Carers Trust has expressed deep concern about the Government’s decision not to introduce legislation on Social Care for another 18 months.
The absence of a White Paper on Social Care in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament today is in spite of comments made by the Prime Minister earlier this year, that action is needed to reform a system which can currently leave people helpless and in the dark about their care.
There is a critical gap between investment in Social Care and growing need as the population ages. Falling spending levels are failing to meet growing demand. The longer this situation goes on, the more expensive it will become and the greater the cost to vulnerable individuals and to family and friends caring for them.
Chief Executive Anne Roberts said:
“We are already at a crisis in the future funding of social care for older and disabled people, and the lack of a White Paper on this issue is a missed opportunity to implement urgent reform. This lack of direction is only going to cause greater anxiety and uncertainty for unpaid carers across the UK.
“This group provides £119bn of care to family members and friends each year, greatly reducing the pressure and demand on paid-for social care.
“But there is only so much that unpaid carers can do. The number of people needing support is going up year on year, and by 2017 we will reach a tipping point in care where demand will outstrip what families are able to provide.
“It’s clear that failing to reform the system is not an option. Supporting carers must be a priority in addressing significant challenges posed by the funding shortfall and demographic change."
“Without this support, there’s no doubt that individuals and families caring for loved ones will find it increasingly harder to cope as social care provision inevitably drops off.”
Carers Trust is calling on the Government to urgently reform the Social Care system, as part of the Care and Support Alliance, a coalition of 52 major organisations representing older and disabled people, those with long-term conditions and their families.