Sinn Féin calls for major social care reform

Major reform of the Western Trust’s social care system is required to ensure it is fit for purpose, Sinn Féin Councillor Michaela Boyle has said. 

Commenting ahead of a Sinn Féin motion calling for reform of the system, Cllr. Boyle said: 

“No one doubts there are massive pressures and challenges facing our social care system which is impacting on the ability to deliver high quality domiciliary care within the community. That was true before the pandemic but has been greatly exacerbated over the past 18 months. 

“There are major problems over a lack of workforce planning, leading to staff shortages and high vacancy rates which in turn puts additional pressure on staff, service users and their families. There is a clear need to improve the terms and conditions of domiciliary care staff, including rates of pay, covering travel costs, and providing career progression pathways. All that is vital if we are to ensure that the social care system is fit for purpose now and into the future so that those who need care are properly looked after and staff are properly valued. 

“To that end, I hope that all parties can support my motion at the full council meeting as it will call on the Western Health and Social Care Trust to provide us with a detailed briefing on the current position regarding social care while also calling on the Minister of Health to outline his plans to reform adult social care, including a detailed report into the true cost of delivering all aspects of the necessary changes.”