NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

Later Life Ambitions are deeply concerned that the Government has again delayed the publication of the Social Care Green Paper – their plan for fixing the sector. Adult social care cannot wait any longer. It demands a long-term strategy that resolves the significant funding challenges facing the sector and helps prepare it for an ageing population.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock most recently assured us that the Green Paper would be published “before April”. This delay is the fifth occasion in just over two years that the Government has been unable to meet its own deadline.

The Green Paper is becoming an object of ridicule, but the Government’s constant foot-dragging is no laughing matter.  Ongoing delays have already created serious problems – adult social care cannot continue to provide without reform – let alone meet the demands of an ageing population without a significant boost to funding, from somewhere.

Since the Government first announced plans for a Green Paper, the pressures on publicly-funded adult social care have only intensified. Age UK has suggested that 54,000 older people – 77 a day – have died since the Government first said in March 2017 that it would publish its sector strategy.

To achieve a safe and sustainable care services we require bold and forward-looking action from our political leaders. Later Life Ambitions is calling for a strategy that implements the following:

The need for better care provision is also becoming increasingly acute. While life expectancy increases there are a growing number of people spending their later lives unwell, and by 2030 the number of older disabled people is expected to double to nearly 6 million. The Local Government Association also estimates that adult social care faces a funding gap of £2.6 billion by the end of this decade.

This is not a situation that can go unchallenged. Whilst we understand the multiple pressures that Brexit is putting on the Government and Parliament, Later Life Ambitions will continue to demand that adult social care receives the attention it deserves and  comprehensive long-term strategy is found.