Crisis in Care: Politicians must get a grip on social care, says Unison


Unison has taken a swipe at the Government following last night’s BBC Panorama programme Crisis in Care.

Commenting on the film and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report on council funding, published yesterday, the trade union said politicians must get a grip on social care and council services.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “After years of relentless cuts, council budgets are stripped to the bone. This is starkly illustrated by the perilous state of social care. 

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“Delivering a solution that protects services and provides proper care is perhaps the nation’s biggest challenge. But Brexit paralysis at Westminster means it won’t be any time soon.”

Somerset County Council’s Adult Social Care services is the subject of the two-part Crisis in Care film, which looks at the national issue of pressure on social care services as the population ages, setting out the need for a national plan to sustainably fund care in the long-term.

The first part was aired on BBC1 at 9pm last night and followed the publication of IFS’ report, which warned that with annual increases to council tax, rising costs and demands mean that adult social care could require 60% of local tax revenue within 15 years, up from 38% now.

“It’s simply reckless of the government to expect councils to look after all elderly and vulnerable people on their patch while funding disappears,” said Prentis.

“Sadly, it’s often low-paid care workers picking up the pieces. Spending their own money so an elderly person can have tea, working many extra hours to provide the care needed or being the only friendly face a lonely person may chat to all week. This is a shocking state of affairs. “Politicians must get a grip and quickly. That means ministers publishing their long-awaited green paper so we can at least see they have a plan, even if they’re incapable of implementing it.”

Caption: The BBC spent 10 months filming Somerset County Council for the two-part documentary.

Tags : BBC PanoramaCrisis in CareUnison
Sarah Clarke

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