By Rosalind Hughes, founder, Just Caring Legal
The lack of a long-term plan to bring fairness to our ailing care system is a problem for us all.
It is a problem for the 1.5 million vulnerable people in this country who are not getting the care they need.
It is a problem for thousands of families who spend months, even years, battling for the adequately funded care their loved ones require.
It is a problem for local authorities. They know they are failing the most vulnerable in their local communities because of years of squeezed budgets.
It is a problem for care and nursing homes, struggling to survive after years of chronic underfunding, falling occupancy rates and rising costs.
And now it is a problem for the Government and NHS, currently facing a judicial review. This is challenging the legality of the NHS Continuing Healthcare system which over the years has failed thousands who are eligible for care funding from the NHS but do not receive it.
This chronic neglect of care over the past decade or more is certainly partly to blame for the way Covid-19 has ripped through care homes during the pandemic. It has claimed the lives of 28,000 residents and around 500 care workers.
So this year of all years, where was the mention of social and NHS funding for care in yesterday’s Budget? For years politicians of all parties have promised reform and a sustainable funding system. For years they have failed to deliver. And sadly, this year – despite the horrors of the pandemic – looks like it will be no different.