And Mike Padgham is urging the public to put pressure on their MPs during the Easter break to address social care and get the long-delayed Green Paper on the issue published.
Mr Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, wrote to every MP in November, calling for action to help more than 1.4m older and vulnerable adults who are not currently getting the care they need. He had fewer than 10 replies.
“The Easter break gives MPs the opportunity to catch their breath, take stock and perhaps realise that whilst they have been completely immersed in Brexit, the care of our oldest and most vulnerable continues to deteriorate,” he said.
“The Government promised us a Green Paper on social care funding by April, but now it looks to be delayed indefinitely and that isn’t fair on the 1.4m people who aren’t getting the care they need.
“Easter and spring time give the sense of a new beginning and the Government must seize that and make a fresh start on tackling the issues facing social care. At the very least there has to be an urgent debate on the state of adult social care and what can be done about it.”
Some £7bn has been cut from council social care budgets in the past eight years and without action, the sector is facing a predicted shortfall of some £2.8bn by 2019/20, or £3.5bn by 2025.
Care and nursing homes are closing and homecare providers are handing back untenable contracts, meaning people are going without care.
Mr Padgham wants to see the integration of social care with NHS care, better funding for social care and for care to be made zero rated for VAT, all of which would enable social care providers to invest, properly reward and recruit staff and be ready for a rapidly increasing demand for care.