It is the least that they deserve. Yet, as North Yorkshire care campaigner Mike Padgham sets out in today’s paper, funding pressures – and political indecision – mean 1.4 million people are not receiving support which is commensurate with their health needs.
And while Brexit will, inevitably, be the short-term priority for the next Prime Minister as the Tory leadership contest finally begins, social care will, without doubt, be the biggest medium and long-term challenge to confront Theresa May’s successor.
This is why The Yorkshire Post makes no apology for returning to this issue and challenging the Conservative contenders, as nominations formally open, to prove their leadership on this totemic issue following unacceptable delays to the long-overdue Green Paper.
Given the candidates include Jeremy Hunt and Matt Hancock, the past and present Health and Social Secretaries who have both presided over this policy vacuum, it is why we are requesting each aspiring PM to answer Mr Padgham’s specific – and pertinent – questions so that progress can begin on this important issue as soon as a new government is formed.
As part of this exercise in leadership – and following growing concerns that the general public are being excluded from the election process – this newspaper will commit to publishing the responses that are submitted to this newspaper.
Make no mistake, The Yorkshire Post will also highlight any candidate who chooses to ignore this reasonable request or simply offers excuses – the negligible response to Mr Padgham’s open letter last November was, frankly, inexcusable and insulting.
For too long, the Tory party has been turning inward because of Brexit, and talking to itself, rather than addressing the needs of the country that it is supposed to be leading and serving as the governing party. And if those who aspire to hold the highest political office in the land are genuinely concerned about the most vulnerable members of society, they will rise to the challenge and address the concerns of the 1.4 million people who are said to be receiving sub-standard care.