THE Yorkshire Post is pleased to publish an open letter to every MP in the country from North Yorkshire care boss Mike Padgham.
It is required reading and it will be revealing whether the country’s representatives at Westminster actually bother to reply – or simply dismiss the contents because they’re so preoccupied with Brexit.
If it is the latter, then, frankly, they need to ask themselves if they’re in the right job – or not. For, given that the well-defined test of a civilised nation is how it treats the most vulnerable members of society, they will be failing their constituents – and their country – if they don’t heed the repeated warnings made by Mr Padgham and others about this seminal issue.
A consequence of the political failure to align NHS and social care policy is not only an unacceptable number of delayed discharges – occurrences when medically-fit patients can’t be released from hospital because there’s inadequate help in their home or local community – but the fact that 1.4 million people are now being denied the care that they need.
Yet, while the past two decades have been paved with good intentions by successive governments, there’s still no definitive policy or long-term funding plan for a sector that has paid a heavy price for those council cuts imposed since 2010. However, if there’s one lesson to be learned from the Brexit stalemate at Westminster, it’s the fact that little progress will be made on any issue until MPs on all sides stop the pointscoring and begin to work together for the greater good – starting with social care.