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Elderly with mobility problems cut out of care system

31st March 2014

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

A coalition of charities has warned the government that the wording of their new care guidelines may leave some of the most vulnerable members of the population at risk of being excluded from the care system.

Draft guidelines for a universal system of national frailty tests have been published recently, with the new rules designed to end what is seen by many as the ‘postcode lottery’ that is currently in place and can lead to elderly and disabled people in some parts of the UK receiving better or worse care than others in different areas.

However, the Care and Support Alliance – which is made up around 80 charities – has claimed that serious gaps in the guidelines actually have the potential to make the nationwide situation worse, taking away the one-to-one care services that people who rely on  riser recliner chairs for the elderly and stairlifts are also dependant on.

‘Incredibly worrying for older and disabled people’

This Telegraph article seeks to clarify the issue, explaining that ‘although there are references to people being unable to get out to use community services [in the guidelines], there is no specific mention of “mobility”.’

Whilst Richard Hawkes, chairman of the Care and Support Alliance, acknowledges that the government’s intentions are right, he also says that his group’s report findings are ‘incredibly worrying for older and disabled people and their families’.

Responding to this concern, however, care minister Norman Lamb has pointed to the £3.8 billion that is being redistributed from the NHS into social care, and commented ‘we are clear that local authorities should consider communication and mobility issues when assessing people’.

Although many people find mobility aids such as new stair lifts and walk in baths to be essential to their quality of life, it is also important that the level of care provided by local government is maintained to a high standard and given to those who need it, ensuring that they can enjoy a high quality of life at home.

Image Credit: Ulrica Torning (flickr.com)