News Story

‘The care system is in crisis. To deny this is woefully wrong’

January 22, 2012

The Care & Support Alliance today submitted a letter to the Observer, in response to claims that ‘there is no gap’ in social care funding.

The care system is in crisis. To deny this is woefully wrong

Without urgent reform, the social care system will fail the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on its services

Last week, Paul Burstow, the minister of state for care services, appeared before the health committee and told its members that “there is no gap” in social care funding.

We disagree. Every day, people tell us they are being let down by the care system – unable to access services, finding their care reduced and relying on family and friends to provide support.

The government’s figures show that this year, local authorities have spent 4.5% less in real terms on social care for older people alone than the previous year. Yet the demand for social care continues to rise. And with the number of disabled adults also increasing, in a climate of cuts more and more disabled people are unable to get the support they need to live their lives independently and be part of wider society.

Few of those who have regular dealings with the social care system would disagree that it is in deep crisis and many of the witnesses to the health select committee have presented evidence of this. The government-commissioned Dilnot report set out a well-researched and coherent blue-print for reform that could give this country the sustainable care system it so desperately needs. This report was almost universally welcomed – including by Mr Burstow himself.

Without urgent reform, the social care system will fail the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on its services to meet their basic daily needs.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director, Age UK

Mario Ambrosi, Head of Communications & Public Affairs, Anchor

George McNamara, Head of Policy, British Red Cross

Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK

Gilly Crosby, Director, Centre for Policy on Ageing

Anne Roberts, Chief Executive, Crossroads Care

Liz Sayce OBE, Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK

Denise Murphy, Interim Chief Executive, Grandparents Plus

Richard Leaman, Chief Executive, Guide Dogs

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive, Independent Age

Anthea Sully, Director, Learning Disability Coalition

Shaun Williams, Director of Corporate Affairs, Leonard Cheshire Disability

Duleep Allirajah, Head of Policy, Macmillan Cancer Support

Imelda Redmond CBE, Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Marie Curie Cancer Care

Mark Goldring CBE, Chief Executive, Mencap

Farah Nazeer, Director of External Affairs, Motor Neurone Disease Association

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, MS Society

Mark Lever, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society

Des Kelly, Executive Director, National Care Forum

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive, National Council for Palliative Care

Oi Mei Li, Director, National Family Carers Network

Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society

Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive, National Voices

Val Buxton, Director of External Relations, Parkinson’s UK

Liz Fenton, Chief Executive, Princess Royal Trust for Carers

Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Health

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and Campaigns, RNIB

Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive, Scope

Sue Brown, Head of Public Policy, Sense

Peter Beresford OBE, Chair, Shaping Our Lives

Jon Barrick, CEO, Stroke Association

Paul Woodward, Chief Executive, Sue Ryder Care

Lord Victor Adebowale, CEO, Turning Point