Responding to comments by Jeremy Hunt that adult social care problems urgently need to be fixed to prevent further winter crises in the NHS, Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
“We welcome Jeremy Hunt making the link between a robust social care system and reduced pressures on the NHS. Social care is in urgent need of reform and has been for many years.
“The consensus the Government seeks has already been built around the principle of care free at the point of use. It’s supported by the public too – our survey found that 78% of adults in England would support the introduction of free personal care for all older people who need it, and 74% would be willing to pay more to fund it.
“It’s essential that the merits of free personal care, which would ensure that older people received help with daily tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing and washing, are properly considered as party of cross-party talks. Until significant reforms are made, older people will continue to suffer: being forced to stay in hospital for longer; living with unmet care needs; and often having to sell their home before they choose to. The government needs to remember that it’s these individuals who bear the brunt of its inability to make a decision.”