15 Mar 2024

Right at Home Stockport ‘hopeful’ for sector reform under Labour government after visit from Shadow Minister

The owner of Right at Home Stockport has said he is “hopeful” for the future of the social care sector, following a visit from the Shadow Care Minister.

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Andrew Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton and Reddish, met this month with Franchise Owner David Meanwell to discuss the key challenges facing social care providers and the improvements they’d like to see going forward.

They were joined by Lucy Campbell, CEO of Right at Home UK, who said she was ‘encouraged’ by Andrew’s plans for the sector.

During the meeting, David outlined the barriers to recruiting and retaining homecare professionals.

He explained that many CareGivers, who drive every day to deliver vital care and support in the community, are being forced to leave the sector due to soaring car insurance premiums, which are also preventing new talent from starting a career in homecare.

He said recruitment and retention challenges have been further compounded by local colleges being “unwilling” to place health and social care students in homecare settings, an issue he believes Andrew could help resolve.

“Andrew was aware of the recruitment challenges that we face in this sector. Whilst recruiting care workers from overseas can help to fulfil some capacity challenges, the opportunity to develop and train students is the most obvious route to drive improvement in the long-term,” said David.

“With Andrew’s connections I think this will be our best opportunity to see change on a local scale.”

Labour’s plans for social care

The Shadow Care Minister outlined Labour’s 10-year vision for a reformed social care sector during his visit to Right at Home, including a plan to boost pay for care professionals, reallocate funds into community care and create a National Care Service.

Andrew said: "It was a pleasure to visit the Right at Home team and learn more about the fantastic homecare services they provide.

"Having a greater focus on care in the community is a central pillar of one of Labour's guiding missions, to build a health and care system fit for the future.

"As we work towards the development of a National Care Service, I look forward to working with firms like Right at Home to develop long-term solutions to the challenges facing the sector, ensuring everyone can access care when they need it, and where they need it."

David said that the “best hope” for the future of social care would be a “change in administration” and a “different view” on how healthcare services would be organised and managed.

He added: “I’m not sure a National Care Service is the best answer, but a reallocation of funds into the community would be a great start.”

Lucy Campbell said: “It was extremely encouraging to hear MP Andrew Gwynne recognising the importance of the role social care providers play in the integrated health care agenda.

“He also understood the benefits of working in partnership with care providers, with lived experience of the sector, to help shape the policies that will aid the necessary transformation.”

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