We demand that the Prime Minister must act now to:
- Make social care free at the point of use for all those who need it;
- Stop reassessing people with long-term health conditions that cannot improve, just to see if they still qualify for benefits;
- Empower people who need care to be able to choose the type of care and support they want;
- Provide a trained workforce who get a living wage and decent work conditions;
- Increase benefits by the rate of inflation every year;
- Provide a service which gives excellent support for unpaid carers;
- Ensure we have a publicly provided care and support service of which we can all be proud.
Many people in our society are being put at risk because the care system is failing them, excluding them from our society and is a disgrace.
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Many disabled and older people who need adult social care don’t get the care and support they need, because they cannot afford the care charges. This leads to disabled people relying on family members and friends to provide unpaid care. Some of these carers are as young as 5 years old.
Millions of disabled and older people who are paying the charges for their care and support are being forced into poverty and debt, as the care charges are so high. Some of these people are being pursued by their local authority for the care charges debt they owe and being taken to court. Unlike NHS medical care, social care has to be paid for.
Many disabled and older people who use adult social care have no choice or control over how the care system meets their needs and how they live. Life for some disabled and older people who use adult social care is a living nightmare.
Age UK reports that between March 2017 and February 2019, about 626,701 people had their requests for social care turned down by their local authority. A study into UK poverty in 2020 showed that three in ten of the 13 million disabled people in the UK live in poverty: 3.8 million adults and 300,000 children. Also, a further 3 million non-disabled people who are in poverty live in a household where someone is disabled. This means that nearly half of the 14 million people in poverty are affected by disability in some way.
Many care workers are on zero hours contracts, have to undertake training in their own time, receive less than the real living wage and are only paid statutory sick pay if they cannot work due to illness. Carers who support people in their own homes, are not paid for their travel from one person’s home to the next. The care sector is short of 165,000 staff, because pay and conditions are so bad, leaving 500,000 waiting for social care assessment or support.
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