All parties have to work together this time

As a member of the Care and Support Alliance, Shared Lives Plus was one of the signatories of the letter in today’s Telegraph which has generated lots of coverage across the media. The letter says,

SIR – As a society we face a growing care challenge. We should celebrate the   fact that we are all living longer lives, particularly disabled people and   those with long-term conditions. But the unavoidable challenge we face is   how to support the increasing number of people who need care. It is a   challenge which we are failing to meet – resulting in terrible examples of   abuse and neglect in parts of the care system.

This comes at huge cost to the dignity and independence of older and disabled   people, but also to our society, family life and the economy. An estimated   800,000 older people are being left without basic care – lonely, isolated   and at risk. Others face losing their homes and savings because of soaring   care bills.

Disabled people are unable get the support they need to live their lives   independently and be part of society.

Businesses are losing increasing numbers of experienced staff who are forced   to give up work to care for older or disabled relatives. These carers can   then be pushed to breaking point, providing round-the- clock care. Our NHS   is also paying the price, as a lack of support leads to avoidable hospital   admissions and then keeps older and disabled in hospital beds because they   cannot be cared for at home.

We have a duty as a nation to change this – but it requires political   leadership.

This summer, the independent Dilnot Commission into Funding of Care and   Support published its recommendations. In response, the Government has   committed to publishing a White Paper on Social Care by April. With new   cross-party talks on the future of care, we are closer than ever to reaching   a new consensus.

We urge the Government and the other party leaders to seize this opportunity   for urgent, fundamental and lasting reform: delivering a social care system   which can provide the well-funded and high-quality care and support we would   all expect for ourselves and our families.

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