Fifty leaders in the care sector have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to finally honour his pledge to fix social care.
As well as introducing funding reform with a cap on “catastrophic” care costs, the letter urges the PM to invest significantly more money into social care budgets so that everyone who needs care benefits and “ensure care staff get a fair rate of pay and the professional respect they deserve for the important work they do”.
Fifty charities and professional care associations, including UKHCA and Care England, have signed the letter.
Tweeting about the document on Friday, UKHCA chief executive Dr Jane Townson said: “Today, I joined 50 leaders in the care sector to urge @BorisJohnson to act on his promise to #FixSocialCare It’s nearly 100 wks since the PM made his promise. Since then 2m requests for care have been turned down. It’s time to act.”
Analysis by the Care & Support Alliance found that since the PM’s pledge to fix social care in July 2019, 2 million requests for formal care and support from adults aged over 18 have been turned down by their local council, an equivalent to around 21,000 each week or 3,000 every day.
Caroline Abrahams CBE, Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance and Charity Director of Age UK, said: “The responsibility for reforming and refinancing care lies squarely with central Government, so it was fantastic to hear the Prime Minister pledge to ‘fix social care once and for all’, when he entered No 10 in July 2019. Now, if this terrible pandemic doesn’t make the case for determined Government action on social care I struggle to think what will. Sadly, we can’t bring back the more than 40,000 lives lost in care settings, but we can at least do everything possible to prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again. That means a thorough overhaul of social care, with the funding to match, starting this year.”
A government spokesperson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have sought to protect everyone working in the social care sector or receiving social care, particularly older people who are more vulnerable to the virus. We have provided almost £1.8 billion for the sector including infection prevention and control measures and prioritised the sector for the vaccine.
“We are committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and, as affirmed in the Queen’s Speech, we will bring forward proposals later this year to ensure every person receives the care they need, provided with the dignity they deserve.”