URGENT plans are needed to improve the nation’s social care system which is failing thousands of frail pensioners, an MP has demanded.
Stephen Morgan has called on the government to take action and pump additional cash into the system, which he claimed is letting down countless families.
The Portsmouth South MP’s comments come after a shock study by Age UK Portsmouth today revealed more than 8,000 elderly people were caring for older loved ones or friends without any support.
Mr Morgan was horrified by the study and said: ‘These figures show the stark reality of what many people in Portsmouth and across the country are living with - a social care system which is struggling to support them and their families.
‘As a former trustee of Age UK Portsmouth, I know how much local charities such as this, as well as families, friends, are stepping in to provide care for their loved ones where the system is falling short, yet this is simply not sustainable in the long term.
‘Social care is a vitally important sector that urgently needs a proper plan for its funding and staffing. Stop-gap solutions are no longer enough to keep social care going. The government must, as a matter of priority, come up with a plan that is sustainable, long-term, and addresses growing pressures.
‘We also need to see social care workers treated and paid in a way that more truly reflects their immense value, the care of our elderly and vulnerable depends on it.’
The government has said it is looking to do more to support carers.
Its carers actions plan sets out a two-year programme of tailored work to support unpaid carers, ahead of the forthcoming social care green paper which will set out long-term sustainable solutions for the social care system.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: ‘Carers make an invaluable contribution to society by selflessly caring for their loved ones, but this must not be at the expense of their own health and happiness and we are working to improve support for carers of all ages.
‘We have provided local authorities with access to up to £3.6bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year and our forthcoming green paper will look at long-term sustainable solutions for the social care system.’