Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley has called in a House of Commons debate for a “root and branch” approach to address the social care crisis.
The MP was speaking in an Opposition Day debate on local government funding and social care on Wednesday 24th April.
Anna highlighted Redcar and Cleveland as an example of the sheer size of demographic growth facing care providers, with 25% of the population forecast to be over the age of 65 by 2030. She also used the borough as a “living example” of how social care can be structured and improved to create a better life for the frail elderly, the disabled and for people with mental illness and learning disability.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Anna said:
“Redcar and Cleveland has now lost £90 million since 2010. That is £662 per person; each of my constituents has lost £662. On top of that, they have had to pay more through precepts in social care and policing, they are paying twice. My council has lost a third of its central Government funding. How on earth can it be expected to continue to deliver the standards of service that people want?
“But despite everything it does, Redcar and Cleveland is seeing fantastic innovations in social care such as the intermediate care centre that will open later this year. It has invested in specialist support, including a recovery and independence team that goes out to support people in their homes. I am also proud of Redcar’s Care Academy. We know that jobs in the sector are underfunded and have a high turnover, so hopefully the academy will ensure that that such roles are highly skilled and valued going forward.”
Anna was supported by Redcar and Cleveland Councillor and the council’s Cabinet Member for Social Care, Cllr David Walsh. He said:
“As a severely disabled person myself, I am all too aware of the dedicated work of local care agencies and their staff. They are delivering a top class service in a climate of gross underfunding. Our council commission these services and we would like to may our providers more as the pressures of an ageing population intensifies. Yet we are starved of those funds in our turn by government. As Anna said, we are doing a lot of new exciting things, but we could do much, much more.
“A priority for me would for us in some way to help the “hidden army” of carers who are largely invisible – family members. We rely upon an army of unpaid family members—overwhelmingly women—who are taking care of their relatives. Many of them have to give up work to take up that role, and many of them are older people, as we have heard today. A huge burden has been placed on them, and we must do more to help by looking after their loved ones and taking away that burden.”