Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop said today (2nd February 2015) that a cash announcement of new money for social care “is a mere pittance” when measured against the real costs of care.
The region’s local councils have been handed a £2m cash injection, amid growing fears of a social care crisis. The grants are intended to put in place extra care packages for vulnerable people who are otherwise unable to be discharged from hospital – so-called ‘bed-blocking’.
“In my constituency area Redcar and Cleveland have been given £230,000, whilst a £75,000 allocation goes to Middlesbrough Council. These figures might look good on the surface, but we have to look at the real costs of social care. On average, in England, the cost of providing residential care, including the care home operator’s slice of profit, is worked out at £563 per person per week, according to Valuing Care, a leading social care consultancy which is widely respected for its accuracy.
“Quite simply, this cash allocation will provide no more than a few weeks cash cover for supporting elderly and frail people either in their own house or in a residential care home. Eric Pickles claims they found ‘extra money’ to help hospitals under pressure from the cold weather but the cash will almost certainly be spent before the time this present cold snap ends. It is a mere pittance, and does nothing to reflect the sheer scale and cash need of the social care crisis.”