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Letter printed in the Bury Times on 22nd July 2021. 

As Chief Officer of Age UK Bury, I am writing in respect of the proposal to cut £12m from Bury Council adult social budget, which you featured in last week’s newspaper. The proposals include closing Pinfold Centre which specialises in supporting people with dementia and closing Spurr House, which offers older people short stays of up to six weeks.

The forecast is that the number of older people experiencing dementia and needing day-care support and short stays away from home will increase in Bury. Reducing services available now will mean that the care system will not be able to accommodate future needs. This will put a much greater burden on families and carers. The loss of these services will mean more people will end up needing more expensive NHS care. Making savings in social care that increase costs in NHS services is a false and unstainable economy.

Bury has suffered an history of being underfunded for health and social care and is in an unacceptable position of having the balance the books in very difficult circumstances.

Boris Johnson on the day he became Prime Minister (24 July 2019) said “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.  Two years later, we are now told the plan will be published “sooner than later”.

Given that a plan is now delayed until Autumn, I have written to James Daly, MP for Bury North, and Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South, requesting that they raise this issue directly with Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and ask that funding is found to delay immediate cuts until a plan for social care reform is agreed on. 

Cutting vital services now helps no one. Older people in Bury deserve a social care system that gives them dignity and security when they need it the most.

Andrew Hazeldine

Chief Officer

Age UK Bury