The closure of Brushwood and Millvina care homes in Speke and Everton announced last week is extremely troubling news for our communities, particularly for affected residents, families and staff. Brushwood is in my Constituency, I’ve followed its development and opening and know it is a great asset to our community.
Shaw Healthcare, the private provider who runs the homes, has said they need to close because they’re losing money as a result of COVID-19. As the Government didn’t act quickly enough to protect care homes from the pandemic, many families are now extremely wary of placing their loved ones in these facilities, meaning there’s too many vacancies for the homes to be profitable. This is indicative of a wider problem with the way that social care is run in this country – on a model that emphasises that care homes must make money, meaning that the interests of profit are prioritised over the growing need for dementia support. It’s an indictment of the way social care is funded that the COVID crisis is forcing care homes to close.
The Government needs to step in and ensure that homes such as Brushwood and Millvina can continue to provide much needed support for people living with dementia and their families until they have devised and implemented a much better way of running social care. In other circumstances, perhaps the City Council could have helped but their own financial situation is dire thanks to 10 years of austerity and the Covid crisis. So far, the Government have only reimbursed Liverpool City Council for half the costs of COVID-19, after cutting the Council’s funding by 63 per cent in austerity cuts over the past ten years. The Secretary of State promised to fully support Councils through the pandemic back in March. The Government could start to make good on this promise by ensuring care homes for our elderly are properly funded, rather than being left to close. When Parliament is back next week, I’ll be doing all I can to press Ministers to support our care homes and speak out against these closures.
Alongside Dan Carden, MP for Liverpool Walton, I’ve written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government calling on the Government to support Liverpool City Council to bring these services in-house. You can read our letter below.
You can read coverage of our letter on the Granada Reports website here.