4 January 2023

Health and social care crisis: our urgent letter to Steve Barclay

CSPA General Secretary, Lisa Ray has written to Stephen Barclay MP, Secretary for Health and Social Care asking how the government is going to address the current state of the NHS and social care services.

Many of our members over the past decade have faced long waits for essential operations, severe trouble with getting a face to face GP appointment and have watched their local health services in general decline significantly.

We’ll post an update when we have a reply. Read the full letter below. 

Dear Secretary of State,


The Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance represents around 50,000 pensioners. We campaign on issues affecting public service pensioners and older people. A major concern for our members over the last decade has been the state of the NHS and social care services.

In my capacity as General Secretary, I have written to a many of your predecessors about the need to resolve the crisis in these interconnected services and have been increasingly alarmed at the lack of Government action as the system collapses.

It has been reported recently that the current problems with backlogs of patients waiting for treatment, those stuck in hospital, and those waiting for an ambulance has resulted in around 500 extra deaths per week.

The Government has been consistently remiss in its lack of strategic and financial planning which has led to the depleted and diminishing provision of both health and social care services throughout UK.

Despite the highly valued skills and dedicated commitment of staff providing health and social care services, both staffing and resource levels are inadequate to cope with current and growing requirements.

The crisis goes beyond funding – although the NHS has seen underinvestment for the past decade and local authority funding cuts reduce their ability to provide good social care. These factors have combined to weaken the services’ ability to deal with crises that have hit it recently, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and winter flu.

It is shameful that in our country, one of the most advanced economies in the world, care cannot be provided to enable everyone to live dignified and rewarding lives and get the treatment they need when they need it.

Government must press care service providers to improve the pay and conditions of key workers. Non charitable providers should be strongly encouraged to reinvest any profit in developing their workforce.

In the NHS, a plan to fill the many vacancies and provide measures to improve morale and reward those already serving, needs to be urgently prioritised.

These problems are long term and ongoing. The prolonged pain and suffering of so many is totally unacceptable, remedy is long overdue and is now critical.

I look forward to hearing how the Government will take urgent steps to deal with the problems I have outlined.

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Ray
General Secretary
Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance

How you can help further

There are a few different ways you can raise awareness of CSPA news and campaigns. Here are a few starting points:

Good access to Primary Healthcare, i.e.: GPs Dentists Opticians, backed by a sustainably funded and staffed NHS, free treatment based on clinical need
A decent quality, sustainably funded, free social care service operating in cooperation with the NHS. Recognition for paid and unpaid carers through professional development, fair pay and access to respite breaks and simplified carers benefits

Are you a current or retired Civil Servant? Become a member of the CSPA to support our campaigning, and gain access to a wide range of benefits.

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