Thank you for your email regarding social care. Firstly, it is good to hear from you. You may be aware that I recently met with Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP to raise this very subject with him. Since November, I have been hosting a local health inquiry and a small team of volunteers have worked with me to identify what health and social care should look like in West Cornwall. The inquiry is now finished and we received evidence from 26 people who either provide health and social care services or actively in support of local facilities such as West Cornwall Hospital.
You specifically refer to Alzheimers and the costs associated with caring for someone suffering from this condition. The truth is that we must speed up efforts to integrate health and social care services both to improve the care of patients and reduce duplication and waste.
In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall Council and NHS managers are preparing a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). I recognise that people are concerned that this is another re-organisation of the NHS. However, I believe preparing this plan creates the possibility of bringing health and social care together in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly. This will ensure people receive the care that they need when and where they need it. During our inquiry we found that a great amount of work needs to be done to improve the pay, training and support of people that care for people at home. We also found that local GPs have drawn up their plans on how services could be delivered in West Cornwall. My hope is that the STP enables these things to happen.
I fully accept there are significant financial challenges which will need to be addressed and more money secured if this plan is to have any chance of success. Following my meeting with Philip Hammond MP I know that the Government is aware of this, and of the challenges that local areas face.
In regards to your concerns over dementia care provision, you should be aware that over 660,000 NHS staff have received dementia training and that further training opportunities will be rolled out to all NHS staff by the end of 2018. Over 100,000 social care workers have received some form of dementia awareness training. Across England, there are over 1.7 million Dementia Friends and 175 Dementia Friendly Communities.
I believe this to be a very important area, and one in which I am concentrating my efforts.
Thank you once again for contacting me, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me if there is anything I can do to help you specifically.
Derek Thomas MP