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PM urged to take action on social care

02 January 2012

Carers UK has joined other charities, care providers, health bodies, employers, and unions to sign an open letter to Prime Minister calling for cross-party action on social care reform.

In an open letter published in the Telegraph today, over 60 signatories have called on the Prime Minister to work with other party leaders to take urgent action to reform social care for older and disabled people.

Alongside Carers UK, the signatories include charities like Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Mencap, MS Society and Scope; health and social care bodies like the BMA, the NHS Confederation and the British Association of Social Workers; leading care providers like Bupa, Barchester Healthcare and Anchor; employers and unions including BT, Centrica and the TUC; Crossbench Peers; and other organisations including the RSA and the United Reform Church.

The letter follows new evidence last week of rising care bills for families, and costs to the NHS of ‘delayed discharges’. It argues that, alongside celebrating the fact that the UK population is living longer, action must be taken to meet the ‘unavoidable challenge’ of how to support increasing numbers of older and disabled people who need care.

The letter argues that the current social care system is failing this challenge, with serious consequences for society, family life and the economy – leaving older and disabled people at risk, families facing huge care bills, businesses losing staff who are forced to give up work
to care for loved ones and the NHS coping with avoidable hospital admissions and ‘bed blocking’.

The signatories say that meeting this challenge this will require ‘political leadership’. They urge the Prime Minister to ‘seize the opportunity’ of cross-party talks on the future of social care to ‘deliver a social care system which can provide the well-funded and high-quality care and support we would all expect for ourselves and our families.’

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