Challenge to Govt after TV care documentary

‘Over to you to show how much you care’

THE Government is today urged to respond after a two-part documentary exposed a crisis in the care of older and vulnerable people.

Mike Padgham, whose nursing and care homes appeared in the programme said: “The documentary has shown the country the terrible state social care is in – now it is over to the Government to show whether or not it cares about how we look after our most vulnerable.”

Mr Padgham was speaking after the second part of Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls was broadcast on BBC2 last night.

He wants to meet with Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Care Minister Gillian Keegan to talk about under-funding and the staffing crisis raised in the documentary.

“I don’t think anyone who saw the two programmes can be left in any doubt that the care of our most vulnerable cannot continue as it is any longer.

“It showed a sector starved of proper funding, unable to provide adequate care and with an under-valued, demoralised workforce.

“It posed the question: how much, as a society, do we really care about how we look after our most vulnerable? Well now we are going to find out.

“We have to have reform, meaningful investment and proper pay and conditions for the army of amazing carers who provide care.

“In a sense, Ed Balls, the programme makers and ourselves have done our bit in raising this issue, now it is up to the Government to do something about it, urgently.”

Mr Padgham allowed a film crew into Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home and Saint Cecilia’s Care Home in Scarborough as part of the two-part BBC Two documentary, presented by Ed Balls, on the challenges facing the social care sector.

He is hosting an event to mark the documentary, which will include excerpts from both programmes and a question-and-answer session with presenter Ed Balls and the production team. He has invited the Secretary of State and Minister to attend, on 3 December. He has also offered to go to Westminster to meet with the politicians to make progress.

“We want to work with the Government to find solutions to the crisis and to find a way to improve the care we give to our most vulnerable,” he added.

Mr Padgham hopes the documentary will open people’s eyes and prompt the Government to tackle the under-funding and staffing crisis.

“Care providers are working extremely hard to provide the best possible care in a sector that has seen more than £8bn cut from funding since 2010. Some 1.5m people are living without the care they need and we have 120,000 staff vacancies across the country. Things are only going to get worse.

“The staffing crisis has been exacerbated by Brexit robbing the sector of overseas job applicants and people finding other, less stressful and better paid work elsewhere.

“The million people receiving care at home and in residential homes, the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and our amazing staff all deserve better.

“The documentary can only be the start; it has to be the catalyst that begins long-awaited change to get people the care they deserve.”