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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Voices from the social care system

Published on 10 May 2018
A nurse showing a gentleman how to use a hoist

On 10 May 2018 the Care and Support Alliance, of which we are members, released a powerful new report called Voices from the social care system.

The report is based on the results of the Big Social Care survey conducted earlier this year. Almost 4,000 people shared their experience, including over 1,100 living with arthritis. Thanks to all of our supporters who shared their experiences in this survey.

The survey revealed there has been very little improvement, and it seems in many areas things are getting worse:

  • 1 in 5 said they’d gone without meals due to lack of care and support.
  • 1 in 4 told us they had been unable to work due to a lack of care and support.
  • Over a third have said their health had deteriorated due to not getting the care they needed.
  • 1 in 6 said they have missed crucial medical appointments.
  • 1 in 4 told us they needed hospital treatment as a result of not getting care and support.
  • 1 in 8 told us they had been delayed leaving hospital due to not having care in place.
  • Over a third said they felt lonely and isolated due to lack of care and support.

In summer 2018, the Government will publish a document sharing its proposals for the future of social care, this is called a Green Paper. It is essential that the people working on this take the key findings of this report seriously.

If you want to make the Government aware of this situation, you can take action now and sign our joint letter which asks the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to take urgent steps to improve the social care system for all who rely on it.

Anna lives with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, and as well as answering the survey, her quote features in the report. She shared “I’ve had to shut off because it breaks me sometimes. Every day my arthritis causes incredible pain in every bone, joint and limb. I’m just managing to get by. Cooking is hard for me so I do miss meals, and my house can get messy, if I drop something it stays on the floor. Being cooped up in my messy flat makes me feel very depressed. Instead of the state, my granddaughter cares for me. She washes me and helps me to the toilet. When she can’t look after me, I have no one; I have to crawl to the toilet. But it shouldn’t be up to people like my granddaughter to fill the gap left by the failing social care system. The CSA’s report shows I’m not alone. I hope that the Government listen to stories like mine and take action to improve this system.”

Tracey Loftis, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, commented: “This survey paints a picture of the harsh impact that our failing social care system has on people’s day-to-day lives. Many people with arthritis rely on social care services to help them live fulfilling and independent lives. However, this survey reveals that many of these people are missing meals, unable to get out of bed or seeing their health deteriorate because they can’t get the support they need. The Government’s forthcoming Social Care Green Paper is an opportunity for decisive action to ensure our social care system is sustainable, fair and provides the support that people with arthritis need.”

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