accessibility & help

Health and social care

Everyone should get the support they need to live independently at home. © InfoPeople should get the skills and confidence they need to live independently.

What's wrong?

The UK’s population is ageing, a fact that we celebrate.

Older people are assets to society and the economy, with much to contribute. Many British Red Cross volunteers are older people who bring huge benefits to people in crisis.

However, living longer does not necessarily mean living well.

We see too many people having to reach the point of social care crisis before they receive support.

What are we calling for?

  • We want to see more people being able to access preventative services, which prevent, reduce or delay the need for care and support. We want fewer people to reach the point of social care crisis before they are helped.
  • Low-level practical and emotional support can help vulnerable people maintain and regain the skills and confidence they need to live independently in their own homes. It can also reduce costs for both individuals and the public purse.
  • We believe preventative services – like the ones we provide across the UK – should be made available to everyone, regardless of level of need or ability to pay.

What does prevention mean?

Our research shows that 'prevention' is understood differently across the country, with some types of prevention understood better than others.

We would like to see all types of prevention recognised and adequately resourced.

Maintaining independence

More of us see losing our independence as the biggest crisis we will face in our personal lives. Research shows that being unable to cope alone is as much a concern to people aged 16 to 24 as it is to people aged 55 and over.

Since April 2015, the Care Act has placed a duty on English councils to make sure preventative services are available locally. 

However, our research suggests that the Care Act’s vision for prevention is not being fully realised. 

Local authorities in England must do more to provide services which prevent, reduce or delay the need for care and support.

  • Read our report to see how prevention is being prioritised across England.
Snakebite victim Laura Brasher and a Red Cross volunteer

Short-term wheelchair loans

We believe everyone who needs a wheelchair should quickly and easily get one, for as long as they need it.

Sally Driver 87 with care worker Chris.

Prevention in action: resources for local decision makers

Too many people have to reach crisis point before they receive the health and social care support they need.

A Red Cross volunteer on a home visit looks through photographs with one of our service users

Prevention in action: is it being prioritised?

Local authorities in England must do more in their local areas to provide services which prevent, reduce or delay the need for care and support.

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