"No jab, no job" policy could be devastating for the sector says Scarborough care home boss

A care provider, whose homes appeared in Monday night’s TV documentary on the crisis in care, is calling for urgent talks with the Government to address issues raised in the programme.
Mike PadghamMike Padgham
Mike Padgham

Mike Padgham, managing director of St Cecilia's Care Group which runs two homes in the town, wants to meet with Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Care Minister Gillian Keegan to talk about under-funding and the staffing crisis raised in the documentary, Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls, broadcast on BBC2 on Monday night.

“The programme has exposed the real crisis in social care which for far too long has been a hidden problem, which people could pretend did not exist,” Mr Padgham said.

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“We have struggled on for too long and now that the true extent of the crisis has been revealed to the public we need to talk about solutions and we need to talk about them now.

Mike Padgham with Ed Balls during filming for the documentaryMike Padgham with Ed Balls during filming for the documentary
Mike Padgham with Ed Balls during filming for the documentary

“The feedback I am receiving about the programme is that people didn’t realise that things were so bad. Well now they do, and we need to do something about it.”

He said the first thing the Government had to do was postpone the ‘no jab, no job’ policy for care home workers, which is due to come in on Thursday and which Mr Padgham has warned could be devastating for care.

Mr Padgham allowed a crew into his nursing and care homes in Scarborough as part of the two-part BBC Two documentary, presented by Ed Balls, on the challenges facing the social care sector.

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He is hosting an event to mark the documentary, which will include excerpts from both programmes and a question-and-answer session with presenter Ed Balls and the production team. He has invited the Secretary of State and Minister to attend, on 3 December. He has also offered to go to Westminster to meet with the politicians to make progress.

“We want to work with the Government to find solutions to the crisis and to find a way to improve the care we give to our most vulnerable,” he added.

Mr Padgham hopes the documentary will open people’s eyes and prompt the Government to tackle the under-funding and staffing crisis in the care of our oldest and most vulnerable.

“To begin with we want to see the Government delay the introduction of compulsory vaccinations for care staff until April as they have done for NHS staff,” Mr Padgham added.

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“Those working in care and nursing homes are already at full stretch and if you take thousands out over ‘no jab, no job’ you will create a staffing meltdown,” he warned.

“Care providers are working extremely hard to provide the best possible care in a sector that has seen more than £8bn cut from funding since 2010. Some 1.5m people are living without the care they need and we have 120,000 staff vacancies across the country. Things are only going to get worse.

“The staffing crisis has been exacerbated by Brexit robbing the sector of overseas job applicants and people finding other, less stressful and better paid work elsewhere.

“The million people receiving care at home and in residential homes, the 1.5m who can’t get the care they need and our amazing staff all deserve better.

“The documentary can only be the start, it has to be the catalyst that begins long-awaited change to get people the care they deserve.”