Letter to the Guardian: Britain must invest properly in adult social care

13 August 2015

Clare PelhamOur chief executive, Clare Pelham, has written to the Guardian in response to Zoe Williams's article, Adult social care is not a problem — it is a human necessity (published 10 August 2015).

Zoe Williams’s article highlights a failure of political leadership. There is a mysterious gap between the welcome and widely shared concern that disabled and older people should receive good quality care and the lack of action to ensure this becomes a reality.

It is wrong for the Department of Health to say “treating someone with dignity and compassion doesn’t cost anything” because if there is only sufficient funding for a 15-minute care visit, it is simply impossible in many cases to treat someone with dignity and compassion. And it is wrong to blame the care worker for that. All they can do is their best in an impossible situation. Many already work unpaid overtime to make good the care that they know is rushed and inadequate for the disabled or older person.

For too long now the government has blamed councils for insufficient funding and vice versa. It’s time for the blame game to stop, and for leadership to begin. It’s time for someone to put the person receiving the care first and take personal responsibility for ensuring that disabled and older people are properly cared for. The question is whether the chancellor will take up that responsibility in the upcoming comprehensive spending review.

Clare Pelham
Chief executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability

The letter was published by the Guardian yesterday.

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