Oliver Wright: 'Cinderella' service faces an uncertain and austere future

 

Share
Related Topics

Even in the good years, when public money was plentiful, care for the elderly was a Cinderella service: under-funded, under-regulated and under-loved. Now in times of austerity things are about to get much worse.

Local councils today spend more than 50 per cent of their budget on social care – the bulk of which is for the elderly. As a result of the public sector funding cuts announced in last October's Comprehensive Spending Review, the same councils will have their budgets cut by up to 9 per cent a year for the next four years (28 per cent in total).

This, at a time when the population is ageing and demand for care services is growing by 4 per cent per annum.

During the CSR, ministers made much of an extra £1bn to help councils pay for social care – but they failed to say it was not ringfenced and would itself be cut by 28 per cent over the four years. Another £1bn, they said, was being given to the NHS – but this will not be available for care homes.

All this means that the amount of money a care home gets for each resident will go down. "There are tough and difficult decisions to be taken," says Richard Jones, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

"As a nation we need to spend more on care, but over the next few years the amount of money that councils have to spend on care will be significantly reduced."

Most nursing homes are now privately run but, according to the Registered Nursing Home Association, they rely on council funding for around two-thirds of their income.

Ironically, the financial sector still sees care homes as a good bet for the future and is lending and investing in new care homes. But those investing expect to get the same returns.

And so the decline in standards in Britain's nursing homes becomes directly linked to bankers' bonuses.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Middleware Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Java Developer/Designer

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...

Domino Developer and Administrator

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

General Cover Teacher

£26000 - £27000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: NQT's and experienced Cov...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Cameron’s speech, his place in history, and the Pedant Club

John Rentoul
 

Why Facebook won't be feeling threatened by Ello...yet

Ed Rex
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?