Visitors to a day care centre today played a vital role as a campaigner began writing to all 650 of the country’s MPs over the crisis in the social care sector.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, is writing to MPs calling for action to help more than 1.4m older and vulnerable adults who are not currently getting the care they need.
Today visitors to his day care centre, Saint Cecilia’s Day Care in Scarborough, were called in to action to put the 650 letters into envelopes, ready for sending out.
Mr Padgham said: “The visitors were only too pleased to help as they recognise that the current social care crisis puts day care centres like this one and all care homes, nursing homes and domiciliary care providers at risk,” he said.
In his letter to MPs, Mr Padgham says: “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.
“We cannot wait for the long-promised and long-delayed Green Paper on care, because even when that is finally published it will be many months, if not years, before we see meaningful change. We need action now.”
He calls for 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.
“Social care employs 1. 5m people, which is 200,000 more than the NHS, and contributes £46.2bn to the economy. With the right support, it could contribute even more, whilst providing proper, sustainable care for a rapidly ageing population,” the letter adds.
“Governments of all political persuasion have failed to tackle social care and we are now sleepwalking towards a greater crisis that will see hundreds of thousands more people going without care.
“We have had 12 social care ministers in the past 20 years and still we are in the mess we are in today. The last 20 years have seen 12 green papers, white papers and consultations of one kind and another about social care and five independent reviews of funding. We talk the talk and set out with good intentions I am sure, but always get the same disastrous result. We never learn and as the saying goes, ‘those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it’.
What is needed now is not more analysis but a clear commitment to action to address both the immediate short term pressures and longer term sustainable funding. Today I urge you to take action to stop the crisis in social care and help hundreds of thousands of people currently denied the care they need.”