Adult Social Care in Crisis
"The crisis in Adult Social Care has been very much in the news recently and may affect you, someone you care for, or someone you know. Whilst much of the media focus has been on older people, it is important to remember that many people with a physical disability, mental illness, or learning disability are also reliant on Adult Social Care services.
In Worcestershire, the County Council is responsible for assessing Adult Social Care needs and taking appropriate steps to meet them. The council should ensure that the services are of a quality that meets people's needs, and are delivered in a timely, competent, respectful and sensitive way by trained staff. This is true of services received in a person's own home, or in a care home.
The days have long gone when adult care services were predominantly provided by highly-trained county council staff, accountable to local managers. The process of privatisation, started by Margaret Thatcher, means that agencies, some of whom are national organisations, now provide the care services.
Some of these agencies are excellent, some are dreadful.
Conservative county councillors in Worcestershire have fully embraced the system of privatisation in Adult Social Care and have voted for years to cut the budget allocated to Adult Care. I know from my professional working experience that the results of such measures can have catastrophic, distressing and humiliating effects on individuals, their families and "Informal" carers. Sadly, some of you may have had direct experience of this.
It has been known for decades that the number of people living longer, and highly likely to require social care at some point in their life, would reach its current level -- and will continue to increase.
There is a crisis in meeting both the inevitable rise in requests for services and providing them to a good standard. This will continue unless political choices are made to end it. The track record of Conservative county councillors does not give much reason for optimism. They can stand by and see home care visits reduced to 15 minutes, yet spend £73,000 on hospitality drinks at County Hall!
You can be part of making a change. County Council elections will be held in May 2017. That is your opportunity to vote for candidates who will have the courage not only to protect vital services in Adult Care, but to improve them. Look for the candidates who are honest enough to state that more money needs to be spent!"
Need to know more? Want to tell us about your experience of adult social care locally?
contact your Labour team
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