Jack Woolleys lucky: but we need to plan for everybody, not just the Archers - ADASS

 

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

The Local Government Association 

Date: Monday October 6, 2008

Embargo: 00.01 hrs Monday October 6, 2008

The Woolley family in Ambridge, deep in the land of the BBC's The Archers, is to be congratulated for having found a Filipino carer to look after Jack who has been suffering from increasingly debilitating dementia for well over a year.  But, according to directors of adult social services, the trouble the Woolleys had in finding a carer will only get worse unless the Home Office reconsiders its recent immigration proposals.*

 

ADASS has called on Home Office ministers to consult more widely, more thoroughly, and more convincingly before issuing a further `shorter occupation list for immigration purposes later this month. The request follows concerns that recommendations published last week by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) could seriously harm our ability to recruit desperately-needed care staff, and consequently damage our ability to care properly for large numbers of vulnerable people in care homes and elsewhere.

 

Proposals from MAC mean that, from later this year, employers will no longer be able to fill permanent posts with people from outside the European Union unless they are on the Committees shortage occupation list.

 

According to Jo Cleary, co-chair of the ADASS Workforce Development Network, MACs decision not to specify social care staff in its recommended shortage occupation list threatens to seriously undermine our capacity to carry out our core and fundamental duty of care to many thousand of elderly and disabled people. Currently, for example, one in two care staff in London are non-EU citizens.

 

The Home Office has not adequately consulted with local government; it hasnt properly sought our views, and is at risk of taking some decisions, based on insufficient understanding of the social care labour market, which could have damaging and far-reaching consequences. If matters aren't remedied, not even the Archers will be able to find suitable carers for ageing members of their families.

 

She went on fully to endorse the remarks of Darra Singh, chief executive of the London Borough of Ealing, who wrote recently: We need a coherent policy that understands the relationships between skills shortages, housing, immigration and regeneration if our country is to prosper both economically and socially.

 

ENDS

 

For further information contact:  

Jo Cleary, Co-chair, ADASS Workforce Development Network,

020 79264788

Bernard Walker, Co-chair, ADASS Workforce Development Network,

01942 827782

Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755

 

* Jack Woolley, of Archers fame, has been developing dementia for over a year now. After a long search his family have finally found a personal carer from the Philippines to help him at home. The Archers is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 each evening just after 7.00 pm and each afternoon at just after 2.00 pm. The omnibus edition is broadcast Sundays at 10.02 am.

 

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The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors of adult social services in local authorities in England and Northern Ireland. As well as having statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people and adults with disabilities, ADASS members might also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of leisure, library, housing, culture and arts services within their councils. ADASS grew out of the Association of Directors of Social services (ADSS) following the division of local authority services for adults and children.