A leading social care group today called on the Government to end austerity for the country’s oldest and most vulnerable people.
The Independent Care Group says the Government must end the crisis in social care which currently sees more than 1.2m people going without the care they need.
Their warning comes after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) warned that savings of £824m were being made from council care, despite the extra £1bn the Government announced for councils to spend on social care in the budget.
Figures also showed that for the first time in nine years, more nurses and midwives are leaving than joining the profession, which will further exacerbate the crisis in care.
The Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham said: “There is a growing call to end austerity. Well let’s start with the country’s oldest and most vulnerable people, who have endured austerity for many, many years – from government after government!”
He warned that social care had been a big issue during the General Election but had now fallen from the headlines after other issues – from terrorist attacks and the London fire, to Brexit – had taken over.
In the cabinet reshuffle the social care portfolio had again been given to a parliamentary under-secretary of state, Jackie Doyle-Price, rather than a senior minister at Cabinet level, as it was under David Cameron.
“This again highlights the lack of priority being given to social care, as there will be nobody at the top table arguing its case,” Mr Padgham added. “There is a real danger that the millions of people who need care and those who deliver it are going to be forgotten once again.
“Recent weeks have shown that the Government can find money in an emergency – in a political crisis or in the wake of human tragedy. Social care is in crisis and though it may have dropped from the headlines, the problems haven’t gone away.
“Older and vulnerable people deserve to be treated better. More and more are going without care and that is going to get worse and at the same time providers are going out of business. We cannot wait for yet another document, the Green Paper, we need action now.”