HEALTH bosses and council social care teams from County Durham are due to meet later this year to try and address a growing “crisis” in the sector.

Sparked by increasing numbers of people coming to her with social care funding problems, Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods has arranged an event with Durham County Council and the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust to focus on challenges they face in providing services.

She said: “In Durham, we have seen our council’s care budget cut by 42 per cent, which means that despite the hard work of the council, vulnerable people in our communities are not getting the care and support they need."

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She is responding to a report released by the Care Quality Commission, an independent watchdog in charge of monitoring care homes, that found across the UK, one in three nursing homes are failing, and one in four care homes breached basic safety requirements, with vulnerable people increasingly having to fend for themselves.

She added: "Furthermore, as I have already raised the fact that the baseline standards of care are too low with the Care Quality Commission, it is very concerning to see so many care and nursing homes failing.

“I will continue to work with care providers and the local authority to help support their efforts in providing much needed care, and will press the Government on the urgent need for proper funding for social care in Durham.”

Earlier this year Durham County Council leader councillor Simon Henig called on the Government to provide more funding to local authorities for the provision of social care.

Following the Government’s announcement that an extra £2billion would be given to local authorities to tackle the situation, County Durham was allocated an additional £25m over three years.

Durham County Council’s head of adult care Lee Alexander said: “We have an increasing and ageing population with more complex health and social care needs at a time when we face an unprecedented period of austerity.

“Work is ongoing to ensure services and systems increasingly adapt to remain responsive to individuals’ needs, with the emphasis on community based solutions that are both efficient and cost effective.

“We will continue to work tirelessly, with partners including clinical commissioning groups, to provide the best possible services to those vulnerable people who are most in need of our care and support.”

Dr Blackman-Woods is hosting a roundtable discussion in November to discuss the issue with stakeholders, focussing on the challenges the NHS and local authority are facing in providing care in the future, and how to ensure that people are receiving the care they need.