10 July 2019 – Independent Care Group
Care providers are calling on the government to SCRAP the long-delayed Green Paper on care and take immediate action instead.
The Independent Care Group says it has taken too long to bring the paper forward and the 1.4m currently living without the care they need cannot wait and need action now.
Their call comes after it was revealed that dementia sufferers have spent almost £15bn paying for their own care since plans for a Green Paper were announced two years ago.
The Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “The moment has passed and it is simply too late now to introduce a Green Paper. Everyone is agreed that we need to take urgent action to help those who need care and those 1.4m people cannot wait for the endless debates, consultations and discussion that would doubtless follow the introduction of a Green Paper. We need to take action now and have the discussions and make changes as we go along, not wait any longer.”
The Group was not reassured by the brief mention of social care in the latest Conservative leadership television debate.
“Social care got just the briefest of mentions during the discussion – hardly singling it out as the number one domestic priority. Mr Hunt called for NHS care and social care to be merged and Mr Johnson for cross-party consensus – both very laudable but we need to see it as a greater priority for action now.
“This week’s news from Alzheimer’s Society exposed the scandal that people with dementia are being discriminated against when others with different conditions, like cancer or heart disease, get their care paid for.
“It is clear that we need an immediate injection of money into social care and a sustainable method of funding care, from National Insurance or income tax, for the future, so that everyone shares the burden of paying for our care. We don’t need another Green Paper to tell us the obvious.”
The Independent Care Group says the past 17 years has seen 13 documents – four independent reviews/commissions, four consultations and five white and green papers on care.
The House of Lord Economic Affairs Committee last week called on the Government to spend £8bn to restore social care to acceptable standards and then introduce a system within five years to allow people to get their social care for free.
“The cross-party Economic Affairs Committee has spelt it out very clearly for the Government, concluding that social care is severely underfunded and riddled with unfairness. It also agreed that current arrangements for people with dementia are unfair, with people paying hundreds of thousands for their care whilst someone with cancer gets their care free.
“Others, like Damian Green, also concluded that the system was unfair and needed a sharing of the costs amongst the population and an end to the ‘dementia lottery’.
“We don’t need a further Green Paper to add yet more delays to any practical solutions to the problems – we need action now.”