With a care system collapsing through lack of funding and 2 million of our older generation living in poverty we need urgent action, these are my 4 main concerns:
1, Social Care.
Firstly as a priority we need to increase payments for social care unblock NHS beds and give our elderly comprehensive care in the home. Most importantly DIGNIFIED care is critical, and not against the clock.
1 million older people are left to struggle by each day without any support. Its not enough just to survive they should have access to opportunities and support particularly with issues such loneliness and isolation.
2, Pensions & benefits.
We should confirm the Triple lock guarantee for pensions will continue to ensure the state pension increase every year by the higher of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%.
Automatic free independent review of entitlements to ensure Credits and benefits are claimed and council tax calculated correctly.
Of those eligible (Financial Reporter Feb 17):
- 62% not claiming full State Benefit Entitlement average £576 a year.
- 39% not claiming Savings Pension Credit average £431 a year.
- 49% not claiming Council Tax support average £529 a year.
3, Dementia Tax.
If the Conservatives are to continue with their Dementia tax they should confirm the upper limit before the election, this is potentially the biggest stealth tax in history and we have the right to know what we are voting for (or against).
4, Virgin Care.
B&NES have given Virgin Care a £70m per year contract to provide social care, personally I’m not comfortable with part of this money going to shareholders, we need every penny on front line services.
Virgin will also run the urgent care facility at Paulton hospital and subcontract provision of dementia and end of life care and a “hospital from home” service for recently discharged patients. every level of subcontracting has its own overheads and these further reduce money reaching those who need it most.
I believe this should remain the responsibility of our NHS.