It has been reported that a current care staff crisis has left half a million adults waiting for social care in England. Alex Temple, solicitor in our Public Law and Human Rights team, comments:
Recent research showing a crisis in social care provision will come as no surprise. However, the scale and speed with which the problem is accelerating might. The number of adults waiting for social care support has surpassed 500,000. This is a more than 70% increase from last year.
This is a shocking figure. It represents the often desperate situations of half a million individuals and families, who rely on but are not receiving vital support for their most fundamental needs. The results can be devastating, and lifelong. In the most extreme cases, provision of the right support makes the difference between life and death.
At Bindmans, our team sees the impacts of a chronic shortage of social care provision. Families fight against local authorities that resist rightful applications for support on a regular basis. We act for people who have a well-demonstrated need and right to support, but who are still being denied or who seem to be caught in endless and costly delays. Whilst we help these families to win the support they need in individual cases, people should not need to get a lawyer to have their public service providers follow the law. This is a situation which is becoming all too routine.
In response to these concerns, the government has previously committed to ‘reforming’ adult social care. These reforms must put the voices of those affected front and centre, and help in realising their rights. In the meantime, the government must make a significant commitment in funding to minimise the harm done while people wait for the promised reforms to materialise.