‘Perfect storm’ in care for elderly looming in West Sussex

L21180H13-JamesWalsh - L21116H13-JamesWalsh  200513  LP  James Walsh, longest serving member of West Sussex County Council.
L21180H13-JamesWalsh - L21116H13-JamesWalsh 200513 LP James Walsh, longest serving member of West Sussex County Council.

A ‘perfect storm’ is looming in care for the elderly in West Sussex - according to a leading county councillor.

James Walsh (LDem, Littlehampton East), leader of the Lib Dem Group at West Sussex County Council and a retired GP, is arguing for a new approach to care both nationally and locally.

Dr Walsh, who is also vice-chairman of WSCC’s Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee, highlighted the decision two years ago to exclude people with moderate needs from receiving social care from the county council.

He said: “There has to be major national and local new approach to recruiting, training and retaining care providers, giving them greater standing and status, including better pay and working conditions.

“Otherwise we will see the further disintegration of our elderly care system in West Sussex and nationally.”

He felt that two other developments were highly significant, the Royal Voluntary Service’s decision to pull out of the Meals for Wheels contract, and recent report published by WSCC that stated ‘the residential market is fragile, operating at maximum capacity and struggling to meet the demands of an increasing number of complex customers with multiple conditions’.

He argued that the residential rates paid to care homes were often too low to attract and retain care providers.