The QT

Sunday 14 July 2024

You show we DO care but is the Government listening?

Sara Jane March reports on how readers have engaged with the QT’s Do We Care campaign — part two of which is in this week’s edition

The launch of The QT’s series Do We Care? on the crisis in the social care system has provoked a strong reader reaction.

Councils up and down the country are grappling with how they continue to look after some of our most vulnerable people but their efforts are being hamstrung by an overly centralised funding model and a reliance on two out of date property taxes — business rates and council tax.

The former editor of BBC Look North Andy Cooper posted: “Well done to The QT for highlighting this massive problem.

“As you say, successive Governments have kicked the can down the road. We can’t do that any longer.

“Our elderly population is growing, we are living longer and there is more and more poverty. It is a recipe for disaster. If Labour get in — as seems likely — they must grasp the nettle.

“I think the National Care Service is exactly the right approach, but it must take out the profit element which has seen the private sector exploit the situation.”

Last week’s QT front page sparked a wider debate around social care

Tim Dredge, who has just retired after a 35-year career in local authority adult care social work spent working in Newcastle and then Durham, posted: “I have watched the drift to where we are now whilst feeling helpless and hopeless about the lack of any government serious about supporting social care.

“I have seen so many colleagues leave. Burnt out and feeling they’re not doing assessments so much of need but of what that person might cost the system.

“Pay in the sector has fallen by 22% in real terms since 2010. Front line workers are also effectively subsidising assessment visits as car mileage rates haven’t shifted since 2012. Recruitment and retention have hit a crisis point and that means it has for users and their families too.”

Chair of Northern Accelerator, Professor Roy Sandbach, posted: “Very pleased The QT is highlighting this. In my view, and to use your term, Civilised Society is measured by the way it supports the young, the old, the vulnerable. We are missing a coherent sense of mission to create a good life for these groups, and the national leadership to enrol people in this big mission.

“Tony Blair’s 1997 mantra was ‘education, education, education’. Our 2024 equivalent should be ‘care, care, care for all’.

QT contributor Jane Hall launched the Do We Care? series with a look at how her dad was failed by the care system. This prompted David Isaacs to post: “Excellent piece by Jane Hall combining heartfelt personal experience with hard facts. Top class journalism of the sort I was hoping would be provided by The QT and which is no longer provided by the regional press for which I used to work in better days.”

If you want to comment on Do We Care or any other QT story, subscribers can do so on the bottom of any article or email the team at [email protected]

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens was the first municipally funded museum in the country outside London. It houses a comprehensive collection of the locally produced Lustreware pottery.

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