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Home care leader calls for care staff to get 'greater respect'

Article By: Michaela Mildenhall

The chair of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has urged Government ministers to treat those in the homecare sector with "greater respect".

Mike Padgham/ Credit: UKHCA

Mike Padgham who is stepping down as chair, made his last speech at the recent UKHCA England conference, venting his frustration at what he feels is the Government’s continued inability to deal with massive challenges facing the sector.

He said: "Homecare provides vital, human care, for many hundreds of thousands of people. They deserve to be treated with greater respect.

"And the fantastic people who provide that care, they too deserve to be treated with greater respect - and a higher status bestowed upon the wonderful work they do.”

Mr Padgham is to stand down as chair at UKHCA's AGM in October after eleven years in the role, and he showed signs of visible ‘frustration’ when talking about the challenges the sector still faced.

He said: “Care deserves more respect from the Government and not lip-service and not endless Green and White papers and commissions. A proper, clear plan of how social care is going to be funded and delivered for generations to come. Give us that and treat us all with the respect that we deserve."

His words echoed those of Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Health Select Committee, who recently called upon the Government to press on with reforms, arguing that there have been ample reports, consultations and commissions produced to enable ministers to deal with social care.

Earlier in the year, the media storm over the unpopular social care reforms, dubbed the ‘dementia tax’, was buried by the ensuing snap General Election, which stole headlines after the Conservatives didn’t win the landslide victory they had hoped to.

Since the election other issues have taken over the public domain, and social care has been left in a state of limbo whilst Brexit and party politics have been playing out in the news. As a result of this, many fear that any kind of social care reform has been kicked into the long grass.

Mr Padgham added: "The biggest regret, the biggest frustration of all has been that governments - of all political colours - have never, ever grasped the social care nettle and dealt with it.

"Every time we feel that we are getting somewhere - like ahead of this year's General Election when social care became a key issue - there have always been other things that have moved care to the back of the queue."

At the end of his speech, Mr Padgham repeated an invitation he had already made to Prime Minister Theresa May and the Minister responsible for social care, Jackie Doyle-Price, to visit the frontline of home care delivery.

He said: "To prove they are listening I am extending an invitation to the Minister and the Prime Minister to come and spend some time on the front line of home care delivery and see for themselves the challenges and pressure faced and then reflect if they think the Government is doing all it can to help.


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