People really do care about care

29 August 2014

by Guy Parckar

What do you think the big issues will be for the general election next year? The economy? Education? The NHS?

Well now we can add another issue to that familiar list: care.

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA) is a group of more than 70 charities, including Leonard Cheshire Disability, They asked polling company YouGov to survey more than 4,000 people across England. The results show that care is a major political issue.

The survey found that:

  • Two-thirds of those in England aged over 60 believe government should be doing more in the area of social care and less in others.
  • Along with the NHS, social care is the biggest priority for where the electorate want to see the government increase expenditure.
  • One in three people rely on, or have a close family member that relies on, the care system.

At one time, care was seen as an issue that only affected a few people — so it was really hard to get politicians to take it seriously.

At Leonard Cheshire we’ve always known that it is much more important than that. Our campaign to end 15-minute care visits showed how strongly people feel about this issue. Care, just like the NHS, is an essential public service that supports hundreds of thousands of people every day.

Today’s survey confirms that care really is a major issue, and is something that all the political parties need to be thinking about.

The CSA’s survey found that a third of people have some sort of direct involvement with the care system — either receiving support themselves, or for someone in their immediate family. People are increasingly worried about whether they will get the support that they or their families might need. And they think the government should be putting more money into the system.

They know about the amazing work that happens in care every day, but they can also see the care system is stretched to the very limit. Far too many people are missing out on the support that they need because there just isn’t enough funding for care.

With a general election coming up next year, all the political parties will be thinking about their plans for everything from the economy to education to the NHS. Now it’s clear that they also need to be thinking about care.

Guy Parckar is head of policy and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire Disability. He tweets at @GuyParckar.

Add new comment