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Plea for elderly care

18th December 2006

Campaigners have called on the government to provide extra funds for elderly care.

Eight groups, including Help the Aged and Age Concern have sent a joint letter to the Chancellor expressing concern that many vulnerable elderly people will be condemned to ‚Äúisolation and dependency‚Ä? if extra funds are not made available to help them. The campaigners have said they are worried that the elderly social care fund will get a poor settlement in next year's spending review.

The elderly social care fund currently stands at just over £10bn a year which is about a sixth of the NHS budget. However, it has not been receiving the same increases as other budget areas in recent years meaning its fund has been boosted by 2%-3% per year compared to over 7% for the health service.

The letter spells out to the Treasury that investing in the care of elderly people saves money in the long term as it reduces hospital admissions and other related costs. The campaigners say that with an ageing population the budget for elderly care would need to increase by £24bn by 2026. The eight signatories were the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Counsel and Care, Association of Director of Social Services, the King's Fund, Help the Aged, Age Concern England, Carers UK and the English Community Care Association.

The Treasury has responded by saying the letter would be taken into consideration.

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