Age Concern and Help the Aged respond to the Government's care and support White Paper
Published on 30 January 2010 09:00 AM
Responding to the Government's care and support White Paper‚ Michelle Mitchell‚ Charity Director for Age Concern and Help the Aged‚ said:
"This is a very important day for securing decent care in later life. We welcome the Government's staged approach to reforming the care system‚ its commitment to give free care to those most in need and free care to those in residential settings after two years.
"These reforms comprise a significant reform agenda for the next parliament. The idea of a National Care Service sounds fantastic. Almost everyone can agree with the principle of a new system that guarantees more flexible support‚ earlier help and clear national entitlements rather than a postcode lottery of unmet needs. But if it isn't adequately funded‚ the vision of a new national care service cannot be delivered and will ultimately fail the most vulnerable people in our communities.
"Ministers must say how much it will all cost and how they plan to plug the immediate £1.75 billion black hole in social care funding expected to open up within the next two years. By the end of the next parliament‚ we'll also need billions more to fund the growing need for social care; implement the new national entitlement and fund the free care at home proposal.
"Now that the White Paper is published‚ older people and their families will be looking to see what reforms the other political parties can offer to fix our broken care and support system. Our recent survey shows that care is shooting up as one of the top priorities for all age groups in the coming election‚ not just those already in later life; so politicians must set out their plans for care reform in full to give voters a choice."
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Notes to Editors
Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. We will be known by our new name from Spring 2010. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland‚ Age Cymru and Age NI.