Lords debate on Public Services

News item posted: 04 April 2014

The Chief Executive of Turning Point, Lord Victor Adebowale, recently spoke in a short debate tabled by Lord Boateng on Public Services in the House of Lords.

Victor said that the debate centred on "a very important issue which goes to the heart of what we might call a civilised society and the future of social services generally."

Victor discussed how, in reference to health and social care, voluntary and not-for-profit sector organisations contribute a huge amount across a wide range of public services. Victor said "it is estimated that 57% of the not-for-profit sector workforce is employed in health and social care, which amounts to around 437,000 people. Over £4 billion-worth of health and social care services are provided by charities and social enterprises. These services provide vital support to people at the sharp end of the inverse care law. It has been an ongoing theme of my existence as a Peer constantly to refer to the fact that those most in need of health and social care services tend to get them least."

Victor went on to say that "the public and not-for-profit sectors are facing very difficult times. The cuts are biting and we are all feeling the effects of reduced budgets. Many smaller charities are at risk of closing entirely. The Government need to ensure that there is adequate local funding in the future so that fundamental social care needs can be met. Local authorities, care providers and the voluntary sector must be able to maintain and protect the quality of services and care that they provide."

Victor concluded that, "this is not just about the Government's enthusiasm for the sector; it is about the Government's ability actually to acknowledge the challenge facing public services at this time and to work in partnership with the not-for-profit sector, the private sector and the public sector to reverse the inverse care law."