Elderly care patient

‘Shameful’ UK care service highlights growing need for private investment.

A new report from care charities Age UK and the Alzheimer’s Society has criticized the UK’s elderly care services, labelling the way older people are cared for in the UK ‘shameful’ and ‘scandalous’.

The report comes just a month after the UK’s Care Quality Commission warned that the sector was at a "tipping point" - with failings in the provision of care having a direct and significant impact on the NHS, as increasing numbers of elderly people are being admitted to hospital after not receiving adequate care at home. Official figures suggests that the number of older people not getting help with care has risen by nearly 50% since 2010, while the care that is being provided is wholly inadequate.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s investigation found that some dementia sufferers were not provided with food or water, not given a bath or shower for weeks and left in dirty clothes for days, with some even being reported missing after disappearing from facilities which had not been properly secured.

This adds yet more evidence to the claim that severe underfunding has contributed to a rise in substandard care facilities and services across the UK. As such, the report was followed by a call for urgent funding to be poured into the training of care staff – something which has been neglected by years of budget cuts.

Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer's Society Chief Executive, said: "From the scandals we have exposed, it is clear home care workers are not fairly or adequately equipped with the skills they need to support vulnerable people. There simply is not enough money invested in social care."

The UK’s ‘care time bomb’ is a topic that has received a lot of attention over the past decade, as public funding  has consistently been cut while demand for care services continues to increase. Between 2005 and 2014 there was an 18% reduction in public spending on care for the elderly, while the number of elder people requiring care increased drastically.

Discussing the current state of the UK’s care sector, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperCarers Adam Pike stated “There is little faith in the UK’s care system as overpriced, poor quality service has become the norm. There is no wonder that there is a lot of negativity about later life and fear about how care is going to be paid for.”

There are currently around two million elderly people with care needs in the UK, with this figure set to rise to four million by 2029. As the public sector continues to resist calls to increase funding, this makes private sector investment an integral part of ensuring that the necessary improvements are made to the UK’s care services. Independent think tank Respublica claims that by 2020 the care sector will see a £1.1bn deficit, resulting from decreases in public funding. It is therefore becoming increasingly important that private investors work to ensure the UK’s elderly population are provided with the best care possible.

If you’d like to know more about the role of private investment in improving the UK’s care services, contact a member of our team on +44 (0)1202 765011 or email [email protected]

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