Independent Age response to the serious case review of Gloria Foster

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Independent Age response to the serious case review of Gloria Foster

Independent Age Director of Care Services, Ian Buchan, said:

“Independent Age was shocked and saddened to hear about the case of Gloria Foster who died after nine days of going without fundamental care. After Gloria Foster’s care agency was closed down, her local authority should have stepped in: at least to assess her immediate care needs. However, the serious case review has highlighted the social worker involved in her case wrongly assumed that as a self-funder, Gloria Foster, was able to arrange her own care. This was despite her many complex needs, which the local authority knew about through previous assessments.

“Self-funders are often in a precarious position – both in the setting up of care, when they can be left to muddle through the complex social care system alone without help and advice, and in situations such as these when care arrangements collapse. As Gloria Foster’s case highlights, local authorities don’t always have the systems in place to identify and meet self-funders’ needs when this happens. When it comes to the day-to-day business of paying for care or finding the right information to make difficult decisions about the care system, self-funders find themselves at a huge disadvantage. We are pleased the Care Bill going through Parliament aims to tackle the inequity which means self-funders will no longer be left to struggle alone, but will mean local authorities will have a duty to provide advice and support to all those who need it, not just those they fund. Our fear though, is that if, as this case shows, local authorities cannot currently identify the needs of self-funders, how they will possibly cope with the demand of hundreds of thousands more self-funders approaching them for assessments, and help and advice, once the government’s care cap is introduced.”

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