A new report from the London Assembly shows many older Londoners are experiencing difficulties accessing home care and reveals many struggle to navigate their way through the current system.
The Home Truths report, which can be downloaded from the london.gov.uk website, says more than 1700 older people in London waited more than three months for an assessment and more than 1500 faced delays of at least six weeks following a successful assessment to receive all their services.
The report also notes that many of London’s local authorities only provide home care funding for people whose needs are assessed as “critical and substantial”, a situation Assembly Members warn means up to 165,000 older Londoners with care needs have to make do without any local authority help at all, or pay for their own care.
James Cleverly AM, Chair of the London Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee, said: “Home care services are a vital lifeline for thousands of Londoners, allowing people to retain their health, independence and dignity. However, we heard that older Londoners are facing real challenges in accessing home care services that meet their needs.
“Many are facing unacceptable delays in being assessed which can lead to their conditions deteriorating before they get the help they need. Many are finding that their borough’s services are restricted to only those with severe needs, or are struggling to navigate the myriad of information about what they are entitled to.
“While there are currently debates about the long term future of social care funding, in the short-term budgets are likely to come under even greater strain in coming years, potentially reducing the help that is available even further. We hope the Mayor and the Department of Health will consider our recommendations as they could make a significant difference now in improving people’s access to home care.”
Video: James Cleverly introduces the Home Truths report