Doorsteps in Wokingham and Earley

In recent days when canvassing with teams in Earley and Wokingham I have been asked about a number of issues related to social care. Much of our local provision is excellent, but there are problems for some  in getting access to all the care and support  they need locally.

The Conservative Manifesto rightly acknowledges that more money needs to be made available to improve and strengthen social care. I want to see Wokingham and West Berkshire get their fair share of the increases and spend the money well to deal with people who currently want more or better support.

The Manifesto also says a Conservative government would work to find a cross party consensus on reform of social care funding for the elderly, as any changes need to be agreed beyond party  so they are  likely to remain for several Parliaments. The big issue is what care should be made available free at the point of need under the NHS pledges, and what if any should continue to be paid for by the individual themselves as part of their living costs for food and shelter. All parties in government in the past three decades have kept the same policy toward care home costs.  There is a sense of injustice about that policy over payments.  If an elderly person goes into a care home their home or other assets  have  to be sold to pay the bills, whereas an elderly person who has no home to sell and no savings is rightly given a free care home place. All parties now say they wish to change the current policy, so it should be possible to work towards some improved consensus.

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4 Comments

  1. Anna K.
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Another point about social care that needs to be addressed: the fee paid by local authorities for state-aided residents in care homes is not enough to cover costs. Fees for paying residents are increased to offset the shortfall so they not only pay for their own care but subsidise others as well.

  2. Sue Doughty
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    My neighbour works for a care agency. (Her clients are more appreciative than they were when she worked in IT.)
    The agency charges clients £25 an hour for her, more for a registered nurse, some of it paid by benefits or the council, some by relatives or from compensation awards after trauma.
    She is highly trained and fully insured. Some night shifts @£125, there just in case.
    Care is available, you might advise your constituents of such professional agencies?

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I do agree that living costs should be picked up by those who would otherwise be paying living costs and care should be picked up by the NHS.

    The problem is that the homes are making a margin on the living costs. Someone is being paid to prepare the food and the home owners are making a margin on that. Should the NHS pay for everything over and above the costs that would be paid if the patient was at home looking after themselves?

    Extra costs are being paid by those who need social care and it is wrong while others get it for nothing.

  4. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 26, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Surely the simple solution is for the State to provide free care home costs, (medical, social and personal care) in exchange for the residents basic State pension.

    Thus all people then contribute the same amount, with those who have paid in for extra benefits over their working years, keeping the balance for personal expenditure.

    Aware this is not a complete solution, as some residents perhaps are not at the age of retirement., but its certainly a more fair and simple method than any existing structure.
    No need for complicated assessments and payments from different departments and budgets.
    Entry qualification by a medical professional/doctor etc.

    No idea what it would cost, but it would/must save a huge amount in administration and arguments over budgets between, NHS, Local Authority, Social Care Departments, etc. and it would at least be a National scheme with no post code lottery, which in many cases include rather odd local rules/practices/charges.

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