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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

The government called to respond to a TV series showing social care ‘in crisis’

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

After the second of Ed Balls’ documentaries about social care aired on BBC 2 TV on Sunday, The Carer magazine has highlighted a challenge to the government.

Mike Padgham, whose nursing and care homes appeared in the two episodes of ‘Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls’, wants the government to address the urgent problems the episodes showed so graphically. He said:

‘The documentary has shown the country the terrible state social care is in – now it is over to the government to show whether or not it cares about how we look after our most vulnerable. I don’t think anyone who saw the two programmes can be left in any doubt that the care of our most vulnerable cannot continue as it is any longer. It showed a sector starved of proper funding, unable to provide adequate care and with an undervalued, demoralised workforce. It posed the question: how much, as a society, do we really care about how we look after our most vulnerable? Well, now we are going to find out. We have to have reform, meaningful investment and proper pay and conditions for the army of amazing carers who provide care. In a sense, Ed Balls, the programme makers and ourselves, have done our bit in raising this issue, now it is up to the government to do something about it, urgently.’

Mr Padgham allowed a film crew into Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home and Saint Cecilia’s Care Home in Scarborough as part of the two-part BBC Two documentary, presented by Ed Balls, on the challenges facing the social care sector.

He is hosting an event to mark the documentary, which will include watching excerpts from both episodes and a question-and-answer session with presenter Ed Balls and the production team. He has invited the secretary of state and minister to attend on 3 December. He has also offered to go to Westminster to meet with the politicians to make progress.

‘We want to work with the government to find solutions to the crisis and to find a way to improve the care we give to our most vulnerable,’ he added.

Mr Padgham hopes the documentary will open people’s eyes and prompt the government to tackle the underfunding and staffing crisis. He added:

‘Care providers are working extremely hard to provide the best possible care in a sector that has seen more than £8bn cut from funding since 2010. Some 1.5 million people are living without the care they need and we have 120,000 staff vacancies across the country. Things are only going to get worse. The staffing crisis has been exacerbated by Brexit robbing the sector of overseas job applicants and people finding other, less stressful and better paid work elsewhere. The million people receiving care at home and in residential homes, the 1.5 million who can’t get the care they need and our amazing staff all deserve better. The documentary can only be the start; it has to be the catalyst that begins long-awaited change to get people the care they deserve.’



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