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Our reaction: social care and the Queen's Speech

After at least 17 government inquiries on social care reform, the meagre nine words in today’s Queen’s Speech was a blow to everyone affected by spinal cord injury.

“This fails to give any detail on plans to fix the social care crisis in the UK, and this is a glaring omission that our members and wider SCI community will be yearning for,” says Kathryn Hill, our director of programmes. “We weren’t expecting a breakdown of the plans in full, but this brevity speaks volumes. The care sector can’t go on like this.

“Each and every day, we’re seeing first-hand the devastating impact of government inaction on social care, with the 50,000 people affected by spinal injury bearing the brunt. Real-terms cuts combined with unmet care needs has been further exposed during the pandemic.”

Everyday our helpline advisers and other frontline staff are deluged by calls from spinal cord injured people, many of whom have complex care needs that aren’t being addressed.

This fails to give any detail on plans to fix the social care crisis in the UK, and this is a glaring omission that the SCI community will be yearning for

Kathryn Hill, our director of programmes

Social care has long been touted for reform by successive governments of various political colours. None have successfully addressed the issue. Two years ago, on the steps of Downing Street, Boris Johnson promised to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.

That hasn’t happened.

Crisis in care

The Guardian reports today that simply to return to the levels of social care support that existed in 2009-10, it would cost the Treasury at least £8bn a year in England alone.

This problem is compounded by local authorities. Stricter eligibility criteria came about with austerity in 2010, which has resulted in 1.5 million people nationwide lacking in care provision.

This crisis must be resolved. Urgently.

We’re adding our name to the growing list of organisations calling for the government to act – and act decisively – on lasting social care reform and a long-term funding settlement to resolve this crisis once and for all. Ministers must work across the political divide to secure long-term funding and reform.

Kathryn adds: “If we’re ever to resolve the social care crisis once and for all, now is the time for action, not delay.”

Make change happen

You can add your voice to the growing chorus of SCI people demanding action on social care reform. Use today’s speech to highlight to your MP why they need to stand up for your rights and join the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Spinal Cord Injury.