The government has today published the guidance and legal detail that underpins the Care Act 2014. The guidance defines who will be eligible for social care from April next year.
In response, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“Social care isn’t just for older people or those with physical disabilities. It can play a vital role in keeping people with mental health problems well and able to cope.
“We welcome some of the provisions in the guidance and regulations, in particular the inclusion of support for people to maintain and stay in their home. This will particularly help people with mental health problems and was something we have been campaigning for.
“However, without more funding in the system many people with mental health problems will be denied access to the care and support they need. A very low level of relatively inexpensive support with managing bills, doing the weekly food shop or getting out and socialising with others can make sure someone stays on their feet and manages their mental health problems well. Take that away and people can descend into illness, unable to get out of bed, wash, dress, get to work or maintain relationships. This has serious implications for other parts of the system such the NHS, as people reach crisis point and need much more intensive and expensive hospital or home-based health care.
“As NHS England today highlights, our NHS is straining at the seams. Mental health services in particular are struggling to cope with the numbers of people seeking support and the government would be well-advised to consider the long-term implications of denying thousands of people the basic social care support they need. A little initial investment will not only save money in the long run – it will save lives.”
Mind’s Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Helen Undy, blogs about how Mind’s campaigners have influenced the Care Act 2014 and the guidance published today.