The boss of a leading group of Devon care homes has described the Government’s plans to increase funding for social care to assist those with property and resources as narrowly focused and a ‘drop in the ocean compared to the overall challenges’.

Boris Johnson has announced a £12-billion a-year-package of funding largely for the NHS and to end some social care injustice.

Geoffrey Cox who runs the Southern Healthcare group of four Devon care homes including Sefton Hall at Dawlish, says the plans don’t go far enough.

‘Our social care system, designed to be world-class, has been decimated through 10 years of austerity since 2009 and has become devalued and demoralised. It will take more than what is currently proposed to reverse this.

‘I also fail to understand why elderly social care is just seen as a problem.

‘Should we not be focusing our energy and language on doing our best for our elders? Perhaps we are more ageist than we realise?

‘Many providers work to an empowering vision for the quality of life of our dependent elders.

‘Yet, many people still prefer to lambast care homes or use derogatory language about the system instead of working to improve it.

‘I am concerned the proposals will not improve anything very much but will certainly risk creating yet more tension between self-funding Residents, Councils, Government and providers, while the ‘system’ continues to impose an impoverished / outdated model of care on our less able but most dependent, elderly citizens.

‘Specifically, quality of life is critical, not just a ‘maintenance’ model of care.

Local authorities, the social care organisation, ADASS, the Care Quality Commission and other groups have been arguing to the Government for better with costed figures for many years, but seemingly to little avail if we look in the round at what we all expect, desire and need for our older population.’

Despite this, Mr. Cox says he still has hope for the future as we have learnt so much throughout the pandemic as to what works well and what doesn’t.: ‘Overall, I believe forward thinking providers will still do well for their residents despite the challenges, and will remain forward thinking, optimistic and determined.’