A Derbyshire MP has asked the government to urgently review social care services in the county - which she said were ‘failing miserably’.
In Parliament last Wednesday, Erewash MP Maggie Throup, said ‘serious errors’ were leading to ‘shameful’ results for vulnerable people.
Derbyshire County Council, however, hit back saying her comments were an ‘affront’ to hardworking care staff and failed to take into account huge government cuts.
In a question to the Prime Minister, Mrs Throup said: “Social care provided by Labour-led Derbyshire County Council is failing miserably, with serious errors in process leading to shameful consequences for some of the most vulnerable people in my constituency.
“It is clearly not about funding, as the council sits on reserves of about £233 million.
“Will my right hon. Friend instigate an urgent review of social care practice at the county council, because the people of Derbyshire deserve better?”
While not committing to any review of services in Derbyshire, the Prime Minister agreed with Mrs Throup that the problems were not wholly about funding.
She said that integration between health and social care was vital and that local authorities needed to play their part.
She also hinted the government wanted to see a more sustainable, longer term solution to the problem, which she said had been ‘ducked’ by Government for too long.
In response, Councillor Paul Smith, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for adult care, said Mrs Throup’s comment were an ‘affront’ to care staff and that they were doing ‘everything they could’ to protect front-line services.
He said: “Government cuts mean we must reduce our overall budget by £80m by 2021/2 - that’s on top of £200m we have already cut since 2010.
“The government’s policy of allowing councils to raise council tax to pay for adult social care will raise an additional £5.6m – but this will only partially protect services which are facing a £12.2m cut this year.
“If the government is really serious about protecting and supporting vulnerable people then it should think again about the way social care is funded.
“This is a national problem and should be funded nationally.”
He went on to say that County Council was already ‘working closely’ with the NHS and independent sector to integrate health and social care and said new developments in Heanor, Buxton and Belper proved they remained committed to investing in their services.