A survey just released by Age UK has found that:
- more than 50,000 older people have now died waiting in vain for care during the 700 days since the Government first said it would publish a Care Green Paper;
- over the same period, in excess of half a million older people (626,701) have had their requests for social care refused, and 7,240 older people have had the terrible experience of running down all their savings because of their care bills, leaving them reliant on the state to fund their care in future and with nothing to leave for loved ones after their death;
- In addition, during the same 700 day period, 1,263,844 older people have developed an unmet need, such as being able to wash or dress. This is 1,805 developing an unmet need every day.
Commenting on the findings, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Baroness Judith Jolly, said:
“The statistics and personal stories uncovered by Age UK are deeply distressing to read. I cannot understand how the Conservative Government can hear these stories and continue to ignore the crisis in social care.
“The Conservative Government has failed. They have delayed the Social Care Green Paper six times because of their failure. The Conservatives must now work with other political parties to achieve a genuine long term, sustainable settlement for the NHS and social care.
“The Liberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax to directly invest funds in social care. We will also keep making the case for a new, dedicated NHS and care tax to guarantee a modern, effective and efficient NHS and care system to ensure that when our loved ones need help, help is there.”
Cllr Richard Kemp, LGA Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Health and Social Care, added: “Now is the time for answers. Every day that is spent further defining the problem and consulting on changes, is another day in which people’s lives are not being lived to the full.
“The current system of social care is unsustainable and will buckle under the weight of demand. With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point. This is something that the Government must address in its Green Paper on social care and in the forthcoming Spending Review.”