Every newspaper, television and radio station is predicting a catastrophic Winter and the Care Quality Commission believes the whole care market for older and disabled people in England could be at risk.
The pace of care home closures is not the regulator’s biggest concern, but the number of Residential and Nursing homes that are losing vast sums of money – one in Surrey who has contacted us here at the Waverley Web and was measured as “Excellent,” is losing over £300,000 per year!
Evidence shows that over the past six years, the number of homes has fallen by nearly 1,500 to 16,600, more concerning is the number of providers turning their back on council contracts.
Data compiled by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services suggested two-thirds of local authorities had seen contracts handed back or providers leave the market.
The document describes “fragility” in the part of the sector, which provides help for daily tasks such as washing and dressing – social care, which in Surrey is now only available for those in “critical need.”
At a time when delayed discharges are growing at an alarming rate and the mantra trotted out to the elderly is: “remain independent in your own homes as long as possible”– what is “Your Waverley” and “Your Surrey County Council” doing?
As Magician Paul Daniels would have said: “Not a Lot,” at least certainly not enough?
Well like everything – it very much depends on where you live. `in the rural villages the elderly depend on friends and neighbours – many of whom are elderly themselves. Accessing hospitals and other health services, including physiotherapy following a fall is often what nightmares are made of. But one bright introduction into the borough is the arrival of a new service called “Driving Miss Daisy” which is more than just a driving service, we hear.
“Your Waverley” has now lost, the public’s, most valued provider of elderly services – with the closure of Age Uk Waverley. Its funding was withdrawn and its closure has seen an end to the handyman services, the hugely successful gardening services, and according to one of our Godalming followers, the hugely beneficial friendly caring Advice and Information available free of charge at the end of Age Concerns’ phone line which was cut off with no notice.
In recent years “Your Waverley” has closed some of its, highly valued sheltered housing units and these have not been replaced. We hear from Waverley officers that Surrey County Council has withdrawn £50,00o funding for the Meals on Wheels service, and Waverley is cobbling together something to replace it by cooking meals locally. One chef has already left one of the borough’s Day Centre – and others are expected to follow. Alzheimer’s Centres are closing in Surrey or are teetering on the edge, and many vulnerable elderly doing exactly what they are told are feeling “very vulnerable.” One who contacted us said: “We have been told money has been given to the Surrey Age Group for befriending. We don’t need befriending we need the valued practical help we received before!”