The chairs of the two national charities dedicated to supporting unpaid carers, Carers UK and Carers Trust, have written an open letter calling on the new Prime Minister to act immediately to address the much-needed funding for adult social care and help improve the lives of unpaid carers.

Families at breaking point

Sir,
 
As Boris Johnson assumes office this week he must act on reforming our social care system as a matter of immediate priority.
 
More than 6.5 million people in this country are taking on unpaid care for family and friends without adequate support and at a huge personal cost. Our respective organisations work to support and make life better for carers, but the effects of our underfunded social care system are putting carers under immense financial, physical and mental strain.
 
Holding families together and enabling loved ones to get the most out of life, the contribution of the UK’s unpaid carers to our economy is estimated to be £132 billion every single year. This massively dwarfs current investment in care services and, receiving dwindling financial and practical support, families are being pushed to breaking point. This is not right and frankly it is unsustainable.
 
“Sorting Brexit” cannot be an excuse for further delay. Our rapidly growing ageing population is one of the biggest challenges our society faces in the years ahead. The social care system has been ignored for too long and must be addressed immediately.
 
It is a matter of social justice as well as economic efficiency. We are ready to work with the new government to secure cross-party agreement on long-term funding for our vital care system that provides crucial support for older and disabled people.
 
The new Prime Minister must make it his mission to resolve the number one challenge facing families in this country, else he faces a crisis.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Prof David Grayson CBE, Chair, Carers UK
John McLean OBE, Chair, Carers Trust