Put pressure on the Government to fix the Social Care Crisis

The English Care Crisis

Charities throughout the UK have been campaigning for years for the Government to properly fund care for elderly people. In his first speech after being elected Boris Johnson said: “My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care.

“And so I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all, and with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”

That was two years ago. We are still waiting for some action from Captain Chaos.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is a cross-party organisation representing over 300 councils and London Boroughs. Their members are at the sharp end of providing adult social care. They say that funding from Central Government should grow in line with demand for support. James Jamieson, the LGA chairman, said that one-off grants are “sticking plaster solutions”. They want the investment to deliver a preventative approach, enabling people to be supported in their own homes. The LGA also say that a long-term funding solution, which could include a tax increase, is required.

The MHA provides care, accommodation and support to more than 18,500 older people across the UK. In May their Chief Executive, Sam Monaghan, said: “For far too long older people and their needs have been neglected by successive governments of all political persuasions and the time has come to finally fix care for all…

“Over the last 20 years the adult social care sector has borne the brunt of many broken promises. There have been green papers, white papers, commissions, reviews, yet still the system remains broken.

“What we now need is decisive action from Government…”

Ten years ago the coalition Government led by David Cameron published the Dilnot Commission’s report to deal with the ‘catastrophic cost’ of adult social care. Obviously they didn’t deal with anything at all. They published a report. Sir Andrew Dilnot said that failure by successive Governments to fix the social care system is a “stain on our nation”.

In March this year a Parliamentary inquiry was launched to find out what needs to be done to solve the ongoing social care funding and workforce crisis. Amazing. A quick search online would tell them. This is called kicking the can down the road. Age UK reckon that 1.5 million people aged 65+ don’t receive the care and support they need with essential living activities.

The lack of funding doesn’t just affect the individuals who are suffering, it affects entire extended families. Estimates vary, but an extra £8bn a year would make a big difference. It ought to make good political sense to look after such a huge number of voters. Where could the money come from? Growing the economy.

In May the Daily Express wrote: Between 2015-2016 and 2019-2020, 120,000 more people requested social care support but around 14,000 fewer people received it.

People were hoping a solution to the social care crisis would be announced in the Queen’s Speech on 11th May. But the Government merely said it would put forward proposals – not actually do anything – by the end of this year.

Age UK are calling for a new national system that’s free and available to everyone when they need it.

They want to see a care system that:

  • joins up health and care services
  • increases support for unpaid carers
  • has an independent, nationally agreed eligibility and assessment process that enables those in need to access it
  • is funded through taxation
  • provides support for working age, sick and disabled adults as well as older people
  • invests in care workers to ensure high quality care.

Age UK have published this easy to use form on their website to enable you to write to your MP and ask them to make sure that social care reform is actually delivered.

Alan Tucker

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