Members from Midland Heart and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust
were joined by Baroness Julia Neuberger and Lord Morris of
Handsworth to outline how funding needs to be ring-fenced to ensure
older people have access to high quality care and housing. The call
to action comes amidst fears that cuts to public funding will
impact on the vulnerable, including the provision of care
Lord Morris urged the government to protect local authority care
funding, powerful financial support from the Homes and Communities
Agency and Department of Health, and lifeline benefits such as
"The number of older people in our society is growing and so will
the demand on housing and care. People should have choices that
promise a quality of life which they can look forward to with
optimism as they grow older," said Lord Morris.
"If vital funding streams are lost, older people will suffer the
harsh reality of the consequences. Housing, independent living and
the right level of care all add up to good quality of life."
The urgency for action is clear following the recent findings of a
Supporting People survey carried out by the Association of Adult
The survey, covering 70 local authorities, found 82 per cent of
local authority commissioners said that "little or no protection"
would be given to their supported housing programmes when budgets
are set this year. As the money is not ring-fenced, councils may
have to divert funding to other areas.
Baroness Neuberger said policy change was also needed to harness
untapped resources locked-up in older people's housing equity,
which could be used to deliver quality services that people
The Baroness recently visited the £30.5m St Crispin Village in
Northampton, a 270 home mixed-tenure scheme which offers an
award-winning Well-being service, on-site care and over 40
activities per week to its customers.
"Mixed-tenure, extra-care schemes such as St Crispin Village can
provide better homes, improved community facilities and assessed
care that is tailored to meet individual needs. Such schemes offer
a creative environment where personal fulfilment and community
participation are a part of everyday life," said the
"I met residents living at the Village and you get the impression
that this is a place where older people have fun. It is a place
with magical quality."
Both Midland Heart and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust argue such
schemes should be the future of the UK's care system.
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