A social care provider has called on the Government to publish the Green Paper on social care and give 1.4m people currently going without care some hope for 2019.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, has published a New Year message, urging the Government to take action on the crisis in social care in the coming 12 months.
In his message he says: “This year all the noise was about Brexit. Important as that undoubtedly is – and will be for many, many months to come – it is appalling how that debate has dominated all else.
Crime, education, health and the care of the youngest and oldest people in this country have all been pushed down the priority list.
“Whichever side of the Brexit debate you are on, that cannot be a healthy state of affairs for Britain as we head into 2019.”
He says the Government Green Paper on social care has now been delayed at least four times, with no date set for when it will be published.
“If Brexit has a backstop, then social care should have a backstop too, over when the Green Paper is published, as we cannot wait any longer,” he adds.
“Carers didn’t get much of a break this festive period. If the Government was truly concerned about the care of our most vulnerable they should have worked a day longer or should go back a day earlier, to start tackling the crisis. Let’s see real change in social care in 2019 and not another year of drift.
Then we can all have a Happy New Year!”
In the message he calls for:
• an overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded, merging it with NHS health care
• support for care providers, including making care zero-rated for VAT
• proper reward for care staff, including a minimum wage above the National Minimum Wage
• dementia to be treated as a health issue
• a cap on social care costs, including ‘hotel’ charges
• a whole new model for delivering care based on catchment areas like GPs operate
• Greater power for the CQC to oversee commissioning to ensure that people are getting the care they need.