An open letter from Chris Askew (Diabetes UK) and Caroline Abrahams (AGE UK)

“In England alone, at least 15 million people of all ages regularly depend on ready access to good health and care services – these are people living with dementia, cancer or depression, or struggling with the impacts of stroke, MS or other disabilities on their lives.

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK and chair of the Richmond Group of Charities.

First, we need an urgent injection of money to prevent further deterioration of services. Then we need a sustainable and fully resourced response to both growing demand and the current outdated delivery models. It is the immediate crisis in hospital corridors and ambulances that is the most visible, but it is equalled by a crisis of underfunding and staffing pressures.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at AGE UK and co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance

Without such decisive action things will only get worse. Seventy years ago, the NHS and welfare state were created “in place of fear”. We think it is unacceptable that fear and needless suffering should ever again take the place of high-quality, safe and responsive services for all who need them.”