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6 March 2012
The human cost of a broken system of social care is set to dominate MPs' concerns today as over a thousand older and disabled people descend on Parliament to meet their MP, to urge them to act to end the crisis in social care.
The rally is being organised by the Care & Support Alliance, which represents over 60 charities and organisations. Older and disabled people, their carers and families have travelled from all over England to convene on Westminster with a clear message: 'The social care system is in deep crisis, and this will continue to worsen unless the Government acts now.'
The campaigners have arranged meetings with over two thirds of English MPs, while hundreds more people will be targeting their MPs online, using facebook and twitter in the world's first inter-active 'twobby'.
Simon Gillespie, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance and CEO of the MS Society said, 'Social care is not a nice to have extra – without support many people are condemned to a mere existence.'
'People are living longer with illness and disability and the chronically under-funded system is in crisis. Yet social care budgets across England fell by an estimated £1bn last year, according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. This is the opportunity of a generation for government to improve the lives of millions of people, and help ease the strain on the already financially stretched NHS.'
The Government is currently preparing a white paper on social care which will be published later in spring, in tandem with a plan to reform the way that care is funded. The mass rally of parliament today is set to show the strength of public opinion and will be a key element in influencing the Government's policy on social care.