The Conservative Party has won a majority in the 2019 General Election and social care leaders have responded, with pleas for the Prime Minister to prioritise the sector.
The National Care Forum (NCF) states that it is imperative that the government acts quickly to address social care reform. Commenting on the 2019 General Election result, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the NCF said, 'We look forward to working with the new government on the reform of social care. Too much time was lost in the last parliament on failing to address this critical domestic priority, and we call on the Conservatives to make a step change in their approach to social care. They went into this election calling themselves the party of the NHS, now is the time to show themselves as the government of social care.
'On the campaign trail the government stated that it would hold cross-party talks on social care within the first 100 days of holding office. The clock is ticking – and people who receive care, the workforce, providers and commissioners of care all need to be part of the future solution to get this right. Social care matters to us all. The Prime Minister must understand that in the future oven ready solutions can only come from carefully considering all the ingredients.'
Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG said, 'The formation of a new government presents the country’s leaders with an opportunity to commit to funding the reform of the social care system so that it is resourced and supported to be both responsive and preventative.
'For far too long successive governments have overlooked the investment and reform of the social care system, including the ongoing delay to the long-awaited adult social care green paper.'
In its manifesto, the Conservative Party stated that, because social care is a 'long-term problem' the party will 'build a cross-party consensus to bring forward an answer that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support, and stands the test of time.' VODG says it stands ready to hold the government to account on this pledge.
Dr Hughes goes on to say, 'High quality support services for disabled people can be transformative. Now is the time to find solutions that enable older and disabled people to have full choice and control over their lives. We stand ready to help policy makers achieve this vision.'
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said, 'Following yesterday’s General Election, we are urging the newly elected government to prioritise the wellbeing of older people.
'For far too long we’ve seen the care people need compromised by delays to fixing the systems they rely upon. We call on the government to urgently implement personal care free at the point of use, to ensure that all older people have their every day, essential care needs met. Reforming social care in this way would help to fulfil the Prime Minister’s promise to make sure that no one should have to sell their home to pay for care.
'The government must also prioritise action on Pension Credit to change the dire situation where two in five households eligible for this support do not receive it, meaning £3.5 billion goes unclaimed every year. Pension Credit can make an invaluable difference to the lives of our poorest pensioners – many of whom are having to make choices between heating and eating.
'We look forward to working with newly elected and returning members of Parliament across the political spectrum to ensure that everyone in the UK can grow older with dignity, be connected to their communities, and live with good physical and mental health in later life.'
Georgina Carr, Head of Campaigns and External Relations at the MS Society, said of the 2019 General Election result, 'When Boris Johnson first entered no.10 back in July, he claimed he would fix the social care system once and for all. We have seen little progress, but he and the new UK government now have an opportunity to change that. More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and, in just the last month, over 20,000 called on the new PM to change the humiliating process of claiming PIP.
'How we support disabled people is a barometer for society, and the lack of support available through disability benefits and social care has left thousands locked out of work and unable to leave their homes. We hope to work closely with the Conservative party to tackle these failures, because people with MS can’t wait any longer.'