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Joint APPG Meeting and letter published in The Times

July 28, 2020

The CSA held a joint All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting on 15 July, bringing together Chairs and Co-Chairs of APPGs with an interest in social care.

These Parliamentarians were joined by some of our member organisations who provide the secretariat to these Groups, and discussed some of the issues the social care system has faced during the coronavirus outbreak. They also considered how they can make the case for long-term reform of the system in Parliament and to the Government. 

Chaired by Dame Cheryl Gillan, Chair of the APPG on Autism, the meeting was hugely productive and the group agreed to form a loose sounding board and continue meeting as a collective in the future. 

The meeting also led to a joint letter being published in The Times on Saturday 25 July, calling for a solution to the social care crisis. This was signed by nine Parliamentarians from across both Houses representing these APPGs. A copy of the letter and its signatories is below:

Sir, As chairmen and women of all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) concerned with social care, we met last week to consider the future of this vital service given all that we have learnt in the past six months. We are from different political parties and did not agree about everything, but we did identify much common ground. Above all, we agreed that a social-care solution is needed now more than ever to help disabled people and those with health conditions, older people and unpaid family carers too. If we can hold this kind of constructive dialogue we think others can and we look forward to formal cross-party talks to be called soon, which we will do everything we can to support.

Dame Cheryl Gillan, APPG on autism
Mark Harper,
APPG on learning disability
Barbara Keeley,
APPG on ageing and older people
Baroness Pitkeathley,
former chairwoman, APPG on carers
Baroness Gale,
APPG on Parkinson’s
Drew Hendry,
APPG on terminal illness
Baroness Greengross,
APPGs on dementia and adult social care
Debbie Abrahams,
APPG on dementia
Simon Hoare
APPG on multiple sclerosis
Dr Lisa Cameron,
APPG on disability

Thank you to all of the Parliamentarians who attended and signed this letter, and to our member organisations who supported this event. We look forward to continuing to work with this group in the future to help secure long-term social care reform. 

The CSA’s response to the Spring Budget 2020

March 11, 2020

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“Given the threat posed by the Coronavirus we understand why the Chancellor decided to prioritise strengthening our national resilience and we are pleased that the NHS and social care are both in the mix for extra emergency funding if required. We also note the very substantial additional infrastructure investment that the Chancellor announced today and the fact that the refinancing and reform of our social care system seems to have been passed over yet again, making us worry that by the time the Government decides on what it wants to do to ‘fix social care’, as it has promised, there may not be the funds left to do all that needs to be done.”

“After so many disappointments there’s bound to be a concern that social care is destined to be always the bridesmaid and never the bride, and unfortunately today’s Budget did nothing to alleviate our anxiety.”

What was announced in the budget regarding social care:

A COVID-19 response fund of £5bn is to fund NHS and support LAs to manage pressures on social care.

From the Government Red Book:

“1.90 COVID-19 response fund – HM Treasury is creating an emergency response fund, set aside to ensure the National Health Service (NHS) and other public services have the resources they need to tackle the impacts of COVID-19. Initially set at £5 billion, it will fund pressures in the NHS, support local authorities to manage pressures on social care and support vulnerable people, and help deal with pressures on other public services. The size of the fund will be reviewed as the situation develops, to ensure all necessary resources are made available.”

Also as already announced, £1bn for adult and children’s social care next year.

“1.111 The government is committed to long-term reform of adult social care and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has written to parliamentarians to begin building cross-party consensus on reform. Ahead of those discussions, the government will invest £1 billion of additional funding for social care next year, as announced at Spending Round 2019. The Budget confirms that this additional funding will continue for every year of the current Parliament to continue to stabilise the system.”

CSA’s response to the Government’s cross-party talks on social care

March 6, 2020

The co-Chairs of the Care and Support Alliance, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK and Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:

“Whilst it is encouraging to see the initiation of a cross-party consensus on social care, it is disappointing that the Government still has not yet offered a solution of its own.

Currently, at least 1.5 million people do not get the care they need, with family carers pushed to the brink to care for relatives with little or no support. Millions of disabled adults, older people and carers are in desperate need of adequate funding to the system.

When he became Prime Minister, Boris Johnson pledged to fix social care and he now has the opportunity to take urgent and decisive action. Whilst the Government is facing many other issues, including Coronavirus, reform to the social care system should not be allowed to slip off the radar and continue to face delay.

A decision on a long-term solution is now crucial. No more time should be wasted in the Government implementing a new plan for social care – now is the time for action to #FixSocialCare.”

Our message to the next Government: #FixSocialCare

November 15, 2019

The 75 members of the Care and Support Alliance are all united that the next Government must #FixSocialCare and give the country the care they need. After 20 years of promises, it’s now time for action.

Currently at least 1.5m people do not get the care they need, some people have to sell their homes to pay for care and family carers are being pushed to the brink caring for relatives with little or no support.

The alliance agrees on key reforms including, care should be free to use (just like the NHS and schools) and should be funded through some form of taxation. After years of political disagreement politicians from both, the left and right agree that some form of risk pooling is needed so people don’t have to bear all the brunt of care costs.

The 75 organisations include Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Mencap and The National Autistic Society, all work with people, and their families, that need care.  Further reforms the alliance agree on include: disabled adults, older people and carers must all benefit from changes there needs to be an independent national eligibility for care; and people should be able to get care when they first need so to prevent further ill health, whereas currently, people have to be in crisis to get help.

To find out more read our manifesto here

Or here is our easy read version here

CSA’s response to Labour’s plans to introduce free personal care

September 23, 2019

Caroline Abrahams, Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said:

“So whilst we welcome the Labour Party’s proposals and commitment to invest in care, confining their model only to older people risks creating a two-tier system within which many working age disabled people will find their care needs continue to go unmet. This is unacceptable from the CSA’s point of view since we want any new system to give everyone the care they need, whether they are above or below the age of 65, and to support their Carers too.” 

Useful stats: 

·        At least 1.4 million disabled and older people do not get the care they need.

·         Care and Support Alliance (CSA) (2018) found that more than a quarter (29%) of disabled 18 – 64-year-olds who rely on council funding have had their care cut over the last year. Also regardless of how their care is funded, – nearly half of respondents to the survey told us that because of a lack of care they have experienced not being able to get out of the house (48%) and not being able to work (46%), or have seen their health deteriorate (49%). In addition, nearly a quarter (24%) told us they are unable to move around their homes safely because of not having the social care they need.

·        Working-age adults account for 48% of local authorities’ spend on social care (Personal Social Services: Expenditure and Unit Costs, England – 2015-16 [NS], NHS Digital, October 2016).

·        In addition, PSSRU projections of future costs highlights that public expenditure on social services for younger adults is set to rise from around £8.4bn (0.53% of GDP) in 2015 to £18.4bn (0.73%) in 2035 (at 2015 prices) (Personal Social Services Research Unit, Projections of Demand for and Costs of Social Care for Older people and Younger Adults in England, 2015 to 2035, Economics of Health and Social Care Systems Policy Research Unit, 2015)