STATISTICS have shown that a total of 54,000 OAPs have died in the last two years while waiting for a place in a care home or to get live-in help.

Another 600,000 had their requests refused by their local councils over the same period, and approximately 7,240 have had to spend all their life savings on care bills which in turn has left them reliant on the state and meant they had nothing to leave to their loved ones after they died.

The publication of these figures, which had been delayed five times, was finally made public after Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond promised a green paper on social care’s future.

In my mind it shows that older people are suffering because of the Government’s failure to act on social care needs.

We will never know if any of the people who died might have lived longer had they received the necessary care due to them, but one thing we can be sure of is that their final months would no doubt have been more comfortable and there would have been far less worry and anguish for their families.

The Department of Health and Social Security has said it has made a substantial amount of extra money available to councils for social care and that it is determined to make social care sustainable for the future.

I guess we will have to wait and see as only time will tell, but I really hope for the sake of our older generation that they are right.

Maureen Moses, via email