Last week, we shared your concerns about social care in parliament and with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve been listening to the concerns people with Parkinson’s and their family members, friends and carers have shared with us.
We have also shared your experiences with reduced care support, and the impact this has had on those living in the same house. We also shared concerns about paid carers not having access to Personal Protective Equipment with parliament. We have urged the government to take action to support people affected by Parkinson’s.
Parliamentary meeting on social care
This week we joined a meeting of 15 All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) to discuss the challenges facing people accessing social care in England. The APPGs agreed to work together in the coming months to lobby the government to find a solution to the social care funding crisis.
Mary Glindon MP, chair of the APPG on Parkinson’s shared findings from our coronavirus survey we conducted with Lancaster University. She said: “It’s shocking that Parkinson’s UK found that 48% of people with the condition who took part in their survey, reported receiving less social care support during the pandemic. Especially at a time when people need support the most, as they’re stuck at home.”
Ombudsman services have now resumed
We also met with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King to discuss their service and some parliamentary questions Mary and Baroness Gale, co-chair of the APPG Group on Parkinson’s, had tabled.
We were prompted to ask these questions following a call to our helpline. We wanted to know why the Ombudsman, who investigate complaints against local councils and private social care providers in England, had suspended their investigations during the pandemic.
We felt that if the Ombudsman was suspended, people might not get the chance to resolve social care complaints adequately.
Michael King commented: “We suspended our external investigations for three months, so councils and care providers could focus on providing services during the pandemic.
“However our full services are now resumed. No one has lost the right to complain, and we would encourage people who have had an issue with their social care to firstly complain to their local council or their care provider, but if they aren’t satisfied with the result to raise it with my organisation by visiting our website or calling our helpline - 0300 061 0614.”
Here to help
We will continue to listen and act on what our community shares with us, to ensure people get the services and support they need. If you’ve got queries about health and care services please call our helpline on 0800 0808 0303.
If you’d like to share your experience with the policy and campaigns team email [email protected]. You can also find out more about how we’ve been fighting for people with Parkinson’s in this crisis.
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