Major reforms of social care funding are needed to tackle issues facing the elderly including hospital discharges, the provision of housing for the disabled and waiting times for major adaptations to homes, a survey by a Bradford MP has found.
The study by David Ward (Lib Dem, Bradford East), called Reforming Social Care, found that vulnerable people with disabilities and those living with extended families in the Asian community are among the groups facing growing difficulties as funding is stretched to cope with an ageing population.
The findings were revealed yesterday at Carlisle Business Centre to a group of voluntary organisations and Baroness Liz Barker, who sits in the House of Lords and replaced the Minister for Care and Support, Norman Lamb MP.
More than 90 people, including representatives of Bradford Alzheimer’s Society, the Disabled People’s Forum and Bradford Alliance on Community Care, gathered to hear Mr Ward talk about the challenges facing Bradford Council and the National Health Service in tackling social care reform.
“The issue of discharges from hospital and the lack of preparation for people to return home was raised,” he said.
“In some cases carers are not even contacted before people are discharged. This needs to be looked at.
“This is not a political statement, it is what people have told us.
“The draft Care and Support Bill was published in July 2012 and we are now talking about one in three people over 65 developing dementia and this is likely to affect everyone directly or indirectly.
“We have to deal with this and this is not going to go away. It is not like the recession, and the problem is going to grow and grow and grow.”
Baroness Barker described the report as excellent. “I think it has brought a desperate group of organisations together to really look at the main challenges and every MP should be doing this,” she said. “I think it will have an impact and the key thing to remember is the diversity of the population in Bradford. We know the system needs to be sorted and fixed.”
The report summary states support was found for improving prevention to keep people out of the care system tempered with concern this might be undermined by budget pressures.
The findings will be discussed by the Joint Committee on the Draft Care and Support Bill and they could be added to the eventual legislation.