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Social care system at breaking point, says Bradford and District Age UK chief
7:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
The chief of Bradford and District Age UK has warned the “social care system is careering towards breaking point” as it revealed the over-65 population locally will increase to nearly 94,000 by 2026.
That is a projected 36 per cent increase, from 68,600 pensioners in 2007 to an estimated 93,800 in 2026.
Keith Nathan, the charity’s chief executive, said the current system was “starved of funds, with investment failing to keep pace with the growing needs of a growing ageing population”.
His comments came as Bradford East MP David Ward unveiled his initial findings from a survey of his constituents, titled the Reforming Social Care report, at the Carlisle Business Centre today.
Mr Nathan said: “There is an urgent need to know – for all those working in and cared for by the system – when and how the Government plans to put the Dilnot reforms into action and ensure that all older people receive the care support that they need.
“The local authority is struggling to maintain its level of support whilst demand is increasing and its resources are axed and, for the first time, we are seeing growing numbers of elders among our poorest communities.
“Bradford (in the top ten per cent of deprivation in the country) has suffered a cut equivalent to £147.60 per head of its population over the period 2010/2011 to 2012/2013. This compares with North Norfolk which has lost £35.26 by comparison.
“More and more people are discussing concerns about declining standards/pressure on the deliverers of care producing less help, and not as it is needed by the client.”
The Dilnot reforms, created by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, who were tasked by the Government to review the funding system for care and support in England, had said the system was in urgent need of reform in 2011.
They recommended capping individuals’ lifetime contributions towards their social care costs and amending the means-tested threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, from £23,250 to £100,000.
Mr Ward said his findings from the survey showed Bradford would benefit significantly from proposed reforms to social care funding.
His final report will be presented when a Joint Committee of the House of Lords and House of Commons scrutinises the draft Care and Support Bill.
Mr Ward said: “This is an opportunity to change the shape of the social care system in the UK and I am keen to make sure that Bradford voices are heard in the debate.”