Suffolk County Council’s Labour Group placed the ruling Conservative group’s record on adult social care under the spotlight at yesterday’s Full Council session, as Suffolk’s Care crisis continues unabated.
Labour began by introducing a Motion calling on Suffolk County Council to develop a coherent plan for reducing delayed discharges from Hospital and ensure that a sustainable level of funding for residential placements in the County is maintained.
Cllr Sarah Adams, who introduced the motion, highlighted the Councils poor record in Adult Social care, with 39 care homes currently “Requiring Improvement” and 8 recognised as “Inadequate”, as well as damning Healthwatch UK reports that level great criticism on Suffolk’s Hospital discharge processes and elderly homecare.
Cllr Adams said, “Since 2010, we have had a huge number of Care Homes have closed and the number of cases given to the Local Government Ombudsman is increasing, year-on-year. If we are an authority that is not able to discharge vulnerable elderly people from hospital properly; if we are an authority that cannot guarantee a high standard of care after discharged, then we are not living up to our duty of care”.
Cllr Adams added, “Suffolk’s elderly care provision should be up to standard and for things to continue in this way is simply not good enough. I believe that every care home can and should be rated ‘Good’ or higher”.
The motion was seconded by Labour Leader, Sandy Martin, who drew especial focus on the administration’s proposed cut of £12 million from the County already struggling adult social care budget over the next two years said after the session, “The issue of Home Care services failing to meet the demand of patients awaiting discharge from hospital has serious repercussions both for the NHS in Suffolk and for the vulnerable people involved. The least we should all expect is an intelligible strategy and appropriate funds in order to fix this preventable problem”.
For – 32
Against – 37
Cllr Adams and Martin also asked the following questions:
“In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor introduced a Social Care Precept to allow local authorities to increase Council Tax by up to 2% above the threshold, to spend exclusively on adult social care. Is it the intention of this administration to increase Council tax by 2% above the threshold to try to alleviate the increasing pressure on the adult social care budget?”
“As George Osborne now clearly recognises that a 2% year on year rise in Council Tax would not have been enough to cover the statutory obligations of this Council, has the Leader of the Council now come to the same conclusion, that Council services have suffered from a lack of funding?”
“In 2010 the current Leader of the Council announced his “Ministry for Old People” to the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, stating his intention “to enable older people to live independent, longer and more fulfilling lives”. Can Cllr Noble explain to us what he has accomplished so far in that endeavour?”
“In which case, how do you explain the recent Healthwatch Suffolk report on the Support to Live at Home scheme which identifies bullying, neglect, misinformation and confusion in the social care currently provided by Suffolk’s private contractors.
What will you do to make sure Suffolk’s older people live “independent, longer and more fulfilling lives”?”
Motion to Full Council –
This council believes that the current situation in adult social care will continue its downward spiral with further predicted cuts. This will further endanger the lives of many vulnerable elderly and disabled residents of Suffolk. Home Care services are failing to meet the demand of patients awaiting discharge from hospital. Residential care homes have already closed and more will follow unless a more sustainable funding regime is found.
This council calls on the administration to
- Publish a coherent plan for reducing delayed discharges from hospital;
- Ensure a sustainable level of funding for all county residential placements.
Proposed by Cllr Sarah Adams
Seconded by Cllr Sandy Martin
Sarah Adams – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Martin – email@example.com