More than 130,000 people have backed Age UK’s Care in Crisis petition, calling for the Prime Minister David Cameron to end the crisis in care for older people in England.
The Age UK petition, supported by the Care & Support Alliance - a consortium of over 65 organisations that represent and support older and disabled people warns the Government that Care Can’t Wait – echoing the voices and concerns of hundreds of thousands of people who desperately want and need the care system to change.
The petition will be delivered to No 10 Downing Street at 3pm on Tuesday 15th May, by Tom Wright, CBE, Group Chief Executive of Age UK, Simon Gillespie, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance, David Gower (74) a social care service user as well as three Age UK charity shop representatives who helped raise thousands of signatures from their local communities.
The petition comes a week after a group of 85 organisations including Age UK and other members of the Care & Support Alliance sent an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to make care reform “his personal mission, his lasting legacy to future generations”.
As a result of collecting more than 130,000 signatures, Age UK now expects the petition to trigger a debate in the House of Commons on how the Government proposes to reform the broken system. While Age UK recognises that last week’s announcement of a draft Social Care Bill represents some progress, it is short of what the Coalition Agreement promised and the charity warns that older people have suffered for too long under a system that is not fit for purpose. As a matter of urgency, the charity urge the Government to legislate as soon as possible once the social care draft bill has been published.
Tom Wright, CBE, Group Chief Executive of Age UK: “Today we present our Care in Crisis petition to No 10, backed by 130,000 people who are all telling the Government that ‘Care can’t wait – end the care crisis now.’
“Now that we have news of a draft bill, the Government must now show its commitment to legislate as soon as possible. Older people have waited long enough for reform – any further delays will only condemn millions of vulnerable people to uncertainty, worry and financial insecurity, just at a time when they need to be looked after.
“Alongside the publication of the forthcoming care and support white paper, we must also see a robust funding report which is crucial for the success of any reform measures.”
As an absolute minimum, Age UK is calling for the white paper to include the following:
- Implementation of the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission on Funding of Care and Support, which the Coalition Government itself established, including the £35,000 cap and £100,000 means-testing threshold for residential care;
- a national threshold of eligibility for care and support; reform of the chaotic social care legal framework through full implementation of the Law Commission’s recommendations;
- retention of the Law Commission’s emphasis on upholding the rights of people who need care and support, especially those who lack capacity or who otherwise face barriers to arranging their own care. Assessment and care management functions must continue to be free;
- implementation of the Law Commission’s proposals for effective adult safeguarding legislation; a mapped out path towards full integration of the health and social care systems;
- and statutory duties on local authorities to inform people of their right to request assistance to arrange care. Age UK is urging all MPs to ask their party leader to make care reform a priority for their party and work to ensure legislation to reform social care law and funding is introduced as a matter of urgency.