Panorama 'Crisis in Care - Part 1' - Avenues response - Avenues Group
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Panorama ‘Crisis in Care – Part 1’ – Avenues response

Thursday 30th of May 2019

This statement relates to the findings of a BBC investigation, broadcast on 29 May 2019.

Avenues Interim Chief Executive Jo Land said:

Last night’s programme shone more light on the systemic flaws of our social care system that providers are all too familiar with, and which are causing unnecessary and increasing suffering for families and the workforce.

It’s unnecessary because the fundamental issue is not the money available but the way it is organised. As the programme demonstrated,  a common barrier to people getting decent support is that the funding is held by the NHS, and accessing it can be extremely challenging, even for social care professionals.

These complicated arrangements, and the wider ‘more for less’ culture in local authorities, risk commissioning becoming compromised and overtaken by procurement principles, where decisions about services and people’s lives are driven by cost and the need to save money.

Yes more money is needed, but our first priority must be to fix the system and attitudes behind it so any extra money coming through is spent well. This starts with the commitment to full collaboration between local authorities, the NHS and providers to work together, and put people first.

Panorama reveals the failings of our social care system, as our population gets older and more of us need help with day to day living. In the first of a two part series, the BBC’s social affairs correspondent Alison Holt has filmed in Somerset for a year, focusing on four families, all exhausted by the demands of caring 24 hours a day for their loved ones, and desperately trying to get more help. She also follows the fortunes of the county council who, like local authorities everywhere, are fighting to balance their books after years of budget cuts.