Social Care – White Paper
Carer Watch acknowledges the White Paper on Social Care, “Building a National Care Service”, for the importance it places on vital issues that will affect our society as a whole. Whilst elements of the paper hold true, we believe the starting point to be incorrect. Any proposal suggested to date, if implemented, would not be sustainable long term, without the strong foundation that family carers provide. They are the base that any new National Care Service must build upon. Both the NHS and Social Services rely heavily upon families shouldering the main burden of care now, and will do even more so in the future.
The most glaringly obvious omission in the White Paper is the lack of direct financial support and funding, for the carers who are unable to continue in or take up employment due to the amount of care they are required to provide. Future funding for care cannot and must not be looked at in isolation away from these carers. Therefore we believe that the proposals, having omitted to address one of the most vital of issues will fail to produce an overall longterm workable solution.
Andy Burnham mentions a fair and decent society (1), yet we live in a society where the government, and other main parties, exploit the Love and care provided by families, year in, year out. If we support family carers early enough, both financially and practically with services, many future elderly people will still be cared for at home, and therefore, may not need residential care. Preventative measures are a necessity. Whether an elderly person is disabled/ill health, due to the many various illnesses’, the one common thread running through many of them is family support.
It is foolhardy to attempt create something new, without using all the pieces of the jigsaw, and the central piece has to be family carers. They provide the core strength, and are the strong foundation that keeps this country on its feet. Until all parties recognise that as fact, their policies will always be weak and unsustainable.
No one even comes close to walking in Sir William Beveridges’ shoes (1). We need someone with a truly bold vision, which will fully recognise the input from family carers. They must be placed at the heart of any new system.
Whilst all these debates take place about funding for the future, the current system is breaking apart. Assessments for care packages can take months, from commencement to completion, respite is getting less as many residential homes are being closed, eligibility criteria is being tightened and money allocated by government to PCTS for carers breaks not being used for that intention. Day placements are being reduced, local authorities are struggling now with budgets, and cutbacks are reported daily. Undue pressures are being placed on family carers. They need action now.
Carer Watch stand by our statement made in our response to the Green Paper for Social care (2), wherein we believe that the government has failed to present real solutions for real problems. Also the other main Parties have to date not been able to propose any new improved solutions.
We also still believe that the Green/White Papers for Social Care should have been looked at alongside the Welfare Reform Bill
We would ask the government, and all political parties,….
if you value family carers so much, why have you given them NOTHING ?
1. Guardian article http://bit.ly/aRt3tm
2. Carer Watch response to the Green Paper for Social Care. http://carerwatch.com/cuts/
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Response here : http://carerwatch.com/news/
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