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What people are saying about not being able to access the support they need

I’m not getting the support I need
There’s a lack of resources
Waiting for support is affecting my life
It’s difficult to get support where I live

I’m not getting the support I need

Many people are not able to get the health and care support they need quickly enough – if at all.

Across the country, people report struggling with their health because of difficulties getting GP appointments, long waiting times and problems accessing specialist care.

Similarly, in a survey of NHS patients by The Patients Association 66% of individuals said they struggled to access one or more services. 

And nearly half (48%) of people with a long-term mental health condition have experienced seeking treatment for a mental health issue for themselves or a loved one and not receiving it .

Others are not getting the social care support they need because it’s unaffordable.

Care costs are high, and affordable home carers or care home places are few and far between. Even those that are entitled to financial support find it challenging to secure the money necessary to get the care needed.

This came through loud and clear when The Care and Support Alliance conducted a survey of Disabled people, older people and unpaid carers and found one in seven (14%) of respondents have ultimately needed hospital treatment because of a lack of care support.

Data point from our recent health and care survey

There’s a lack of resources

Frontline staff find they are often not able to provide the support people need. This is often linked to resourcing issues. They report having to turn away people who are desperate for help simply because they have nowhere to send them.

Lack of resources came up frequently in the community conversations – hear what people had to say about services being too stretched.

Waiting for support is having an affect on my life

People’s daily lives are affected when they can’t get the support they need when they need it most. Delays to receiving treatment mean conditions worsen before they get dealt with.

And the struggle to navigate support affects the mental health of the loved ones in need and those seeking out help on their behalf.

In fact, in our survey a quarter of people (25%) report waiting a long time for NHS treatment either for themselves or a loved one having a serious impact on their mental health.

It’s difficult to get support where I live

Those with experience of health and care in different parts of the country talk about a “postcode lottery”. For example, some have found it much harder to get a GP appointment on moving to a new area.

This chimes with our survey, where around half of people (52%) reported struggling to get a GP appointment when they need it. Scots report having a slightly easier time than most, while people from Yorkshire and the West Midlands report the greatest challenges.

Some said they could only find a care home space over an hour’s drive away. Others have to travel hundreds of miles to places like Cardiff or London to get specialist support for their health conditions.