Sunday, March 22, 2020

Lib Dems to table social care amendments to the Coronavirus Bill

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PoliticsHome reports that the Liberal Democrats are to table two amendments to the Coronavirus Bill when it comes before the Commons tomorrow.

They are designed to ensure that moves to temporarily relax councils' social care duties do not lead to standards slipping.

The government bill waives some of local authorities' responsibilities towards vulnerable people as set out in the 2014 Care Act.

The website says:
The Lib Dem amendment would order the Health Secretary to produce a "comprehensive" report every three months if the Coronavirus Bill passes, spelling out "how the Government will guarantee provisions for social care while this Act is in force". 
The first one would have to come within just ten days of the emergency law being passed, and would require MPs to be updated on funding available to support social care providers - as well as Government plans to keep standards at "as high a level as possible". 
A second amendment demands that the Government guarantees social care providers will have the cash required to meet local needs - with the Lib Dems warning that the system is "already overstretched".
It quotes are new health spokesperson Munira Wilson:
"Ministers need to prepare for the worst if staffing levels in the social care sector are badly hit, but also commit to doing everything possible to maintain current standards. Lower standards should not become the new norm in an already overstretched social care system."

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