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Select Committee report highlights care system in crisis

07 February 2012

Carers UK responds to the publication of the Health Select Committee report into Social Care.

Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, who gave oral evidence to the Select Committee, said:

"Our social care system is broken - built on an outdated legal foundation and starved of the funding needed to meet rapidly growing demand. There are 6.4 million carers in the UK caring for ill, frail or disabled loved ones. Many are paying the price of a care system in crisis - being forced to give up work to care and often pushed in ill-health, financial hardship and debt because of a lack of support to help them care.

We welcome the Health Select Committee's recognition of the pressure the social care system is putting on families, and their clear statement that current levels of social care funding are failing to maintain an acceptable level of support for older and disabled people and their families. This evidence from MPs of all parties adds further weight to our call for urgent action for root-and-branch reform.

In addition to fundamental and lasting reform to the funding and structure of social care, there is much we can do right now to improve the support that families receive.

Families often fall through the gaps between health and social care services. Better integration of the two could do much to prevent families being reaching crisis point by ensuring that they are supported by joined-up care, particularly at crucial moments like hospital discharge. We have also always advocated the sharing the success metrics across health, public health and social care services - so that the NHS and social care fully share responsibility for supporting families.

We welcome the positive moves the Government is making towards increasing carer identification across society - through innovative partnerships with community organisations like Sainsbury's, as well as through health and social care services. However, the Committee is right to note that GPs, who are often the first point of contact for families dealing with ill-health and disability, must lead the way in identifying carers and guiding them to support."



Carers UK is working with the 60 other members of the Care & Support Alliance to organise a lobby of Parliament for older and disabled people and their families to meet MPs and call for urgent action to reform the social care system - for details or to register to attend, visit 

Carers UK is a charity set up to support the millions of people who care for an elderly relative, a sick partner or a disabled family member. Carers UK:

  • supports carers and provides information and advice about caring
  • influences policy through our research base
  • campaigns to make life better for carers.


Steve McIntosh

Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Carers UK

Tel: 0207 378 4937

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.








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