Political leaders have been challenged to deliver “urgent, fundamental and lasting reform” of the social care system.
An open letter with more than 70 signatories, including representatives of leading charities, academics and peers, argues that the current system is failing to meet the needs of disabled people and the elderly, resulting in “terrible examples of abuse and neglect in parts of the care system”. Those with disabilities are not receiving essential support to live independent lives and take part in society.
Published in the Telegraph on 3 January and delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron, the letter also highlights the plight of those who are forced to leave work to care for elderly or disabled relatives. Many carers are pushed to “breaking point” by the need to provide 24 hour care and businesses are suffering from the resulting loss of experienced staff. In addition, the NHS is forced to cater for increasing numbers of avoidable hospital admissions caused by lack of support for disabled people, the elderly and their carers.
Signatories to today’s open letter include representatives of leading SEN charities such as the National Autistic Society, RNIB, Mencap and Sense.
Following last summer’s independent Dilnot Commission into Funding of Care and Support, the Government promised that it would publish a White Paper on Social Care in April this year. The open letter urges politicians of all parties to work together to reach a consensus and “seize the opportunity” to bring about crucial reforms through the White Paper.