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MP calls on Government to support care services
MP Fiona Bruce said effective care and support of an ageing population was ‘the most challenging issue’ facing Cheshire East council over the next few years.
Speaking in the House of Commons Mrs Bruce highlighted Cheshire as having the most elderly residents in the North West, and called on the Government to do more to support care workers in the county.
Her requests follow condemnation of a government White Paper that elderly and disabled support groups said had ‘failed’ to deliver an urgent timetable to reform social care funding. The Care and Support Alliance comprises 65 major care organisations.
In a joint statement, they said: 'The Government has failed to recognise the urgency of this crisis by postponing crucial decisions on paying for reform. Adult social care is already chronically starved of the funds it needs to provide essential support to older and disabled people and their families. With demand growing, this situation is getting worse'.
The alliance welcomed the White Paper plans for a cap on care costs, and provisions to end the post code lottery for care services.
However, they warned of elderly people ‘trapped in hospital beds’ because they could not afford care and families ‘ pushed to breaking point caring alone for sick loved ones’.
Mrs Bruce pressed Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, on what more could be done to support carers in Cheshire.
She said voluntary organisations such as Cheshire East-based Crossroads Care could do ‘so much more’ if it was given extra Government support.
Mr Lansley said he recognised ‘how important the work of Crossroads Care is’ and advised that the White Paper – the first step in proposals becoming law - was ‘not the end of the process’.
“We have important and positive messages to take forward, and further work to do, not least on funding. I hope we can do that equally in close co-operation with the Care and Support Alliance and its members,” he said.