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Council calls on government to create national care service

Adult social care Gateshead

Councillors in Gateshead have called on the government to create a National Care Service to end what they say is the current 'care crisis'.

At their Council meeting on July 18, councillors called on the government to fully fund the introduction of free personal care and to build a care service that would work alongside the National Health Service.

Councillors from across the political spectrum gave their backing to demands for the Government to end what they consider to be a major care crisis.

The calls were led by Councillor Michael McNestry, Gateshead's Cabinet member for Adult Social Care, who said England's care system was in desperate need of reform.

"...we need bold changes to deliver a long-term funding solution for social care..." - Councillor Michael McNestry

"It is fundamentally unfair that to access basic care many older people face catastrophic costs that can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, wiping out a lifetime of savings and forcing some families to sell their homes," he said.

"We need a long-term sustainable funding solution that will make essential care free at the point of use.

"There is an unacceptable gap between NHS care which is free at the point of delivery, and social care which is means-tested. Making social care free would close that gap and would make it much easier to integrate the delivery of health and social care services.

Councillor McNestry claimed that many local residents were struggling with unmet care needs after Government-imposed cuts on Council budgets. Since 2010, the government had forced Gateshead Council to find savings of £38 million on adult social care, he said, despite rising demand for care services and rising costs.

"In light of our ageing population we need bold changes to deliver a long-term funding solution for social care," he said.

"We therefore call on the government to take the necessary steps to implement this policy as swiftly as possible , and for our local MPs to support this campaign for free personal care by speaking up in favour of the policy in the House of Commons."

Last year, Gateshead Council spent more than £66m providing adult social care services to more than 2,600 people.

Adult social care Gateshead
29 July 2019

Councillors in Gateshead have called on the government to create a National Care Service to end what they say is the current 'care crisis'.

At their Council meeting on July 18, councillors called on the government to fully fund the introduction of free personal care and to build a care service that would work alongside the National Health Service.

Councillors from across the political spectrum gave their backing to demands for the Government to end what they consider to be a major care crisis.

The calls were led by Councillor Michael McNestry, Gateshead's Cabinet member for Adult Social Care, who said England's care system was in desperate need of reform.

"...we need bold changes to deliver a long-term funding solution for social care..." - Councillor Michael McNestry

"It is fundamentally unfair that to access basic care many older people face catastrophic costs that can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, wiping out a lifetime of savings and forcing some families to sell their homes," he said.

"We need a long-term sustainable funding solution that will make essential care free at the point of use.

"There is an unacceptable gap between NHS care which is free at the point of delivery, and social care which is means-tested. Making social care free would close that gap and would make it much easier to integrate the delivery of health and social care services.

Councillor McNestry claimed that many local residents were struggling with unmet care needs after Government-imposed cuts on Council budgets. Since 2010, the government had forced Gateshead Council to find savings of £38 million on adult social care, he said, despite rising demand for care services and rising costs.

"In light of our ageing population we need bold changes to deliver a long-term funding solution for social care," he said.

"We therefore call on the government to take the necessary steps to implement this policy as swiftly as possible , and for our local MPs to support this campaign for free personal care by speaking up in favour of the policy in the House of Commons."

Last year, Gateshead Council spent more than £66m providing adult social care services to more than 2,600 people.

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