Councillor Sykes backs Church of England calls for ‘universal’ social care

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has supported a recent intervention by England’s most senior church leaders, who have called for social care to become a ‘universal entitlement’, on par with the NHS.

Councillor Sykes said, “If we were building the NHS from scratch today, it would be obvious to everyone that we need a national health and social care service. We have an ageing population and we’re living with increasingly complex physical and mental health needs in our old age. Everyone deserves access to great healthcare and dignity in old age. Universal social care is the step we need to take now, to make sure that our health service is fit for the future.”

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York called for a ‘national covenant’ with a ‘stronger role for the state and citizens’ in delivering care.

Councillor Sykes said, “Here in Oldham there is an awful lot of work to do. What our borough needs is to be able to provide more social care places ourselves, without having to rely on the private sector. That means we need to be ambitious about building facilities for people who need them across all age ranges.”

“But we have Conservatives in government leaving a £13 billion hole in social care funding, with no plan to fill it. It’s got the stage where we have senior church leaders calling on the government to act, because everyone knows how much of a problem this is going to be. I hope these calls are not falling on deaf ears.”

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