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Council cuts leave thousands without mobility aids

19th August 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Recent figures from 250 local councils around the UK have found that although the number of applications to have mobility aids such as stair lifts installed in peoples’ homes remains the same as previous years, less are receiving such help as a result of cuts. While home mobility aids are proven to help people remain independent, not enough are being installed as a result of such cuts according to the latest findings.

These cuts have left thousands of elderly and vulnerable British residents waiting for home stair lift installation and having to go without some much needed aid and assistance in their home.

A lack of home adaptations

The number of home adaptations installed by local councils has plummeted in the past few years with just 5,500 being installed since 2011. This has left many without the most basic of aids such as hand rails and ramps, let alone bigger aids that are needed, such as a walk in shower cubicle or bath.

There has been much debate over the installation of home mobility aids; councils argue that it comes as a result of budget cuts, critics claim that councils have allowed executive pay bills to rocket and Labour argues that the reduction in home adaptation installation would see an increase in pressure on A&E departments, as reported in this article.

A total of half of councils admitted that they were carrying out fewer home adaptations, with 15 councils stating that they had cut back on this service by as much as 50 per cent. It is these figures that can be accredited to delays in hospital discharges after treatment, an issue that costs the NHS around £300 per night.

The lack of home mobility aid installation is causing increased concern as the pressure on such services continues to grow with Britain’s aging population.

Image Credit: jingdianjiaju (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.