Care services minister shaping the future of care and support in London
People in London will today have the opportunity to shape government policy and tell the Care Services Minister, Phil Hope, what they think about the future of the care and support system in England.
In 20 years time the number of people living in Greater London over the age of 65 will have risen to over 1 million, and the number of people over 85 will have risen to over 140,000.
As a result, the care system must change to meet the changing needs of society.
The engagement on the future of care and support involves members of the public, and people who use services and their families joining the Care Service Minister, Phil Hope, to discuss their views on what kind of system they want to see in the future, as well as how it should be funded.
Phil Hope said: "At the turn of the century there were 19 people working for every one retired. That number has now decreased to four working for every one retired. It's vital I discuss with the people of London how we can create a high-quality, affordable care and support system for a rapidly aging population.
"The care and support system for the future should promote independence, choice and control for everyone. We are committed to creating a system in the future that meets the individual needs of our aging population and their families. I urge people to get involved - the reform affects us all."
Millions of people across the country are involved with providing and using care and support. This reform is about finding a new way to help people stay active, care for family members, retain maximum dignity and respect and have the best possible quality of life.
"Absolutely! I am the Support Officer for York Carers Forum - an organisation for 'unpaid' carers led by carers. We are working with the City of York Council's Carers Strategy Manager and the York CVS as well as many other statutory and voluntary organisations in York to raise the profile of the unpaid carer. The government is saving billions of pounds every year by the work done by carers (ie, relatives; friends and neighbours) without whom, thousands of people would not be able to stay in the community. (In the 2001 Census in York 17,009 people said that they were unpaid carers). It is time that they, and those they care for, are given the support needed to do what they do. Dignity and respect should be priorities but a raise in the Carer's Allowance would be a practical aknowledgement of their worth - the current pittance does not indicate that a carer's work is valued by the government even when for some it is 24/7. Everyone should be entitled to independence - but not isolation; choice - but what choice is there with limited resources?; and control - but when you are undervalued and overstretched it is difficult to to survive, let alone direct your path. It is a grand vision, but a long, long way from fruition. It's easier to get funding for a struggling bank than for the care and support system." - Irene Mace, York