The future of care services in Milton Keynes was top of the agenda on Monday when Shadow Minister for Older People, Liz Kendall MP, visited the city.
The Shadow Minister was in Milton Keynes to host a Care Summit with Age UK Milton Keynes looking at the challenges for health and older people. The summit brought together Age UK volunteers, Milton Keynes Older Persons’ Forum and carers group to discuss support services across the city.
The summit, at Age UK’s Peartree Bridge centre, focused on both the government’s cuts to adult social care and pressure on council budgets, as well as the longer term needs of an growing ageing population in Milton Keynes. The summit also heard from Jane Palmer, director of Age UK Milton Keynes, and Councillor Nigel Long, Cabinet Member for Health & Well-Being on Milton Keynes Council.
Liz Kendall, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, said: “Andrew asked me to come and listen to people in Milton Keynes about their experiences of local health and social care services. Everyone thinks of Milton Keynes as young town but the population is ageing. This raises big issues about how our health and social care services meet increasing demand.
“Despite the excellent work of hospital staff, we’re already seeing significant pressure on Milton Keynes Hospital A&E, with many people having to wait more than 4 hours to be seen. A Labour government would integrate NHS and social care services, so that they work together better to keep older people out of hospital and living independently at home. We would support the families who do so much to care for their loved ones.”
Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said:“It is clear from meeting Age UK volunteers and carer groups that social care is under huge pressure in Milton Keynes.The scale of government cuts means that the status quo is not an option. There is an urgent case for the NHS, council and other partners to work together to help Age UK get through this latest funding hit. These are really important services for many people in Milton Keynes and I am confident that a solution can be found to keep Age UK, and other groups, in business.”