Thousands sign petition to call on PM to ‘fix the social care crisis’

15 Aug 19

A petition signed by more than 150,000 individuals has been given to the prime minister to urge him to deliver on his promise to “fix” the social care system.

Cross-party talks, short- and long- term funding were needed to tackle the crisis, according to the letter signed by 150,000 members of the public and 50 health care leaders.

The appeal, organised by NHS Confederation, which represents 85% of NHS Providers, called on Boris Johnson to end “swingeing cuts in social care that have left around 1.4 million people in England unable to access the care and support they need”.

On his first day in office Boris Johnson vowed to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan”.

The petition urged greater cross-party collaboration to come up with a sustainable solution.

It also called on the government to provide funding increases for social care in its upcoming one-year ‘Spending Review’, followed by “genuine long-term funding”.

Reforms are necessary to widen eligibility criteria for those seeking social care, the petition said. 

Health leaders who signed the petition also warned that the NHS long term plan would be placed “in jeopardy” if the social care crisis was not addressed.

Signatory Siobhan Melia, chief executive of Sussex community NHS foundation trust, said: “Vulnerable people are facing unacceptable delays in accessing the care that they need due to the dearth of provision of social care packages. This means that NHS teams are caring for people longer than they need to, placing increased demand on community and hospital services.

“It will simply be impossible to deliver the ambition in the NHS long term plan to join up health and care services in local communities, and to support people to age well without immediate action to reform the social care system.”

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “As our petition shows, the public recognise the human cost of inaction and they want this resolved.

“Successive governments have failed to address this issue – the new government has the chance to put this right.”

A long-awaited social care green paper has been delayed five times since it was first announced in 2017 and now there is concern that it will instead be replaced by a white paper.

Social care leaders told PF in April the delays to the social care green paper were because they had been asked to support it without seeing the details of it.  

The Department of Health and Social Care has been contacted for comment. 

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