A social care provider is calling on the Prime Minister to make looking after our oldest and most vulnerable top of her New Year resolution list in his third letter to her.
Mike Padgham has told Theresa May that the crisis in the care of our oldest and most vulnerable continues to get worse and urgent action is required.
He has already written to the Prime Minister twice this year and written to the social care minister Jackie Doyle-Price. Each time he has invited them to experience social care on the front line to see the crisis the sector is facing. So far the invitations have been turned down.
In his latest letter he writes: “As I write this, Alzheimer’s Society is reporting that 1,400 people will spend Christmas in hospital because there isn’t adequate social care for them to be looked after if discharged. That’s a disgrace.
“Hospitals are reporting that they are up to 99% full – even before the worst of the winter weather. Again, they cannot discharge many patients who need social care to look after them after hospital.
Age UK reports that 1.2m people are now going without the care they need, the CQC says there are now 4,000 fewer nursing home beds than there were in 2015 and the BBC reports that we will have a 3,000 bed shortfall by the end of next year.”
He says facts and figures only hint at the misery faced by older and vulnerable people because social care is in crisis and that enabling local councils to spend more will not go any way towards tackling the shortfall social care currently faces.
He calls for a complete overhaul of the way social care is funded, the bringing forward of the Green Paper on social care, scheduled for next summer, and for the Government to reconsider the £72,500 cap on care costs, a proposal recently scrapped.
He concludes: “When you came to power you promised to fight injustice and make a Britain that works for everyone. Well, this country isn’t working for our oldest and most vulnerable and we all have a duty to address that.”
Mr Padgham added: “We have to keep up the pressure on the Government as with each passing day, the crisis in social care gets deeper. Care homes are closing, homecare agencies are handing back unsustainable contracts and worst of all, more and more people are going without the care they need.”