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Funding health and social services for older people:a qualitative study of the views of care recipients in the last year of life

Hanratty, B and Lowson, E and Holmes, L and Grande, G. and Addington-Hall, J. and Payne, Sheila and Seymour, J. (2012) Funding health and social services for older people:a qualitative study of the views of care recipients in the last year of life. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 105 (5). pp. 201-207. ISSN 0141-0768

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Abstract

Objectives This study explores the views of older adults who are receiving health and social care at the end of their lives, on how services should be funded, and describes their health-related expenditure. Design Qualitative interview study Setting North West England Participants 30 people aged 69–93 years, diagnosed with lung cancer, heart failure or stroke and judged by health professionals to be in their last year of life. Sixteen participants lived in disadvantaged areas. Main outcome measures Views of older adults on funding of services. Results Participants expressed a belief in an earned entitlement to services funded from taxation, based on a broad sense of being a good citizen. Irrespective of social background, older people felt that those who could afford to pay for social care, should do so. Sale of assets and use of children's inheritance to fund care was widely perceived as an injustice. The costs of living with illness are a burden, and families are filling many of the gaps left by welfare provision. People who had worked in low-wage occupations were most concerned to justify their current acceptance of services, and distance themselves from what they described as welfare ‘spongers’ or ‘layabouts.’ Conclusions There is a gap between the health and social care system that older adults expect and what may be provided by a reformed welfare state at a time of financial stringencies. The values that underpinned the views expressed – mutuality, care for the most needy, and the importance of working to contribute to society – are an important contribution to the debate on welfare funding.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
ID Code: 52188
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 21 Dec 2011 10:17
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 08:29
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/52188

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