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NHS crisis won't be fixed without successful social care policy

The next government’s stance on social care could make or break the NHS, according to social policy expert and campaigner Professor Peter Beresford OBE.

As the media increasingly reports on an NHS in crisis, Prof Beresford says the public must vote for the best deal on social care.

The first of Brunel University London’s free public lectures in 2015, ‘Sorting out social care or living unhappily ever after’ will analyse this key election issue while making clear there is no safety net for old age care.

Social care is the only major area of society in which everyone faces significant financial risk but has no way to protect against it. After a year of scandals that shocked the public, the sector is under fire for poor care, revelations of child sexual abuse, the neglect and assault of older people and bullying of disabled people.

Prof Beresford, Professor of Social Policy at Brunel University London and Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation, said: “Our well-loved NHS stands on a precipice, intimately tied to yet weighed down by the most underfunded and neglected area of government policy.

“Old age, ill health and disability will touch us all at some point in our lives. This is why we cannot let the opportunity to reform the system pass us by. I want to make 2015 the year we see the opportunities in social care, not just the horror stories.”

In his lecture, Prof Beresford will explain how the system came to be in crisis and what should be done about it. He will argue for social care to be treated as an economic generator. Better resourced, it will then lead to savings at the other end. An example would be good care at home reducing the number of people turning up at A&E departments across the country.

Prof Beresford identifies urgent practical steps such as better wages and career progression to improve the workforce and argues for an audit of care needed but not provided as a result of narrowing eligibility criteria to uncover the true funding gap.

The event will be held from 6pm to 7.45pm on Monday 16th February at the auditorium of Brunel University London’s Eastern Gateway Building. Doors will open from 5.30pm and a cash bar will be available before and after the lecture. To register, visit