Shropshire MPs ask minister for more care money
Shropshire's MPs took part in a lively debate at Westminster Hall in London outlining the case for more funding for adult social care in the county.
Led by Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski, Owen Paterson from North Shropshire, Ludlow's MP Philip Dunne and Mark Pritchard for the Wrekin, said that Shropshire's ageing population would put further stresses on an already stretched care system.
Mr Kawczynski told the minister for care, Caroline Dinenage said that the four MPs 'hunt as a pack' in their bid to secure better funding for the county and they are committed to the cause.
He added: "In 2019-2020, £103.1million budget was set for adult social care in Shropshire.
"That's 48.3 per cent of the council's net budget and that is extraordinary. The budget for adult social care has gone up from a third to a half and that is just dealing with adult social care. I find that staggering.
"Since 2015-16 the budget had risen by £7million per annum. In the coming financial year, it is projected to rise by approximately £10 million; £6 million of that is inflationary, meaning that only approximately £4 million is due to increasing demand."
Owen Paterson added: "It's going to get worse. Twenty-three per cent of the population of Shropshire are aged over 65 and by 2036 that will have risen to 33 per cent."
Mr Kawczynski said: "I can not agree more. Shrewsbury is in the top 10 places to retire to because of the beauty of the town. Our constituency is growing older much faster than the national average."
The Minister for Care said: "Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham is a strong and consistent champion for both his county and his constituency on a range of issues but, particularly today on the subject of adult social care.
"As he mentioned, he and his colleagues hunt as a pack; they work very effectively together, and I am pleased to see him joined by his colleagues.
"Adult social care is one of the biggest challenges we face as a country, but it is not just our country that faces it; it is a global issue.
"As of January 1, 86.5 per cent of care home beds in Shropshire were rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, which is much better than the national average, and 90.3 per cent of care home agencies in Shropshire are good or outstanding.
"Moreover, in the 2018-19 adult social care survey of users, more than 90 per cent of people receiving care in the county reported that they were satisfied with the care and support that they received. However, we know that there is still a long way to go.
"For Shropshire will receive an additional £7.9 million in funding from the new social care grant and £11.5 million through the improved better care fund, which will drive the integration to stop pressure being put on acute health services.
"Shropshire will also have the opportunity to raise an additional £15.1 million through the dedicated adult social care precept. That additional funding is an important step towards putting adult social care on a fairer and more sustainable footing."
Mr Kawczynski said: "The clear message from Peter Nutting, the leader of our council, from the chief executive, and from the other senior councillors is that social care is their top concern.
"MPs from rural shire counties worked constructively together to get a change to the funding mechanisms for our schools.
"Rural shire counties were unfairly discriminated against in comparison with inner-city, metropolitan areas.
"In this Parliament it is my intention, and that of many other members, to make social care the number one issue, because we have to listen to what our councillors are telling us."