Tipping point of too few carers for older people has been reached five years early, MPs hear

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 13 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e383
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Social care in the United Kingdom has reached a “tipping point” where there are too few carers available to support demand, senior charity figures have told MPs.

It was estimated in 2008 that it would take until 2017 for this moment to arrive as numbers of elderly people rose, the health select committee’s inquiry into social care heard.

But Emily Holzhausen, for Carers UK, suggested it had come about earlier because of cutbacks in social care since April 2011 and the effects on families of caring for disabled adults and children.

She told MPs, “Families who provide unpaid support are the backbone of care in the community to the tune of £119bn [€142bn; $182bn] a year. We’ve reached the tipping point where there’ll be an increasing gap between what families can provide …

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