It’s time for our adult social care to be funded

Councillor Phelim MacCafferty
Councillor Phelim MacCafferty

There can be no denying the growing need for vital services for our ageing population.

Demand for adult social care has hugely increased - but with eight years of Conservative ‘austerity’ cuts hitting councils hard, councils are at the point where £6billion is needed just to keep adult social care going.

It’s predicted that in Brighton and Hove there will be a significant rise in the total population aged 65 and over with additional health needs: those with severe dementia, living in a care home and with severe depression each will grow by a fifth.

The social care needs for the over 85s in the city is predicted to double in the next 25 years. 42 beds a day in the city are occupied by patients who no longer need to stay in hospital - further compounding our city’s problem.

In February Greens raised the results of a damning GP survey– which found that doctors in the city are desperately concerned at the lack of basic care support for their patients due to cuts in adult social care services.

The very services that help to prevent people becoming unwell in the first place such as parks and libraries are increasingly cut as councils struggle to plug the gap left in adult social care.

It’s a no-win.

So when we talk in local government about a crisis in adult social care, you can see why. But so far we have had ministers pass the buck.

We’ve had delayed reports and half-baked solutions. It’s why Greens are calling for a crisis response.

We are demanding long-term funding for social care and lobbying the government to provide it.

Scrapping Trident, scrapping the internal market in the NHS, clamping down on unpaid tax like that of Starbucks which paid just £4.5million tax last year on £162million profits.

These are just some of the ways this government can afford to fund health and social care. Like so many things, it’s a matter of political will. Greens say the dignity of our older residents and the wider benefits of a healthier society are worth fighting for.

Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty is the convenor of the Greens on Brighton & Hove City Council.