Caroline Abrahams (Age UK) and Mark Lever (The National Autistic Society) appointed to co-chair the Care and Support Alliance

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA) has appointed Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, and Mark Lever, Chief Executive of The National Autistic Society, as co-chairs. They replace Vicky McDermott, Chief Executive of Papworth Trust who is leaving the adult social care sector.

The CSA is an Alliance of over 80 charities campaigning for a properly funded care system alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care. Members include: Carers UK, Scope, MacMillan, British Red Cross, RNIB and Mind.

Social care is chronically underfunded. In the last seven years budgets have been cut by £6bn in real terms. As a result, half a million fewer older and disabled people receive care now than did five years ago , and research has estimated that more than one million people are not getting the care they need.

Care and Support Alliance

Caroline and Mark put themselves forward as co-chairs to ensure the leadership of the Alliance reflected the importance of care to working age disabled adults and older people, as well as families and carers. They take over at an important time for the sector as the Government have committed to a consultation on adult social care.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

“Mark and I agree it is crucial that the Care and Support Alliance is, and is seen to be, equally passionate about the importance of social care for disabled and mentally ill adults and older people, as well as for their carers, and our co-chairing arrangement is a concrete expression of this on our part. We must stand together across the whole of the social care sector.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said:

“This is set to be an important year for social care and the Alliance needs to step up and hold the Government to its pledge of putting the system on a sustainable financial basis for the future. I am really looking forward to working with Caroline and with all our Alliance members to bring the full force of the millions whom we represent behind our shared campaign goals.”

Note to editors

The Care and Support Alliance represents more than 80 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

Media contact

Ari Haque, Tel: 020 7923 5723 Email: ari.haque@nas.org.uk

1 million elderly don’t get basic care they need !

Pensioners struggling without help from family, neighbours or state.

Further cuts to care budgets will hit ageing population.

Charlie Cooper writes in The Independent regarding the country’s leading charity representing older people stating there is an ‘unacceptable level of care for 1 million elderly’ as figures reveal they now get no help at all for basic care.

Age UK said savage cuts to social care budgets under the Coalition, combined with a growing elderly population, has led to an “exponential” increase in the number of people left struggling alone.

For the first time, Age UK said, more than a million people in England have a care need – such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet, preparing food or taking medication – but receive no help from the state, self-funded care services, or from friends or family.

Elderly ManWhile the report’s findings relate to England, all parts of the UK are struggling to cope with a growing elderly population. In Scotland, care leaders last month proposed freezing NHS funding and transferring money to home care providers.

The charity said 1,004,000 people fall into this category – an increase of more than 100,000 in the past year.

The Government plans further cuts of £1.1bn to adult social care budgets for 2015/16. Care funding has already plunged by a third to £5.46bn in the past 10 years. Care leaders say it is “almost unendurable” on the frontline, where thousands of jobs have been lost and services scaled back.

The population of over 70s is set to hit nearly 7.9 million by 2020 in England alone – one million more than today. Last week, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called for people to take greater responsibility to combat the “national shame” that one in 10 elderly people have contact with family less than once a month.

But Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, said that while culture change is needed, the “immediate problem” had been caused by the Governments cuts.  “To have to  struggle alone is unfair on these older people and also unacceptable in a civilised society,” she said.

Age UK – whose analysis is based on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing by UCL, the University of Manchester, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and NatCen Social Research – also said annual emergency admissions to hospital for over-65s have risen by 400.,000 in a decade, suggesting cuts to social care may be increasing pressure on the NHS.

“The sinister disease that is destroying the basic needs of many sectors of our society continues unchecked. With an administration unmoved by criticism and literally having blood on their hands, any improvement is unlikely. Our World, eventually, is going to be a very bad place”