Britain's care crisis is a catastrophe in the making, warns Saga's Director General Ros Altmann

Thursday 2 June 2011

Britain's Care Crisis is a Catastrophe in the making, warns Saga's Director General Ros Altmann

Saga calls for urgent action to rescue failed homes, improve protection of the elderly and prevent needless deaths

Commenting on news this week that the UK’s two largest care home providers are facing financial collapse, Dr Ros Altmann Director General, Saga said:

“A rescue plan for failed homes is needed urgently. The government and local authorities may have to step in and take control of the situation. There must be a plan for rescuing failed care homes, to protect their elderly residents properly. Of course some homes do fail, but not on a massive scale like this. We do not even have enough alternative care home places to house everyone!

“Lives could be at risk as a result of Southern Cross collapsing so we urge the government to demonstrate how they are going to protect those that may be affected.

“Beyond this immediate critical situation, report after report flags up an impending catastrophe in social care and still nothing is happening. Local authorities keep cutting back and more and more people lose their homes to cover care costs. The numbers in need are growing, social care can no longer be neglected. The current situation is unfair and unsustainable - it shames us all.

“We as a nation and a culture seem to be dropping into a combined mindset that ‘it can't possibly be that bad' combined with 'it won’t happen to us’. But we need to wake up to reality. It is an enormously dangerous social and cultural mindset, perhaps compounded by the fact that there is still a significant army of family carers who choose not to complain, who simply get on with supporting their loved ones – unpaid, unheard and, in turn, unsupported themselves. We cannot go on like this.

“We ignored the pensions crisis and it has become a huge problem. But ignoring this care crisis will be an absolute catastrophe.

“It is time for some serious reform of our system. These developments prove that policymakers are failing our elderly and frail: it is not just the financial strings that need to be pulled, so too should the heartstrings.”


For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.

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