16/06/2011 Business Questions


16/06/2011

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to Leader of the Commons George Young.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 16/06/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Honourable Gentleman and members that wish to make it will be

:00:03.:00:13.
:00:13.:00:19.

considered at that time of consideration. It's a if -- the

:00:19.:00:23.

Government is keen it you find new ways to scrutinise European Union

:00:23.:00:31.

issues. It's as the Government and would welcome proposals from other

:00:31.:00:36.

parliamentarians. In a written reply I understand that the

:00:36.:00:41.

Government is keen to end gold plating of the key directors but

:00:41.:00:51.
:00:51.:00:52.

the only way of doing so is granting MPs the power to amend a

:00:52.:00:57.

statutory implementation. Is there something that the government will

:00:57.:01:07.
:01:07.:01:14.

approve? I think the problem is that we will need a reconciliation

:01:14.:01:22.

process and what we have is a bill going through parliamentary

:01:22.:01:27.

procedures. There are some difficulties in what she proposes

:01:27.:01:33.

but I will pass her concerns on to the Minister for Europe. During the

:01:33.:01:37.

last two years of the parliament the opposition row against the fact

:01:37.:01:41.

that the structure of the standing committees had collapsed. There

:01:41.:01:46.

used to be put in nine committees - a rogue members on three committees

:01:46.:01:54.

that would -- do in a Members on three committees that would discuss

:01:54.:01:58.

things like this and it is time to put people back on those committees

:01:58.:02:02.

to learn the business of Europe before they stand up and open their

:02:02.:02:10.

mouths. I will not comment on the latter's observations made by the

:02:10.:02:20.
:02:20.:02:20.

gentleman but he is right. That is why I am sure the minister for

:02:20.:02:24.

Europe is a very much engaged in talking to him and his colleagues

:02:24.:02:28.

to make sure that we get the pro- military structures right and as

:02:28.:02:37.

soon as possible. It's -- parliamentary structures. For what

:02:38.:02:42.

action up are the Government taking a say in response to what is going

:02:42.:02:46.

on at Southern Cross? Government has made it very clear

:02:46.:02:50.

that the welfare of residents living in Southern Cross homes is

:02:50.:02:55.

paramount. We appreciate that recent events and media speculation

:02:55.:03:00.

has caused concern to people in the Southern Cross care homes and to

:03:00.:03:04.

staff and I regret that. I would like to reassure everyone that no

:03:04.:03:08.

one will find themselves homeless are without care. The government

:03:08.:03:12.

will not stand by and let that happen. Department of Health

:03:12.:03:16.

officials have been a constant contact with senior management over

:03:16.:03:20.

the last few months and that will continue. We are engaged with the

:03:20.:03:24.

company and are monitoring the situation very closely. The

:03:24.:03:28.

Government is acting to ensure that all parties involved are working

:03:28.:03:33.

towards a swift revolution -- resolution which must have the

:03:33.:03:38.

welfare of a residence at its heart. It is for Southern Cross, a

:03:38.:03:41.

flamboyant and those with an interest in the business to put in

:03:41.:03:46.

place a plan that is jaws operational continuity of the care

:03:46.:03:51.

homes. That work is happening and we must let it continue. This is a

:03:51.:03:55.

commercial sector problem and we look to the commercial sector to

:03:55.:04:01.

solve it. All the business interest involve fully understands the

:04:01.:04:04.

responsibility. But it is also the case that the Government has a role

:04:04.:04:09.

to play as well and that is why we are working closely with the

:04:09.:04:16.

Association of Directors of adult social services and local parties

:04:16.:04:19.

to -- local of parties to make sure that robust arrangements are in

:04:19.:04:27.

place to address the restructuring plan meant to put in place a

:04:27.:04:34.

business on a stable footing. Yesterday there was a meeting would

:04:34.:04:41.

delay a Lloyd's and other members and they agreed on May things. They

:04:41.:04:47.

made clear that the continuity will be maintained and every resident

:04:47.:04:51.

will be looked after. This is a welcome development and the

:04:51.:04:55.

Government is encouraged by this positive agreement by the main

:04:55.:04:59.

stakeholders. The exact details will be set out every the next few

:04:59.:05:03.

days and the following weeks. I think the joint statement issued

:05:03.:05:08.

yesterday by the company provides further reassurance that the

:05:08.:05:13.

continuity of care of the residents is at the centre of its consensual

:05:13.:05:16.

restructure. The Government will continue to keep close contact with

:05:16.:05:26.

all involved and I will continue to In recent months we have seen a

:05:26.:05:31.

drip, drip of new stories about the financial stability at Southern

:05:31.:05:35.

Cross. After yesterday's meeting with the landlords the company's

:05:35.:05:40.

future is still uncertain. However residents of Southern Cross, their

:05:40.:05:45.

relatives and the director of social services will need further

:05:45.:05:50.

information Suton -- sooner rather than an later. What next? Residents

:05:50.:05:55.

and their relatives need peace of mind, they need it now. The company

:05:55.:05:59.

appears to be hanging by a thread, the number speak for themselves. It

:05:59.:06:05.

is reported half year losses of �311 million since 2006 per share

:06:06.:06:15.
:06:16.:06:16.

prices drop by 91st -- 97%. There are 31,000 residents and 750 care

:06:16.:06:21.

homes and this is a UK problem with 400 consider disease affected in

:06:21.:06:24.

Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. The Government has

:06:24.:06:30.

been too slow to get a grip on the situation. Issues has been since

:06:30.:06:33.

last December but Age Concern say the Government has allowed it to

:06:33.:06:38.

reach this crisis point. Questions that need answering include,

:06:38.:06:43.

newspaper reports say 20 million is owed by HMRC by Southern Cross,

:06:43.:06:48.

will the Government allowed the company to be dragged down by this

:06:48.:06:53.

�20 million that? What banks borrowed money and how much is owed

:06:53.:06:59.

and what action will the banks take? How is the company working

:06:59.:07:09.
:07:09.:07:10.

with the landlords? What is the government doing to ensure

:07:10.:07:15.

financial probity in this crucial sector? We need to stop the get

:07:15.:07:21.

rich quick merchants brink on our elderly relatives? Can ask the

:07:21.:07:25.

Minister who will lead on this very at the highest level, this is a

:07:25.:07:30.

cross Government matter needing health, business and regulatory

:07:30.:07:35.

intervention. We need reassurance that residents would be safe in

:07:35.:07:38.

their homes, the continuing care will be of the high standard and in

:07:38.:07:42.

the coming months, the Government is focus on ensuring stable,

:07:42.:07:47.

financial Government's with these companies for the care of our old

:07:47.:07:52.

and a vulnerable. There are reign number of questions

:07:52.:07:56.

at their, so of which are for ministers and some are for the

:07:56.:08:01.

landlords. He asked about NHP? He is right to identify the fact NHP

:08:01.:08:05.

it largest landlord and asked about bank lending and the lenders have a

:08:05.:08:08.

key part to play in the sovereignty restriction of this business and

:08:08.:08:11.

that is why they were at the meeting yesterday and he asked

:08:11.:08:17.

about the he HMRC and the body responsible making for these

:08:17.:08:21.

decisions they are making decisions at the moment. We have about the

:08:21.:08:25.

financial problems and the seeds of those financial problems? I would

:08:25.:08:29.

urge the honour would gentleman in look at a history of this to look

:08:29.:08:32.

back several years to the restructuring of this company and

:08:33.:08:36.

the business model was established that caused the problem and asked

:08:36.:08:40.

himself who was in Government at that time?

:08:40.:08:45.

Does My honourable friend agree the government has just one priority in

:08:45.:08:49.

this set of circumstances and that is to secured the interests of

:08:49.:08:54.

residence. Can he reassure the House, he will send a clear message

:08:54.:08:59.

into the system there will be zero tolerance of any slippage of the

:08:59.:09:03.

quality conditions that what are -- that are imposed on the providers

:09:03.:09:09.

of care and he will continue to keep his eyes firmly focused on the

:09:09.:09:12.

day by day quality of care that is delivered to the residents of these

:09:12.:09:16.

homes? He is right. That is the

:09:16.:09:21.

Government's paramount interest and it is the interest of all of us to

:09:21.:09:23.

ensure the welfare and interests of the residence of these homes and

:09:23.:09:28.

that is why that has been the message I have been given to

:09:28.:09:35.

Southern Cross and to the landlords and will continue to do so and see

:09:35.:09:38.

QC will have the responsibility it is carried out. It is clear all of

:09:38.:09:43.

us in this House have to ensure that this restructuring takes place

:09:43.:09:48.

successfully and that is in the best long-term interest of the

:09:48.:09:51.

residents. Her would like to thank the

:09:51.:09:55.

Minister for his statement and congratulate the Member for being

:09:55.:10:01.

granted this urgent question on this issue of great importance.

:10:01.:10:04.

This is not the first time members have tried to bring the Minister

:10:05.:10:09.

there for them to respond to their concern of of leadership and

:10:09.:10:14.

information during this period of uncertainty and anxiety for

:10:14.:10:18.

residents and their families and the employers has been notable and

:10:18.:10:23.

as a result of the agreement we have a period of relative stability

:10:23.:10:28.

but great uncertainty remains for residents and employees. We've

:10:28.:10:31.

heard Southern Cross will now begin a period of restructuring from the

:10:31.:10:35.

report of around 300 homes changing management but contracts have been

:10:35.:10:41.

ripped up and 3,000 jobs are being lost. Water shares can the Minister

:10:41.:10:44.

give for security of employment for those working at Southern Cross and

:10:44.:10:48.

safety, last we we heard Southern Cross as a result of making 3,000

:10:48.:10:52.

people redundant there we have heard from the quality care

:10:52.:10:57.

commission that Southern Cross has breached standards in 164 care

:10:57.:11:03.

homes, 20% of the English estate, can the Minister guarantee the

:11:03.:11:09.

safety of the residents? Will they carry out more frequent inspections.

:11:09.:11:12.

There's been widespread condemnation of the business

:11:12.:11:17.

practices that led to Southern Cross financial problems and is OK

:11:17.:11:21.

to point fingers of what may have happened many years ago but the

:11:21.:11:25.

problem exists now and the Minister is in Government now. The question

:11:25.:11:30.

is, when people are treated as commodities were no thought to the

:11:30.:11:33.

consequences of them in this risky business model it is important that

:11:33.:11:37.

governments set up to the plate and do something about it. Southern

:11:37.:11:41.

Cross is not the only company in this industry to have financial

:11:41.:11:45.

difficulties and we have heard from the business secretary that the

:11:45.:11:49.

model will be looked at by his department and will the Minister

:11:49.:11:52.

provide more details on timings of this review and how members will be

:11:52.:11:58.

told about its findings. Cuts, the Minister says that there will be

:11:58.:12:01.

robust local arrangements and they agree sure local authorities will

:12:01.:12:06.

step up to the plate if asked but he must recognise local authorities

:12:06.:12:10.

are under enormous straight as a result of the cuts imposed by his

:12:10.:12:13.

Government and the cuts they are having to make to adult social care

:12:13.:12:17.

and how can they be expected to pick up the pieces of this national

:12:17.:12:21.

problem without assistance from Government and given more resources

:12:21.:12:30.

to be able to deal with the problem at Southern Cross.

:12:30.:12:33.

She was long on critique but shallow when it comes to the ways

:12:33.:12:39.

in which she would approach to this. Last week I set out in a return

:12:39.:12:44.

Minister a statement reproach the Government was taking and we also

:12:44.:12:48.

dole with this in health questions last week. She asked about the

:12:48.:12:52.

3,000 job losses that are being proposed as part of redundancy

:12:52.:12:56.

measures and let us be clear they have an obligation to declare the

:12:56.:13:02.

ceiling in terms of number of job losses that may take place. I have

:13:02.:13:06.

asked the see QC to take additional inspections to address concerns

:13:06.:13:11.

arising from those job losses. She talks about cuts in social care

:13:11.:13:14.

spending and glosses over the fact this Government through the

:13:14.:13:18.

spending review agreed to an unprecedented transfer of resources

:13:18.:13:24.

from the NHS to social care, 2 billion extra into social care by

:13:24.:13:28.

2014. Perhaps the area we might have some agreement is we need to

:13:28.:13:33.

learn lessons from all that is currently occurring with regard to

:13:33.:13:37.

Southern Cross, regulation, how we make sure we have a stable and

:13:37.:13:40.

successful social care sector in the future and that is why the

:13:40.:13:44.

Government is completed -- committed to an overhaul into

:13:44.:13:52.

should wear -- social care. Would he grew the real fundamental

:13:52.:13:57.

problem here is there was a flawed business model and that was allowed

:13:57.:14:00.

to exist for far too long and certainly during the last

:14:00.:14:07.

Government? You are right to draw attention to

:14:07.:14:10.

that and his is one of the things commented on by the financial pages

:14:10.:14:14.

of our media that is one of the reasons we are in a position with

:14:14.:14:18.

this company now on why such a restructuring is necessary. I take

:14:18.:14:22.

heart from a joint statement issued yesterday from an the meeting

:14:22.:14:26.

between the landlords, the company and between the lenders which does

:14:26.:14:31.

not suggest there is a clear map be worked out that will ensure the

:14:31.:14:35.

continuity of care and that is what all members of this House must want

:14:35.:14:39.

to happen because we must be interested ultimately in the

:14:39.:14:48.

welfare and interested of the Isn't it clear that the business

:14:48.:14:53.

model employed at Southern Cross, selling off properties at colossal

:14:53.:14:59.

profit and then leasing them back, with the state played -- paying the

:14:59.:15:05.

fees to meet the rent, with the rental income being siphoned off by

:15:05.:15:10.

beat -- the landlords into tax havens, leaving the home is grossly

:15:10.:15:16.

underfunded and failing basic CQC standards in 164 homes, is that not

:15:16.:15:22.

a national disgrace? Does it not mean or so that the Prime

:15:22.:15:25.

Minister's commitment to selling off all public services to any

:15:25.:15:34.

willing provider must be abandoned? Well, I think we need to perhaps

:15:34.:15:38.

have an important reality check when it comes to the social care

:15:38.:15:43.

sector. About 78 % of care provided in England is provided in the

:15:43.:15:47.

private sector and that is not something that has happened in the

:15:47.:15:57.

past 12 months. What we do have to do in the light of the experience

:15:57.:16:01.

of the last few months is to make sure that we draw lessons from that.

:16:01.:16:07.

But we have to be focused on now the paramount interest of the

:16:07.:16:16.

residents. Can I thank the Minister for the information he has given

:16:16.:16:23.

the House. The there are two homes in my constituency and this is a

:16:23.:16:29.

matter of great concern to the residents and also the start and

:16:29.:16:34.

there -- and their morale. Can I urge my honourable friend to

:16:34.:16:39.

facilitate as best he can a speedy resolution but also to look at the

:16:39.:16:44.

model that we expect local authorities to adopt book-buying

:16:44.:16:48.

care, the residents themselves should be more involved in the

:16:49.:16:58.
:16:59.:17:07.

process. I am grateful for that question and it points for the need

:17:07.:17:10.

for greater personalisation in the way that care is delivered in the

:17:10.:17:14.

longer run but what we need to do at the moment is make sure that in

:17:14.:17:18.

concert with local authority colleagues we are clear about what

:17:18.:17:27.

happens in the event of failure but also we ensure that there our

:17:27.:17:34.

successes. I think a lot of people know that it has been a licence to

:17:34.:17:40.

print money, running care homes. This is the second time in about a

:17:40.:17:47.

fortnight that we have had a case like Winterbourne. There are

:17:47.:17:51.

billionaire's making a ton of money. However, there is now evidence that

:17:51.:17:57.

it is not just Southern Cross. The goose might have stopped laying the

:17:57.:18:06.

golden eggs. It is time to go back to what we had in the old days,

:18:06.:18:10.

local authorities being in charge and owning these care homes. Let's

:18:10.:18:15.

get back to that. What's more, wouldn't it be wonderful as well if

:18:15.:18:24.

we had everybody being able to go to hospital free of charge? I think

:18:24.:18:28.

it is important to put on record something that the honourable

:18:28.:18:31.

gentleman said that is not and never has been the case. Social

:18:31.:18:37.

care in this country is not free. It is one of the inequities of the

:18:37.:18:40.

current system and one of the challenges that we are determined

:18:41.:18:46.

to address. On his direct question about the good old days, I have to

:18:46.:18:53.

say that for many, they did not see those days because the care was not

:18:53.:19:00.

personalised or always good quality. To say something more about the

:19:00.:19:06.

specific steps he is taking to ensure that the Ku -- the CQC

:19:06.:19:10.

ensures that standards of care in homes in my constituency are

:19:10.:19:20.
:19:20.:19:21.

maintained during this transaction period. -- transition. That is, I

:19:21.:19:25.

think, a key preoccupation for all members of this House who have

:19:25.:19:32.

residents in homes owned by Southern Cross. We have been clear

:19:32.:19:36.

in our discussions with the CQC that they have to maintain a clear

:19:36.:19:41.

focus on the behaviour and conduct of these homes during this

:19:41.:19:48.

restructuring period. CQC has already identified issues and is

:19:48.:19:52.

addressing them through its enforcement powers. The Minister

:19:52.:19:58.

will know that many residents of Southern Cross homes have dementia.

:19:58.:20:04.

He will also know that many people with dementia cope poorly with

:20:04.:20:07.

changes and therefore it is of enormous concern to the relatives

:20:07.:20:12.

of what might happen. He must have had these discussions with his

:20:12.:20:17.

officials. What is the legal conditioned -- position, what is

:20:17.:20:21.

the backdrop if the worst case scenario develops, what will he do

:20:21.:20:26.

to reassure my constituents that the government really will make

:20:26.:20:29.

sure that their relatives are not put in a position where they will

:20:29.:20:32.

have changes which will dramatically affect the quality of

:20:32.:20:42.
:20:42.:20:44.

their light? She posed three questions but I know there will be

:20:44.:20:48.

an immaculate single reply. assurance I can give the honourable

:20:48.:20:54.

lady is that first and foremost we need to make sure that in the event

:20:54.:20:58.

of a catastrophic failure that there are clear arrangements in

:20:58.:21:07.

place to deal with that. Those importantly we need to learn

:21:07.:21:09.

lessons from past care home closures to ensure that those are

:21:09.:21:14.

taken into account in the future. What we can also be clear about is

:21:14.:21:19.

that the viability of this business is very strong indeed. We need care

:21:19.:21:22.

homes and this is why Eddie Izzard, Kriss Akabusi, Martin Bell and Greg

:21:22.:21:28.

Dyke is now a route which sets us on a Cork -- Road to having a

:21:28.:21:38.
:21:38.:21:39.

solution. It would be wrong if anybody tried to use this as a

:21:39.:21:43.

political shield to try to make cheap political points, but can the

:21:44.:21:49.

Minister tell us a, given that there will be up to 3,000 job

:21:49.:21:53.

losses, what measures will the government be taking to monitor the

:21:53.:21:58.

quality of care in individual homes to make sure that there is no

:21:58.:22:04.

negative impact on residents. asks a very important question

:22:04.:22:08.

about the quality of care and its impact is there mack were staff

:22:08.:22:14.

losses and that is why that when it became clear that the company was

:22:14.:22:19.

posting 3,000 redundancies I asked the CQC to look into that and make

:22:19.:22:24.

sure that there is no impact on the quality of care. What is the

:22:25.:22:31.

Minister doing to beef up the CQC? I understand there have been a

:22:31.:22:35.

number of redundancies there. If he wants to maintain the quality of

:22:35.:22:42.

care, he has to be -- beef up the commission. Does he also know that

:22:42.:22:46.

recently the Telegraph investigated an investigation in 10 homes which

:22:46.:22:53.

were found to be very wanting in terms of standards and hygiene.

:22:53.:22:58.

the question on the staffing of the CQC, I can confirm than in October

:22:58.:23:02.

of last year I authorised an additional 75 posts for inspectors

:23:02.:23:11.

to be filled in that organisation. Given that it was the changing

:23:11.:23:15.

business model that seems to have led to the current difficulties,

:23:15.:23:19.

what procedures have the government put in place to prevent such

:23:20.:23:25.

procedures leading to similar collapse of the business? Is he

:23:26.:23:29.

convinced that the CQC has sufficient investigative as opposed

:23:29.:23:38.

to enforcement powers should this sadly we are care? -- sadly re-

:23:38.:23:45.

occur. There are issues that we would want to look at a rising from

:23:45.:23:49.

this situation in terms of forming social care but I think it would be

:23:49.:23:55.

wrong in the midst of the restructuring that the company is

:23:55.:23:58.

undertaking to come forward with a hard and fast set of solutions to

:23:58.:24:05.

the long term so -- stability of the sector. Tomorrow I will visit

:24:05.:24:09.

Bellevue Court in my constituency, one of many Southern Cross homes

:24:09.:24:14.

around the country. I note what the Minister has said about the

:24:14.:24:18.

government guaranteeing that nobody in the care of Southern Cross will

:24:18.:24:26.

be left without care as a result of what is happening. Clearly it is

:24:26.:24:29.

preferable for Southern Cross and their landlords and lenders to

:24:29.:24:34.

reach a solution that ensures that but let me pressing harder on what

:24:34.:24:42.

will happen if that does not come about. How will he live up to be

:24:42.:24:46.

guaranteed -- they guarantee that if the rescue plan that they are

:24:46.:24:53.

trying to work through that the government will ensure that

:24:53.:25:01.

nobody's care is compromised? grateful to the honourable

:25:01.:25:05.

gentleman and I understand why he would want to press for further

:25:05.:25:10.

details as to what would happen in those hypotheticals, but in the

:25:10.:25:16.

very nature of these commercial discussions to give credibility to

:25:16.:25:18.

hypothetical situations is to create the possibility of them

:25:18.:25:25.

becoming a reality. I do not want that to happen. The failure of the

:25:25.:25:31.

last government a regular the banks led to a crisis in that sector. Is

:25:31.:25:34.

the national disgrace which is Southern Cross a similar

:25:34.:25:44.
:25:44.:25:44.

dereliction of duty? What I am really entirely focused on at the

:25:44.:25:49.

moment is making sure that through the facility of officers of the

:25:49.:25:54.

government we ensure that all of the parties are clear about their

:25:54.:25:56.

responsibilities and that they understand that reputation will

:25:56.:26:01.

damage to them if they do not do what they must do, which is to

:26:01.:26:05.

ensure a timely and thorough restructuring of this business that

:26:05.:26:12.

ensures continuity of care for the residents. In opposing these

:26:12.:26:18.

proposed sell-off of care homes by Nottingham County Council, I have

:26:18.:26:22.

been warning the council about the crisis in Southern Cross but this

:26:22.:26:30.

is not the only big care provider in problems. A care provider in my

:26:31.:26:36.

constituency is also now in crisis and threatening to throw people out

:26:36.:26:40.

of Forest Hill care home. Will the Minister be prepared to meet

:26:40.:26:44.

families from my constituency so that on the next occasion he is

:26:44.:26:50.

ahead of the game rather than behind it? Have caused the Minister

:26:50.:26:56.

will be happy to provide a be her - - brief reply but we must focus on

:26:57.:27:02.

the specific question of Southern Cross. This is not a general debate.

:27:02.:27:06.

In the spirit that the question was asked, I would be only too happy if

:27:06.:27:13.

he was to write to me to consider the request. The residents of

:27:13.:27:17.

Bradfield House care home in Bradfield will welcome what the

:27:17.:27:25.

Minister has said today. Could he say some more about how we will

:27:25.:27:28.

learn the broad lessons of this situation and ensure that this

:27:28.:27:34.

never happens again? I am grateful to my honourable friend for that

:27:34.:27:38.

question and as I have indicated, in the work that we are currently

:27:38.:27:44.

doing preparatory to producing a paper, we are engaged with many

:27:44.:27:47.

stakeholders are discussing the issues of quality and regulation to

:27:47.:27:54.

make that we are, A, equipped to make -- get the right questions but

:27:54.:28:04.
:28:04.:28:05.

also get the right policy for the future. The Minister has been very

:28:05.:28:09.

careful not to say what he should be saying here, and I understand

:28:09.:28:14.

why his officials will have told him not to. Will he pledged to the

:28:14.:28:18.

House that no vulnerable person who should not be moved if there is a

:28:18.:28:24.

catastrophe of the kind we all want to avoid will be able to stay in

:28:25.:28:28.

their residential home? That is the pledge we need to hear from him to

:28:28.:28:34.

show some leadership as the Minister responsible from him.

:28:34.:28:38.

pledge that I can give to the House is that every local authority with

:28:38.:28:44.

Southern Cross care homes is clear about their statutory duties to

:28:45.:28:49.

guarantee and provide care for not just the state funded Presidents

:28:49.:28:56.

but also be self- funded residents. That is the clearest guarantee that

:28:56.:29:06.
:29:06.:29:08.

My constituency -- constituents are in clear about the early warning

:29:08.:29:15.

system for social care, how can any mechanism be improved? A number of

:29:15.:29:18.

members asked questions about how we ensure we improve the system?

:29:18.:29:23.

Indeed, in the reforms we have brought forward in the Health and

:29:23.:29:26.

Social Care Bill, one of the questions that Bill right raises is

:29:26.:29:31.

a role in the future potentially for monitoring effective regulation

:29:31.:29:37.

of the social care sector, an issue we are exploring with colleagues in

:29:37.:29:40.

the Department of business and continue to discuss it with other

:29:40.:29:47.

stake holders and that could offer a longer term solution.

:29:47.:29:52.

The care sector is increasingly reliant on private-sector providers

:29:52.:29:57.

and the care sector includes not only people who run care homes, but

:29:57.:30:02.

kept agencies as well. I suspect that will be one of our next

:30:02.:30:08.

problems. As a significant proportion of both care homes and

:30:08.:30:15.

care agencies comes from public funds i think the Government and

:30:15.:30:22.

local authorities have the right and responsibility to assess the

:30:22.:30:27.

financial stability of providers who they are interested in the care

:30:27.:30:33.

of very a vulnerable people. Why has far not been done?

:30:33.:30:43.
:30:43.:30:44.

I think that, I have in fact spoken to those in the devolved

:30:44.:30:48.

administration and my officials maintain contact and dialogue with

:30:48.:30:54.

them and in Wales with 1,700 residents in care homes, 54 in all

:30:54.:30:58.

their real concerns. As to the wider issues of the sector, she is

:30:58.:31:04.

right, we need to look at other issues. In the current arrangements,

:31:04.:31:08.

for the Sikh QC there is a duty to examine that financial viability

:31:08.:31:15.

and there is an issue will cut further C Q c. Following the marks

:31:15.:31:22.

made, directors have very specific duties in stewardship of the

:31:22.:31:29.

company. Has the Minister had any discussions with the Secretary of

:31:29.:31:35.

State about referring this matter? I have not had those discussions

:31:35.:31:42.

and the need for those discussions has not arisen. The company itself

:31:42.:31:46.

feels that the consequences, the outcome of yesterday's meetings has

:31:46.:31:51.

been very important in terms of its ability to be able to carry forward

:31:51.:31:57.

a restructuring which safeguards the interests of residents.

:31:57.:32:01.

My constituents asking me specifically about whether their

:32:01.:32:05.

elderly and sometimes frail relatives may face the prospect of

:32:05.:32:09.

having to move. I know my honourable friend has raised this

:32:09.:32:18.

issue but this is specific and has been risen by my constituents?

:32:18.:32:23.

For think I tried to give the House a number of reassurances on that

:32:23.:32:28.

point and I would add over a number of years, they have been home

:32:28.:32:32.

closures and what we have to do is make sure we learn lessons from

:32:32.:32:36.

those and one of the lessons is we have to minimise the possibility of

:32:36.:32:41.

home closures and ensure a meeting place their done sensitively,

:32:41.:32:45.

slowly and in a careful way. I very much will come to work the

:32:45.:32:49.

Association of Directors of adult social services have done and what

:32:49.:32:53.

they published which sets out clear evidence based guidance to assist

:32:53.:33:00.

local authorities in managing any closures in the future.

:33:00.:33:06.

I'm rather concerned about what Mr to this morning, the complacent

:33:06.:33:09.

attitude the Department of Health is showing about the role of local

:33:09.:33:13.

authorities. Is there a co- ordinated plan for the whole of the

:33:13.:33:17.

country bringing together all the local authority's plans so we know

:33:17.:33:21.

there's coverage across the country if the worst happens? I'm not sure

:33:21.:33:26.

there is? Such work is in hand and has been

:33:26.:33:33.

in hand for some time. There is concern across this House

:33:33.:33:36.

that 31,000 of the most vulnerable people in our country are facing

:33:36.:33:41.

the risk of having to move care home and all the risks that come to

:33:41.:33:46.

that for the health. Can the Minister in some of reducing of

:33:46.:33:51.

white paper saying there is an injured -- urgency for this and

:33:51.:33:54.

come forward with regulation and make sure this does not happen

:33:54.:34:02.

again? I understand the desire of all on the members to have urgent

:34:02.:34:08.

action but up what I did not here in her question was asked what

:34:08.:34:17.

changes would be. When he cares to offer those, we can look at that.

:34:17.:34:19.

I'm very grateful for the ministers' reassurances this

:34:19.:34:24.

morning but there was reassurances ring a little hollow because I was

:34:24.:34:28.

already aware of a great deal of shortcomings in terms of levels and

:34:28.:34:32.

quality of care in the homes that Southern Cross having Gateshead

:34:32.:34:38.

before the financial crisis became a matter of public record. Is seems

:34:38.:34:43.

to quality council are looking at homes on a individual basis and not

:34:43.:34:47.

a national pattern on how their rotten care ethos in this whole

:34:47.:34:52.

organisation will stop where will the Mr Justice as a whole national

:34:52.:35:02.
:35:02.:35:02.

problem cure -- the Minister as a whole national problem. Her can

:35:02.:35:09.

remind them of the merits of brevity. Residence in the care

:35:09.:35:14.

homes in my constituency, about six care homes in my constituency would

:35:14.:35:22.

be horrified at the remarks. The fact they say it was a commercial

:35:22.:35:28.

sector problem to be dealt with by the commercial sector is outrageous

:35:28.:35:33.

and will frighten the wits out of those that are 1,000 residents,

:35:33.:35:37.

this is a society problem and should be dealt with by the

:35:37.:35:43.

Government. What crumbs of comfort can he give to the people of my

:35:43.:35:48.

constituency we stop abusing elderly people and use them as

:35:48.:35:53.

marketplace commodities? There have been to contributions to

:35:53.:35:57.

this statement which really do conflict separate issues, we have a

:35:57.:36:01.

business that is in serious financial stress and is working its

:36:01.:36:05.

way through to be a viable business for the future and this is not

:36:05.:36:09.

about the abuse of all the people in these homes and we should not

:36:09.:36:13.

conflate in the way, that is not helpful to having a sensible debate

:36:13.:36:19.

and securing a sensible restructuring of this business.

:36:19.:36:25.

He is displaying complacency when it comes to this crisis. Like it

:36:25.:36:29.

will not this crisis is his responsibility and honourable

:36:29.:36:33.

members on both sides will be having surgeries this weekend and

:36:33.:36:37.

meeting the families of people who are very vulnerable living in these

:36:38.:36:41.

care homes and he has failed to give any guarantee about the future,

:36:41.:36:45.

he has not convinced the House of what lessons he has learned in

:36:45.:36:51.

short term, who can we phone, who will be the Department this weekend

:36:51.:36:55.

if there is a problem? In a statement I've made it clear

:36:55.:36:59.

that both the steps the Department of Health has taken working with

:36:59.:37:03.

landlords, working with some cross and others to make sure each party

:37:03.:37:07.

to this is clear about their responsibilities and clear about

:37:07.:37:11.

what actions they would take in the event of business closure. What I

:37:11.:37:16.

want to be clear about is that as we move forward we need to make

:37:16.:37:21.

sure that we learn lessons from this, lessons from this in the

:37:21.:37:25.

context of regulation, lessons about how this was allowed to occur

:37:25.:37:29.

in the first place the this is not the time for those, the focus I

:37:29.:37:33.

have as a minister was focused on this as an issue is making sure we

:37:33.:37:38.

have a successful restructuring of this business and the business

:37:38.:37:41.

remains focused on the welfare of the residents.

:37:41.:37:45.

I'm sorry to press the Minister again and I think he recognises

:37:45.:37:51.

that changes to care, even when well planned, have a serious impact

:37:51.:37:56.

on the health of residents in care homes. Can I ask him again, can he

:37:56.:38:01.

guarantee that if those commercial discussions fail, residence will be

:38:01.:38:04.

guaranteed to be continued to care for cash cared for in their

:38:04.:38:08.

existing homes? Who Government has made it clear in no circumstances

:38:08.:38:12.

will we allow the residents of any of these care homes to find

:38:12.:38:16.

themselves made homeless without good continuity of care and that is

:38:16.:38:22.

the pledge we make. Is not a real issue, how will he secured that?

:38:22.:38:27.

There is a real tension between care and commerce. It seems to me

:38:27.:38:31.

in the restructuring it could well affect areas disproportionately and

:38:31.:38:39.

we need to have something from the care quality commissioned measure

:38:39.:38:46.

members have a feedback and reports on how this is being dealt with.

:38:46.:38:51.

I have said one of the things I take very seriously is the need to

:38:51.:38:54.

keep the House informed as we progress on these matters. I'm

:38:54.:38:59.

clear that the paramount interest, the interest the regulator has a

:38:59.:39:04.

statutory duty to enforce is the welfare of the residents and that

:39:04.:39:07.

is what we're doing and will continue to do.

:39:08.:39:12.

I welcome the Mrs comment that every resident would be looked

:39:12.:39:17.

after, can he further reassure residents in my constituency that

:39:18.:39:25.

they will suffer no detriment as a result of this situation?

:39:25.:39:30.

What I can say is we need to make absolutely clear to the landlords

:39:30.:39:34.

and to the company that their actions do have consequences and

:39:35.:39:39.

that their actions us be focused on a speedy resolution to the way in

:39:39.:39:42.

which this business he's restructured that insures the

:39:42.:39:47.

business canned continue to employ good god is staff and insures it

:39:47.:39:52.

can continue to provide care for the 31,000 people who live in its

:39:52.:39:57.

homes. I heard the Minister say he had discussions with the devolved

:39:57.:40:01.

administration and could the say during the discussions with the

:40:01.:40:06.

Scottish counterparts, was he made aware of the real concerns of the

:40:06.:40:12.

conventions of Scottish Local authorities should there be a

:40:12.:40:15.

catastrophic issued they do not have the funding to deal with there

:40:15.:40:21.

consequences and what will he offer to -- for that respect? The most

:40:21.:40:27.

unlikely, by far of all of the outcomes of Southern Cross is that

:40:27.:40:32.

catastrophic outcome, the most likely outcome is the least

:40:32.:40:36.

successful -- the successful restructuring with business moved

:40:36.:40:41.

to other operators. When I spoke to Nicola Sturgeon earlier this week

:40:41.:40:45.

we discussed all of the issues that concern her and me and we were

:40:45.:40:50.

agreed about the need to pursue this path of a consensual, solvent

:40:50.:40:53.

restructuring of the business as the best way of securing the

:40:53.:40:57.

welfare of the residents in the homes.

:40:57.:41:02.

80% of the income for Southern Cross it comes from the taxpayer,

:41:02.:41:08.

yet the Thames seem to have been made to of shop as much of that

:41:08.:41:13.

money as possible. Age UK as in future all care home providers

:41:13.:41:16.

should demonstrate to the regulators they have a solid

:41:16.:41:21.

business model. In his answer to my friend from Wolverhampton, he

:41:21.:41:25.

implies there was no weight regulation can be strengthened,

:41:26.:41:30.

would he look sues the at the suggestion over the coming months.

:41:30.:41:38.

It does allow me to make the case age UK... We are in discussions

:41:38.:41:45.

with them and will continue to look at that. I understand that the

:41:45.:41:49.

Department of Health was invited to the meeting yesterday with Southern

:41:49.:41:55.

Cross and with that 1,000 people being vulnerable with the chance of

:41:55.:42:03.

losing their homes, why did no-one from Dublin attend? Meeting in his

:42:03.:42:06.

character changed significantly over the last couple of days to

:42:06.:42:09.

meeting which have focused on getting to a clear agreement

:42:09.:42:12.

between the lenders, landlords and Southern Cross and we wanted to

:42:12.:42:16.

make sure they were focused on doing that and that is why there

:42:16.:42:21.

was no DH represented at the meeting.

:42:21.:42:26.

Or the contributions be made have concentrated on the rights and

:42:26.:42:31.

plight of the residents and that is understandable, but we should think

:42:31.:42:37.

about the work force at Southern Cross. Yesterday I was into it for

:42:38.:42:42.

the local organising and he told me with the homes in Dundee, the work

:42:42.:42:46.

force are demoralised and that is not the best atmosphere in which to

:42:46.:42:50.

provide care. What has been said earlier, would the Minister

:42:50.:42:56.

consider setting up and in MPs helpline, a Claudia Lawrence said

:42:56.:43:00.

he would have families coming into the surgery and it would help if I

:43:01.:43:10.
:43:11.:43:11.

could contact someone? Two days ago I had a meeting our we will put

:43:11.:43:14.

right a range as to be made in event of those scenarios he talked

:43:14.:43:21.

about. I thank the Minister and colleagues, urgent question, Mr

:43:21.:43:26.

Andy Burnham. -- the Secretary of State for Education to make a

:43:27.:43:36.
:43:37.:43:37.

statement on funding for the academy programme. The errors

:43:37.:43:42.

reported in the Financial Times today relate to mistakes made by

:43:42.:43:46.

local authorities in their returns to the department. It relies on

:43:46.:43:52.

local authorities to provide accurate information about their

:43:52.:43:54.

spending and occasionally individual local authorities make

:43:54.:43:59.

errors which can lead to academies getting too much or indeed to

:43:59.:44:05.

little funding. The system for funding academies set up by the

:44:05.:44:11.

previous Government is unclear, unwieldy and in our view and fair.

:44:11.:44:15.

It is no surprise therefore that some errors do occur. This is why

:44:15.:44:20.

we are proposing changes to the school funding system to ensure all

:44:20.:44:24.

schools and academies are fully funded and three system without the

:44:24.:44:29.

complexities that lead to these types of problems. It is brought up

:44:29.:44:33.

of the right honourable gentleman to ask these questions and

:44:33.:44:37.

attacking us for failing for the system created by the previous

:44:37.:44:41.

Labour Government of which he was a part. We are the ones sorting it

:44:41.:44:49.

out just as we are sorting out the historic budget for deficit. Does

:44:49.:44:54.

he agree we should raise the bar on secondary schools from 35%

:44:54.:45:00.

achieving five good GCSEs and English and maths to 40% next year

:45:00.:45:04.

and does he agree that we should further raise it to 50% by the end

:45:04.:45:09.

of this Parliament. Does he agree with our announcement today... I do

:45:09.:45:13.

not why the opposition do not want to hear this, does he agree with

:45:13.:45:19.

our announcement today to extend the Academy's programme to

:45:19.:45:24.

underperforming Paris schools and in particular to the 200 worst

:45:24.:45:28.

performing primary schools many of which were in that state for a

:45:28.:45:37.

decade while his party was in When will they learn that they can

:45:37.:45:40.

never backed away the question and always blame at something --

:45:40.:45:46.

somebody else? Today's Financial Times says that his department has

:45:46.:45:50.

given a large number of academies in England more money than they are

:45:50.:45:55.

entitled to. This comes days after the Secretary of State caved in to

:45:55.:46:00.

a legal claim that too much money had been taken from councils to pay

:46:00.:46:04.

for academies. Does the Secretary of State and the Minister have a

:46:04.:46:10.

grip on the budget? Wary is the Secretary of State? This is a day

:46:10.:46:15.

on which serious questions are being asked about the rapid

:46:15.:46:18.

expansion of his Academy's programme and whether it is backed

:46:18.:46:27.

up with a serious plan. Why is he not here making that statement to

:46:27.:46:31.

the House of Commons? Shouldn't he be here to reassure members that he

:46:31.:46:37.

can proceed with his programme fairly and efficiently without

:46:37.:46:41.

penalising other schools? Will the Minister tell the House how many

:46:41.:46:45.

schools have been over funded and what is the total amount paid in

:46:45.:46:50.

error? Will this money now be clawed back from schools? It is not

:46:50.:46:57.

good enough to blame everybody else. When will he take responsibility

:46:57.:47:00.

for the budget of his own department? If they had not spotted

:47:00.:47:05.

this mistake before the F T reported it, why not? Under threat

:47:05.:47:10.

of legal action, the government has announced a U-turn on Academy

:47:10.:47:15.

funding. Can the Minister set out the details for that review and

:47:15.:47:19.

does he accept the need for urgency? Is indeed the case that

:47:19.:47:23.

the Secretary of State repeatedly finds himself in these situations

:47:23.:47:30.

because he fails to consult people? -- isn't it the case. The only way

:47:31.:47:36.

that people can make you listen to them is to launch her legal action.

:47:36.:47:41.

That is no way to run a department. We hear that he will pay the

:47:41.:47:47.

councils' legal costs. He has paid more money on solicitors' fees than

:47:47.:47:55.

Ryan Giggs and Fred Goodwin tomorrow. -- together. Isn't this a

:47:55.:48:05.
:48:05.:48:08.

scandalous waste when money is needed for children's education? He

:48:08.:48:12.

has been converted to Labour policies. We support raising

:48:12.:48:16.

standards in schools. It is the standards of the Secretary of State

:48:16.:48:23.

we are worried about. Maybe the plan necessary today was for poorly

:48:23.:48:28.

run government departments to be taken over by successful ones.

:48:28.:48:30.

Today the Secretary of State pathetically tried to blame Labour

:48:30.:48:37.

for his latest blunder. Isn't it time he took responsibility for his

:48:37.:48:44.

serial incompetence? Who yet again the honourable gentleman overstates

:48:44.:48:51.

his case. The Secretary of State is speaking in Birmingham to the

:48:51.:48:56.

national college as school leadership. I am sure his

:48:56.:49:00.

predecessors spoke to them every year. We are taking action to

:49:00.:49:09.

tackle these problems. They occur every year and they did so every

:49:09.:49:13.

year under the last Labour government. The difference is that

:49:13.:49:17.

we are taking action to sort out this problem and that is why we

:49:17.:49:22.

announced a fundamental review of the school funding system. We are

:49:22.:49:26.

making further announcements on the details of that review later this

:49:26.:49:32.

year. He also raised the issue of double funding, where central

:49:32.:49:36.

government is funding both the local authority and the Academy for

:49:36.:49:40.

the same services. This is something that occurred under the

:49:40.:49:49.

last Labour government and we are sorting it out. That is why the D C

:49:49.:49:54.

L G sliced money off the funding of local government to deal with that

:49:54.:50:02.

funding. We are looking about again. -- looking at that again. I would

:50:02.:50:08.

like to know whether the right honourable gentleman supports us in

:50:08.:50:17.

supporting a clearer and simpler system. We want a system that has a

:50:17.:50:21.

per pupil funding system that everybody can understand and that

:50:21.:50:28.

is fair. Rather than the system that his government had, where

:50:28.:50:35.

schools were receiving thousands of pounds more per pupil a than

:50:35.:50:44.

another school in a similar situation. Isn't it the case that

:50:45.:50:51.

the question is a smokescreen for those who opposed academies? We

:50:51.:50:57.

created more in 12 months than they created in 12 years. The last

:50:57.:51:02.

government left half-a-million children illiterate. They want to

:51:02.:51:11.

wallow in mediocrity rather than pursue excellent. -- excellence.

:51:11.:51:14.

is clear where the opposition stands in relation to free schools,

:51:14.:51:19.

for example. Since the election the right honourable gentleman has said

:51:19.:51:23.

he opposes the establishment of free schools but since the news

:51:23.:51:29.

broke that one of Tony Blair's closest aides is setting up his new

:51:29.:51:36.

school he has now said that he supports them. Does he support the

:51:36.:51:39.

academies programme or would he closed down those schools if he

:51:39.:51:46.

came to power? When I published the original policy paper 10 years ago

:51:46.:51:51.

on academies it was never intended that they should be overpaid and

:51:51.:51:55.

local authorities under paid for doing the job of supporting pupils.

:51:55.:52:03.

Can the Minister confirm that the 2.25 % that has been withdrawn from

:52:03.:52:08.

school funding general and the overspend on academies has denied

:52:09.:52:13.

other children the key services they need to raise standards and

:52:13.:52:19.

give them a life chance that all of us should want for every child?

:52:19.:52:23.

think it is a rich when former Education Secretary is attack us

:52:23.:52:27.

for this policy because this is a system that this government

:52:27.:52:32.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS