Labour candidate for the Bridgwater East and Bawdrip ward in the forthcoming County Council elections, Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, has hit out at what he see’s as an ‘uncaring Conservative County Council and an uncaring Conservative Government’ saying “Our local Adult Social Care system is a total mess, it is one big storm headed in the wrong direction and causing so much destruction on its way.”
Diogo says “I feel for our hardworking carers because they are put under so much pressure to do the work but there just isn’t enough carers out there, largely down to lack of funding – those under too much pressure are leaving and then it’s just one big horrid circle. There is no excuse not to offer contracted hours to our carers – when so many are leaving because of the pressures of the job there must be guaranteed hours they can rely on to give them some financial stability and security – these are our friends and neighbors in our town!”
Lack of Funding
Diogo continued “Care companies are being forced to tap into the private market to make up for the lack of funding on social services side – and this is something being forced, quite vocally, on them by county council. Andrew Needham, Assistant Director of Community Services at Somerset Care described County Councils handling of the reduction of care packages as “Ruthless“. Should social care be more private? NO! It should, in my opinion, be run by the state because there is no price or competition on someones health and well-being.”
“The elderly, well, they are taking the brunt of it all – poor services by care companies because of a lack of funding – stuck in hospital unable to get home because they haven’t got the care they need – some forced into loneliness and isolation because money comes before anything else – their dignity being teared to shreds – some being stripped washed instead of a proper wash to save money, some going without a hot meal for tea to save money, some having their lives put at risk to save money.”
More focused on money than the people
Diogo, a Labour Town Councillor for the Bridgwater Dunwear North ward, added “The ones running the show couldn’t care less – they are more focused on the money than the people. County expect others to pick up the shortfall in there funding, and when I questioned Cllr William Wallace (Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care) on peoples genuine concerns that would concern anyone else, his response was ,”people don’t like change”. County will not take the blame and quite honestly they do not care.”
“Bridgwaters elderly are being neglected, treated unfairly and being forced into isolation. Our carers, supervisors and other ground workers are at breaking point – too much stress, too much pressure – asked to do so much yet given so little in return. County go on trying to save money, but all we are still seeing is red.”
We need a major overhaul and only Labour can provide it –
Diogo outlined three steps to urgently deal with the situation
“Firstly we need an URGENT review into how Adult Social Care is managed and delivered.
Secondly, we need to abandon the Tories cost cutting measures which are putting peoples life’s at risk and in doing so, treat the elderly in our community with the dignity and respect that has been robbed of them.
Thirdly we need to treat our hardworking carers with fairness by providing the job security and financial stability that they need by scrapping zero hour contracts. “