Ed Balls visits Yorkshire care homes for BBC documentary to learn about 'crisis in social care'

Former Labour MP Ed Balls is spending time at two Yorkshire care homes to find out more about the “crisis in social care” for a BBC documentary.

Former Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is spending time at two care homes in Scarborough for a BBC documentary
Former Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is spending time at two care homes in Scarborough for a BBC documentary

He has been speaking to staff, residents and their families at Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home and Saint Cecilia’s Care Home in Scarborough.

The 54-year-old, who has served as the MP for Morley and Outwood and Shadow Chancellor, decided to take part in the documentary after his mother was diagnosed with dementia and moved to a care home.

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“The crisis in social care is deepening, and we need to work together to sort it now,” he said.

“Because my mum has dementia and lives in a care home, I thought I knew what happened in them, but as I started to dig deeper into the realities of the issues that care workers face daily, I realised I’ve only ever scratched the surface.

“Covid exposed and accelerated a long-term decline in this country’s provision for adult social care, but it’s also given us a chance to do something about it.”

The crew have been filming at the Scarborough care homes this month for the two-part BBC documentary series titled ‘Ed Balls: Crisis in Care’ and they will return in June and July.

Mike Padgham, Saint Cecilia’s Managing Director, said: “They were looking for typical care and nursing homes to take part and we are very pleased to have been chosen. We know that it will give a warts and all view of the challenges facing the social care system in 2021 and right now those challenges are huge.”

“We hope that this documentary will help us to bring those challenges to the fore, bring about much-needed change and support the ongoing campaign to get reform for the sector.”

He added: “If Ed Balls and the documentary can help get the crisis in social care higher up the political agenda, it will be well worth it.”

Councils across the country have seen demand for adult social care soar in recent years, as they work with private providers to care for an ageing population.

The government provided councils with an extra £1bn for adult and children’s social care in 2020/21 and then offered another £300m at the spending review in November 2020.

It has also allowed councils to add a 3 per cent precept to people’s council tax bills, to raise millions that can only be spent on adult social care.

But last month, the National Audit Office published a report which states councils have been provided with “short-term and one-off” funding settlements from the government and this has “hampered” their ability to plan for the future and “constrained much-needed innovation and investment”.

It also states forecasts suggest there will be “greater demand for care and increasingly complex care needs in the future” and “future reforms, promised for several years, will need to tackle these growing challenges”.

More than 42,300 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded at care homes in England and Wales, according to the Office for National Statistics.