Last month, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the government’s target of trying to make England a world leader in elderly care.

However, the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have doubted the government’s pledge by stating that the current problems with social care need to be solved first.

Today it has been reported that Jeremy Hunt will be expanding on the aim in a speech later. He will announce at the annual ADASS conference in Eastbourne a £50m fund for hospitals and care homes to help pay for improvements to help patients with dementia. These could include things such as hi-tech lighting, smells and sound to stimulate those with the condition.

However, the target looks ever more unrealistic when analysis shows that the social care budget has been reduced by nearly £2bn in the past two years and there are predictions that the funding gap will get worse in the coming years, due to the growing demands of the ageing population.

One idea the government is considering is reforming the system to cap the costs individuals have to pay, put forward by the Dilnot Commission last year. However, this has been criticised as doing nothing to solve the funding problem.

It has been argued that, before we can even consider achieving the status of being a world leader in elderly care, action needs to be taken to resolve the funding crisis which threatens the ability of social care services to provide the daily services that elderly people need.

We, as a firm, are seeing various issues arising in relation to elderly care; from a lack of dignity in care provided to failures in basic nursing care that cause elderly patients to suffer from avoidable problems, such as pressure sores, which are extremely painful and can be difficult to heal. We are keen for the government to focus on elderly care to try and resolve some of these issues and hope that this announcement from the government will take us closer to achieving this aim.

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