Adult Social Care

Part of Opposition Day — [4th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 8:59 pm on 16th July 2012.

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Photo of Margot James Margot James Conservative, Stourbridge 8:59 pm, 16th July 2012

No, I promised not to take any more interventions, because I know other Members want to speak.

Then there is the dreaded assessment. Older people often try hard at their assessment to suggest that they can do more than they really can, especially when their carers are present. At the moment, assessments are conducted inconsistently not just around the country but within communities—it depends on who conducts them. I applaud the initiative to make them far more universal and consistent. The Dilnot proposal of making them portable around the country is certainly a huge step in the right direction.

As Members of all parties have indicated, the quality of care needs to improve. I welcome the emphasis on dignity and respect that runs through the White Paper. It is important that we have better training for care workers and an end, if possible, to the terrible business of contracting by the minute, which flies in the face of dignity. I quite agree with other hon. Members that it is impossible to get an elderly person out of bed and dressed in the amount of time that is allocated these days.

Dignity and respect are at the heart of a good-quality care system, and I am pleased that that has been given the prominence that it deserves in the White Paper. Of course we would like to do more, but I applaud the Government for making a very good start and, if I may say so to Opposition Members, they have done so within two and a half years of coming to office, which is a great improvement on the previous Government, who took 12 years before they got round to the same point.