IT should not have required another passionate intervention by Paralympic heroine Hannah Cockroft MBE DL to remind politicians and decision-makers of their obligations to all those people, from the very elderly to the severely disabled, who have care needs.
Yet the fact that she, and so many others, have chosen to speak out at the start of a week-long special series by The Yorkshire Post is evidence of the extent to which such people, together with their families and carers, are being failed by their country.
One of the stars of the 2012 Paralympics which did enlighten this country’s attitudes towards the disabled, as well as other individuals who are dependent on the care and support of others for their independence, she regrets that progress is now regressing.
She’s right. Not only do wheelchair users face a lottery when it comes to accessing shops, services or public transport, but this inertia is epitomised by the Government’s procrastination over a Green Paper on social care first promised at the time of the 2017 election.
And, frankly, there is no excuse for this shameful complacency as senior citizens, the disabled and their carers wait for clarity on the future provision – and funding – of key services that need to go hand-in-hand with further initiatives to help, and support, the less mobile.
This state of affairs has very little to do with Brexit, other than the availability of sufficient medical staff and carers if and when the country leaves the EU. These issues existed long before the 2016 referendum on EU membership. And they will remain long after Britain’s future relationship with Europe has been determined.
The sooner politicians from all parties, including the newly-formed Independent Group of MPs, recognise this, and come up with some immediate solutions, the better.