One of the greatest challenges facing us is how we ensure people in old age receive the care and support they need and deserve. The cabinet at Cornwall Council will meet next week to consider far-reaching proposals to transform the county’s social care services. This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Cornwall Council to correct its ‘dire record’ in the field and follows a recent critical report into health and social care services in Cornwall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC said that Cornwall Council committed less than half the amount of resource into social care beds that comparable authorities around the country do, contributing just 14% to the total spend compared to 33% for other authorities. It also shows that Cornwall is lagging well behind other areas of the country in getting patients out of emergency hospital; 82 cases of delayed transfer of care per 100,000 people is the result of failings in the Adult Social Care system in Cornwall – double the 42 cases per 100,000 that occur in comparable areas.
12 months ago I launched an inquiry into the provision of health and social care in West Cornwall, and our report set out a number of recommendations designed to adequately support, train and reward domiciliary care providers – the army of unsung heroes who care for elderly and often vulnerable citizens 365 days a year. Let’s hope that our council seizes the opportunity to transform the care available for our older population.
MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (St Ives)