Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jonathan Ashworth says Tory cuts to social care are devastating for vulnerable people and our NHS hospitals
Image: Tim Merry)
Our care system is on the brink. Years of Tory cuts have savaged the care local councils can provide.
It means people are turned down for support every day – even though they struggle to cope without help. People who often need help getting out of bed, with washing or going to the toilet, and are left without this vital support.
Yet for those who do receive social care, support is often limited, with inhuman 15-minute flying visits where care workers barely have time to help you out of bed, let alone help you make a cup of tea.
And the problems are multiplied because years of Tory neglect means care services struggle without enough staff to provide the care needed – today more than 100,000 jobs are left unfilled.
Many care workers are exhausted, demoralised and burnt out after a gruelling 18 months keeping our loved ones safe during the pandemic.
Neglecting social care has a big knock-on for hospitals providing treatment too.
The Tories have cut thousands of beds in the NHS. That means when people are trapped in a bed because of inadequate community care, our hospitals are plunged into crisis.
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Enough is enough. No more cons from Boris Johnson. It’s time to fix social care. If these clueless Tory ministers won’t then when I’m Labour’s Health Secretary I will.
And that starts with carers, caring for them as they care for us.
With Labour, care workers will get a proper living wage. We’ll end the unfair zero-hours contracts and pay proper sick pay.
Crucially we’ll invest in training and recruitment.
Labour’s new deal for care workers will mean they are valued equally with those in the NHS. This also means payment for travel time between home visits, like NHS hospital staff get.
Despite the Tories’ punishing, unfair tax rise on working people, Health Secretary Sajid Javid is only offering a care con. People will still face huge costs, council tax will rocket and care homes will go bust.
For care workers, this tax rise will mean a pay cut. We need a proper plan to fix social care, not just a tax rise. I want people to receive care in their home rather than forcing people into a home or hospital.
My reforms will free up a massive £2.5billion which will be reallocated to the front line.
Just as Labour built a National Health Service we’ll build a national care service – locally delivered with national standards.