In today's Guardian I have responded to the Prime Minister's scurrilous attack on Ealing Council regarding adult social care. Read the full letter below and please share wildly to let other residents know the facts:
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"Theresa May’s decision to single out Ealing for attack on adult social care at prime minister’s questions is bizarre and unfair (Councils can get social care cash early, says PM, 15 December).
Despite significant funding pressures, Ealing council has one of the best re-ablement services in the country, with 93% of older people who use this service still at home three months after hospital discharge, a record we are proud of. Ealing works closely with our local NHS to provide a seamless discharge service: our rate of delays to discharge due to social care issues is average, not the worst.
Since 2010, government cuts have led to a reduction in Ealing’s adult social care budget of nearly 20%. The council tax precepts the government has allowed us are sticking plasters by comparison.
I’m proud that, rather than levying a precept on Ealing residents, as the prime minister seems to want us to do, our success in growing Ealing’s economy and building homes has provided us with the resources to provide extra social care funding that more than matches what a precept would raise.
We’ve allocated £2.3m extra for social care this year, rising to £4m by 2019, along with a £5m transformation fund to redesign services so fewer people need intensive help in future.
Councils, like Ealing, that are innovating, redesigning and delivering high-quality social care in very difficult financial conditions, while not demanding extra money from just about managing local families, deserve Theresa May’s praise, not her censure."
Cllr Julian Bell
Labour leader of Ealing Council