Time to stop short-changing care and stop stigma spreading

Elderly man in need for personal at-home care

Today, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) made an urgent plea to the new Government - in a bid to head off a £1.1 billion budget cut expected in 2015/2016.

ADASS also called for ‘sustained and substantial’ additional funds to be made available for the care and protection of older and vulnerable people, following  ‘almost unendurable’ cutbacks in the past four years totalling £4.6 billion.

Short-changing social care is short-sighted and short term, according to ADASS’s President.

I agree. It is this short-term view, and the funding crisis it has generated, that is tarnishing the wider care landscape, spreading a stigma across council provision, which represents many people’s experience of care, through to private home care providers.

We have a toxic situation. If the short-term blinkers are not taken off and replaced by the long view, the situation will become critical. Our care system will not be able to recover, and there will be an inevitable drop off the cliff edge it has been rolling towards over the past decade.

The alarm bells have been ringing louder and louder, surely they can no longer be ignored. It’s time for action. It’s time for appropriate funding to protect our ageing population. The care sector cannot sustain another decade of damage.

The stigma is spreading to tomorrow’s generation of carers too. I was stunned after reading a comment online recently, a teacher was reported to have told a pupil that if they didn’t pull their socks up – they would end up becoming a carer. That negative view of working in care is further compounded by reports that carers could make more money stacking shelves at supermarkets.

At Home Instead, our CAREGivers are the backbone of our model of care, which revolves around visits that last a minimum of one hour. We literally, couldn’t live our ethos without their daily dedication.

We have 7,000 CAREGivers providing 4 million hours of care each year. These are not jobs in care, they are careers in care, careers based on respectful terms and conditions, with pay that exceeds the national minimum wage, on-going training and career progression. We always want to hear from people with empathy and compassion who have a desire to deliver our type of high quality relationship-led care.

At Home Instead, this is how we are hitting back at the stigma. It’s time for the new Government to take rapid action and respond to the funding crisis that’s fuelling the spread.

Trevor Brocklebank

Chief Executive


Home Instead