Farron: National scandal of thousands of deaths linked to social care cuts

Tim Farron has described new research linking tens of thousands of deaths to a lack of proper social care as a “national scandal” and has called for action, including a potential tax rise.

The new research paper by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Oxford concluded that “the evidence points to a major failure of the health system, possibly exacerbated by failings in social care”

Tim said:

It is a national scandal that in one of the richest countries in the world, vulnerable older people are missing out on the services they need and may even have died due to poor care.

Our health and care services are at crisis point and struggling to cope.

Day after day we hear more stories about services being cut back and targets being missed, yet there is a deafening silence from Number 10 and the Department of Health.

I don’t know how bad the figures need to get for Government to actually take action.

Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to make the case that we may need to raise tax to pay for the NHS and social care services people deserve.

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  • Sue Sutherland 17th Feb '17 - 2:28pm

    I’m very pleased to hear Tim making the case for more public expenditure on housing, health and social services. However, I do hope that our policy making groups are taking a radical look at how we can pay for this sort of fairness and decency. For me it’s obvious that the economic policies we and several other countries have followed since the time of Thatcher and Reagan aren’t working. The poor and the sick are paying heavily for the endless requirement to keep public sector borrowing as low as possible while we fail to reach the target of making ends meet, but we will be attacked and dismissed if we don’t have a well thought out economic plan. We are also vulnerable to accusations that we supported existing economic policies in coalition and that people died on our watch too, so we need to be clear about our change of heart and have our arguments ready.

  • A point often made by the brave Brexiteers is the Lid Dems are a one policy party, but when there is an article which isn’t about Brexit were are they; to be honest were is anyone. It appears Brexit trumps all, no matter how important the subject.

  • @frankie

    Your problem is, it has only been 2 years since your party left Government and were part responsible for the cuts that have taken place which are having a devastating effect now on services.
    It’s all good and well shouting now that you are no longer in Government and trying to wash your hands with your part played in history.

    That being said, the social care cuts are huge problem and needs addressing, My own father suffers from vascular dementia, the support available to my mother and father is abysmal, even finding out where to even access information or services is a minefield.

    BTW your language, calling people “brave Brexiteers ” does not exactly encourage people to engage. You went to the effort of posting on this thread yourself and took the opportunity to criticise “brexiters” and yet, you did not say anything constructive on the actual topic yourself, what does that say?

  • Matt,

    it says that until my comment on Brexiteers you hadn’t responded. From your comment you could have as this topic directly affects you and your family.

    To deal with your points
    The Lib Dems ” were part responsible for the cuts that have taken place which are having a devastating effect now on services.”, very true but as Labour intended to make the same if not more radical cuts it is difficult to find a party that hadn’t fallen into a panic after 2008 and felt we had to cut and cut again (perhaps not the Greens). I think they were wrong but I was and probably am still in a small minority on that.

    Social care needs reform in some way, well yes its difficult to disagree with that but how. I feel it needs to be funded better and become a national priority, unfortunately the people in charge seem to think a devil takes the hindmost approach is best; that may very well work well for them but less so for me and thee.

    As to calling Brexiteers brave I’m afraid as one of my bosses said “You don’t suffer fools gladly” and Brexit is stupidity on stilts. Still on the positive side at least you know my opinion and if I’m wrong feel free to stuff it down my throat; I believe you learn more from having your mistakes pointed out than someone telling you nothing but using kind words.

    Finally a thought for you

    “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel

    Brexit is a crises that the likes of Gove, Murdock, May and the rest of the right wing will use to shape this country, it is very unlikely to be a shape you like or would have voted for, but voted for it you did.

  • @frankie

    ” From your comment you could have as this topic directly affects you and your family”
    Yes your right, I could have, but then I would have found myself criticising the Liberal Democrats again and i truly did not want to do that as I am doing that enough over Brexit.
    ” very true but as Labour intended to make the same if not more radical cuts” I just do not think that is an acceptable argument. Oh labour where going to do it, so you can not blame us for doing the same. Well yes I can actually, especially when not even 2 years after being in government and implementing those cuts, now as a party of opposition, you criticise those very cuts that your party and government at the time introduced, its sheer opportunism and I can not see how a party can be taken seriously.
    Maybe if the article started with, “we acknowledge that when we were in government we voted for these cuts, we have now realised that these went to far and have had a devastating effect on services that many vulnerable people rely on. As a party we will have a full policy review on social care so that we as a party can learn from past mistakes……”

    I agree social care needs much better funding, maybe that needs to start with a revaluation of Council tax banding and a commitment to a 1p or 2 p increase in income tax

  • Matt,

    I left the Lib Dems after they jumped into bed with the Tories, I didn’t get back in bed with them until after Brexit when they appeared to be for me the best choice but this doesn’t make me blind to the parties faults. What faults do I feel the party had

    1. Thinking too well of people especially Tories; the Tories exist only to gain and wield power the leadership of the Lib Dems forgot that; and how they suffered.
    2. Setting their goals too low, a few (much needed) changes to people rights is not worth selling your political soul for (not even if it means having a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream named after you).
    3, Believing they were in a team all pulling together; when in fact all the team was doing was pulling the Lib Dems over the cliff edge.
    4. Failing to listen to their core support and wondering off after a voting demographic that didn’t exist.

    In summation they were naive, paniced after 2008 and were far to willing to go along with the Tories. They fell for the good of the nation routine and felt their achievement is muzzling the worst of the Tories instincts would be rewarded. Ironically be muzzling the worst of Tories policies all they did was made them more electable without gaining anything that in the long run would matter.

    Why did I rejoin because with a its faults the party seems to have regained its moral compass and learned from its mistakes. As to an apology well I think we will be waiting awhile for that but I see little taste to repeat the error of jumping back into bed with the Tories. Once bitten twice shy (hopefully).

  • Matt,

    In my humble opinion criticism is good, it should be welcomed. Far to often people go along thinking everything is fine because no one wants to hurt them by pointing out the perils and pitfalls of their actions.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
    – Winston Churchill

  • when we are faced with social care and the NHS we are facing a false dichotomy, you can’t fix one without fixing the other. A policy to address both is required, alas I can’t see that being done any time soon.

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