Angry social care campaigners have described the Prime Minister’s promise of bold action and long-term decision making as laughable after the sector was ignored in his speech.
During his address to the Conservative Party conference, Rishi Sunak promised to “give the country what it sorely needs and yet too often has been denied: a government prepared to make long-term decisions…”
But social care providers said it was impossible to take that promise seriously when the care of older and vulnerable adults was not even mentioned in the speech.
Mike Padgham, chair of the care provider organisation, the Independent Care Group (ICG), said: “The Prime Minister’s promises were, sadly, laughable, given that social care did not even merit a passing mention and in the light of all that we have been promised in the past.
“Mr Sunak criticises the 30-year ‘political status quo’ and yet, ironically that is how long social care providers have been asking for the reform of a sector which is struggling before their very eyes.
“He talks on the one hand about being bold, about a government making long-term decisions and about being radical – but on the other hand he is blatantly ignoring a sector of society that has been crying out for bold, radical, long-term action for all of those 30 years.
“Pledge number four in Mr Sunak’s five key priorities announced in January was to cut waiting lists and get people the care they need more quickly.
“Well, here we are 10 months later and one of the key planks in delivering that promise has not even been addressed. Better support for social care would help end the log jam in our hospitals by providing more support for people in the community, keeping them out of hospital beds and getting NHS healthcare running again.
“If you wanted to be bold, radical and long-term, Mr Sunak, why did you ignore social care altogether?
“Given all the promises we have heard in the past, it is very hard to take political pledges seriously any more – especially when what you are campaigning for is not even mentioned.”