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Urgent debate needed on social care in Essex

September 7, 2018 8:17 AM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

The Local Government Association has released a 'Green Paper' on Adult Social Care. We need urgent action to save the services caring for older and disabled people from collapse.

Cllr Mike Mackrory, Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition at Essex County Council, welcomed the Green Paper. He said, "This nationwide consultation must kick-start a desperately-needed debate on how to pay for adult social care. These services are at breaking point, following years of cuts by councils and rising demand and rising costs for care and support."

Cllr Mackrory added, "It is an absolute disgrace that the Government, having promised us a Green Paper on this issue in the summer of 2017, has now failed to meet their own revised target of issuing it this summer and instead will release it at some time in the autumn.

We are condemning people who need extra support to a life of ill-health, which will continue to put huge strains on the NHS. We then compound that by having insufficient investment in facilities and services. Hundreds of hospital beds are occupied on any one day by people who have no clinical or medical need to be there."

Essex Lib Dem health spokesperson, Stephen Robinson, added, "Here in Essex in year 2017/18, there were 14,429 patient-days that people were kept in hospital unnecessarily. We urgently need to provide more care for people in their homes.

Putting money into the NHS without aligning the spend to adult social care just means that the NHS will lurch from financial crisis to financial crisis. Unless we help more people to stay out of hospital, and get them out of hospital quicker, the NHS is in serious trouble.

We welcome the fact that the LGA have joined the Lib Dems in pressing for an adult conversation on how what is needed will be paid for. We have our own solution which is to raise £6.2 billion by putting a penny in the pound on income tax which would be split between social care and the NHS. As the LGA point out other solutions are possible".

The LGA Green Paper can be found in full at www.futureofadultsocialcare.co.uk/the-green-paper/