Fareham MP Suella Braverman has spoken about the need to reform adult health care provision during a speech in the House of Commons.
During the speech, Mrs Braverman spoke about the importance of a well-functioning and accessible system of social care in Fareham, where the average age of local residents is higher than the UK average.
Mrs Braverman called for urgent reforms to improve coordination between healthcare providers with clinical commissioning groups and to improve patients’ experiences.
Calls for improvements to be made to adult social care provision across Hampshire have been growing lately after many carers and families have reported complications and difficulties with the application process.
Currently, a means test is applied to determine if someone requiring social care support is eligible for funding, which many have found to be nebulous, harsh and expensive – often to be refused assistance outright.
In one instance, Fareham resident John White had to wait almost six years and navigate a series of hurdles before funding was finally released to care for a relative suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Several factors including a non-patient friendly application process and lengthy delays meant that no funding was granted while Mr White’s relative was still alive. Funding was finally granted retrospectively following appeals.
Commenting on her speech, Suella Braverman said:
“I was very pleased to highlight this pressing issue to MPs and ministers in Parliament. With an ageing population in Fareham, adult social care is something that is of growing importance to many local people. Sadly, too many people are still being let down despite undeniable progress by the government in increasing funding and a thriving charitable sector in Fareham.
“Given that heart breaking cases such as Mr White’s will continue to emerge until changes are made, I am reaffirming my calls for greater coordination between West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hampshire County Council, as well as for the necessary changes to make the funding application system more patient friendly.
“We need to act now so that the Government’s undeniable commitment to the elderly and vulnerable is not squandered and so that patients are rightly put at the heart of how our social care and NHS services are delivered.”