CarersBlog

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Another Queen’s Speech

Note: Emma Smale, Senior Policy and Parliamentary Officer at Carers Trust has contributed the following blog post.

Another Queen’s Speech and another missed opportunity for reforming the Social Care System. I wish I was surprised, but sadly this Government is rather good at delaying really important decisions or making them far too quickly.

So, the Government has decided that urgently needed Social Care legislation can be put off for at least another year and whilst there will be a draft bill, which offers some hope, it won’t look at the critical issue of funding.  This is bitterly disappointing for everyone who needs social care services and for carers. We all know that real progress can’t be made unless we find a way of paying for it, so why can’t the Government see what we see?

The thing is another year really matters when the system has been underfunded for decades. At this moment, demand for services is increasing and the amount of cash available for care is falling. Somehow, the Government seems to think that people can carry on looking after each other without support or access to affordable and good quality services. They seem to think it’s ok to carry on relying too much on carers and ignoring the truth that the system is broken.

In fact for 64 years, since the National Assistance Act in 1948, the laws affecting some of the most vulnerable people in society have been messy and confusing.  Successive governments have pondered the need for wholesale reform but the issue of funding has been sidestepped every time.

As this government scales back spending on public services and radicalises the welfare system, we are reminded daily that there is no money in the coffers. But not facing up to the funding crisis in adult social care is an incredibly dangerous strategy. We cannot let this situation go on and on until there is no ‘system’ to speak of and carers are left on their own.

This would save the state millions, but is this the ‘Big Society’ we want to part of? Surely, there is nothing fair or sustainable about allowing Social Care provision to diminish and expecting families to pick up the pieces?

What’s more, failing to address the funding gap and make reform a priority means that the pressure on the NHS and health services will continue to grow. It’s a sad fact that carers know, better than most, that failure to meet needs by social care results in a crisis that health services have to deal with – those years of isolation that lead to a breakdown and admission to hospital means extra cost for everyone. Reform also provides an opportunity to integrate health and social care services and to ensure that people receive co-ordinated care.

There is a real risk that time will run out for this Government and Social Care reform will be unfinished business. Before we know it, it will be time for another election and it is perfectly possible that a different Government will then have to sort out an even more dire situation.

We’re not asking for ‘quick and dirty’ law making which will only be damaging, but we cannot afford to loose this opportunity to make desperately needed change to the system. We need to act now and make it clear that older and disabled people and their carers cannot wait. We will not accept any more delays for reforming Social Care.

**Tweet to @Number10Gov using #CareCantWait

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May 14, 2012 - Posted by | Social Care | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. “As this government scales back spending on public services and radicalises the welfare system, we are reminded daily that there is no money in the coffers. But not facing up to the funding crisis in adult social care is an incredibly dangerous strategy. We cannot let this situation go on and on until there is no ‘system’ to speak of and carers are left on their own”

    Once again CARERS are being treated as SLAVE LABOUR. Cuts in SOCIAL CARE FUNDING is not the only issue its also the CHANGES FROM DLA TO PIP which is nothing more that an exercise to cut the back money to the DISABLED AND THERE CARERS.

    NO matter what this government does CARERS will continue to provide 24/7 care NO MATTER WHAT THE COST
    ESPECIALLY TO THEMSELVES

    WHY DOES THIS GOVERENT AND THE COUNTRY SEE NOTHING WRONG IN GIVING BILLIONS TO BANKS AND ALREADY WELL OFF PEOPLE
    WHILE CUTTING MONEY AND
    SUPPORT
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | May 15, 2012 | Reply


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