this takes precious time which should be being spent on receiving the care required, that is if persons to care for the person needing can be found, which is another great problem, as there is a major insufficiency of carers for a number of reasons, mainly down to the lack of funding for social care, which leads to very poor rates of pay for carers, poor working conditions, including lack of suitable holiday pay, travel expenses, sick pay and more, but also due to the UK Immigration Policies which are not great for persons wishing to come to the UK to be carers. Much needs to be done, but it appears very little is being done, currently to remedy any, if at all the problems.
Care is deteriorating in many ways, the availability, the standards and much more, this government and all future governments need to wake up and understand, appreciate and sufficiently fund social care.