Carers should have same status as nurses, says Sheffield MP
There needs to be a complete reform of adult social care in the country, said a Sheffield MP, as the Government has yet to provide a clear plan on the long-standing issue.
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, in his speech at the House of Commons on Wednesday, said the Government must not focus on "the barriers to change" but an entirely new model of social care.
"In developing proposals, we mustn't focus on the barriers to change, but set out our ambition. As our predecessors did in establishing the NHS.
"An entirely new model - not just tinkering with payment mechanisms, viewed in the same way as the NHS...a comprehensive system of high standard residential and domiciliary care..that ensures no one is denied support because they can't afford it.
"And we should take the same approach to those who work in the system (by) raising the status of carers to that of nurses and equivalent healthcare professionals, training them, supporting them and crucially paying them in a way that reflects the critical nature of their work and the skills required.
"It will be expensive, but we need an honest and realistic national debate about the costs of reforming the care system and who pays the price.
"Not branding proposals as a 'death tax' or a 'dementia tax' or talking about unaffordability," he said.
He said plans should also be developed in partnership with those in receipt of care, those who work in care and the hundreds of thousands of unpaid carers.
"We should recognise that, however good the system, there will always be a role for unpaid carers and they must be properly supported …. not cast adrift.
"We must do more specifically for the invisible army of young carers, extraordinary children and young adults with huge resilience and strength, facing all the demands of adult carers with the added challenges of schooling and making the most of their young lives,” he said.
The contentious issue of social care funding came to light after it was left out in the government's agenda for the coming year, despite a manifesto pledge to fix the problem.
The government says it is committed to fixing the issues but would not reveal the details of the proposals until later this year.