Charity chiefs demand action on elderly care

By Jessica Elgot, January 5, 2012
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The heads of two major communal welfare charities have urged the government to take tangible action on the mounting problems relating to the care of the elderly and disabled.

Norwood chief executive Elaine Kerr and her Jewish Care counterpart Simon Morris were among signatories of a letter published in the Daily Telegraph about the need for "political leadership" in the wake of the recommendations of the independent Dilnot Commission on the Funding of Care and Support. The government has committed to publishing a White Paper on Social Care by April.

Mr Morris said that, throughout his career in social care, "funding has been a huge issue. Numerous reports have been produced but in practice nothing has changed. Every day at Jewish Care we see the impact that isolation and lack of funding has on lives of the people we support and their loved ones. The result is unacceptable.

"Ideally, the sector needs additional funding to deal with the challenges faced by our growing elderly population. High-quality care delivered with compassion, respect and dignity should be a given, not a privilege."

Ms Kerr said it was "crucial that local authorities have the means to fully fund the support we provide, ensuring that people with learning disabilities continue to contribute to an inclusive society. Norwood is well aware of the issues surrounding social care funding but is unwilling to compromise on the quality of the services it provides."

The letter was signed by heads of more than 70 major charities and care organisations.

Last updated: 1:21pm, January 5 2012