Open letter to PM on social care

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Morning all,

We've co-ordinated a letter today to the Prime Minister from 85 organisations representing carers, older and disabled people, councillors, nurses, doctors, care workers, business and directors of social services - calling on him to take leadership on reforming social care.

Made front page of the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... n-old.html

And been on BBC News this morning - online story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17955556

If you're on Twitter we're trying to get an avalanche of tweets directed at the Prime Minister at @Number10Gov using the hashtag #CareCantWait

And you can email the Prime Minister at https://email.number10.gov.uk/Contact.aspx - here's a suggested message which refers to the 'Queen's Speech' tomorrow, when the Government will set out its plans for the next year. There have been worrying reports that a Social Care Bill has been dropped.

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you because I am concerned that social care is in crisis and in need of urgent reform.

Many people are being let down by the system meaning that 800,000 older people are unable to get the care they need and many disabled people and those with long-term conditions are left struggling without support. Others are suffering as a result of poor quality care and some are forced to give up everything they have to pay for the care they need.

In 2010, the Health Reform White Paper promised legislation in the upcoming session of Parliament to “establish a sustainable legal and financial framework for adult social care.” Without legislation, the crisis will only worsen for those who rely on it to live independent and fulfilled lives.

Alongside taking forward funding reform, I urge you to include a bill on social care in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow. The Government must take action to make the care system work for those who need it.

Yours faithfully,

...
steve,why isn't there any mention of younger people who will have the same problems of older people because of their conditions,my wife 42 with az and arthritis and we will be in the same boat as an elderly person because we don't fit in a box.
I absolutely agree with you, malc, it would have been better surely if the second paragraph had read:

"Many people are being let down by the system meaning that [insert number] older and disabled people are unable to get the care they need."

The scale of the problem is far larger than the letter suggests, working-age people with disabilities are currently bearing the brunt of cuts in both social care provision and in welfare expenditure and are therefore less likely to be in a financial position to purchase their own care in the absence of LA-funded care and yet there is no specific mention of them, unless "others" includes them which is so unspecific to be pretty meaningless.
Thanks both - very good point and I've adjusted the text.

Trouble is that we have a real gap in evidence about the numbers of working-age people who are missing out on care - but not a reason not to clearly mention younger disabled and ill people and their families. I'm also sorry that the coverage in Daily Mail just focusses on older people. Our letter to the PM definitely refers to disabled people and the impact on working-age carers but Daily Mail have written it up as just about older people - it's a big challenge to keep reminding media that it is about people of all ages who need support. So thanks for noticing and correcting this!

Steve
Thank you, Steve.
This open letter to the P.M. is all about social care for the elderly but what is social care ? it is those who cricaly ill and need help and support with feeding , toileting and personal hygiene and as we all know it is at the moment means tested, own a home or have savings of about £23-000 you will have to pay , Dilnot in his report wants the level of savings raised to £34-000 or even £100-000 one way or another many will still be asked to use their assets to fund social care . the poorest in society will not and do not pay at the moment , Social care is about the health care an elderly person may req it does not cover the board and lodgings of an elderly person when in residential social care, Dilnot asked for a cap of about £200 per week for the board and lodgings even though that was not part of his remit ...the letter to the P.M. does talk of carers but it does not look as though it supports carers who want to provide good quality care for their elderly relatives within their own home , i am sure most elderly people would prefer care at home over residential care ..for a family member to provide care at home if they are willing, able and capable of doing so should be supported in their decission but not encouraged to do so , help with social care at home may be of help to many but carers need support both with their financial situation as many do give up work to care and suffer a great loss in income the caarers allowance is set at far to low a level and is in fact the lowest benefit payable and is the only benefit conditional on the claimant working at the moment 35 hours minimum per week ,i`m sure many carers work more then the minmum amount of hours , i hope carers uk who represent carers can raise the issue of the low level of the carers allowance and those who for whatever reason cant receive the allowance ...it`s not all about being able to place the elderly within residential social care at no cost or of little cost to the family..
The social care white paper is indeed for the elderly and not for young disabled the whole issue of social care is to help those who have assets or own a home ..the bill will be of little use to carers ...
doesnt the goverment know that by changing dla to pip it will be come alot worse as the criteria is so small? carers will still care but without carers allowance because the person they care for has lost the gate way for them to get it because of the government. how many carers will go un noticed (like now) it will be alot more. the government has sold carers and their carees down the river over this chnage. it will put more pressure on the nhs,social services etc but who will ltell this government? my responce to carers UK. it will be more than 20% and its NOT to save money Cameron! its to line his pockets.

The care will get worse than it is now because all the carers will have to find full time work because they allowance has been stopped and they are unable to live on fresh air and care.
Sian,

Absolutely - this is a point we've made over an over again to the Government departments in charge of benefits and social care - if you cut benefits you will increase pressure on carers, social care and NHS services - costing more; and if you cut social care you are going to put more pressure on the benefits system because fewer disabled and older people will be able to be independent and those carers who are just about able to juggle work and care will be forced to give up work when their services are cut. We've told the Government clearly that these kind of cuts are just going to cost more in the long-term.

Whilst we're focussing on social care today, that doesn't mean we aren't still working on both disability benefit cuts and pushing for a review of Carer's Allowance. However the White Paper the Government is bringing out soon is just going to focus on social care - so that's why we're talking specifically about care services today.

Steve
Apropos Sian's post, are you aware, Steve, that the Government's Equality Impact Assessment acknowledges that carers who are themselves disabled are likely to be disproportionately effected by the change from DLA to PIP?

25. 30% of those identified in survey data as receiving Carer’s Allowance classify themselves as DDA disabled(12). Analysis of the overlap between those Carer’s Allowance claims and DLA claims shows that around 20% of those entitled to Carer’s Allowance are also in receipt of DLA(13). This means that in addition to the knock-on effects of the reform of DLA on carers, some carers will themselves experience the direct effects of the move to Personal Independence Payment.

Risk of negative impact

26. Replacing Disability Living Allowance with a new benefit that is focussed on supporting those individuals with the greatest barriers to participation provides an opportunity to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people least likely to live full and active lives. However, as the benefit becomes better targeted on those with the greatest needs it is likely that some disabled people, who may have self-assessed as needing support, but who have lesser barriers to participation, will receive reduced support.

27. Where these individuals have a carer in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, this will also result in some loss of benefit due to the knock-on effects of reform. This would appear to be more likely to have an effect on disabled people, as carers are more likely to be disabled than the population in general.

12 Family Resources Survey 2009/10. This compares to 1 in 6 of the population more generally.
13 Disability and Carer’s Database, May 2011. Only cases linked to a DLA claim where the claimant was aged 16-64 where considered. Around half of those who are entitled to the benefit are in receipt of a payment.
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/eia-dla-reform-wr2011.pdf

Has anyone considered that this is likely to result in these carers feeling that they are no longer able to sustain what is frequently, due their own health problems, a particularly demanding caring role and the impact that this could have on demand for social care?