Theresa May must urgently begin a cross-party process to find a long-term solution to the current crisis in health and social care funding. That’s the call in an open letter to the Prime Minister signed by Guideposts and 74 other organisations and leading voices in the sector – including Independent Age, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care England, Patients Association, Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE), Leonard Cheshire Disability, Marie Curie and RNIB. The letter warns that “2017 simply cannot be another year where these huge issues are ducked” and that unless the Prime Minister takes “a bolder approach millions of older, ill and disabled people and their carers will continue to be badly let down.”

Please see our response in the open letter below and sign the petition at the end of the letter, which is as follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

There can be no doubt about the scale of the challenges facing health and social care services in England. Barely a day goes by without news of immediate problems – service reductions, missed targets – and warnings of future failings. 2017 simply cannot be another year where these huge issues are ducked. While the Government has taken some short term steps to try and relieve the pressures on the NHS and local authorities, without more fundamental action, these challenges will accelerate as our population increases and ages.

Although you have recognised the need to find a longer term solution, you have not yet said how you will go about developing one. Unless you adopt a bolder approach millions of older, ill and disabled people and their carers, will continue to be badly let down. That’s why we are now calling for the government to establish a cross-party process to review and recommend action on future health and social care funding. We believe that process should be: 
Inclusive: established by the government with meaningful cross party engagement 
Open: listening to the public and professionals who use and work in these services every day 
Urgent: the cross party process should get underway without delay but this should not prevent shorter term investment, particularly to support the care system Such a process should not aim to ‘take the politics out of health and care’ but rather to make clear the costs and consequences of the political decisions that must be made. It should recognise that just as no one party should be blamed for the current challenges, nor can a genuinely long term solution be owned only by one party. Brave thinking is required to ensure the right recommendations are backed with political will.

There can be no room for complacency. The time to act is now.

Signatories to the open letter to the Prime Minister
1. Janet Morrison, Chief Executive, Independent Age
2. Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing
3. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair, Royal College of GPs
4. Cathie Williams, Chief Officer, ADASS
5. Jo Miller, President, SOLACE
6. Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive, Carers UK
7. Dr Jane Collins, CEO, Marie Curie
8. Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive, Patients Association
9. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England
10.Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director, UK Home Care Association
11.Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman, National Care Association
12.Frank Ursell, Chief Executive, Registered Nursing Home Association
13.Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum
14.Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability
15.Dave Prentis, General Secretary, UNISON
16.Jan Tregelles, Chief Executive, Royal Mencap Society
17.Sally Harvey, Interim Chief Executive, RNIB
18.Paul Breckell, Chief Executive, Action on Hearing Loss
19.Steve Vaid, Acting Chief Executive, Guide Dogs
20.Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO, Sense
21.Rt Hon Prof Paul Burstow, Former Minister of State for Care
22.Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive, CIPFA
23.David Sinclair, Director, ILC-UK
24.Eileen Burns, President, British Geriatrics Society
25.Irene Sobowale, CEO, The Disabilities Trust
26.Lisa Lenton, Director, ARC England
27.Sue Adams OBE, Chief Executive, Care and Repair England
28.Robert Stephenson-Padron, Managing Director, Penrose Care Agency
29.Ian Cumming MBE, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Guideposts
30.Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation
31.Lisa Hopkins, Chief Executive, SeeAbility
32.Tim Cooper, CEO, United Response
33.Jane Ashcroft CBE, Chief Executive, Anchor
34.Azra Kirkby, Interim CEO, Real Life Options
35.Alex Fox OBE, CEO, Shared Lives Plus
36.Deborah Gold, Chief Executive, NAT
37.Sue Browning, CEO, Spinal Injuries Association
38.Michael Voges, Executive Director, ARCO
39.Gary FitzGerald, CEO, Action on Elder Abuse
40.Simon Chapman, Director of Policy and External Affairs, National Council for Palliative Care
41.Jonathan Senker, Chief Executive, VoiceAbility
42.Dr Rhidian Hughes, CEO, VODG
43.Susan Hale, General Manager, Colostomy Association
44.Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down’s Syndrome Association
45.David McCullough, Chief Executive, Royal Voluntary Service
46.Mark Lever, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society
47.Sue Bott, Deputy Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK
48.Judi Rhys, CEO, Arthritis Care
49.Tracey Bleakley, CEO, Hospice UK
50.Dr Mohsin Khan, Co-founder and Chief Policy Officer, NHS Survival
51.Dr Sam Barrell, Chief Executive, Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust
52.Phil Pegler, Chief Executive, Community Integrated Care
53.Justin Irwin, Chief Executive, Family and Childcare Trust
54.Kirsty Woodard, Ageing without Children
55.Derek Cribb, Chief Executive, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
56.Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive, Carers Trust
57.Oonagh Aitken, CEO, Volunteering Matters
58.Mr Adam Williams, President, Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT)
59.Mr Simon Fleming, President, British Orthopaedic Trainees Association
60.Dr Matt Mayer, Chair, GP Survival
61.Olivia Belle, Director of External Affairs, Arthritis Research UK
62.Professor Julienne Meyer, City University
63.Dr Zoe Norris, Chair of Sessional Subcommittee, General Practitioners Committee UK
64.Dr Phil Hammond, NHS Associate Specialist & Vice Chair of The Patients Association
65.Dr Umesh Prabhu, Consultant Paediatrician and Medical Director
66.Mr Dermot O’Riordan, Consultant Surgeon
67.Mr Johann Malawana, Director, The Healthcare Leadership Academy
68.Stella Vig, Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Royal College of Surgeons Council Member
69.Prof. Nigel Standfield, Professor of Vascular Surgery and Surgical Education and Royal College of Surgeons Council Member
70.Mr Shafi Ahmed, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Royal College of Surgeons Council Member
71.Mr Richard Kerr, Former President of Society of British Neurological Surgeons and Royal College of Surgeons Council Member
72.Dr Peter JP Holden, British Medical Association Council Member and Treasurer of Derbyshire LMC
73.Dr Rob Galloway, Emergency Medicine Consultant
74.Mr Ben Dean, Orthopaedic Registrar and Honorary Research Fellow
75.Roshana Mehdian, Orthopaedic Registrar and Assistant Course Director, The Healthcare Leadership Academy

Sign the petition!