Letter in the Sunday Times — cutting care is bad economics

27 July 2015

The Sunday Times published a letter yesterday from our chief executive, Clare Pelham, on why cutting care is bad economics

Last week's report ‘Creaky joints: care homes struggle with a cash crisis’ drew attention to the crisis affecting so many disabled and older people and their families and carers.

Just because it is invisible, the reality of what this means for disabled people every day must not be forgotten; we cannot fund austerity at the expense of decent care for those who need it most. And the chancellor cannot hide behind the skirts of councils. They are on the frontline, facing an impossible choice of offering less care or care for fewer people — and he knows it.

The reality is that many disabled people will be left without any support. Don’t have a stroke or a serious car accident and think that good care will click in when you leave hospital. The chances are that it won’t. Unless you are very lucky, if you need support to get out of bed, have a shower or go to the lavatory there will be nothing available at a time or with a frequency that any reader of this newspaper would think acceptable.

It’s not even good economics. This lack of support means people stay in costly hospital beds when social care is so much cheaper.

We desperately need the chancellor to push through some joined-up budgeting in the comprehensive spending review, as well as some joined-up thinking.

Clare Pelham
Chief executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability

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