Commenting on the absence of a White Paper on Social Care in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, Anne Roberts, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said:

“We are already at a crisis in the future funding of social care for older and disabled people, and the lack of a White Paper on this issue is a missed opportunity to implement urgent reform.

“While we welcome the pledge to publish a draft social care bill later in the year, this delay is only going to cause greater anxiety and uncertainty for unpaid carers across the UK.

“This group provides £119bn of care to family members and friends each year, greatly reducing the pressure and demand on paid-for social care.

“But there is only so much that unpaid carers can do. The number of people needing support is going up year on year, and by 2017 we will reach a tipping point in care where demand will outstrip what families are able to provide.

“It’s clear that failing to reform the system is not an option. Supporting carers must be a priority in addressing significant challenges posed by the funding shortfall and demographic change.

“Without this support, there’s no doubt that individuals and families caring for loved ones will find it increasingly harder to cope as social care provision inevitably drops off.”