The Independent Care Group today urged the new Prime Minister-elect to make the crisis in the care of the country’s oldest and most vulnerable people a top priority.
The ICG has sent an urgent letter to Liz Truss calling on her to take emergency measures to save the social care sector which has been battered by Covid-19, a severe staffing shortage and now the cost-of-living crisis.
The ICG wants the new Prime Minister to:
- Include care and nursing homes in the price cap for energy prices
- Grant people living in care settings utility bill rebates
- Help domiciliary providers tackle huge fuel costs
- Urgently move money from the Health and Social Care levy to support care and nursing homes and homecare providers
- Carry out root and branch reform of social care for the 1.6m who can’t get care at the moment
- Provide better pay and opportunities for care staff to tackle the current staffing crisis
- Utilise the expertise available in the social care sector to tackle the crisis.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We have sent a clear message to the Prime Minister-elect that social care has to be a top priority for her new Government.
“Others before her have promised and failed but tackling this crisis cannot wait and offers her an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives straight away.
“We know that there will be many things in her in-tray, but we do appeal to her to tackle social care.”
In a letter to the new Prime Minister, Mr Padgham writes: “As I wrote during the leadership race, we have been warning for more than 30 years that social care was not being funded properly to provide a good, sustainable service for people who need that care every day to help them live a full life.
Those years of under-funding left social care in a perilous state and Covid-19 then hit it hard.
Now the sector finds itself facing a massive staffing shortage and huge increases in costs, including rocketing fuel and utility prices.
There is a very real risk of significant provider failure with a subsequent loss of care provision.
Failure in social care would hit NHS care too as it is one of the bedrocks on which the health service is built. There are already huge delays in hospital discharges because there are no packages of social care available to look after people when they leave hospital. This is only going to get worse.”