Social care: Government plan benefits wealthy and fails to address the crisis says Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield

A Sheffield MP criticised the Government for its social care plan, saying it benefits only the wealthy and fails to address the crisis.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 5:25 pm

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, challenged the Government on its plans in Parliament this week after it set out a 10-year vision including how it will spent the £5.4 billion promised to the sector.

In the House of Commons, he said: “The minister was right in the way she described the crisis in social care.

“Residential and domiciliary provision that falls chronically short of what is needed. Care staff who are undervalued and grossly underpaid and an army of unpaid carers – and particularly young carers – who don’t have the support that they deserve.

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MP Gillian Keegan, minister of state for Department of Health and Social Care responding to questions from Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, about the Government's social care plan.

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“The problem is that what she announced doesn’t address any of it.

“It’s frankly extraordinary that she said that this is the product of years of work. Where’s the substance, as questions on both sides of the House recognised?

“Isn’t it really the case that today’s statement has shown that when the Prime Minister promised a plan to fix social care, all he ever had in mind was an asset protection scheme for the wealthier, paid for by the many, who would never benefit from it?”

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, challenging the Government on its social care plan in Parliament.

MP Gillian Keegan, minister of state for Department of Health and Social Care, responded: “I want to pay tribute to the 1.54 million people who work in this sector because they do offer the most incredible care and also to unpaid carers.

“The young carers that you also mention, it’s very important that we do support young carers and actually at the moment we’re going to work with the Department for Education who will amend the school census at the earliest opportunity to include young carers. So we can make sure that we can identify young carers and obviously put the support around.

“I simply don’t agree. Obviously you know for the Labour Government after 13 years to produce two green papers, a Royal Commission, a spending review and then absolutely nothing that makes a difference to anybody.

“Of course none of the honourable members opposite have yet had the pleasure of reading this plan but I assure them that this is a plan that will deliver on a ten year vision and will start the changes that have been ducked actually as my honourable friend said since 1940.”

How has the social care crisis affected Sheffield?

Sheffield Council officers warned that the city is struggling with an unprecedented demand for social care with services working at full capacity ahead of a tough winter.

Alexis Chappell, director of adult health and social care at the council, recently said: “I’ve worked in social care for a long time and I have never seen anything like this, it really is a high demand across all services.

“We are currently providing the maximum level of support and that’s actually not enough to deal with the demand that we are facing currently, within all parts of social care, not just hospitals.”