Lack of social care is piling pressure on surgeries and A&Es, Alzheimer’s Society comment

Almost 9 out of 10 GPs (89%) think reductions in social care are leading to extra pressures in their surgeries, reports the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) today (Friday 3 March).

The poll of over 1000 GPs reveals an overwhelming 92% of GPs think social care services are failing to give patients sufficient care. And even more GPs (93%) think that the lack of social care is leading to extra pressure on A&Es and contributing to increased delayed discharges from hospital.

70% of people living in care homes and 60% of people in receipt of homecare have dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society Fix Dementia Care campaign found instances where poor quality, underfunded care has left people with dementia spending the day in soiled clothing, going without food or water, or being avoidably admitted to hospital. When people don’t get the basic care they need, they are more likely to fall into crisis and end up in A&E.

The CSA coalition has warned that the Government’s attempts to increase funding into social care have been being inadequate and “a drop in the ocean” compared to what is needed. Social care funding has fallen by £4.6 billion, a third, over the last five years.

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:

“It is deeply concerning that yet another healthcare profession has added its strained voice to the critical debate on the social care crisis. Seven years’ worth of cuts has been piling pressure on hospitals, care homes and homecare workers. People with dementia are now in dire straits. Many are going without the most basic of care or are marooned in hospital for weeks on end with nowhere to go.

“This additional scandal should be seen as another stark warning of a system on the brink of collapse. Next week’s budget must contain substantial new money to prop up the system, while the Government develops a long-term solution.”