BBC Panorama will broadcast a two-part documentary focussing on the pressures facing Somerset’s care for the elderly and vulnerable later this month.
Somerset County Council’s Adult Social Care services will be the subject of the two hour-long films, scheduled to be broadcast on BBC1 at 9pm Wednesday 29 May and 5 June.
They will look 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 films are the result of ten months the BBC team spent following council staff and several case studies of people moving through the care system.
They will also showcase Somerset’s inspiring social workers, family carers, care providers, health colleagues and voluntary and community organisations helping support thousands of people in the county.
The films will highlight the difficult decisions that come with the growing demand for care from an ageing population at a time of limited funding. And they will pose difficult questions about the costs of care, who pays them and the future role society plays in supporting vulnerable people.
“The stories told in these films are playing out up and down the country,” said Stephen Chandler, director of Adult Services at Somerset County Council.
“We agreed to get involved in these films because we want to play our part in putting these issues on people’s agendas.
“More funding and more certainty of funding is important, but it won’t provide all the answers. These films also ask important questions of all of us about the future of care, what we want for our loved ones when they need care, and what role our communities should have in looking after people when they need support.
“There are no easy answers but doing nothing is not an option and these are issues and questions relevant to every community in this country.”
Caption: Stephen Chandler, director of Adult Services at Somerset County Council, being interviewed by BBC Panorama.