‘Our social care is in crisis’
Sefton Council pleads for urgent £25m lifeline to end ‘unfair’ and ‘unjust’ underfunding
SOCIAL care in Sefton is ‘in crisis’ say council leaders who are calling for an urgent £25m lifeline from the Government to prevent the borough’s most vulnerable people from being failed.
Sefton chief executive Margaret Carney warned that not doing so would place huge burdens on the NHS – and create ‘significant inequalities between those who can afford to pay for care and those who can’t’.
She said: “When I grow old, I want to live in my community, with my family, being as happy and healthy as I can for as long as I can. I have that hope for all of our communities.
“Without the help of Adult Social Care, that probably isn’t going to happen for a lot of people.
“It is a false economy to under-invest in Adult Social Care.
“It will lead to a greater and more complex demand in the future including an added burden on the National Health Service and significant inequalities between those who can afford to pay for care and those who can’t.
“This is unfair and unjust and the Government must act now.”
Sefton Council is now urging members of all parties to have a proper conversation about Adult Social Care.
Without a sensible, cross-party discussion about a sustainable way forward, the council strongly believes the most vulnerable people in our communities will not receive the care and support that they need.
In response to the Local Government Association’s consultation on Adult Social Care, the council said it is ‘seriously concerned’.
The LGA’s green paper report proclaims “social care has delivered”. It said it can “take pride in the role it plays in supporting people’s lives” and states: “personal budgets give people choice and control over their care”.
Sefton Council is now calling for immediate action and money, placing emphasis on the importance of investing more in developing early intervention and protection models.
It is a huge issue for Southport particularly, which boasts the biggest proportion of over 75 year olds in Britain.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Social care is in crisis and a grown-up conversation needs to happen now nationally.
“We desperately need more money to meet the needs of our most vulnerable people to ensure that we do not fail them when they need us the most. We must ensure that people in need of care and support are able to continue to live the lives that they want to live.
“The Government must put this matter at the very heart of its thinking now, this cannot be kicked into the long grass or we will fail the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The local authority believes this will help to reduce future demand on services, develop the social care market, demonstrate how much the care and support workforce is valued and, most importantly, support those in need of care and their carers.
To do this, the council estimates that it will require an immediate funding injection of £25m over the next three years to ensure people in need of care are supported in a way that is right for them.
Sefton Council chief executive Margaret Carney
Sefton Council chief executive Margaret Carney; inset, Cllr Paul Cummins