Who is helping to fix the crisis in care?
- By Nick
- No Comments
- Jun 07, 2019
The care crisis has been put firmly back on the political agenda and in the public’s minds after the airing of the BBC’s Panorama Crisis in Care documentary. The two-part programme, which aired over two consecutive weeks in May/June 2019, focused first on the people affected by the care system and second by the issues facing care funding.
Over the two episodes, it explored important topics, such as how families cope with 24/7 caring demands for their loved ones and the struggle to get help for their situation. It also had unprecedented access behind the scenes at one council trying to work around budget cuts and underfunding while trying to provide enough services for its community.
One of the biggest takeaways from the series was how much help and information is needed by service users to help them understand their rights, the funding system and how to navigate the complex system. With no one to fight their corner, elderly and vulnerable people in particular are often left in dire and difficult situations.
Care information and advice
There are services and companies trying to bridge the gap, and provide help and information to service users. You’re the Boss was created for this exact reasons, to provide help, support and advice about the care system. We strive to provide practical advice and tools to paid carers who are leaving the traditional care system to set up independently and provide essential care in their communities. We also support service users and their families to make informed decisions and know their rights towards care and support.
Part of our mission is to empower peo“ple to take control of their own care, employing or contracting with paid carers to deliver the services they need, when they need it. Our dedicated Service Users hub is a one-stop-shop for learning how to become an individual employer, payroll services, contracts and advice.
However, many people are unaware of what they are entitled to when it comes to care and support under the Care Act. The workforce has been halved over the last decade and there is not enough money in the system to provide the care that people are legally entitled to. More often than not, care packages are put together based on a set budget and not the actual needs of the service user. And when it comes to fighting decisions made about care and support, there is often no help and no information available.
This is why we need organisations like CASCAIDr, a specialist advice charity that launched in 2017 to help right the wrongs in adult social care and NHS health service allocation in this country. Its main mission is to ensure that people get their full legal rights to care and support services, offering free advice to people who have a current public law problem with regards to their rightful access to health and social care services. They also offer low-cost advice services to others in need of support outside of its main areas, such as seeking reimbursement for services or making complaints.
Since its inception, CASCAIDr has supported over 300 client referrals, providing free advice to 175 of them including 19 complex cases. They have so far managed to solve cases without needing to go to court, reminding and asserting legal rights with local councils by challenging decisions and ensuring the correct resources get allocated to the people who need them.
As essential and effective as the work that CASCAIDr does, its services are reliant on funding. Its funding needs are met largely by donations, grants, sale of services and charitable trading. The charity is also committed to helping the wider community’s access to free legal advice. As such, CASCAIDr has registered to walk as a team in this year’s London Legal Support Trust Walk, a 10K walk held on 17th June 2019 (https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CASCAIDrwalkers). The London Legal Support Trust in an independent charity that raises funds for free legal services in London and the South East. The walk raises around a million pounds every year, which is then distributed in the form of small grants to keep over 100 advice centres open.
The CASCAIDr team hopes that the money it raises for the walk will help to expand its caseworker resource as well as ensure that it can continue operating, delivering its essential service to the adult social care arena.
There is clearly a need for legal advice from companies like CASCAIDr, and sources of advice and information from sites like YtB and relevant charities. There crisis in care will only worsen if funding cuts continue to be made and if the public remain underinformed about their rights.
Hopefully with the Panorama broadcast, as well as the vocal support from charities and organisations in the care and support sector, a voice is being given to those people who need help to fight against their current care situation and take control.