Cllr Ed Davie is the Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Lambeth, and a councillor for Thornton Ward. Cllr Tina Valcarcel is the Deputy Cabinet Member (Disability) and a councillor for Larkhall Ward.
A recent Panorama special called ‘Crisis in Care’, highlights how adult social care across the country is on the brink and is in need of an immediate injection of funding.
Along with looking after vulnerable children supporting disabled and frail adults is the most important job Lambeth Council, and other local authorities, does.
It might not be as visible as collecting the bins, sweeping the streets or running libraries and parks but our social workers, carers and other staff make a world of difference to over 4,000 vulnerable adults in our borough.
A lot of this work requires face-to-face care and some people need 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week support sometimes by more than one member of staff. This of course is not, and should not be, cheap and the council spends more money on adult social care than any other area. As more people in our borough reach old age and more people, thankfully, survive conditions they may not have before advances in medicine there is more and more demand on our services. Unfortunately that rise in need is not met by more money, in fact the Liberal Democrat and Conservative governments since 2010 have cut Lambeth’s grant by 56% nearly halving Lambeth Council’s workforce from about 4,000 to nearer 2,000 in a decade of cuts.
With Tory leadership candidates promising more tax cuts for the richest rather than investment in our public services and support for the poorest this situation looks set to continue well into a second decade.
This situation has been made worse by the prospect of Brexit which has diverted government attention and money away from fixing problems like social care and on to planning for a disastrous no-deal situation which would further weaken our economy and cut us off from the doctors, nurses and carers from the EU that we rely on.
Lambeth Labour has been doing its best to work with people who need support, their carers and our colleagues in the NHS to join up care so that services are better and cost less money. Lambeth Together is the name of our new joint effort to ensure that everyone in our borough is supported to live the healthiest, happiest, most independent life they can whilst getting best value for the taxpayer. In adult mental health we have managed to join up the council and NHS budget and services for a year with great results, now we aim to join up to bring services out of hospitals into communities.
Our communities, carers, social workers and partners are doing their best now we need the government to stop threatening the country with No Deal damage and tax cuts for millionaires and get on with supporting the disabled, frail and those who care for them.
Cllr Ed Davie & Cllr Tina Valcarcel