Charity leaders urge Prime Minister to stick to social care promise
Leaders of 50 charities and non-for-profit organisations have written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to stick to his promise to fix social care.
The Care and Support Alliance (CSA), whose members include Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society and National Care Forum, calls on the government to introduce funding reform a cap on care costs.
In addition, the CSA letter urges investment in council social care budgets and to ensure care staff get a fair rate of pay.
The full letter reads as follows.
Dear Prime Minister,
As leaders of charities and not for profit organisations that support older people and disabled people, and their unpaid carers, and people with long term health conditions, we were delighted when you stated in Downing Street, on becoming Prime Minister, that you would “fix social care”. It was inspiring and it gave us enormous hope.
In May this year, we were equally pleased, and also relieved, to hear your commitment to bringing forward proposals on social care later this year restated in the Queen's Speech. We and the millions with whom we work really do now need you to follow through.
We are therefore writing to urge you to take decisive action to fulfil your promise during the remaining months of this year.
Every day we see both the enormous benefits of good social care when it is available and delivered well, and the awful struggles and misery of those who either can't get care at all, or for whom it is inadequate in terms of quality or quantity.
We also see the toll on unpaid carers of supporting someone they love without enough back-up from understaffed and underfunded services. Too often we are asking these great people to do too much unaided.
During the pandemic tens of thousands died before their time in care homes from Covid-19. The best possible legacy we can give all those who have lost loved ones would be to ensure that we fix the care system so that a similar tragedy cannot happen again.
We have seen suggestions in the media that you are considering making funding reform, probably in the form of a ‘cap’ on catastrophic costs, the centrepiece of your care reforms. Our view is that this would not be enough on its own to meet the promise you have made.
To stay true to your word, you also need to do at least two additional things: first, invest significantly more money into councils’ social care budgets so everyone who needs care benefits; and secondly, ensure care staff get a fair rate of pay and the professional respect they deserve for the important work they do.
If you take action of this kind, you will lay the foundations for the strong and effective care system our country badly needs. Any of us could find ourselves, or a loved one, needing care at some point in our lives, so reforming and investing in services now would benefit us all.
For the sake of the millions of our fellow citizens who we collectively support we urge you to keep your word and stand by the promise you have made.