A report recently released by the Care Quality Commission shows that across the UK, one in three nursing homes are failing, and one in four care homes breached basic safety requirements, with vulnerable people increasingly having to fend for themselves.

Since 2010, the Government has reduced local authority care budgets by £4.6 billion, with Durham County Council seeing a 42% reducing in its funding alone. This will leave a funding gap in social care of £2.1 billion by 2020.

I have campaigned on the need for proper funding for social care in Durham for many years, and will be holding a roundtable discussion in November with a number of different stakeholders, including Durham County Council and the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust. This meeting will focus on the challenges the NHS and local authority are facing in providing care in the future, and how to ensure that people are receiving the care they need. I have also raised a number of issues directly with the Care Quality Commission, including the low standard of care that is currently deemed acceptable.

Social Care in Durham and across the whole country is in crisis, and it is decisions made by the Government that have brought us to this point.

Since 2010, not only have local authorities’ care budgets been cut by an incredible £4.6 billion, but 400,000 fewer people are now receiving publicly funded social care. In Durham, despite the hard work of the council, the 42% reduction the Social Care budget vulnerable people in our communities are not getting the care and support they need.

Furthermore, as I have already raised the fact that the baseline standards of care are too low with the Care Quality Commission, it is very concerning to see so many care and nursing homes failing.

I will continue to work with care providers and the local authority to help support their efforts in providing much needed care, and will press the Government on the urgent need for proper funding for social care in Durham.

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