Speaking Up for Social Care in Norfolk

For many people, social care is considered as elderly residential care. The reality is far more complex though.

Many of our most vulnerable, fellow citizens also rely on the social care system – those with disabilities, acute learning difficulties and a range of conditions that make living at home in a normal environment highly challenging or even impossible. Many others are not in residential care at all, instead living and being supported in their own homes or the homes of their families.

In largely rural areas like our own, too many of these people, along with their families, have had to suffer in often invisible silence – struggling against or falling through the system, unable to get the level of support they need and deserve.

Throughout my time as the MP for Mid Norfolk, I have always been clear that I believe how we take care of some of our most vulnerable people is a measure of us as a society. I firmly believe that a fair, just and civilised society means those with the privilege of able bodied freedom and responsibility do their bit to help those who don’t.

That’s why I have worked so hard to speak up for social care in our county – and why I remain so committed to continuing that work as we move forward.

For too long, our care sector has been the poor relation to the NHS in funding and recognition. This is grossly unfair and a source of huge problems in our local healthcare system, letting down many vulnerable people and costing us, as a county and country, far more money that it should. We should be getting it right and reinvesting more of the savings into delivering even better care.

That’s why I have always been a strong advocate for properly integrating Health and Social Care (see my campaign page here) – especially here in Norfolk. While we have seen our five CCGs merged into one, we still have multiple hospital trusts, as well as separate ambulance, mental health and community care trusts, in addition to an ICS! We need less costly administrative bureaucracy and more investment into an integrated local system, led by dedicated local leaders with the vision and local knowledge required to get things right.

I also believe that we need to ensure the funding models are correct so that the needs of patients and care recipients, and the heroic care workers that do so much to support them (whether they be working in residential homes, family carers or those working out in the community), come before the administrative convenience of Whitehall officials.

Rest assured, I will continue to speak up on behalf of social care here in the East.

To stay up to date with all of my work on this crucial issue, please do regularly check my campaign page here.

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