Shottermill House care home has challenged South West Surrey MP and chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt to find additional funding for adult social care.

Residents have contributed to an open letter sent to Mr Hunt by the home, which is run by the Christian charity Pilgrims’ Friend Society.

Shottermill House business manager Mike Beere said: “Jeremy came here before the last general election in 2019 to drop off leaflets.

“Now he’s become chancellor we thought we would drop him a note.

“We’re a Christian organisation and we pray for our community – we wanted to pray for Jeremy.

“There are two ways of funding care homes. One is private funding, the other is local authority funding.

“If anyone has more than £23,250 they need to pay for their own care. Their home is sold to fund their care.

“We have sent the letter to Jeremy as now he is chancellor we want to know what the plans are for the future. We need more resources for adult social care through increased taxes – but not many governments put taxes up as it’s unpopular.

“As the national insurance increase has been cancelled we’re not hopeful of getting anything soon.

“There are 165,000 vacancies in the care sector. It is a low-paid occupation, but in the pandemic we saw how vital care homes and carers are.

“People work all their life and buy their own home, and then become ill and have to fund care for themselves. There is no easy solution.”

Shottermill House is located in Mr Hunt’s South West Surrey constituency.

The open letter, which has been co-signed by Mr Beere and Pilgrims’ Friend Society chief executive Stephen Hammersley, includes prayers for Mr Hunt from Shottermill House care home residents.

Peter, 92, prayed: “That Jeremy would be wise in all his decisions and that he would pray deeply before he makes decisions that affect so many people.”

Derek, 79, prayed: “That Jeremy would consider the energy prices for all the elderly and the way ahead.”

Hazel, 81, prayed: “That Jeremy would seek God in every decision that he has to take and that he would be full of wisdom.”

Martin, 84, prayed: “That the Lord be with him in the planning of his work as the chancellor of the exchequer and that his decisions help those who are struggling the most and not just those with wealth.”

Norman, 87, said: “I would like to thank Jeremy for his intervention as chancellor. He has been an answer to prayer. I pray that he would keep going and persevere in his vision for the country.”

The rest of the open letter said: “In late 2019 you visited our care home, Shottermill House, Haslemere. Shottermill House is run by the Christian charity Pilgrims’ Friend Society and the people living here want to assure you that they, as your constituents, are praying for you as you take on the role of the chancellor of the exchequer.

“We are committed to creating places where older people can live fulfilled lives and we have welcomed pledges by the Conservative Party to reform our social care system so every older person who needs care can receive it.

“We call on you now to honour these commitments.

“Looking after older, frailer people well is going to be one of the defining challenges for all governments over the next decade or so, given the swelling numbers. There are now more than 5.4 million people aged over 75 and staff shortages across the social care sector – 165,000 vacancies according to a recent report by Skills for Care.

“Investment is urgently needed, or many older people will suffer. Rumours that budgets for adult social care may be cut or fail to grow in line with needs are deeply worrying and are self-defeating as costs just mount in other parts of the health system.

“We would love you to come and visit us at Shottermill House again, and to meet some of those living with us who are praying for you and to carry on the conversation about what needs to happen to ensure we honour the older members of society who have given so much.”

Mr Hunt’s office was approached for a response to Shottermill House care home’s open letter, but he had not replied by the time the Herald went to press.