Support and Care Workers

Recently, Penwith College Health and Social Care student, Stephanie Trembath, travelled to the Palace of Westminster to receive her award
for the BTEC Student of the Year. As I chatted with Stephanie, her mum and staff from Penwith College, it was clear that Stephanie is already a great asset to the healthcare profession. We need to do more to appreciate and reward people who take up a caring profession.

I say this because I am aware of the shortage of Support and Care Workers, for example. Support and Care Workers are a big part of the solution as we increase our efforts to integrate health and social care and reduce unnecessary hospital stays for vulnerable and older people.

Over the weekend I met with a number of people who could help me understand more about this challenge. I met people who rely on help to get up and about in the morning, Community Care Managers who provide care and support and leading figures in the voluntary sector. Changes to the way health and social care services are funded, commissioned and delivered in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly are being considered right now. It is essential that we get this right so that we can reduce the pressure on acute services, provide the proper care for those who need it and attract more health care workers into the profession.

I visited John Daniel's Centre, Penzance on Friday to answer any questions and see the improvements that are taking place through the
work of the Active Plus Local project.  The project combines teamwork and communication activities with community-based work activity for participants who are receiving Employment and Support Allowance. Work at the John Daniel Centre included painting and decorating, gardening and development and refurbishment of outside buildings.

It was good to meet volunteers who continue to help after their course had concluded.

Similar good work is being done at the PEaT Project in Gulval. Like many worthwhile voluntary organisations, money is in short supply and I want to help find creative ways to ensure these valuable community projects can continue.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives