Devon elderly charity's workload increases by 65%

Elderly care generic
Image caption The charity claimed it saved the NHS and Social Services at least £700,000 a year with its services

A charity which helps the elderly and vulnerable in Devon said its workload has increased by 65% in three years.

Dartmouth Caring has dipped into its reserves to survive and is concerned if it does not get more funding some services could go.

The charity claims it saved the NHS and Social Services at least £700,000 a year with its services.

The MP for Totnes Dr Sarah Wollaston said charities like Dartmouth Caring should receive money from the NHS.

Alison Stocks, the charity's manager, said: "Over the last three years we've had a 65% increase of needs and requirements.

"It varies from people needing help with shopping to more complex needs with care and coping in the home."

It provided 2,000 home visits and more than 3,000 hours of subsidised transport last year.

£3bn funding pot

Frank Goodwin, one of the clients, said: "My wife is now in residential care so I am on my own. Before that I had open heart surgery and Dartmouth Caring was wonderful."

Joyce Morgan, who also uses the service, said: "The social side is very broad. You meet lots of people. If you need help they are there for you."

The charity said it received "no statutory help" and every penny raised was "through hard work".

Dr Wollaston, the Conservative MP, said: "These charities are so deeply embedded in the local community, they really understand what people need."

She said charities like Dartmouth Caring should benefit from a £3bn commissioning plan between NHS and councils for social care announced as part of the Spending Review.

"Increasingly we know money going into social care roles saves the NHS money as it prevents people needing to go into hospital. It's a small investment to save the NHS a lot of money," Dr Wollaston said.

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