More than 13,000 people across the South West have backed Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign calling on the government to Cure the Care System.
They were among 135,638 who signed a petition addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which was delivered yesterday (Thursday 1 July) to the Prime Minister.
It urges the government to fulfil its promise to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ made by Mr Johnson when he came to power almost two years ago.
The charity says that while dementia is not curable yet, the social care system is, and it wants the government to commit to a plan that will deliver high-quality, accessible social care that is free at the point of use, like the NHS.
54-year-old Jane Sims lives in Chippenham. Her dad, Roy Evans, who lived in Calne, was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies and passed away at the age of 84 in January this year.
Jane said: “Trying to get dad the care he needed was a constant battle. Resources are stretched at every turn. You only ever hear what can’t be done or isn’t possible, rather than what can be done. You have to know the system and fight and fight and fight. My sister led on the fight to get dad the support he needed, and that was constant. It shouldn’t be that exhausting. She had to have three weeks off work on two separate occasions with the stress of it all. It was overwhelmingly frustrating and stressful for her.
“An acceptable standard of care should be a universal right no matter your surrounding circumstances and that’s why I signed the Alzheimer’s Society petition.”
A survey carried out on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society ahead of yesterday’s petition hand in shows people now regard social care as a top priority for the government to address, regardless of who is in power.
The Deltapoll survey revealed 69% of respondents in the South West felt the government should make it a priority to improve access to community care, as well as the quality of care provided in care homes and by home care providers.
Nationally, 77% of those polled ranked social care as a top priority, with only the NHS (88%) and Crime and Policing (78%) scoring higher.
Laura Vicinanza, Alzheimer’s Society’s Regional Public Affairs and Campaigns Officer, said: “The fact that more than 135,000 people from across the UK signed our Cure the Care System petition demonstrates the depth of feeling about the current poor state of social care.
“The new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, must honour this government’s promise to fix social care with a clear, budgeted plan this year– and to consider not just funding, but also improving the quality of care that people receive.”
“Sadly, decades of chronic underfunding and neglect have led to a care system that is costly, inadequate and deeply unfair – and the pandemic has exposed these failings like never before.
“Right now, nearly a million families affected by dementia in the UK are struggling to take care of their loved ones with the dignity and support they deserve.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. A reformed system would provide quality care that is free and easy to access, no matter where people live.
“NHS care is provided according to need and is free at the point of use. As a matter of fairness, dementia care must be delivered on the same principle.”
To unite with Alzheimer’s Society and join their #CureTheCareSystem campaign for quality social care for people affected by dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk/campaign