Andrew Castle challenges Labour candidate on "unbelievably woolly" social care policy

8 December 2019, 08:23

Andrew Castle wasn't impressed with Labour's proposals for social care.

Andrew Castle spoke to Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour/Coop candidate for Brighton Kemptown, about Labour's social care policy.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle said that Labour would "plough £10bn in to ensure that everyone gets social care in their older age."

Andrew Castle replied: "I don't know if you've had anybody in social care who's required being washed, fed, got up in the morning or just even being spoken to.

I don't know how many people you've had in your life that have been subject to this but the idea of chucking money at it. Is there any more detail that we can know about it, if this is going to shift the needle at all?"

Russell-Moyle replied: "Our view is that we need to work to a National Social Care Service, a bit like the NHS, where people can be assured that there will be social care provided for on a needs-based level.

Not necessarily the residential part of social care but where you can have assurances and you know that you will get good social care at an older age without having to worry, necessarily, particularly if you don't have relatives."

Andrew Castle was unimpressed.

Andrew Castle challenges Labour candidate on "unbelievably woolly" social care policy
Andrew Castle challenges Labour candidate on "unbelievably woolly" social care policy. Picture: PA

He said: "You know what, Lloyd? I've gotta be honest with you. That sounds so woolly, it's unbelievable.

It sounds woolly because of every bit of experience that I've had with a mother-in law that has died in my arms, with a mother that was required to take social care after the last three years after having an aortic aneurysm, for a father that is trying to get finance at the moment having been in a care home for one year."

He then referred to it as "unbelievably woolly".

Russell-Moyle said: "I remember when my grandparents and when other relatives needed social care, the difficulty first of all of having to traipse around care homes to try and work out which one we could afford, which one was best and then trying to work out what the different skill sets and what the different people might be.

"And, actually, we as a family don't have the expertise on that, don't have the ability to know. Whereas as your listeners will know, in the healthcare system, you have a GP who refers you to the right person who does assessments and then you know it with some confidence that the care you receive will be the appropriate and adequate care.

That is how we believe social care should be done. The cost should be taken out of it."

Andrew Castle then said: "I'm delighted that you're addressing it and the Tories should have done absolutely donkeys year ago. In Downing Street, the Tories, you know, Boris Johnson said this was going to be an absolute priority as soon as he got in and they've diddly squat.

Russell-Moyle conceded that it wouldn't be done overnight but that it was a "long-term aim".