Resources for Older People's Organisations in London

The Family and Childcare Trust are pleased to release the Older People’s Care Survey 2016. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the availability of older people’s care, as well as the market awareness of local authorities and health and social care trusts across the UK. The findings highlight a number of key issues.

You can download the full report here. National and regional fact-sheets can be found here.

Key Findings

  • Only one in five funding authorities reported having enough older people’s care in their area to meet demand. Over 6.4 million people aged 65 and over live in those areas with insufficient care provision.
  • Just 7 per cent of councils in Outer London (one council) reported having enough care to meet demand in their area, while in the North East the figure is 57 per cent.
  • While 84 per cent of respondents in the UK said they had enough availability for care home places, that figure falls to 48 per cent for home care, 44 per cent for extra care homes, and 32 per cent for nursing homes with specialist dementia support.
  • 27 per cent of respondents reported having insufficient data about whether the supply of social care in their area could meet demand.
  • 88 per cent of local authorities in London were able to say whether their supply met demand, compared with just half of local authorities in the East of England.
  • The average weekly fee local authorities pay for all residential care types in the UK is £553.
  • The average price in Inner London is 40 per cent more expensive than in the North West (£649 vs £464).
  • Just 26 per cent of respondents were able to provide data on the rates that self-funders pay.
  • UK averages show that self-funder fees for all residential types are 20 per cent more expensive than local authority fees.


  1. The Government should guarantee that there are enough care services available for people who need them. Where the private market is not meeting demand, local or central government should act as the provider of last resort.
  2. The Government should start an ongoing data tracking programme to measure whether there is enough social care for older people across the UK. A strong understanding of the local social care market is essential for central and local governments to be able to identify capacity issues and work to resolve them.
  3. The Government should provide local authorities with funding offers that are truly reflective of the higher cost of specialist services. Demand is likely to grow for specialist care as the population ages and people with high support needs live longer. As such, adequate funding from central government will allow local authorities to deal with current and future demand, as well as reducing pressure on NHS services. This funding settlement should be determined by robust evidence on the demand for social care services and cost of providing high quality care to meet this demand.
  4. The Government should provide funding to support upstream intervention services, such as domiciliary care, and extra care home schemes. These services can be effective in maintaining independence. Additionally, as they are more likely to slow the escalation of support needs, they may reduce market pressures in the long term. As the recent Barker Commission highlighted, there are still important opportunities to integrate health and social care funding to promote preventative care.
  5. The Government should provide workers with a mandatory right of up to 10 days of paid care leave per year. The challenge of balancing work and caring responsibilities can be financially and mentally stressful, and can cause carers to leave the workforce permanently. Paid care leave would enable carers to deal with emergencies, put necessary arrangements in place, and accompany those they care for to appointments, without using the annual leave necessary for their own wellbeing.
  6. Local Authorities should provide up to date information for families about social care in their area, including information on the cost of fees and third-party contributions. It is also important for older people and their families to have greater access to information about care in their area – what is available, and what people can expect to pay to support themselves or their relatives.
  7. In the long-term, the Government should seek to address the strategic challenge of reforming care and support funding. The Government is right to focus in the short-term on addressing immediate and unsustainable pressures on local authority social care budgets. The Government must, however, maintain its commitment to implementing the Care Act 2014 in full to support people to plan for, and meet the costs of, care in old age and protect people from unfair costs.

A new report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance, a group of major charities interested in our ageing society, seeks to bust the widely touted myth that there is a uniform group of older people in the UK – so called baby boomers – who have benefitted at the expense of younger age groups.

The report presents compelling evidence that baby boomers (in this report defined as between the ages of 55-70) are in fact a diverse group of people in virtually every aspect of their lives. Inequality affects them similarly to other people in our society leading to a wide range of outcomes in their lives. You can read the report here.

HelpAge International has just published the Global AgeWatch Index 2015. It looks at how countries across the world are responding to the increasing number of older people, and ranks them in a league table according to the economic and social wellbeing of older people. You can read the report here 

Skills for Care has published “Support to people with dementia and other conditions”, a case study based guide to support the social care workforce working with people with dementia and also other conditions. It is specifically aimed at leaders and managers in services supporting people with dementia. Skills for Care is the employer-led workforce development body for social care in England.

You can read the guide at

Positive Ageing in London, with the UK Age Friendly Cities NetworkGreater London Authority and Manchester City Council, jointly held this event which was well received and attended by older people, policy makers and local practitioners from all over the UK and Ireland. It aimed to spread best practice on how cities and local authorities respond to ageing and to help build the Age Friendly Cities Network.

Discussions approaches to making local areas age friendly, the built environment, culture and economic development.

All of the papers from the conference, programme, speaker biographies and other information can be found here.

I’m Still Me: a narrative for coordinated support for older people has just been published and sets out how coordinated – or integrated – care and support looks and feels to older people and is written from their point of view.

You can download and read the full report from this webpage.

The publication, developed by older people working with UCLPartners, National Voices, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, British Geriatrics Society and partners including Age UK London who contributed an initial literature review and arranged the participation of many of the interviewees, challenges health and care services to work together and improve the outcomes older people say are most important to them – things like independence, social interaction and relational support.

I’m Still Me outlines five themes that older people say are key to coordinated support: independence, community interactions, decision making, care and support and terminology.

It also sets out a series of ‘I statements’ that summarise what older people have said that they want their support to look like. These include:

“I can maintain social contact as much as I want”
“I am recognised for what I can do rather than assumptions being made
about what I cannot”
“I am supported to be independent”

I’m Still Me discusses implications for health and social care services and asks professionals, at all levels, to reflect on whether they are truly addressing the issues identified as being important to older people.

The publication also calls for a national debate on the use of the word ‘frail’. This word is often used to define groups of older people who could be vulnerable to a crisis, however it is emphatically rejected by older people themselves because they don’t see themselves in this way. The older people involved in the development of I’m Still Me did not want their lives to be defined by their health conditions and consistently disliked the terms ‘frail’ and ‘frailty’. Health and social care services have the challenge of identifying people at risk of ‘frailty’ to ensure that they get the right support, but this needs to be in a way that is acceptable to the very population they are trying to support.

It is hoped that this publication will generate such debate, and that this conversation continues to be led by the views of older people.

A new set of Age UK London downloadable E-bulletins are available here.  They include updates on older people’s housing, relevant health and social care changes, older people’s social contribution and ageing and equalities issues.

Two articles have recently been published  in Health and Social Care in the community,  resulting from research by the University of York’s Social Policy Research Unit. Full references and links:


Gridley, K., Brooks, J. and Glendinning, C. (forthcoming) Good practice in social care: the views of people with severe and complex needs and those who support them, Health and Social Care in the Community, (Available online from 3 April 2014).


Gridley, K., Brooks, J. and Glendinning, C. (2014) Good practice in social care for disabled adults and older people with severe and complex needs: evidence from a scoping review, Health and Social Care in the Community, 22, 3, 234-248.


The Department for Work and Pensions latest monthly bulletin, the DWP Later Life Newsletter, is now out. The newsletter includes the latest news on policy changes, good practice and initiatives and their impact on older people.

You can view the newsletter, and sign up to receive it monthly, here.

My House or My Home

March 5th, 2014 | Posted by Danny Elliott in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

On 6 February Age UK London, Making Research Count and the Social Care Workforce Research Unit hosted their sixth joint annual conference on the theme of older people called ‘My House or My Home?’.

You can read a brief report on the event, as well as find links to other resources including an in depth blog post from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, on the Age UK London website.