High Peak MP fights in Westminster for better social care

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High Peak MP Ruth George has led a passionate debate in the House of Commons to highlight the affects on the NHS caused by a shortage of social care.

The debate allowed MPs to look at how the lack of social care means more people are turning to help from doctors and hospitals.

Mrs George, who recently participated in a 12-hour shift with an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) crew, highlighted what she believed were the problems with the system.

She said: “A lot of time was taken up by ambulances travelling around to elderly and isolated people, and that is happening more and more.

“There has been an increase to about 1.2 million in the number of people who need elderly social care but whose needs are not being met. It is a vicious circle, which ends up impacting on our NHS.”

She spoke about how acute admissions to Stepping Hill were waiting on trolleys in corridors with a bell to ring should their discomfort rise, and the ambulances are then tied up unable to see another patient until the handover is complete.

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “All local authorities have had to make some really tough decisions. We know it has been difficult for everybody. We know the burden of care cannot and should not continue to fall simply on hospitals.

“We need to move care into the home and into the community. We must move to a system in which care, whether social care or health care, is individually tailored to people’s needs.”

Ms Dinenage explained that the government was already working on plans to ‘attract more people into the workforce and to ensure they are properly rewarded for their work’.

Mrs George called for a full parliamentary debate to discuss this vital matter and how the issue can be addressed.

She added: “I sincerely hope the House will take the opportunity and have the kind of debate the public need, rather than the kind of debate politicians like to deliver.

“We need to stop being politicians and remember that we are human beings and we are here to represent human beings.”

A spokesperson for the Better Care Closer to Home review of healthcare in Derbyshire praised the ideals of the debate, adding: “Through more joined up working, Better Care Closer to Home shows us it is possible to develop more integration between services and improve patient outcomes while using NHS resources more effectively and efficiently.”

Richard Henderson, Chief Executive at EMAS, said: “We have requested additional funding of £20m per annum to increase the number of clinicians and ambulances on the road so we can improve our response times and minimise the risk of prolonged waits.”