Matt Hancock or Prime Minister Boris Johnson must resign if the government fails to deliver urgent, root and branch reform of social care during their term in office, care providers have said.
As the row over the testing of patients discharged into care homes during the pandemic rumbles on, the Independent Care Group (ICG) says it is time the government was held accountable for “years of neglect of social care” that have led to the current crisis.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “It seems unlikely that any heads will roll over the issue of people being discharged into care homes without Covid-19 tests, but the years of neglect that left social care in crisis and vulnerable to something like coronavirus cannot go unchallenged any longer.
“More than 30,000 people died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 between December 2019 and now. Every loss has been a human tragedy – a parent, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle or a friend.”
Padgham continued: “It is true that people were discharged into homes without Covid-19 tests and that is a scandal. It is also a scandal that 1.5m people cannot get the care they need and £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010.
“Government after government has promised to reform social care but betrayed those 1.5m people again and again. It can be little surprise that the care of our most vulnerable was in crisis long before Covid-19 struck. It was not in a position to deal with this terrible pandemic.
“Those years of neglect cannot go on any longer. We must hold the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister accountable for what happens next. They must be forced to promise social care reform within this parliament on resign if they fail to deliver again.”