Tag Archives: social care

16 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos
  • Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand
  • Scottish Liberal Democrat conference to call on Swinney to ditch SNP’s takeover of social care
  • Welsh Lib Dems call for foster carer salary
  • Cole-Hamilton urges First Minister to tackle rural healthcare crisis

Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos

Mortgage possession claims have reached their highest level since 2019 as soaring mortgage rates since the mini budget hit homeowners, figures published by the Ministry of Justice today have revealed.

Mortgage possession claims occur when banks or lenders take homeowners to court before repossessing their home. The latest figures show there were 5,182 mortgage repossession claims in the first quarter of 2024, the highest number since 2019.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These deeply worrying figures show a steep rise in families at risk of losing their homes due to soaring mortgage rates.

This Conservative government crashed the economy with their disastrous mini budget and sent mortgage rates spiralling. But now Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have failed to lift a finger to help those impacted by this Conservative chaos.

It is unforgivable and shows just how out of touch the Conservative Party is with people struggling to get by.

Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand

Responding to a Government report on the experiences of those claiming and receiving Carer’s Allowance which said that there was ‘room for improvement’ in preventing overpayments, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Thousands of carers are caught up in the overpayment scandal, and we’ve heard many heart-breaking stories about the fear and distress it is causing.

The Government cannot bury its head in the sand and pretend this is a minor issue. It is an outrageous national scandal and Ministers must act now: writing off old overpayments and reforming their flawed and failing system.

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20 March 2024 – the overnight press releases

  • Chamberlain to lead debate on electoral fairness and calls out attempts to “rig the rules”
  • PAC report on Social Care: Too many vulnerable people struggling to get the care they need
  • McArthur sets out response to embargoed climate report
  • Rennie comments on new claims from Pregnant Then Screwed

Chamberlain to lead debate on electoral fairness and calls out attempts to “rig the rules”

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Wendy Chamberlain MP will lead a debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday about strengthening electoral fairness and preventing parties from “rigging the rules,” following recent moves by the Conservative Party to introduce certain changes ahead of the upcoming General Election.

The debate will take place in Westminster Hall tomorrow (Wednesday) and is expected to begin at 11am. Ms Chamberlain will pick up on a variety of changes recently introduced by the Conservatives, including compulsory Voter ID requirements and almost doubling the spending limit for UK elections to around £35 million.

In November, the UK election watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said it had “not seen evidence” to support changes to spending limits.

Ms Chamberlain’s debate comes just one week after her party called for the Conservatives to return donations from Frank Hester, a Tory party donor who reportedly said that the MP Diane Abbott made him “want to hate all black women.”

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ms Chamberlain said:

I am concerned that some of the latest moves by this Conservative Government represent a desperate and dirty attempt to rig the rules in their favour because they know they’ve lost the support of the public.

Last year, thousands of people were denied at a voice at the local elections because of the Voter ID rules ushered in by the Tories. Hundreds of thousands of people now risk being turned away at the next election at a cost to the taxpayer of £120,000,000 over the next decade.

Their unjustified doubling of the national spending limits points to the Conservatives Party’s eagerness to design the system and play it to their advantage. We also know from the Frank Hester scandal that they will excuse the inexcusable if it means bringing in big money and clinging onto power.

Liberal Democrats have been and continue to be long-standing advocates for fairness, transparency and electoral reform. I want to show that our politics should not be tilted towards those with the deepest pockets, and that we need constructive discussions about how to make the system better and work in the interests of all.

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5 July 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Ed Davey warns social care “avalanche” threatens to bury NHS as figures reveal hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges
  • Ofwat chief exec admits water bills will go up: Time for a proper regulator with teeth
  • Sunak has “thrown in the towel” one year on after resigning from Johnson government

Ed Davey warns social care “avalanche” threatens to bury NHS as figures reveal hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges

  • Ed Davey gives speech to LGA Conference warning of impending catastrophe for NHS unless government fixes social care crisis
  • New analysis reveals hospitals lost 128,000 bed days in May to delayed discharges, up 40% compared to last year
  • NHS trusts hardest hit by delayed discharges include Liverpool, Leeds, East Sussex and Surrey
  • Lib Dem Leader calls for a Carer’s Minimum Wage to fix social care staffing crisis

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will tomorrow warn that a social care “avalanche” is “threatening to bury the NHS”, in a speech to the Local Government Association’s annual conference.

It comes as new research has revealed the hospitals hardest hit by delayed discharges, with thousands of bed days being lost because medically fit patients are stuck in hospital waiting for care.

The House of Commons Library analysis commissioned by the Liberal Democrats reveals the NHS lost over 128,800 bed days to delayed discharges from hospital in May, up 32% on the same period last year. The vast majority (82%) of bed days lost involved patients who been stuck in hospital for three weeks or more.

The NHS trusts with the highest number of bed days lost to delayed discharges were Liverpool University Hospitals (8,146), East Sussex (4,505), Leeds Teaching Hospitals (4,370), University Hospitals Sussex (4,450) and Frimley in Surrey (3,748).

Delayed discharges take place when medically fit patients are unable to leave hospital, often due to a lack of social care.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the introduction of a Carer’s Minimum Wage, £2 above the minimum wage, to tackle huge shortages in the social care sector. This would help address the staggering 165,000 vacancies in social care, which are leaving far too many patients stranded in hospitals waiting for the care they need.

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4-5 April 2023 – catching up with the press releases…

  • Social care funding halved: Elderly and disabled people will be the victims
  • Post-Brexit customs checks will mean more red tape for businesses
  • South Wales Police – Facial Recognition Technology Restart ‘Wrong Move’
  • Sunak must strip Scott Benton of the Conservative Whip

Social care funding halved: Elderly and disabled people will be the victims

Responding to reports that the social care reform budget has been halved, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Elderly and disabled people will be the victims of the Conservatives’ decision to slash funding for recruiting care workers at a time of chronic staff shortages.

By damaging social care again, Rishi Sunak is also damaging our NHS. Patients stuck in hospital will face more delays in discharge, leading to longer delays in A&E and for operations. Only the Conservatives could damage people’s care and the nation’s health at the same time.

Liberal Democrats want a new Carer’s Minimum Wage to attract workers back to the social care sector and ease pressure on family carers, GPs and hospitals. It’s shocking that the Government refuses to back our fair deal for carers.

Post-Brexit customs checks will mean more red tape for businesses

Responding to the government’s announcement on the introduction of post-Brexit customs checks, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

These new checks are only going to make trade between us and Europe harder. It’s staggering that the Conservatives looked at the chaos at Dover and said, ‘more of that please’.

The Government’s claims that these plans are going to ease trading chaos are downright dishonest. Let’s be clear: these proposals mean more checks and more red tape, not less – the last thing anyone wanted.

Businesses and the public have had enough of the Conservatives’ red tape and their botched deal with Europe. If you want to grow the economy, you have to fix our broken relationship with our closest neighbours.

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Paying for Social Care

The current crisis in the NHS should be persuading us to re-consider the idea of a 10 per cent retirement levy to pay for social care. Everyone knows that bed- blocking is at the root of the over-crowding in our hospitals and the long waits for ambulances and in accident and emergency departments. But “delayed discharge” cannot be solved without more resources in home care and nursing homes. Massively more resources.

The lack of political courage over this issue is shameful, from all parties. Back in 2011, the Dilmot Report called for something to be done. Since then, Andy Burnham’s attempt to introduce a 10 per cent retirement levy was abandoned, even by his own Labour Party. It was ignored by the Coalition. Theresa May and Boris Johnson made various suggestions but quickly backed away from them. And Rishi Sunak thinks that by spooning out a little more money for the NHS will solve the problem.

The issue is much bigger than that, with Britain’s population aging as fast as it is. Age UK reckons we need £10bn a year extra to fund a National Care Service similar to the NHS. To raise that kind of money, we need a radical solution. An obvious source of money is a tax on wealth, and most pensioners have plenty of it.

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A whole systems approach to solving the health and social care crisis

The Health and Social Care Bill currently in the House of Lords is intended to:

  1. sort out the under-funding of social care;
  2. remove the need for people to sell their houses to pay for their care;
  3. promote joined-up service delivery;
  4. replace the competitive model with a collaborative one.

Sadly, as I wrote here, it appears to be a quick fix component level response to a whole systems problem which will simply “kick the problem on for a few more years”. There is little point putting more and more money into the first aid camp at the bottom of the cliff without building a fence at the top.

The cap on the amount which can be spent on care home fees will favour the rich in that people who do not have sufficient savings will still have to sell their house to pay for their care.

The “Integrated Care Systems” and “Integrated Care Partnerships” will be very costly and appear more concerned with preserving:

  • the current configuration of local authorities and NHS Trusts, and;
  • the purchaser / provider split and commissioning;

than they do the provision of integrated care.

Successive Governments have tried to get health, social services, police, education and housing to work together, but none has grasped the nettle of different geographical areas, different funding streams and different lines of accountability, which have been the main impediments.

Since the 1990 National Health Service and Community Care Act the “contract culture” has led to:

  1. a “minding” rather than a “mending” service with social workers increasingly used to assess the eligibility to specific services rather than using relationship and therapeutic counselling to resolve problems;
  2. further fragmentation with different components of a “package of care” bought from different providers, and;
  3. “self-funders” (a dreadful term) being waived away denying them an “independent verification of their wishes” and their families the help and support they need.

There is a wealth of empirical evidence on the “social determinates of health” which have demonstrated the correlation between income and demand upon the NHS.

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Fixing the crisis in Social Care

Embed from Getty Images

Social care, along with climate change, is perhaps the greatest challenge facing us as a country and a party – and we want your help to tackle it. Last year, the Federal Policy Committee commissioned a new working group to look at all aspects of adult social care, covering not just the elderly but the disabled too, who have been completely ignored by this government’s proposals.

The question that is asked by most is how do we fund social care – how much money is needed to deliver a quality social care service, what contributions should the receivers of care make, and what taxes should fund the gap? We know the government’s proposals just aren’t good enough – we must come up with something better.

We are also interested in how we can integrate health and social care into a seamless service. We don’t want to nationalise the social care sector into the NHS, but the two services must work together with each other.

At the moment, social care is primarily in the ambit of county councils and unitary authorities. We want to review the role that should be played by local, regional and national government as well as the wider community in delivering social care. We believe that local government should be in the driving seat of social care, but regional and national governments have a role to play too.

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Social care plans are “two broken promises in one”

Commenting ahead of the vote on the government’s social care plans, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

These social care plans are two broken promises in one.

Boris Johnson promised in his manifesto not to raise national insurance tax and that no-one would have to sell their home to pay for care. Now struggling families face being hammered by unfair tax rises, while still facing losing their homes to fund care costs.

The Liberal Democrats will oppose these unfair, divisive plans in Parliament this week. We will continue fighting for a fair and long-term solution to

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Social Care: It’s Not All About the Money

Social care has reared it’s head again on the national stage and some money has been proposed starting in 2023 with the new Health and Care Bill which just had its first reading.

Firstly, what IS social care? Well, it can be anything. Some people call it tasks of daily living and, while somewhat banal, it is also extremely important. Let’s face it, the engineers and retailers have made life easy for us. We now have prepared meals to go into the oven, washing machines, dishwashers, and some of us even have robotic vacuum cleaners.

Who is eligible? Anybody who has a disability which prevents them from getting washed and dressed, shopping, putting a meal in and out of the oven, washing their clothes, linens and towels, managing their money or socializing. This could be a long-term condition, such as MS or dementia, or a short-term condition, such as a broken arm.

The Money Currently, people with savings of under £23,500 are eligible for support from the local authority. They may either take this in the form of a direct payment or the council can organise social care on their behalf.

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No need to break any election pledges to fix social care

So, the Government is to pour more and more money into the first aid camp at the bottom of the cliff rather than building a fence at the top.

Yesterday’s announcement on the funding for social care does nothing to enhance the quality of life of older people or reduce the demand for hospital treatment or long-term care. 4/5th of the expenditure of the NHS is on older people, there are 1.8m older people living in poverty, with a correlation between income and demand upon the NHS in all age groups.

When campaigning for the abolition of the “retirement age”, which was responsible for a great deal of depression amongst older people many of whom were forced into retirement and condemned to spending the rest of their lives in poverty, I advocated that people should go on paying National Insurance whilst ever they were working, not to squander on more of the same as the Government now intends, but to increase the basic State Pension to enhance the lives of older people and reduce the demand for long term care.

The Netherlands with the highest pension in Europe spends 60% of its health budget on older people: Britain, with one of the lowest state pensions spends 80%. Increasing the basic state pension in line with many other European Countries, could be self-financing (needing only upfront pump priming) with no need to raise National Insurance or any other tax, by reducing demand for both hospital treatment and long-term care and enabling those who do need long term care to contribute more from their income, whilst still retaining their personal allowance, with no need to take savings or capital into account.

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Munira Wilson: Coercion is not the answer to vaccine hesitancy

Last night, Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the Government’s Statutory Instrument which made vaccinations compulsory for care home staff.

Munira Wilson, our health spokesperson, had a right go at the Government for its approach, pointing out that the care sector had long been undervalued and the Government’s approach had let down so many staff and residents during the pandemic.

She said that, while Liberal Democrats were absolutely in favour of vaccination, we would not support making it mandatory. She said:

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Norman Lamb writes to the Times on solving adult social care funding crisis

Media reports suggest the Government is to hold off on announcing its plans to reform social care until at least the autumn amid continued disputes within the Cabinet. Boris Johnson this week delayed a meeting with the Chancellor and Health Secretary to discuss the reforms and is said to have ruled out using rises in income tax, VAT and national insurance to pay for social care in England.

In a letter in the Times this morning, Sir Norman Lamb, minister of state for care from 2013-15, calls for the “Dilnot cap” to be implemented and for all parties to work together to resolve funding.

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When will the crisis in Social Care be resolved?

The problems in social care during the pandemic was more than just a lack of PPE to care homes. Firstly, many more people receive care in their homes than in care homes, and secondly, the chronic shortage of funds for both adult and children’s social care is an increasing problem.

Overall, we should have intensive care beds in hospitals for 25,000 people to accommodate normal winter pressures. In pandemic circumstances, I’m not sure of the number, but I do know that, in the last year, people were repeatedly not taken to hospital despite the fact that they were very sick. A substantial number of the 126,000 people who died, died at home with little or no medical intervention.

There are sometimes not enough beds in care homes either and, while this has generally been left to the private sector, it a good idea to have some recuperation beds which are under the control of the NHS or local councils.

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How we improve Covid-19 care for care home residents

Having just spent several hours wading through the final report of the “COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce” one wonders how those working in the service will ever find time to read it – let alone implement all 42 recommendations which are designed to make bad practice safer!

Care homes are not, and were never intended to be, hospitals. The residents are just as entitled to hospital care, if that is what is needed, as are the rest of us. That so many have been left to die in Care Homes, rather than being admitted to hospital, and thereby denied the benefit of oxygen, ventilators and intensive care which might have saved their lives is the real concern. The minute a resident exhibited symptoms they should have been tested and if positive admitted to hospital. The discharge of older people from hospital to care homes, without testing, in order to free up beds for coronavirus patients may also have spread the virus. That not all older people have an “assessment of need” and “verification of wishes” by a social worker prior to admission to a care home whether or not they are self-funders, as envisaged by the 1990 National Health Service and Community Care Act, is a real concern. Admissions to care homes should have been stopped from the time relatives were stopped from visiting.

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29 July 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • PAC report on social care demands lessons are learned
  • Government continues to ignore bad deal economic warning
  • Government must do more to get young people into work

PAC report on social care demands lessons are learned

Commenting on a Public Accounts Committee report which condemns the “slow, inconsistent and at times negligent approach” to the social care sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, Liberal Democrat MP and member of the committee Sarah Olney said:

The coronavirus has left people worried about their future and mourning loved ones. While we have relied on frontline staff to protect us, the Government’s PPE shortages seriously let NHS and care workers down.

People deserve better. Ministers must read and act on this report before it is too late to prepare for a second wave. That means rapidly upscaling the strategy to test, trace and isolate every case of coronavirus to keep people safe and prevent new surges.

To improve public confidence, the Prime Minister must set out a timetable for the independent inquiry into the Government’s actions. With that, we can ensure the same mistakes never happen again.

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13 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats table Bill to introduce ‘X’ gender option on passports
  • Government’s destructive immigration plans will cause chaos and confusion
  • “Outrageous” social care exclusion from Government’s new Health and Care Visa

Liberal Democrats table Bill to introduce ‘X’ gender option on passports

Ahead of International Non-Binary People’s Day , Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine will present a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons to require the Government to introduce an ‘X’ gender option on passports.

Christine Jardine’s ‘Non-gender-specific Passports Bill’, supported by Stonewall, would “require the Secretary of State to make non-gender-specific passports available to non-gendered, non-binary and other people who …

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Boris on Care: wrong words, right target

The corporate voice of the care sector is up in arms about the PM’s comments on care. Of course, his remarks about care homes, not following procedures were sly and clumsy, but he is right that the care sector should shoulder some of the blame for the virtual decimation of their aged residents.

Clap for carers was a touching display of community empathy for people in the front line but neither this outpouring nor the tragic deaths of care home staff should make the care sector itself exempt from criticism in the forthcoming debate on social care reform.

Just before this crisis …

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Sal Brinton on Government “lie” on care homes and Covid-19

Lie is not a word anyone in politics uses lightly. But Lib Dems Lords Health and Social Care spokesperson Sal Brinton used it today in response to Michael Gove’s interview on the Andrew Marr Show .

On Friday, Ed Davey said that the Government had to “get a grip” on the crisis in our care homes:

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Lib Dem peers highlight problems with social care

The House of Lords debated how Covid-19 affected social care this week and Lib Dem peers made several contributions on such issues as DNRs being inappropriately proposed to local authority financing and the needs of charities helping seriously ill children and PPE in care homes.

Sal Brinton as Health and Social Care spokesperson summed up the Lib Dem stance on these important issues.

Here is her speech in full:

On behalf of the Liberal Democrat Benches, I also thank all the staff and volunteers working across the wider social care and community sector. Frequently low paid but definitely not low skilled, these amazing people show us their professionalism and big hearts, day after day.

Back in mid-February, we on these Benches asked the Minister repeatedly about care. On 26 February, the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, said in Hansard that

“we are planning … a massive communications campaign on how to protect people, particularly vulnerable people, in our population.”—

The evidence of recent weeks shows that those most vulnerable in our communities and care homes have been seriously and tragically let down.

Others have covered plenty of the detail, which is symptomatic of the centralised way in which Whitehall, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the NHS have treated anything not in hospitals as a second or even third order of priority. My noble friend Lord Shipley explained the problems that have arisen since Whitehall took over the supply chain for the social care sector and then decided to create a separate system, known as Clipper, that we were told was due to come online on 6 April, but yesterday discovered is still three to four weeks away from going operational.

Worse, where providers and local resilience forums have ordered their own PPE, it has been confiscated by government and rerouted centrally for hospitals first, leaving community settings high and dry. This includes lorries being stopped at border ports and drivers being rerouted. Consequently, a lack of PPE and a policy of moving patients from hospital into care homes without any testing has meant that Covid-19 has spread rapidly in the social care sector.

I support my noble friend Lady Jolly’s call for clarity on DNRs and echo her concerns about GPs asking disabled and learning-disabled people completely inappropriate questions. It is very clear from the government advice, NICE advice and all good palliative care advice that the way in which this happened was inappropriate. I hope that this DNR factor will be examined as part of any inevitable public inquiry. It seemed to happen in groups. Were CCGs asking GPs to ring their patients and find out whether they wanted to go to hospital? To do it all in one conversation is completely inappropriate. For many disabled people, it was completely inappropriate to even ask them this, if they do not have the clinical frailty that my noble friend Lady Jolly spoke of.

However, the Government’s lack of understanding of the wide range of other disabled people, and extremely fragile people, living within our community extends ​completely in the opposite direction. As a result, people who have ventilators or tracheostomies, for example, have found that their care support is entitled to only the most simple and flimsy face masks, because they are regarded as exactly the same as the standard care in residential homes. The Government’s PPE for the social care sector is almost always designed for the elderly.

Matt Hancock said last week that health and social care workers should not overuse PPE. The gasp that went through the social care community when he said that could be heard across the country. Most community orders are receiving a tiny fraction of what is ordered and needed. My noble friend Lady Barker summarised well the problem between the department and local government.

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The toast test

Care should be about dignity. Simples. I call it the toast test.

A nursing home in the Home Counties. A confused resident wakes late – nearly time for lunch. He requests toast. The care staff (Polish, Filipino, Indian, one Brit) are “toileting” everyone before their meal.

As activity coordinator I am on my break but fetch a piece of toast for him. It isn’t my job but it makes the resident happy. He is in control of very little but he has exercised a choice. I then get a mild telling off for spoiling his lunch. It is sometimes the resident’s  job to fit into the (admittedly benign) routine rather than for him to do what he likes in his own home.

Another resident “plays up” during the forthcoming lunch and the struggling staff wheel her back to the lounge and briefly leave her crying in front of the compulsory kilometre wide telly.

Another resident is in the last few days of his life. He doesn’t like the food (which to be fair is normally pretty good). He has a fancy for fruit cake. I sign myself out of the Fort Knox style world, keypad security on each floor, fingerprint recognition to get in and out of the building and traipse down the drive to purchase a fruit cake from a nearby shop and smuggle it back in.

The resident and I enjoy our subversive fruit cake together.

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9 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Moran: Govt must invest to end crisis in children’s social care

Responding to analysis by the Local Government Association, revealing that the number of children in care has risen by 28% in the last 10 years, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

While councils struggle, hundreds of children are missing out on on a suitable children’s home near to their family and friends. The more councils’ budgets are squeezed, the less is being invested to prevent young people getting into crisis in the first place.

Every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves the best start in life. Conservative Ministers

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11 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems to create ambitious £10,000 Skills Wallet for every adult
  • Lib Dems: Tories making social care crisis even worse

Lib Dems to create ambitious £10,000 Skills Wallet for every adult

The Liberal Democrats have set out their vision for a “new era of learning throughout life” with the creation of an ambitious Skills Wallet. This will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.

A Liberal Democrat Government will put £4,000 into people’s ‘Skills Wallet’ at 25, £3,000 at 40 and another £3,000 at 55. The grants have been designed to encourage saving towards the costs of …

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Resumed Parliament discusses things that don’t begin with “B”

The resumption of Parliament has meant that important issues, that would have been sidelined during the ill-fated prorogation, are being discussed.

One subject very dear to Tim Farron’s heart is his private member’s bill, the Access to Radiotherapy Bill, which has been languishing in its first reading stage since December 2017. The resumption of parliament gave him a chance to implore the leader of the House to allow time for its second reading. This Bill is important because it would end the hell of cancer sufferers who have to take 3 hour round trips for radiotherapy day after day, week after week, in places like Tim’s constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale:

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1 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act
  • UK govt must not be silent on situation in Hong Kong
  • Tories cannot call themselves the law and order party
  • Cable: End ‘weaponising’ of social care

Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has renewed her call for the Vagrancy Act to be scrapped following the publication of new ONS statistics revealing a rise in the deaths of homeless people in 2018.

The ONS data shows that there were an estimated 726 deaths in 2018, an increase of over 20% on the previous year. The highest numbers of deaths were …

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I now know I have PTSD and it is Liberating

I am not quite sure when I first encountered the ‘Black Dog’ but he has pretty much been on the premises for the last ten years. The crash as I like to call it came on 9th October 2009 when the pressures of a full-time job and caring finally took their toll. I remember waking at 3 am, not normal for the heavy sleeper that I always was back then. A trip to the GP surgery, anti-depressants and eventually counselling followed. On Christmas Eve 2010 my employment situation was finally resolved with a redundancy package and with the caring position fairly stable I began the process of coming off the tablets.

In the next five years my sister died aged forty, Daphne’s health worsened resulting in a move to full-time residential care and the senior officer at my old job gave me the run around after I suggested a return in a part-time role. Pretty hard to take from an organisation I gave my life to for more than twenty years. 2015 brought a return to the medication and when Daphne died in 2017 eventually some more counselling. With everything that had happened to me, the professionals had difficulty in identifying my condition so in the circumstances the focus became my recent bereavement.

It was only in the winter of 2018 when I accessed the Time To Talk service again that PTSD was mentioned and everything fell into place. The trauma caused by my work situation was still haunting me particularly through nightmares, whilst the pain of bereavement was easing. Bingo, this new diagnosis was uniquely liberating. On the downside, I waited months for the specialist counselling. The fact that someone has put the finger on what was causing my illness was strangely uplifting.

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4 July 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: More join calls for Tories to end social care funding crisis

Responding to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report which describes social care funding as “a national scandal”, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Judith Jolly said:

As people continue to suffer because they are not getting the care they need, it becomes clearer and clearer the abdication of responsibility from the Tories on social care.

This Conservative Government has continued to under-fund social care to the point of crisis. This report is yet another voice saying loud and clear that enough is enough.

The Liberal Democrats would put a

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29 June – 1 July 2019 – the weekend and overnight press releases

Labour leadership tone deaf to a People’s Vote

Responding to Len McCluskey’s comments on the Andrew Marr show this morning, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokespeson Tom Brake said:

No matter how loudly some in the Labour party demand that the leadership change its position on Brexit, it is clear it is still falling on deaf ears.

It is insincere to only offer a People’s Vote if it’s a Labour deal on the table. Any Brexit plan must go back to the British public.

Any Brexit deal, whether negotiated by Theresa May, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn will be bad for our country. It will damage

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12 June 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Leaked memo confirms no-deal Brexit medicine fears
  • Farron calls for new deal to fix broken social care system at PMQs
  • Lords pass Lib Dem law to raise age of criminal responsibility
  • Lib Dems: We must ensure next PM cannot shutdown Parliament

Leaked memo confirms no-deal Brexit medicine fears

Responding to a leaked Cabinet note revealing the UK will not be ready for a no-deal Brexit by October 31st because is will take “six to eight months” to build up supplies of medicines, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:

This Government document will be extremely concerning to people who rely on medicines like insulin to stay

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30 April 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Four Seasons collapse shows social care crisis unfolding on Tory’s watch
  • Gosport investigation vital to ensure justice is done – Lamb
  • Free sanitary products to be available in Welsh colleges
  • Lib Dems: A vote for Labour is a vote for Brexit

Four Seasons collapse shows social care crisis unfolding on Tory’s watch

Responding to the news that one of Britain’s largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, is on the brink of administration, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:

For the many thousands of residents and staff at the Four Seasons Health Care, the news that the group is set to go into administration

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A fair deal for our care workers

The nation’s care workers are getting a raw deal and have been for some years now. This has been highlighted by many including our own party’s Health and Social Care Working Group. In ten years overseeing the care of someone in need of help I saw at first hand the reality of life for those at the sharp end. What I witnessed was nothing short of a scandal.

Workers paid just the minimum wage, expected to do extradinarily long shifts which took no account of working time regulations, travel time unpaid, breaks if they actually had them spent doing paperwork and …

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  • Andy Chandler
    @Adam Ah, that's my bad on that. I misread it. Apologise about that. Part blame dyslexic tendencies (always came out as that despite three attempts to get it p...
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    I find the adversarial politics in Britain to be highly depressing and corrosive. They are enforced and reinforced by the rotted First Past the Post voting syst...
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    @Alex Macfie..Whatever the reason, this individual felt the need to assassinate a democratically elected head of government. As Mary has pointed out - those t...
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    @ Andy Not "invented" but "inverted"! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/inverted_snobbery...
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    @ Ian Sanderson: Normally I would agree with your assessment, but in the case of Robert Fico, in the first elections after 1991 he was elected to parliament as ...