Britain’s ambition of best elderly care ‘at risk’

The government’s pledge to try to make England a world leader in elderly care is at risk of becoming “superficial” words, council chiefs are warning.

The Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said the social care crisis had to be solved first.

The target of becoming the “one of the best” in terms of elderly care was made by the health secretary last month.  Jeremy Hunt will be expanding on the aim in a speech later.

He is expected to tell the annual ADASS conference in Eastbourne on Thursday that he wants England to become “one of the best countries in Europe to be old” and that councils “must take the lead”.

To help, he will be announcing a £50m fund for hospitals and care homes to help pay for improvements to help patients with dementia.

These could include things such as hi-tech lighting, smells and sound to stimulate those with the condition.

But the two groups have warned that mainstream services are under too much strain to achieve the goal.

A joint analysis they have produced has shown nearly £2bn has been trimmed from the social care budget in the past two years – a cut of nearly 15%.

It predicts the funding gap will get worse in the coming years, partly because of the growing demands of the ageing population.

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