Barbara has called on the Government to confirm whether or not a special deal was done for Surrey County Council, which may have led to the local authority calling off a Referendum for a 15 per cent increase in council tax to pay for social care at the last minute.
During Prime Minister’s Questions it was suggested that the Leader of Surrey County Council may have been communicating with officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government who had been working on a solution that would avoid the need for the referendum.
Barbara has called on Government Ministers to say whether or not a deal had been offered to Surrey which resulted in the authority calling off the referendum and she asked whether the same deal would be offered to all local authorities, not just the Tory-run authorities, to help solve the social care funding crisis.
Commenting on the revelations at Prime Minister’s Questions on social care funding and Surrey Council’s plans for a Referendum, Barbara said:
“Salford City Council has seen brutal cuts of over 40% to our budgets since 2010. The Tory Government has forced the council into both a squeeze on adult social care budgets and increases in council tax to pay for social care. Salford is set to lose a further £2.3million from social care in the next year, due to the way that the Government is clawing back money for social care from the new homes bonus.
“Surrey County Council is one of only a few authorities in the country to have been able to increase its social care spending, as cuts there have been 28% rather than over 40% for Salford. Last year the Government made an extra funding settlement of £300 million, of which 83% went to Tory authorities. Doing any sort of deal which just favours Tory authorities is clearly not acceptable.
“Tory Ministers must come clean now and answer questions as to just what they said or promised to Surrey County Council to get them to call off the Referendum on raising council tax by 15% to pay for adult social care. Any deals to help social care funding have to be offered to all councils.”
Barbara has called on the Government to confirm whether or not a special deal was done for Surrey County Council, which may have led to the local authority calling off...
Barbara is supporting the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which was recently launched in Parliament.
Jo Cox was determined to do what she could to tackle the loneliness crisis. In just over a year as an MP Jo had gathered detailed evidence about isolation in a number of different vulnerable groups. Through her work she met older people who had not spoken to another person in weeks, children in schools who felt alone despite having hundreds of online friends, and new parents who suddenly found themselves without their social connections at work. In January 2016, Jo formed a cross-party commission of organisations, campaigners and individuals to look at ways to tackle the issue.
Following Jo’s tragic death last June, the work of the Commission is now being taken forward in her memory. Working with 13 charities including Age UK and Action for Children, the Commission aims to shine a spotlight on the different aspects of loneliness and to look at positive ways to tackle the issues.
Barbara joined Jo’s parents, her sister and MPs from all parties at the launch in Parliament. Barbara is giving her backing to the work of the Commission and pledged to continue the work Jo started locally in Salford.
“Tackling loneliness is a key issue. 1 in 5 people say they are always or often lonely, but almost two thirds say they feel uncomfortable admitting to it. It is an issue that affects people of all ages and yet too often it can go undetected as many people suffer in silence.
“I want to continue the work of the Commission on this important issue locally by looking at how loneliness is affecting people in Salford and at finding ways we can tackle the problem.”
Barbara is supporting the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which was recently launched in Parliament. Jo Cox was determined to do what she could to tackle the...
Barbara has expressed serious concerns following an investigation by the Health Service Journal and Disability United which reveals that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are drawing up new restrictions governing care for older people and people with disabilities.
Worrying information, uncovered by the campaign group Disability United through a series of Freedom of Information requests, reveals that a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups plan not to fund care at home but to move patients into care homes on the basis of lower cost. Information obtained reveals that thirty-seven NHS clinical commissioning groups in England are introducing rules about paying for continuing care at home that could see up to 13,000 people moved into care homes rather than being cared for at home.
Nineteen CCGs, including Trafford CCG, said they may not fund care in a person’s own home if the cost is more than 10% above an alternative such as a care home placement. Trafford CCG’s “Choice and Equity” policy states that the CCG will be prepared to support a package of care which keeps an individual in their own home “provided the anticipated cost of providing care is not 10% more than the anticipated cost of a care package delivered in an alternative appropriate location such as a care home.”
National charities like Age UK, Independent Age and Marie Curie have expressed fears about the policies, which they say could force thousands of people to leave their homes or deny them the choice to return home after a hospital stay.
Barbara has spoken out against the proposals and said that it was critical that any decision about the future care of a patient be based on needs rather than on cost cutting.
“It is deeply worrying that thousands of older people or people with disabilities could be forced to move into care homes against their will just because that is a cheaper option than living at home with care provision. Evicting older people from their homes due to decisions about the cost of their care is unacceptable.
“The Government’s failure to fund our health and social care services properly is leading to overstretched budgets. Rising demand for care means that Clinical Commissioning Groups are having to provide more care with constrained budgets. It seems that a number of CCGs are choosing to reduce costs by restricting choice by not funding care at home. This action will hit vulnerable and disabled people the hardest. It could also deny choice to people at the end of life.
“Health Ministers should be acting to address these challenges on the costs of care. I am calling on the Government to act to ensure that the NHS and social care has the funding it needs.”
Barbara has expressed serious concerns following an investigation by the Health Service Journal and Disability United which reveals that NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are drawing up new restrictions governing care...