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Age UK and CSA responses to Public Accounts Committee social care report

Published on 20 March 2024 10:22 AM

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:

"There are at least 1.6 million reasons to reform and refinance social care - the number of older people in our country with some unmet need for care and support - but apparently that's still not enough to stir our politicians to determined action. Everyone knows that restoring social care will cost money and take sustained effort but, as this report points out, the optimistic vision the Government set out two years ago has been largely gathering dust, with no coherent plan that we can see to actually bring it about."

"Meanwhile, waiting lists are rising, workforce vacancies top 150,000 and local authorities are considering cuts to social care next year as one by one they run out of cash. It seems increasingly likely that the Government will have to bail local services out of a hole this autumn but, as the Committee observes, these short-term rescue packages are terrible value for money for us as taxpayers. We'd get much more bang for our buck if Ministers took a longer term, more strategic approach - if they actually published a funded plan to reform social care and then stuck to it."

"We are already hearing too many stories of older people not getting the help they need, unpaid carers buckling under the strain, and dedicated care professionals leaving for better paid jobs elsewhere. Care staff certainly deserve a good pay rise, but by raising the national minimum wage without also making available the money to fund it, a positive move from the Government risks pushing care services - including those run by voluntary organisations such as Age UK - further into the red. In this respect, rather than painting an overly gloomy picture, the Public Accounts Committee's report may actually be understating the challenges facing older people in need of care, and those whose job it is to commission and provide it."


CSA (Care Support Alliance)

Caroline Abrahams,  Charity Director of Age UK, and co-chair of the CSA said:

"This new report from the Public Accounts Committee is hard-hitting but fair: it's obvious to us that no proper plan exists to put the White Paper published two years ago into effect, and the end result is that millions of older and disabled people, and their unpaid carers, are having to make the best of a system that is no longer fit for purpose. The Committee directs its criticisms towards the Department of Health and Care but in reality, the increasingly disastrous position in social care is due to decisions made not there but in No 10 and the Treasury. 

"As an Alliance we represent literally millions of people of all ages who for a wide range of reasons, often ill health and disability, depend on there being a properly functioning social care system in order to live full and happy lives, and the same is true for their families and other unpaid carers. Some people are going through hell currently because they can't get enough or sometimes any of the support they need to work, enjoy their leisure time or, in save cases, navigate daily life at all. We will continue to campaign together so they can look forward to a better future. For some, as this Public Accounts Committee report sadly shows, it is already too late."

Notes to Editor.

The Care & Support Alliance was set up in July 2009. It represents over 60 of England’s leading charities campaigning for a properly funded care system alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care. More information here



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Last updated: Mar 20 2024

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