A leading care provider has spelled out the need for urgent reform in a special video message on the doorstep of the Department for Health and Social Care.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation the Independent Care Group (ICG) recorded a video giving a message to new secretary of state Sajid Javid.
After writing to him last week, Mr Padgham spelt out in cards on the video:
“Hello Mr Javid, congratulations on your new job. I was just passing and I wondered if you had read my letter yet? 1.5m people are waiting for an answer and for you to tackle social care. I have been waiting 30+ years. Please come and visit us in North Yorks. I have every faith in you… Be bold and solve the crisis. I look forward to hearing from you!”
The video was inspired by the video for Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” filmed behind the Savoy Hotel in London in 1964.
Mr Padgham said: “I was in London and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss as I knew I would be passing 39 Victoria Street and could leave a message for Mr Javid, as part of our ongoing campaign to get reform for social care.
“I wrote to him last week and to his predecessor many times but am yet to get any reply – I thought this might make a rather more visible reminder than just a photograph.”
In his previous letter to Mr Javid, Mr Padgham wrote: “The Covid-19 pandemic has further ravaged an already depleted sector. Care providers, already on their knees following years of neglect, have been dealt a bitter and potentially fatal blow by the pandemic.
“Rising costs associated with tackling the pandemic and the failure of bed occupancy rates to recover have plunged many into extreme financial difficulty. There have already been provider failures and more will come unless action is taken swiftly. Those caring for people in their own home through domiciliary care – a central plank in the Government policy on social care – are also struggling and there have been provider losses here too.
We cannot go on like this any longer or the social care system will collapse through a loss of providers and that will be devastating for the millions of people who rely on services for a decent quality of life.”
He said he hoped Mr Javid would seize an opportunity to go down in history as the secretary of state who finally tackled social care.
Some £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 and more than 1.6m people are now living without the care they need.