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By Debbie le Quesne

Nearly half a million now missing out on state funding of care

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The term austerity has come to mean less care in a society that needs more than ever.

It’s a true but sad fact that almost half a million fewer old and disabled people are receiving care and support from the public purse than would have been the case before the financial rethink on priorities.

Doubtless the impending MPs’ vote on the care bill will make access to care even harder.

According to the Guardian: “Charities and care organisations are calling on ministers to address a ‘black hole’ in social care funding which they say has left the system short of £2.8bn a year that would be necessary to meet people’s needs assessed as ‘moderate’.”

The most recent damning figures on the analysis of the care sector come from the Personal Social Services Research Unit, based at the London School of Economics and the University of Kent, for the Care and Support Alliance, a coalition of 75 groups.

As they say in the Black Country, here’s the rub: The new study shows that since 2007-8 the number of older people and those with disabilities or mental health issues who receive state-funded care and support in England has slumped by 347,000 or more than a quarter.

“Adjusting the figures for population change over the period, the researchers calculate that this is equivalent to a drop of 483,000 on the number who would have received care services had five years of cuts not taken place,” the Guardian says.

And adjusted figures indicate that the number of mentally ill getting a service has fallen by almost half.

Just how long is it going to be before our politicians begin to address the fact that monies need to be redirected to more pressing issues?

We somehow always manage to find funds to get involved in nearly every global conflict, we’re happy to fund HS2 to the tune of billions and sometimes I feel we are the moral guardian of the world at whatever the cost.

In crippling financial times isn’t there a moral responsibility to care more for those whose needs are greatest?

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