Opinion: The other care crisis

Wheelchair signs - Some rights reserved by Leo ReynoldsOver the course of this Parliament, social care reform could become the most distinctive area of Liberal Democrat influence in the Coalition.

The Party has the strongest foothold in an issue that is permeated by talk of ‘cross party consensus’ (although, to date, the rhetoric has led to precious little real agreement), with both Ministers for Social Care under the Coalition – and probably the biggest voices – being Lib Dems, in Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb.

As such, the Party has had a huge role to play in pushing social care to the top of the political agenda – including as a central part of the recent Mid-term Review. I‘m sure I’m not the only Lib Dem who considers social care reform to be the biggest social policy challenge facing the country and the Coalition.

To date the political debate from all parties has focused on reforming the system for older people. This is completely understandable, given the increasingly stark challenges of our aging population. This is something that I know quite a bit about both from first-hand experience and my work on the Lords Select Committee on Public Services and Demography which is looking at how well prepared we are as a country for addressing this challenge. However, it is often never aired that one third of social care users are working age disabled people – and the social care crisis is critical for them too.

Yesterday saw the launch of The Other Care Crisis, a report launched by five leading disability charities which aims to throw light on what social care reform means for working age disabled people.

The findings of the report are stark:

· 40% of disabled people do not get enough social care support to meet basic needs including eating, washing, dressing or getting out the house.

· 105,000 disabled people risk missing out on basic support for their day-to-day lives.

· There is a £1.2billion funding gap in social care support for disabled people under the age of 64.

Many proposals for reforming the system, as set out in the draft Care and Support Bill and the accompanying White Paper, are to be welcomed, particularly the introduction of a National Eligibility Threshold to end the post code lottery in care.

This reform is set to be the most important for working age disabled people. Yet, if the findings of this latest report are heeded, sustainable funding must underpin the social care reform for working age disabled people.

It is this funding that will dictate whether they get the care they need to get out of bed, wash, eat and live fulfilling lives within their community.

For the Liberal Democrats, putting social care on a sustainable footing would be a bold and lasting political legacy – and working age disabled people need to be at the heart of that debate.

* Claire Tyler, Baroness Tyler of Enfield, has been in the House of Lords since 2011, taking an active role in the areas of health and social care, welfare reform, social mobility, well-being, children and family policy, machinery of government and the voluntary sector. She is the Liberal Democrat member of the Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility, and co-chair of the APPG on Social Mobility

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

  • Local council’s budgets are being cut back because of cuts to funding from central government also that raising money locally will mean increasing the unfair council tax putting many on low and fixed incomes into worse financial problems.
    So it is now most important that we give independence to local government by axing this unfair council tax that they are forced to levy on their residents and bring in local income tax by preset to the Inland revenue. This will save bureaucracy and money for extra services as well as introducing fair taxation.
    It’s Liberal democrat policy, why don’t we put this to the cabinet ?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 26th Apr - 1:10am
    Surely the big news is Tim's new haircut shown in the picture?
  • User AvatarHywel 26th Apr - 12:00am
    I like the comment about it not being fair. Kind of tempted to say (a la Peep Show) 'Welcome to big school'. Political campaigns aren't...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 25th Apr - 11:55pm
    To me, Christian values and Liberal Democrat values are very much in sync, since both emphasise the rights of individuals to flourish, and that we...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 25th Apr - 11:34pm
    @David Becket "can we have the view of the Vicar’s Daughter" Why is the job of Theresa May's father relevant? Tim Farron's and Theresa May's...
  • User AvatarDJ 25th Apr - 11:25pm
    The Last Leg, although not the most serious of shows, had one comment on Tim's voting record and several jokes or other about sin. What...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th Apr - 11:12pm
    This is very good, thanks Paul. Have just read about Christine, a fine councillor by the articles I read, and elected unopposed due to her...