The lost generation – a quarter of a century of failure in social care

1986 saw the birth of email as we know it today, the announcement of a tunnel to be built between Great Britain and France and the publication of a report showing that the social care system was unsustainable and needed major reform. A quarter of a century on, email is truly embedded into daily life, France is a mere train journey away and the Dilnot report published in July 2011 showed the social care system is on the brink of collapse and in desperate need of reform.

Successive governments have ducked and dodged the issue, creating a confusing and conflicting legal framework and consistently failing to fund adequately fund social care.

The combined result is a crisis in care of epic proportion, with a broken system of care that cannot cope with people living longer with illness and disability. As politicians try to reach consensus in cross party talks on social care and the Government prepares the white paper on social care, the weight of historical failure will hang heavy.

The last set of cross party talks prior to the 2010 General Election ended in disarray. Politicians cannot afford a repeated breakdown in talks. According to a You Gov poll of 1,726 English adults commissioned by Age UK in January 2012, four out of five people believe the Government is not doing enough for older people.

The question is whether, set against the backdrop of austerity measures, the Government will now have the courage and conviction to create a lasting legacy of care and support.

This once in a generation opportunity to put pressure on the Government to properly fund social care is the reason why Age UK is asking everyone to sign our Care in Crisis petition.

Age UK are calling on the Government to reform the adult social care system. Find out more about our Care in Crisis campaign and how to sign up to our petition.

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