Ed Balls on new BBC documentary: ‘I thought I understood what social care was. I didn’t’

Ed Balls

Ed Balls has shared the “guilt” and “embarrassment” he feels for failing to understand the pressures on adult social care services during his time as an MP.

The former Labour politician stars in a new documentary that highlights the crisis that has engulfed the care sector.

Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls, which airs tonight (November 8) on BBC2, will see him working shifts at a Scarborough care home and join a carer named John as he undertakes 16 home visits in a day.

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The two-part series has been described as “eye-opener” by the man once charged with challenging the government on its handling of the economy in his role as shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Balls recently watched his mother, who has dementia, move into a care home following an extensive period of home care.

After witnessing the issues faced by care staff first-hand, he wanted to explore what’s gone wrong in the system and what could help put things right.

Describing the sense of “guilt” that accompanied the realisation he had long underestimated the “complexities” of social care, Balls told the Yorkshire Post he has since become aware of the pressures placed upon those working in the sector.

“I wish I had known what (social care) was all those times I talked about it,” he said. “I’m embarrassed by my ignorance when I thought I’d understood.”

Caption: Credit BBC.

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke