Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, has written to the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nick Clegg, to call for social care to be provided free of charge to people who are at the end of their lives.
Greg was one of 14 Liberal Democrat MPs who signed the joint letter to the party leadership. In it they called for a commitment to supporting people at the very end of their lives so they can die in a place of their choosing.
Data suggests that 79% of people want to die at home, but only 21% of people are able to. Free social care is fundamental to supporting people who are at the end of life to die in the place of their choosing.
The Liberal Democrats have already been supportive of the policy with the recent Autumn Conference in Glasgow voting in favour of it and Care Services Minister Norman Lamb speaking of his ‘determination’ to see it introduced.
A wealth of evidence suggests that far from costing money, supporting people to die at home rather than in hospital could realise savings. A report from Macmillan Cancer Support suggests that £345m could be saved nationally and further evidence from the Nuffield Trust and Public Health England’s National End of Life Intelligence Network also suggests savings.
Greg suggested that this letter to Nick Clegg represents their desire to ensure that the party is at the forefront of supporting people who are at the end of life and that the next Government takes this issue seriously: “Free social care for people at the end of life is a compassionate policy that makes financial sense. Dying effects us all and when the time comes, people at the end of their lives and their loved ones want security, not to have to spend what precious little time they have left messing around with complicated financial arrangements and spending dwindling savings.”