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Social care: 'Jo's care will cost £1.5k a week - the system is broken'

It was only a year ago that Boris Johnson stood up in Parliament and said he was going to fix the long-term problems in social care. He announced a new tax - to raise about £12bn a year - would be spent on health and social care costs only. But the UK's new prime minister, Liz Truss, has already scrapped the plan. Families, carers and care providers have been left asking where the funding will now come from to fix a system, which they say is broken.

Dr Jo Wilson was a high-flying international executive before she was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, aged 66. Her husband, Bill, insists he's her husband, not her carer. But he now sees to Jo's every need. 

Bill has had to find fight and persistence to navigate the world of dementia care. "It took me two years to get a care package in place for Jo," he explains. "And I only got that because Jo had a collapse at home and was taken into hospital."

Even after it was confirmed Jo could have carers come to their home to help, Bill found the variety of staff, unreliable time keeping, and a lack of understanding of dementia, left him questioning whether it was worth it.

He's now permanently exhausted, and frustrated.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, says without a complete restructure of the social care system "thousands, if not millions, will be left without support, and the NHS will be on its knees". It is a warning heeded by others.

A new poll by Ipsos Mori for BBC News, suggests more than 70% of those over 55 are not confident that social care services will provide care to those in need. More than half of responses cited staff shortages and limited public funding as their main concerns.

Care providers say it's these issues that are putting them under extreme pressure. "We know currently that three in five people with dementia do not get the support that they need once they have that diagnosis. And that leads to crisis in care", says Fiona Carragher, director of policy at the Alzheimer's Society."

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Source: BBC News, 7 October 2022


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