New analysis by the Health Foundation reveals the devastating impact the pandemic has had on social care in England. The independent charity says the findings provide further evidence that the government acted too slowly and did not do enough to support social care users and staff, and that protecting social care has been given far lower priority than the NHS.
The Health Foundation finds that policy action on social care has focused primarily on care homes and that this has risked leaving out other vulnerable groups of users and services, including those receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care). It also notes that the shortcomings of the government’s response have been made worse by longstanding political neglect and chronic underfunding of the social care system.
Since March there have been more than 30,500 excess deaths* among care home residents in England and 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving domiciliary care. While high numbers of excess deaths of people living in care homes have been well reported, the analysis shows there has been a greater proportional increase in deaths among domiciliary care users than in care homes (225% compared to 208%). And while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users.
The Health Foundation says that decades of inaction by successive governments have meant that the social care system entered the pandemic underfunded, understaffed, and at risk of collapse.
Read full article here.