Worried care providers have written an urgent letter to Boris Johnson asking him to act quickly over a growing crisis in social care.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) has urged the prime minister 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, says: “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.
Adding: “During your leadership campaign you promised to make social care a priority, pledging to end the situation where people have to sell their home to pay for care. We now call upon you to be true to your word.”
The ICG has also invited the new 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 continues.
“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. Many previous governments have promised to tackle social care but have failed to deliver. This is your opportunity to be different and I hope you will be.”
The ICG is calling for urgent action to be taken straight away to get extra funding into social care, even if that is before the publication of the long-delayed Green Paper.
Padgham goes on: “I reiterate that extra funding must be urgently invested in adult social care to stem the rise in those going without care.
“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 group argues that there is a human case and an economic case for supporting social care as support for social care eases pressure on the NHS by keeping people out of costly NHS hospital beds.
The letter states: “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 number of people aged over 85 in the UK is predicted to double by 2041 to 3.2m.”
Concluding: “For all these reasons and many more, we therefore urge you to act swiftly and tackle the crisis in social care. The 1.4m people who aren’t getting the care they need deserve nothing less.”
The ICG says the past 17 years has seen 13 documents – four independent reviews/commissions, four consultations and five white and green papers on care.