GENERAL ELECTION 2024: Care sector reacts to Sunak’s call for 4 July election day

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for a General Election after months of speculation as to when it would take place.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Some, including MPs in his own party, have expressed surprise that Downing Street would call for an election now when its chances of winning are so slim.

October was being forecast as the likely date of an election by many, but instead Sunak has announced that 4 July will be the date on which the British public votes for its next Prime Minister.

Now, the care sector has responded to the news that Sunak and rival Kier Starmer will go head to head over the coming weeks.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive, Care England
Professor Martin Green, chief executive, Care England

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, commented: “For the adult social care sector, this general election will be an opportunity to reflect, discuss challenges and priorities, and consider alternative visions of what the future may look like.

“For too long, our sector has been neglected and the can kicked down the road. With this election, that must come to an end. It’s time for political parties to finally put adult social care at the top of the agenda and bring about the generational reform and investment we so desperately need.”

Meanwhile, a statement from the Care Workers’ Charity said: “Care workers play a vital role in our society as skilled professionals who provide essential support. It is imperative that the next government prioritises the needs of care workers and ensures the sector receives the attention it deserves.

“We have witnessed the positive impact of dedicated funding and initiatives, from the establishment of the NHS in 1948 to the furlough scheme that supported so many through Covid. These examples showcase what can be achieved with a concerted effort and a genuine commitment to making a difference.

“The time has come for our leaders to demonstrate the same level of determination in tackling the challenges faced by the care sector.”

Also announcing the release of the Care Workers’ Charities’ manifesto ahead of the election, the statement continued: “We urge all politicians to engage in meaningful discussions on the future of the care sector and to prioritise it as a key issue in the upcoming election and beyond.

“We are extending an invitation to collaborate with cross-party politicians and all like-minded organisations and individuals who share our vision for a better and more sustainable care system.

“Together, we can bring about the necessary changes and ensure that care workers receive the recognition and support they truly deserve.”

Finally, Right at Home CEO Lucy Campbell added: “Heading into the general election, we the social care sector can be forgiven for feeling less than optimistic about any parties’ ability to deliver meaningful change after decades of government failure and promises around the necessary reforms being broken time and time again.

“Should Labour get elected, in the short term they may make promises around the development of a fair pay agreement – something which is absolutely necessary.

“However, with only one out of 20 local authorities paying enough to cover National Living Wage along with the other critical costs of running a home care operation, a much more holistic approach to reform from day one is essential – not least robust legislation around commissioning to ensure the true cost of quality and sustainable care is covered.”

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