Blog post

How to fix the UK's crisis of care

75 years on from the birth of the NHS, we're facing another crisis of care. Join us in Westminster for a free discussion about how to fix it.

3 July 2023

How to fix the UK's crisis of care

The UK is living through a care crisis. 

From the home to the hospital, from unpaid carers assisting elderly and sick relatives, to paid workers on long hours for low pay – we simply do not have the infrastructure in place to make sure we, and our loved ones, are treated with dignity and autonomy. 

What little care is available, is unaffordable for most. 

The UK has the third most expensive childcare in the world, costing one third of family income, compared to just one percent in Germany. 

And across England last year, 79 elderly people died every single day while waiting for care.

So people are stepping in where the system fails. According to Carers Week, one in five of us now provide care for a loved one. And 12,000 new people are becoming unpaid caregivers each day. 

It’s simply not sustainable.

This is a systemic crisis of willful neglect – and it requires more than just a short term fix. 

As we approach the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS – we now have an opportunity to rethink our institutions and to rewire society so we can look after ourselves and one another. 

Our new series in partnership with openDemocracy explains how we arrived at this moment of crisis, and begins to reimagine the future of care. The series features Verso author Helen Hester (After Work: A History of the Home and the Fight for Free Time publishes later this month), alongside Carla Abreu, Dalia Gebrial, Sarah Jaffe and Asad Rehman to map our route out of this crisis and ask: 

What ‘work’ do we consider valuable, and why? Who do we assume will do that work? And what if care was not treated as external to the economy – but as its very purpose?  

On 11 July from 6-8pm join OpenDemocracy, in partnership with Autonomy, Verso Books and War on Want for a parliamentary event to discuss the care crisis and how we fix it – featuring Nadia Whittome MP, Helen Hester, Asad Rehman, Emily Kenway and Adam Ramsay. 

Sign up for your free ticket here: 

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After Work
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