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One in three families unable to support relatives after discharge from hospital

One third of UK families do not have adequate experience or resources to effectively care for elderly relatives without extra support, when they are released from hospital, a new study has found.

The report, conducted by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), highlights the need for easier access to additional care services for families, who are often left to make further care arrangements at short notice when their loved one is released from hospital.

Well noted in the report was the willingness of families to go to great lengths to provide a stable environment for relatives, but it calls for innovative solutions to help provide a stronger connection between health and social care, such as the use of home-based carers or volunteers.

The review – entitled ‘Help them Home’ – forms part of the ‘Let’s End Going Home Alone’ campaign started by RVS. While the Government have authorised an additional levy of 2% council tax for local councils, in order to help fund social care on top of the £1.5bn to the Better Care Fund (set to come in to full force in 2017), RVS have stated that this still only covers those being discharged with needs that are deemed ‘critical’.

David McCullough, chief executive of RVS, said: “Often at discharge there is an expectation that family and friends will step in, but in modern-day Britain not everyone has this supportive circle close by… There is a need to make a good assessment of the strength of an individual’s available network and imaginative solutions are needed where formal care is in shorter supply.”

Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “The gap between social care needs and available resources is widening, and we very much welcome the call from RVS for more innovative home-based solutions to be investigated. Care at home has been proven to improve health outcomes for much-loved family members, and that’s why we at The Good Care Group base our care mission around providing highly-trained, personalised care on a live-in basis, promoting wellbeing and happiness.”