Minister targets care home crisis as priority

Social care minister Stephen Ladyman has pledged to tackle the
crisis in the care and residential home sector, writes
Derren Hayes.

He told a Local Government Association conference on delayed
discharge the prime minister had “made it clear” when
appointing him that one of the things he had to achieve was “to
sort out the continuing problems in the care home

This includes tackling capacity, commissioning and relationship
problems with private home providers.

Ladyman has asked the Association of Directors of Social
Services to compile information on the state of the problem by
speaking to directors of social services and frontline staff.

He was responding to concerns raised by some local authorities
that they are being ‘held to ransom’ by the care home
sector over fee increases, and the impact this is having on the
shortage of care beds.

“I can only help if you give me feedback. If you
don’t give me ideas then I will still fix these problems, but
they will be my ideas,” he said.

Ladyman added that he thought delayed discharge reimbursements
– or fines – would be seen as a “blessing”
in the future. He is confident they will improve services for older

He said those authorities that focus on joined up working,
investment in capacity and the needs of clients would work

“I want to see minimal charging because this will show
things have improved.”

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