Worried care providers have written an open letter to the new Prime Minister, urging him to act quickly over the growing crisis in social care.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) has asked Boris Johnson to make social care his top domestic priority “for the sake of the 1.4m people who currently can’t get the care they need”.
In the letter, the group’s chair, Mike Padgham (pictured), said: “The chronic underfunding of social care in the past decade has left 1.4m people without the care they need – a figure that is rising by the day.
“Care and nursing homes are closing and homecare agencies are handing back contracts because they are untenable to deliver.
“During your leadership campaign you promised to make social care a priority. We now call upon you to be true to your word.”
The ICG invites the Prime Minister to visit social care providers on the frontline at its base in North Yorkshire to see the challenges facing the sector.
“I wrote to your predecessor, Theresa May, and to various ministers, inviting them to visit social care on the frontline and urging them to act on the issue, but with little response,” Padgham added.
“I repeat that invitation to you and would welcome you here in Yorkshire. Providers have many constructive solutions to input into the tackling of the crisis and I would be happy to share them with you.”
The ICG is calling for extra funding into social care, even if that is before the publication of the long-delayed Green Paper.
“I reiterate that extra funding must be urgently invested in adult social care to stem the rise in those going without care,” Padgham wrote.
“The long-delayed Green Paper on social care must be published or, better still, emergency measures put in place now and the Green Paper issued later.
“And immediate action must be taken to tackle the scandal which currently denies dementia sufferers the same support as those with cancer or heart disease.”
The letter argues that there is a human case and an economic case for supporting social care -the sector employs 1.62m, and contributes £40.5bn to the economy, Padgham said.
“It could contribute even more with the right support. Indeed, it will have to, as the number of people needing care is expected to rise significantly in the coming years,” the chairman added.