“The social care sector is on its knees”, says Care and Support Alliance (CSA) and Mencap in response to today’s Ministerial Statement by the Health Secretary

Jackie O’Sullivan, Communication Director of Mencap and Co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:

“With more than 2.6 million people living with some form of unmet care need in England, our social care system is in desperate need of increased investment, an ambitious and properly funded workforce plan, and long term reform.

“While any additional funding for our social care system is welcome, hospital discharge is only one of the many symptoms of a system which is failing after years of underinvestment. Older people, disabled adults and their unpaid carers need a lot more help than the Government has announced, as does the NHS.
“To actually fix social care, the Government must properly invest the money needed and bring forward a holistic and long-term plan for reform to settle the issue once and for all.”

Edel Harris OBE, Chief Executive of Mencap, said:

“The social care sector is on its knees, with over 165,000 vacancies in England’s social care workforce. Although funding to discharge patients from hospitals may reduce pressure on the NHS, it does nothing for the thousands of disabled people who require support to live their everyday lives.

“We are going backwards as a society in terms of equality and access to vital services. The social care sector needs to be considered as an important sector in its own right and not just an arm’s length extension of the health system existing solely to keep older people out of hospital.
“There are so many people with a learning disability on waiting lists for social care assessments. Many have had their funding packages cut and are facing increased charges towards the costs of their care. Due to the staffing crisis, they also can’t find care workers to support them.
“Today’s announcement will do nothing for the people who rely on the social care system to live fulfilling lives. We need politicians to prioritise disabled people and urgently address these inequalities.”