The Oldham Liberal Democrats are concerned that social care will become a secondary priority if transferred from local authority control to the National Health Service.
At present, local authorities, like Oldham Council, take the primary role in providing a care service to elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents living at home, but Conservative ministers are rumoured to be considering transferring this responsibility to the NHS.
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said: “I know from recent personal experience that the National Health Service with its excellent medical facilities and dedicated staff do a wonderful job, but, the NHS does so many things and is such a large organisation, that I really fear that social care in its hands would become a Cinderella service, at the bottom of the rung for investment and innovation.
“Caring for many elderly and vulnerable residents in their own homes is an area of expertise for local authorities. Councils, like Oldham, can call on incredible carers, who are local people with local knowledge and an understanding of local needs, to provide a responsive, personalised and professional service to those who need them. We work in partnership with the person being cared for, and with their carers, family, and friends, to ensure they are treated with dignity and encouraged to maintain their independence.”
“It is not perfect and could always be better but transfer to the NHS would be a backward step. Regrettably the NHS does not have a very good track record of promoting independence, and many NHS services continue to be delivered in institutions rather than out in the community.”