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The National Health Service

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Eleanor Smith Eleanor Smith Labour, Wolverhampton South West 5:08 pm, 23rd October 2019

I am pleased to follow the amazing speech from Lucy Allan. In the Queen’s Speech, the Government did not mention the long-awaited social care Green Paper or lay down any plans for how they would tackle the social care crisis. Instead, they simply said that they would

“bring forward proposals to reform adult social care in England to ensure dignity in old age”,

failing to mention working-age adults, people with mental illness and carers, who also rely on care. Everyone in this House knows that the current social care system is in crisis. It faces serious challenges as more people need care, but chronic underfunding means that fewer people receive it, and for those who need it, every day is a struggle.

Recently, the Care & Support Alliance conducted a survey of more than 3,000 people with social care needs. It found that one in five respondents went without meals due to lack of care and support; one in four struggled without basic support to do things such as get out of bed in the morning, get dressed or go to the toilet; and more than one in three felt lonely and isolated because of the lack of care and support.

Social care plays an important part in managing hospital admissions for people with mental illness. According to the independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983, around half of all delayed discharges from mental health wards are the result of difficulties in securing appropriate housing and care packages.