Tonight at 9pm BST ist he first of a two part Panorama programme called “Crisis in Care

Panorama reveals the failings of our social care system, as our population gets older and more of us need help with day to day living.

In the first of a two part series, the BBC’s social affairs correspondent Alison Holt has filmed in Somerset for a year, focusing on four families, all exhausted by the demands of caring 24 hours a day for their loved ones, and desperately trying to get more help.

She also follows the fortunes of the county council who, like local authorities everywhere, are fighting to balance their books after years of budget cuts.

Since the introduction of Care in the Community, Social Care has gradually been outsourced to the private sector for the benefit of Shareholders and increasingly failing to meet the unmet needs of people needing Social Care,

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care Campaign sets out the case for a Dementia Fund:

 ” Our new report sets out the case for a Dementia Fund, including recommendations for Government to create a social care system that works for everyone.

Health and social care in England is stuck in the past. With the Green Paper delayed five times in two years, a Dementia Fund will shore up the system by giving people with dementia access to affordable and high quality care. The Dementia Fund gives us a way to break the deadlock on social care reform. 

We know how urgent change is – we hear from people every day who have been forced to spend all of their savings on care. 

With no social care Green Paper and limited parliamentary time to debate the issue given the extension to the Brexit timetable, the Dementia Fund is an immediate answer to the impasse. “

Time for Action

It’s time to call the Government and the Opposition to account over Social Care.

Last year over £400 million was spent on over 70,000 unnecessary Hospital admissions mainly because Social Care was unavailable.

Primary, Secondary and Social Care should be seamlessly integrated, funded by increased taxation, free at the point of need, regardless of age.

Removing the inequalities between chronic terminal diseases as laid bare via International Law by Article 25 of the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

So what could you do:

  • During and after the programmes please tweet MPs your comments.
  • If you use Twitter, include the following  MPs









  • If you use Twitter copy and paste the following into additional tweets.







Use the Hashtag #FixDementiaCare?

and also use  #ask3NDWG to share your stories

  • Contact your local MP
  • Write to your local CCG, Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Write to your local NHS Health and Social care Trust and local NHS Trust/Hospital
  • Write to national and local papers
  • If you are in receipt of Social Care or do not qualify – speak out
  • If a family member or friend are in receipt of Social Care or do not qualify – speak out
  • Below are the contact details for Ministers who could make a change, please write/email them

Remember, you may not need Social Care today

But who knows what tomorrow brings…

Philip Hammond – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 4055


Twitter: @philiphammonduk

Matt Hancock MP – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 7186


Twitter: @MattHancock

Caroline Dinenage MP – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 7078; 020 7219 0198

Fax: 020 7219 6874


Twitter: @cj_dinenage

Justin Tomlinson – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 7167


Twitter:  @jtomlinsonmp

John McDonnell MP – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 3000


Twitter:  @johnmcdonnellmp

Jon Ashworth MP – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 0207 219 3000


Twitter: @JonAshworth

Barbara Keeley MP – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 020 7219 8025


Twitter:  @KeeleyMP

Marsha De Cordova – Parliamentary Contact:

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Tel: 0207 924 1973


Twitter: @MarshadeCordova


Alzheimer’s Society – Fix Dementia Care Blog

Tonight at 9pm the BBC will air the first of a two part series looking at the state of social care in Somerset. In an unprecedented move, Somerset Council granted full access to BBC Panorama for a year in the interests of showing how years of budget cuts are impacting the services they can provide – and the lives of people who depend on the care system.

The programme tells the story of Barbara, who has Alzheimer’s, and her daughter Rachel who cares for her. When the council has to close the specialist day centre Barbara attends, a suitable replacement is hard to find and Rachel is left exhausted by the demands of caring full-time.

This is far from an isolated incident – Somerset County Council is not alone in battling budget cuts.

The same pressures are being felt all across the country. Since 2010, councils have had half of their budgets from national government cut and, as a result, are forced to cease vital services in order to stay afloat. This means that people like Barbara and Rachel, who rely on public services as a lifeline, are being let down.

Across England, the number of people over 65 receiving long-term care has dropped by more than 20,000 since 2015/16 – this is in spite of the population ageing and thousands more people now living with dementia.

This year adult social care services across the country are facing a funding gap of more than £1 billion – and that’s just to continue delivering the amount of services they currently are, not do anything else. It is no surprise, then, that more than a quarter of the nearly 2 million requests for social care support in 2017/18 resulted in no services being provided.

Ordinary people are being forced to plug the gaps in services. As Rachel says in the Panorama episode, people care for their family members “out of love” – but this still takes a toll. The balance of responsibility between the individual and the state has to be addressed so that unpaid carers aren’t left to pick up all the strain.

The Government must respond to tonight’s programme. Social care reform has stalled, with a Green Paper designed to put forward a long-term, fair funding solution delayed five times in just two years. With a new Prime Minister imminent, they must say how they will tackle an issue that successive governments have failed to act on.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s Society is calling for a Dementia Fund to be included in this year’s spending review. The Fund is designed to shore up the system in the shorter-term, giving people with dementia greater access to affordable, specialist care.

A Dementia Fund would break the deadlock on care reform, providing a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people living with the condition while a long-term funding solution is sought.

For many people, the intricacies of the social care system are not something they become aware of until they have to navigate it themselves. This is a crisis behind closed doors. Tonight’s Panorama pulls back the curtain to reveal the human cost of a system that is unfair, unsustainable and in need of urgent overhaul.  Let’s hope the people with the power to change things are watching.

We are standing up for people who need better care, will you stand with us? Please join our Fix Dementia Care campaign today.