Elderly care provided by government in England contracts whilst demand for care increases

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

A report into the provision of elderly care in England has shown that Local Authority supported placements has fallen by 26% between 2010 and 2014.

This reduction in care provided by Councils came at the same time as a rise in the size of the over 65 population and demand for care support. It has resulted in increasing numbers of elderly people being left without support for their care and others having to privately pay for their care.

Care funding is means-tested in England and if the care receiver has assets of £23,250 or more they will not qualify for state support (if less, Councils may assist depending on other relevant factors). There will also be a detailed assessment of the care receivers income to determine the level of contribution that can be made. The care receiver is allowed to keep £14,250 of assets.

Councils appear to have a disproportionately strong position within the market for paying for care with Councils on average paying 46% less than self-funders.  This can be quite disconcerting for those residents that are assessed as being ineligible for support from the Council as they are charged what might appear to be a surcharge on the cost of their care as a result of underpayments by Councils.

1 million people with care needs now receive no support with their care arrangements which represents a rise of 10% on last year. The report stated that providers had walked away from Local Authority contracts in 59 areas and it is only a matter of time before a provider is forced to close because of the Council’s reluctance to support individuals and pay the proper cost of care.

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