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Fewer people in England receiving long-term care

Adviser says ‘broken system’ means people are denied support

The number of people in England receiving long term care has fallen in each year since 2015-16, figures from NHS Digital reveal.

In 2018-19, there were 841,850 people in receipt of long term support, which consists of residential, nursing and community care.

This represents a decrease of 15,920 people (1.9%) from the previous year and 30,670 people (3.5%) since 2015-16.

The report said the decrease has been mainly driven by a reduction in people aged 65 and over receiving long term care, down 39,060 to 548,435 since 2015-16.

Tracy Crookes, financial planner at Quilter, pointed out that the number of people receiving long term care has dropped despite the fact the number of requests has increased to an extra 195 per day.

“This is not just a statistic, however. These are elderly people desperately in need of long-term support being turned away because the system is broken,” she said.

Tracy argued that navigating the current social care system is overwhelming complex, made worse that the people who have to navigate it are generally already overwhelmed with numerous emotional and financial difficulties.

“The level of complexity means there is room for interpretation by local authorities and given they are cash-strapped they may be taking a hard line. But their assessments are not always right,” she said.

She added that a financial adviser can help, in particular one that holds a qualification in long term care and later life planning.

The NHS Digital figures also show nearly 80% of total adult social care gross current expenditure (£14.6bn) is spent on long term care, representing an increase of £674m (4.8%) from 2017-18.