Responding to the publication by NHS England of A&E waiting times in the week before Christmas, Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance, which represents more than 75 of leading Britain’s charities, said:
“These statistics reflect the huge pressure not just on the health service but also the ongoing squeeze in council-funded social care. Chronic underfunding has left hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people, who need support to do the basics, like getting up or out of the house, cut out of the care system.
“This has a knock on effect on the health service that is forced to pick up the pieces when people become isolated, can’t live on their own and slip into crisis.
“Every day, our organisations hear horror stories of people who struggle to get the support they need. This also has a huge impact on carers, who we know are struggling right now. Chronic underfunding has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of social care support for older and disabled people and their carers, excluding thousands from the support they desperately need.
“As more and more of us need care, and fewer and fewer of us get it, the Government needs to fund care properly, as well as the health system. As health experts argue, anything else is a false economy.”