As you will know, social care services that support older people (aged over 65) – mainly homecare, residential care and, day care services – are vital for them to live independent and happier lives at home and in their communities. Age UK has estimated that £1.95bn has been lost from social care budgets over the past 10 years due to central government cuts. It is clear that these cuts are having a detrimental impact on older people’s services.
As part of research UNISON is currently compiling, we carried out a survey of social care workers on their experience of the impact of budget cuts over the past six years. 64% of the 1,075 respondents said that they had found there was a higher number of patients with more intensive care needs. At the same time, 65% of the responders said there fewer staff and 63% of the respondents said that they had less time to spend with patients. So as demand for services has increased, there are fewer staff, spending less time with patients.
On 16th November UNISON will be holding an event at parliament for MPs to show their support for the SOS campaign and to raise awareness of the impact of cuts to social care services for older people.
Parliamentary drop-in session on Wednesday 16 November to raise awareness of the devastating impact of cuts to older people’s social care services. There will also be the opportunity to have your photo taken in support of the campaign day and sign a pledge board that will read:
“I call on the government to increase funding to older people’s social care services.”
We will be asking MPs to come to our event, pick up a copy of UNISON’s latest report on the impact of cuts The Damage: Care in Crisis and talk to our members and activists about their experiences of cuts and the SOS campaign’s call for increased funding to social care services that support older people. We will also be asking MPs to take a photo and sign a pledge board to show their support for the campaign.
Please write to your MP and tell them about the SOS campaign using the key messages in the briefing attached. Ask him/her to show their support for the SOS campaign by attending our parliamentary event (please see the event page on the UNISON website for more details).
We are also looking for activists who are available to attend this event on Wednesday 16th November and are happy to talk to MPs about their experiences of working in social care services – particularly homecare, residential care and day care services.
If you would like to attend this event, please contact us at SOS@unison.co.uk , with your contact details and your constituency (so that we can encourage your MP to attend the event).