54,000 elderly Britons have died waiting for reforms that ministers could have passed two years ago

More than 50,000 elderly Britons have died waiting for social care since ministers first promised much-needed reforms, a charity has warned.

Ministers promised a green paper on the issue in March 2017.

Its release has been delayed several times, and was most recently expected in December – until it was once again postponed. 

Since the green paper was announced, 626,701 have been refused care by their council, Age UK say (file photo)

Since the green paper was announced, 626,701 have been refused care by their council, Age UK say (file photo)

Since the green paper was announced, 626,701 have been refused care by their council, Age UK say (file photo)

Age UK says more than 54,000 elderly people have died since the government announced they would have a green paper to outline spending on care for the elderly (file photo)

Age UK says more than 54,000 elderly people have died since the government announced they would have a green paper to outline spending on care for the elderly (file photo)

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Age UK says more than 54,000 elderly people have died since the government announced they would have a green paper to outline spending on care for the elderly (file photo)

Age UK estimates that just over 54,000 have died without receiving their care package while waiting for the paper. 

The charity highlighted the case of an 87-year-old who was told she needed three care visits a day, but is yet to receive any due to cuts.

The green paper is supposed to set out how to properly fund social care.

Since it was first announced, 626,701 have been refused care by their council and 7,240 had to use their savings to pay for it, Age UK said.

The charity’s director Caroline Abrahams said the figures showed ‘how many older people are suffering from the Government’s failure to act decisively on social care’.

A spokesman from the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘We are committed to ensuring everyone has access to the care and support they need … [we] will publish our proposals in a green paper shortly.’

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