Local MP Hugo Swire has welcomed the integration of health and social services:
A View From Westminster: Social Care
Wednesday, 24 January, 2018
A political consensus is emerging here at Westminster about what has to be done to save the NHS which we all know is in crisis. The main cause that has been targeted is social care, which has been created by an ageing population and yes, cuts to local Government. Jeremy Hunt has now persuaded the Prime Minister to bring social care into the NHS, which is a good thing, but in my books the budget, which currently sits at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government also needs to be transferred. The NHS rather than councils should be in charge of commissioning social care.
A View From Westminster: Social Care | Hugo Swire
This was also reported in the Herald recently:
How can we save the NHS? | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
And these concerns about social care and an ageing population have been echoed across the board:
Futures Forum: "The loss of community hospital beds was intended to be offset by increasing the capacity of community care... Unfortunately there is not sufficient capacity in the home care services to do this job."
In the latest Herald, these issues are reiterated:
Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald
The lead letter in the Herald makes the point:
Problems for even the wealthy
According to the National Audit Office quoted in The Times newspaper this week “more than a third of care workers give up their job within a year because of low pay”. Carers' pay is the equivalent of £7.50 an hour and many have to work unsocial hours and travel widely. In addition, there are currently vacancy rates of 16 per cent for registered nurses and this figure is likely to rise rapidly during Brexit.
Local Social Services organisers will confirm that there is already a serious shortage of care workers in the Sid Valley area. In a year or so, when the 113 Knowle apartments (all of whose main residents will require care) and Green Close are up and running, an extra 150 to 200 people will need care in this area, with the result that even the wealthy may experience problems.
Sidmouth and Ottery breaking news and sport - Sidmouth Herald