Speaking to the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), Mike Padgham said people had had enough of endless delays and wanted to see progress.
“We must fight for a better deal – for all the amazing providers who deliver care but most of all for those receiving it and their families. Mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles – people who rely on social care just to get out of bed in the morning, just to enjoy a decent meal, just to have a safe roof over their heads and just to enjoy a decent quality of life with dignity and compassion.
“In a caring society, it is the least they should expect.”
Mr Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, added: “People say they are sick of Brexit and I can understand why. But we have been campaigning to get improvements to social care for 20 years!
“Whether you agree or disagree with their tactics, you have to admire the passion shown by Extinction Rebellion protestors this week – we need more passion to save social care!
“I’m sick of hearing let’s get Brexit done – it’s time to get social care done!”
Earlier, Mr Padgham told the forum in Nottingham that the Government had to get more funding into social care to help the 1.4m who aren’t currently getting the care they need and the thousands more who will need help in the future.
“It may sound like an obvious solution – but if we are to start reversing the situation for the 1.4m who aren’t getting care now and start to plan for rising demand, we have to do it.
“Whether through taxation, as Labour is suggesting, or National Insurance, it has to happen.
“At the moment – to borrow a food analogy – we are trying to make the perfect omelette with no eggs!”
He said there was a need to combine health and social care and decide whether this joined up provision is locally or nationally managed; to properly recognize and reward social care staff, which is all our responsibilities; make care zero-rated for VAT and get more government support for the sector as it does for other industries.
He warned that the £8bn cuts from social care funding since 2010 was leaving social care on the edge and the endless delays to the Government’s planned Green Paper on care had to stop.
“Social care is on the edge – with 1.4m people living without the care they need,” he told the forum. “Providers are going under or handing back contracts and a very uncertain future for everyone.
“Only this week we have heard about the CQC expressing concerns over the future of the Advinia Group, which looks after around 3,000 older people. Eight out of 10 hospital chief executives are warning that their wards will not be able to cope within a year because there isn’t enough care to look after older people away from hospital.
“When he took office, Boris Johnson pledged: “We will fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.
“I was full of optimism – at last, someone was going to grasp the social care nettle.
“But the weeks went by and there has been very little. In his conference speech last week, Boris Johnson again promised to “solve the problem of social care and end the injustice that means people have to sell their home to pay for their old age” and there were optimistic murmurings at a fringe meeting too. But there were no practical solutions forthcoming.
“Like many governments before them, this government is finding that nettle quite prickly.”
- The ICG has written to the Prime Minister inviting him to visit social care providers on the frontline at its base in North Yorkshire to see the challenges facing the sector. It is calling for urgent action to be taken straight away to get extra funding into social care. It argues that there is a human case and an economic case for supporting social care. Support for social care eases pressure on the NHS by keeping people out of costly NHS hospital beds. The sector employs 1.62m – more than the NHS – and contributes £40.5bn to the economy.
The ICG says the past 17 years has seen 13 documents – four independent reviews/commissions, four consultations and five white and green papers on care. It argues that action, rather than further discussion, is now overdue.