Candidates Show Little Care About Care

The Tory leadership candidates were today accused of showing very little care over the way we look after older and vulnerable adults.

Campaigner Mike Padgham wrote to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, calling on them to come clean on their plans for social care if they become the next Prime Minister.

He also invited both to visit a care provider in North Yorkshire to see first-hand the crisis facing social care on the frontline.

But two weeks after writing, Mr Padgham is yet to receive a reply. He has written again, calling on them to respond.

Mr Padgham, Chair of the provider organization The Independent Care Group (ICG), said: “The silence is deafening and it seems both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss don’t appear to care very much when it comes to the future of social care.

“Aside from a passing reference by Liz Truss to diverting more money towards social care and Rishi Sunak telling Facebook that social care is safe in his hands, we have yet to see how the candidates will properly reform social care, get funding to the frontline quickly and properly pay and recognise staff to end the staffing crisis.

“We are in a full-blown crisis, where people are unable to get the care they need.

“And just to be clear, that can mean when your mother or father needs someone to help them get up in the morning, or get dressed, cook a meal, or get to bed, that won’t happen.

“Or when a relative needs a room in a care home, then there won’t be any available.

“And when your local care home closes and the residents are scattered far and wide to other homes, possibly even in different towns.

“Those are the realities of a crisis in social care. They are already happening now and are going to get worse, unless politicians wake up to the situation we are in.”

In his new letter to the candidates, Mr Padgham writes: “…I appreciate that other issues, like the economy and the rising cost of living are dominating your thinking at the moment. However, I think social care should feature more prominently that it has.

Homecare providers and nursing and care homes are struggling to survive and you will know that when social care suffers, the knock-on effect means that all other healthcare suffers too as hospitals cannot discharge patients because there is no care available.

This is all down to a lack of funding in social care, which precedes your time in Government but is nevertheless being prolonged by the current administration.

We need to hear from you what you plan to do to reverse this, to build a social care sector that is fit for purpose and which rewards its staff properly.”

“I’m not holding my breath for a reply from the two candidates,” Mr Padgham added. “They clearly feel that the Conservative party electorate isn’t interested in social care and that the votes at this particular election are all on the economy, on tax and on tackling the cost-of-living crisis. However, we deserve to know what they plan for social care too.”

 

Dear Candidate,

Following up on my previous letter I am disappointed not to receive a reply.

There is still time, and I believe the people of this country deserve to know how you intend to tackle the crisis in care, which grows deeper every day.

I appreciate that other issues, like the economy and the rising cost of living are dominating your thinking at the moment. However, I think social care should feature more prominently that it has.

Homecare providers and nursing and care homes are struggling to survive and you will know that when social care suffers, the knock-on effect means that all other healthcare suffers too as hospitals cannot discharge patients because there is no care available.

This is all down to a lack of funding in social care, which precedes your time in Government but is nevertheless being prolonged by the current administration.

We need to hear from you what you plan to do to reverse this, to build a social care sector that is fit for purpose and which rewards its staff properly.

There are currently some 165,000 vacancies in social care – one in 10 social care posts in England is unfilled.

Your colleague, Health Secretary Steve Barclay believes recruiting from overseas is the answer but this will not tackle the real issue.

Whilst overseas workers are welcome, we cannot rely upon them. Instead, we should be properly rewarding social care staff with proper pay and a career structure akin to their counterparts in the NHS. Then working in social care will be an attractive option for people from home or abroad.

As I said in my previous letter, a fresh start provides an opportunity for a new prime minister to tackle the social care crisis once and for all and we deserve to hear how you plan to do it.

I repeat my open invitation to you to visit a care provider or am happy to meet with you whenever and wherever you wish to discuss this critical issue.

 

Mike Padgham

Chair

Independent Care Group

 

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