Andrew Smith MP today addressed the 40th Anniversary Conference of the Guideposts Trust.
Speaking at the conference, Andrew said: "I congratulate Guidepost on forty years of providing direct care and support locally that helps individuals fulfil their potential -- a record that deserves to be celebrated. Significant challenges are faced by all care providers seeking to meet rising expectations of quality standards whilst also developing new, more personalised, services.
"We owe a huge debt of thanks to all those who give voluntary commitment to this vital caring, whether through family or voluntary organisations.
"Rather than talking about the "burdens" of disability and an aging population, we should be talking about how to help people of all ages with disabilities and care needs to be as independent as they can -- celebrating the fact that medical and therapeutic progress is possible, and restructuring our care system to meet these aspirations. Simply leaving it to the market, creating a two-tier system, is unacceptable in a society that respects the elderly, sick and disabled and values equality and fairness. I believe that by working together we can do this, and make our care system fit for the all various and wonderful individuals who need it."
Raymond Flood, Chair of Trustees of Guideposts Trust said: "For the past 40 years Guidepost has worked alongside people who have mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities and physical impairments, as well as their carers and families, to help them make the best possible choices for quality care services. We are delighted that Andrew, who has had a long association with Guideposts, was able to address our special anniversary conference and celebrate our record of achievement and plans for the future".