False Economy ran from 2010-2015. This site is no longer being updated, but the False Economy research team continue to report at Sentinel News.
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Everything you wanted to know about…

Social care

The Grange daycentre users talk about projects they've work onThe Grange daycentre's Eddie Davies holds up a picture of participants in a Grange community project. The daycentre was shut in 2011 (deptfordvisions.com)


People who need care services (help with a range of daily activities, from dressing, to bathing, to shopping and going out) apply to their local council and have their needs evaluated by the council's social care team.

After that evaluation, people are placed in one of four Fair Access to Care Bands (the category descriptions below have been edited – full descriptions for each band are in this Department of Health briefing, from page 21):

Problems as councils cut budgets and services

Many councils have stopped funding care for people in the low and moderate groups. Some have also tried to restrict funding to people in the critical band which has led to court challenges.

The Independent recently published a report based on False Economy Freedom of Information data on the numbers of people affected by these band changes in the past two years. Our data showed that more than 7000 disabled and elderly people had lost some or all of their state-funded support after councils changed eligibility rules.

Interviews with people affected

In the video below, Margaret Cropper, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, explains that she wasn't even sure which FACS category she was in when her council (Lancashire county council) announced in 2011 that it would stop funding the “moderate” category.

See also:

Other issues

Increased charges for care

Councils across the country have been rapidly increasing charges for a range of services, including homecare, meals on wheels and transport.

An FOI investigation into care charges at the end of last year showed showed that the average charge for an hour of home care increased by ten percent between 2009/10 and 2012/13 from £12.29 to £13.61.

The Department of Health's Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential social services.

Interviews with people affected
Independent Living Fund closure

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) was originally set up to provide extra funding for people with severe disabilities who wanted to live independently and stay in their own homes. The fund was closed to new applicants in 2010.

Now, the government is consulting on plans to shut the fund. It will devolve funding to local authorities in England and to the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales. The consultation began on 12 July 2012 and will finish on 10 October 2012.

ILF users have raised many issues, including concerns that councils will not be in a position to prioritise this funding and care in an era of vicious cuts to social care. 

Daycentre and other centre closures

People around the country have also had to deal with the closure of popular services like daycentres. In this video, Andrew Millarkie, Chris Alvison, Donald Gibson, Victor Baylor, Eddie Davies, Terence Jones and Trevor Brian Steadman and Anne Lee, a group of people from Shropshire, talk about the loss of their daycentre.

Their centre - called The Grange - was an adapted, staffed and popular community hall and club used by people with severe physical disabilities. People's conditions included multiple sclerosis, severe epilepsy, cerebral palsy and debilitating strokes. They attended the daycentre for social events, to use the centre's computers and to take part in community projects.

Cuts listed in our databases

See the hundreds of social care and charity cuts and increased charges listed in False Economy cuts databases here and here.


A shorter version of this section is available for download as a pdf factsheet.