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Banning Conversion Therapy: City MP responds

In recent days a number of constituents have contacted me about their views on conversion therapy.

I am deeply concerned about the Government’s broken promises on this and similar issues and have long been a supporter of banning conversion therapy.

I am committed to ensuring LGBT+ people can live in safety and dignity. I believe all forms of conversion therapy must be banned as a matter of urgency. They are exploitative and damaging.

Last year, I wrote to the Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss MP, urging her to ensure a ban on conversion therapy.

I underlined that if we must eradicate this insidious form of homophobic, bi-phobic, transphobic and acephobic abuse, we need a legislative ban to make conversion therapy illegal.

What we saw last week was the actions of a rudderless government. First we saw the government u-turn on its promise to ban conversion therapy. Then hours later, it said it would, but not for transgender conversion therapies. Now, the government’s LGBT+ business champion has resigned over the decision not to ban conversion therapy for transgender people.

But while it is expected the government will announce a ban on gay conversion therapy in the Queen’s Speech, there will not be one for trans conversion therapy.

This is not only wholly unacceptable, but government has offered no clear explanation for why it’s gone back on its original position. It is yet another betrayal by Ministers of an already marginalised group that they have left behind.

However, I am also very concerned that it has already taken more than three years to even get to this point, and unfortunately the proposals are far from comprehensive.

Loopholes appear to leave the door ajar for people to ‘consent’ to conversion therapy on religious grounds. This is unacceptable. Government must divert its energies to listening to survivors of these harmful practices and the wider LGBT+ community, not those wishing to allow conversion therapy to continue.

I believe that it is high time that legislation is introduced, such as protection orders for people who are vulnerable to pressure to suppress, deny or forcibly change their sexuality or gender identity.

There is a broad consensus from faith leaders across the diversity of faith communities in the UK that conversion therapy is abuse and in December 2020, a significant cross-faith conference of leaders supported a ban on conversion therapy.

I am aware that the Government is seeking to launch a phone helpline for victims of conversion therapy. However, overall the Government has made very slow progress. For instance, it is still yet to confirm whether it will be going ahead with its LGBT Action Plan.

Please be assured that I will continue to do what I can to hold the Government to account on its commitments and to ensure the LGBT+ community can live their lives with equality, dignity and respect.

Stephen Morgan MP

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Portsmouth MP calls for Health and Care Heroes for NHS Awards as deadline looms

Stephen Morgan MP is calling for nominees to enter the official NHS Parliamentary Awards in recognition of staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Nominations close midnight, Thursday 14 April.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards offer a chance to celebrate NHS staff, carers and volunteers for all the hard work they do to look after our loved ones when they are at their most vulnerable.

The City MP is now searching for outstanding nominees for the 2022 Awards who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how the health and care system provides care for patients.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“The NHS is one of the nation’s most loved institutions and hardworking NHS staff make it what it is today. 

“The stories I hear from local health services make me incredibly proud of the fact that Portsmouth contains people willing to provide such fantastic care to our most vulnerable residents. NHS staff, volunteers and carers make a true difference to the lives of their patients, and I want to recognise those individuals and teams at this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards. 

“I want to hear from you about any outstanding care you have received in the last year so that I can nominate our local heroes for these awards. There’s still time to nominate, so please do send your suggestions to my office via email.”

For more information on how to nominate and the criteria for each category, visit: www.nhsparliamentaryawards.co.uk

Suggestions for nominations can be sent to Stephen Morgan MP’s office via: stephen.morgan.mp@parliament.uk

Professor Stephen Powis, chair of the judging panel and NHS National Medical Director, said:

“Throughout the NHS’s history there are examples of how staff and volunteers have contributed to making the health service the greatest care team in the world. 

“The NHS Parliamentary Awards are a unique opportunity for MPs to highlight the amazing work done by NHS staff in their local areas, and I look forward to working with all of the judges to review the nominations we receive.” 

This year there are 10 award categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rising Star Award and, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Covid Response Award.

The Parliamentary Awards 2022 launched on 2 March 2022, and all those who make the national shortlist will be invited to an award ceremony in Westminster to celebrate their fantastic achievements.

The Portsmouth MP is calling for potential nominations in the following categories:

 

  • The Excellence in Healthcare: This award recognises individuals or teams who go above and beyond to improve outcomes and experiences for patients living with and beyond major health conditions or work to prevent them.

 

  • The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award: To the individual or team that has worked across organisational boundaries to develop new and effective services to help people living with mental health problems in their community.

 

  • The COVID Response Award: The brand new COVID Response Award is for any individual or team who have met the challenges of the pandemic with creativity and innovation to provide the best care possible for their patients.

 

  • The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: To the individual or team that has made improvements to how the NHS treats people in life or death situations.
  • The Excellence in Primary Care and Community Care Award: As the needs of patients and the wider NHS evolves, so does the role of these professionals, and this award seeks to recognise practitioners and teams in primary or community care that are working with patients to help them stay healthy and avoid long stays in hospital or being admitted in the first place.

 

  • The Future NHS Award: This award seeks to highlight individuals, teams and organisations that are successfully embracing the opportunities that come from advances in medical technology, data, and connectivity.

 

  • The Health Equalities Award: This award is for an individual or organisation that has helped the NHS to do its bit by bringing together different groups and organisations to reduce health inequalities and prevent ill health in different communities.

 

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Award: This award is for any nurse or midwife, that has used their skills to ensure that patients experience care and compassion. This award is also open to any one of the thousands of student midwives, nurses, AHPs and medical students who started their careers early to support the NHS’ response to coronavirus.

 

  • The NHS Rising Star Award: This award looks to celebrate younger members of staff, volunteers or members of the public who give up their time, lend their experiences and deliver better services for themselves and others in their area.

 

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is for an individual who has worked within a health or care setting for 40 years or more who has left a legacy.
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Portsmouth MP pushes for John Pounds Medical Centre to reopen

Local residents, Labour councillors and Stephen Morgan MP have united to lobby for the John Pounds Medical Centre to reopen, following its closure in July 2020.

Lake Road Practice, which John Pounds Medical Centre merged with, said at the time, ‘“With Covid-19 affecting us all this year” the GP service site would temporarily close, with a view “to restarting clinics at John Pounds as soon as we can offer a suitable Covid secure service.”

However, despite covid cases now lowering and local vaccination rates higher, the GP service has still not reopened.

The Portsmouth MP has written to Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) raising concerns his constituents have shared with him on this issue, and on the level of access to alternative GP services in the Portsea area.

Many local residents are either vulnerable or disabled, but have said they are now faced with little choice but to walk up to 30 minutes longer to access the medical attention they need at Lake Road GP practice.

The City MP’s constituents have also said that alternative forms of local transport for this route are either unreliable or expensive.

It comes as the local Labour team, led by Cllr Kirsty Mellor, helped to collect signatures for a petition residents have produced, calling for the John Pounds Medical Centre to reopen.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“The John Pounds Medical Centre is vital for people in Portsea to get easy access to the healthcare they need. While it remains closed with no clear explanation for it being so, residents who depend on it face unneeded uncertainty and anxiety.

“That’s why I have written to decision-makers to clarify reasons why John Pounds Medical Centre remains closed and when we can expect it to reopen.

“Local Labour councillors have been doing important work alongside the community on this, and I am grateful for the petition local residents have produced. Our NHS has been left creaking at the seams by Ministers in Whitehall and urgent intervention is needed to bring down local waiting times across our city.

“I will continue to make the case in Parliament for the action and support that’s required to secure the health and social care services our city deserves.”

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NHS waiting list at Portsmouth Hospitals University Hospitals NHS Trust reaching over 45,000 ‘deeply concerning’, says City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has said that the latest figures from the NHS that show that at the end of December 2021, there were 45,397 people on the waiting list at Portsmouth Hospitals University Hospitals NHS Trust is ‘seriously concerning.

At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of Tory government, there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, then a record high.

Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, 1 in every 9 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

The NHS went into the latest wave of Covid infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched.

The Conservative Government published its elective care recovery plan for the NHS this week, but failed to set out how it would address the workforce shortages the NHS is facing. The plan set the Government’s ambition as beginning to reduce waiting lists in 2024.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said: 

“These new figures are deeply concerning. People in Portsmouth are being forced to wait months and even years for treatment, often in pain and discomfort. Now the Government is telling them that, despite hiking up their national insurance, they will continue waiting longer for years to come.

“It is clear that the longer we give the Tories, the longer patients will wait.

“Our local health care staff worked heroically throughout the pandemic, but they have been stretched like never before.

“Government provide the staff and support Portsmouth Hospitals University Hospitals NHS Trust needs to get patients the quality care they deserve, when they need it.

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“Record numbers of people are waiting for care and they are waiting longer than ever before, often in pain and distress.

“After a decade of Tory mismanagement, the NHS went into the pandemic with record waiting lists and staff shortages of 100,000. It’s not just that the Tories didn’t fix the roof when the sun was shining, they dismantled the roof and removed the floorboards.

“The Conservatives are so incompetent they’ve come up with a plan that sees patients paying more in tax but waiting longer for care.

“The last Labour government reduced waiting times from 18 months to 18 weeks. The next Labour government will secure the future of our NHS, providing the staff it needs to treat patients on time.”

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Children’s Mental Health Week: City MP pays tribute to ‘fantastic’ local charity for young people

Stephen Morgan MP has paid tribute to local charity ‘Off the Record’, which provides counselling services for 11–16-year-olds in Portsmouth, as the city marks Children’s Mental Health Week.

Children’s Mental Health Week aims to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health, with this year’s focus on ‘growing together’.

Off the Record (OTR) offers 1 Clinical Intake Assessment plus 6 weekly 1-2-1 counselling sessions, which are delivered via a choice of face-to-face in person at the OTR centre in Leigh Park, or online via Zoom or over the phone. While on the waiting list young people receive weekly check-in calls from its teams of volunteer support workers.

However, according to the latest Children’s Commissioner report, children’s access to specialist NHS mental health services in England remains a ‘postcode lottery’, with huge differences in spending and referrals depending on where families happen to live.

State of Child Health has also said that in England, a quarter of 11–16-year-olds, and nearly half of 17–19-year-olds, with a mental disorder have self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point in their short lives.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Off the Record is doing a tremendous job for our city in providing services that are desperately needed locally. I’m hugely grateful for their efforts and pleased to be able to see first-hand how they are developing services in our city again, as we mark Children’s Mental Health Week.

“But across the country, it is a postcode lottery when it comes to children’s mental health services and many areas are not fortunate enough to have places like Off the Record that help to paper over the cracks.

“Urgent intervention is needed. Labour’s plan will have a counsellor in every school, create mental health access hubs in our communities, and recruit 8,500 new mental health staff. I continue to fight in Westminster for the mental services our next generation deserves.”

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City MP blasts government mismanagement of NHS as waiting list nears 45,000 patients

The latest figures from the NHS show that at the end of October 2021, there were 44,834 people on the waiting list at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. 1,533 people had been waiting for more than a year for an appointment.

In March 2020, at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, there were 4,235,970 people on the NHS waiting list in England, a then record high. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, over 1 in 10 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan criticised the government’s mismanagement of the health service.

Ministers have no plan to deal with the chronic shortage of GPs, doctors, nurses and social care staff, and has not set clear targets to reduce waiting lists and waiting times.

Hospitals around the country are reporting unsustainable pressure and an inability to provide high quality care.

In September, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s medical director Dr John Knighton told city councillors that demand was “outstripping capacity”. With bed occupancy at 99% he warned elective care would be “inevitably compromised”.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: 

“People in Portsmouth are being forced to wait months and even years for treatment, often in pain and discomfort. It is unacceptable and will have appalling consequences for patients.

“Our local health care staff have been heroes in our community throughout the pandemic. But they are stretched like never before after a decade of Conservative mismanagement

“The Government must give us the staff and support our City needs to get through this winter and to get patients seen on time.”

 Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“One in every ten people in England are on NHS waiting lists today and the situation is set to get even worse, despite the Tories’ unfair tax rises on working people. Under the Tories we’re paying more and getting less.

“The NHS went into the pandemic with waiting lists at record levels, staff shortages of 100,000 in the health service and 112,000 social care vacancies thanks to a decade of Conservative mismanagement.

“We need a plan to address the staffing shortages in health and social care service, to ensure the timely and quality care that patients deserve.”

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Covid measures: Q&A

This week Parliament voted on a number of measures as it becomes increasingly clear that Omicron is a threat and that government must act swiftly to limit its spread.

Labour wants to ensure that everyone can enjoy Christmas safely this year, and also want to make sure we do all we can to protect the NHS – which has been suffering a staffing shortage and record waiting lists since before the pandemic hit.

In recent weeks Stephen has received lots of emails and letters from constituents who are angry about the revelations regarding Downing Street parties last Christmas. Stephen shares that anger, but would not want to let that get in the way of doing the right thing now in the national interest and to protect lives.

We set out here some of the key measures and a Q&A on Labour’s and Stephen’s views:

Covid passes

Many of the emails received in recent days refer to ‘vaccination passports’ as if we will all be required to show that we have been vaccinated. It is important to understand that this is not what was being proposed this week, nor something put to MPs to vote on.

The vote was on ‘Covid passes’ where we will have to show either vaccination status or proof of a negative lateral flow test in order to gain entry to large venues or mass gatherings where there is a greater risk because because of the number of people attending. This includes nightclubs, indoor events of more than 500 people, outdoor settings with more than 4,000 people, like music festivals, and all settings with more than 10,000 attendees, like football stadiums. A vaccination passport to access essential services is something very different and Stephen remains opposed to these.

During the summer not everyone had been offered a second jab, and with the local economy reopening it would have been wrong to create a two-tier society by imposing these checks. But Omicron is a new threat on top of the existing variants of the Covid, and we need to act swiftly to limit its spread. Throughout the pandemic, as the opposition, Labour has always put public health before party politics, and they will continue to do so. That’s why they supported the measures on their merits.

The ‘covid pass’ system is similar to one that has been operating in Wales for some time, people travelling abroad have long got used to showing a negative test result and many other venues have been asking for proof of a negative test result on a voluntary basis.

Stephen is aware that a vaccine status alone does not prove that an individual is not carrying the virus. That’s why Labour called on the Government to include the option of a negative lateral flow test as an alternative to proof of vaccination status and we are glad that Ministers have listened.

Vaccination passports

Stephen remains clear that vaccination passports should never be used to bar people from essential services. This would be discriminatory and Stephen opposes these. At the time of writing, the Government has not brought forward measures to introduce this, and Labour will not support any future attempt to do so.

Getting the vaccine

Stephen recognises that some people are very strongly opposed to getting vaccinated but it is not right to suggest that what was proposed this week in Parliament will somehow force people to do so.

He voted for measures because presenting evidence that you don’t have the virus is not unreasonable given the threat from the Omicron variant. These are sensible and measured steps to help reduce the spread of the virus, but must be used in conjunction with other public health measures like vaccines and testing.

More broadly, it remains really important that all of those who are eligible get their vaccines and booster jabs when possible. Vaccination remains the most important thing we have available to us in the fight against the pandemic. The evidence is now clear that it helps to reduce severe infection and death, and we have an obligation to each other to provide the maximum protection against the virus.

Getting the booster

With preliminary evidence suggesting that two vaccinations alone provide less protection against the new Omicron variant, it’s absolutely vital that the rollout of the booster is accelerated and we all take up our opportunities when we are called.

Now more than ever, the choices we make ourselves have an impact on the health of those in our community. Those who remain unvaccinated are at a much higher risk of serious illness and death, which in turn will mean more pressure on local hospital beds and on NHS staff, and an adverse effect on other patients waiting for tests or treatments for things like cancer.

Q&A

Do you support the call for everyone to work from home?

  • Labour has always said workers should flexibility to work from home should they choose to.
  • The scientific evidence suggests people should from home where they can and we support this.

Will you support requiring use of the Covid NHS app to enter certain settings?

  • Labour called on the government to include an option to present a negative test as an alternation to vaccination status, and to ensure the app isn’t required for access to essential services.
  • They have given us those assurances this week, so we don’t oppose this.

Will you vote for further restrictions if the Government introduce them?

  • Labour has always supported measures that have been necessary to keep people safe, and we won’t alter that approach.
  • But we urge the government to urgently boost the booster programme as this is the best way to ensure people can enjoy Christmas safely this year.

Is it time for mandatory vaccinations to be introduced, as they are being in Europe?

  • Labour think the best approach is to persuade the general public of the need and safety of vaccines. The arguments in favour of getting the vaccine are overwhelming strong.
  • So Stephen is urging everyone who hasn’t yet received their first, second or third dose if they’re eligible to get vaccinated, protect themselves and protect their loved ones this Christmas.

You’ve previously said Covid status certification (“vaccination passports”) are discriminatory. Is this still the case?

  • Labour has always said that that the use of Covid vaccination status alone would be costly and impractical, and discriminatory. Being double jabbed doesn’t prove you aren’t carrying the virus.
  • That’s why Labour called on the government to include an option to present a negative test as an alternative to vaccination status, which is what was used at Labour Party conference. The Government has listened to Labour’s call, so we don’t oppose this.
  • We remain opposed to the use of covid status certification (vaccination passports) for access to essential services.
  • There are other measures that can be used to keep people safe in these settings, such as mask wearing and ventilation, and Covid Passes described above, which Stephen has supported for mass gatherings (500+ people) and for nightclubs.

What would Labour do differently on economic support?

  • Labour wants a common-sense approach that helps get businesses through the next few months. No one wants to see businesses go under after they have worked so hard to get through the last year
  • Businesses are telling us they need clarity from the Government, the Government must not return to last minute decisions and vague guidance
  • The Government must get a grip of the situation to protect our health, our economy and our jobs. That means doubling down on vaccinations and ventilation, and improving sick pay.

Should there be further border restrictions?

  • The lesson from the first wave and the Delta wave is that the pandemic accelerates steeply when there are lots of separate new cases being seeded from abroad. That’s why it is so important to act fast by introducing tests and adding countries to the red list when needed.
  • The government should have listened to Labour when we called for pre-departure tests much sooner. It is vital the government acts much faster to stop the spread of dangerous variants from entering the UK. Unfortunately, the variant is now spreading within the UK.

What are you calling for on global vaccination?

  • The Government must release and ship any excess vaccines that aren’t needed for our vaccination programme. We will keep seeing new variants like Omicron developing until all the world is vaccinated.

 

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Open windows not an answer in winter, Labour warns, as Government’s ventilation failure creates further education disruption

Labour has warned that the Government’s failure to get ventilation measures in place is pushing schools to open windows despite plummeting temperatures and causing energy bills to rocket.

On a visit to a school in Greenwich, Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s new Shadow Schools Minister said: “Twelve months on from the Government taking Greenwich to court over keeping kids safe in class, the Government still has no plan on ventilation. This is literally a problem that Ministers should have fixed when the sun was shining.”

Sage first highlighted the importance of ventilation in schools in May 2020, but 19 months on the Government has failed to act on their advice. Pilot trials of air purifiers in classrooms will not deliver a final report until October 2022, nearly three years after the start of the pandemic.

The absence of national leadership has left schools in England trailing behind international counterparts on Covid mitigations, with New York installing 100,000 air purifier systems in classrooms and Germany spending €200m on mobile air filters to help keep schools Covid secure.

Labour analysis of figures from the House of Commons Library has revealed that increases in electricity and gas prices could send school energy costs soaring by up to £80 million, without accounting for open windows.

Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said:

“It is outrageous that because of the Government’s incompetence schools are being left with no option but to open windows as temperatures plummet and heating bills rise just to get adequate ventilation. Schools and local authorities are working incredibly hard to support children, but the government is again treating them as an afterthought.

“The Government should have had a proper plan in place to stop a third year of Covid disruption to education but their chaotic, last-minute approach is leaving children bearing the brunt of the pandemic once again.

“It is already cold. In a month’s time it will be colder. Ministers must get ahead of this virus now and put in place the ventilation systems which Labour, teachers and parents have been calling for many months. Schools are having to spend money on energy bills which they should be spending on our children.”

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World Aids Day: Government must step up support for local sexual health clinics to achieve 2030 ambition – City MP

Stephen Morgan MP has said government must ‘step up’ support for local sexual health clinics to achieve the government’s commitment to end new UK HIV transmissions by 2030, a pledge matched by Labour.

This year marks 40 years since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the UK, which has taken thousands of lives.
The government is expected to publish its action plan to achieve its objective later this month.

However, advances in technology and medicine like HIV prevention drug PrEP have made significant strides in achieving the government’s ambition of no new HIV cases by 2030.

The HIV treatment drug means more than 9 in 10 people living with HIV cannot pass the virus on. Despite this, thousands of people are diagnosed but not on successful HIV treatment due to a lack of local support.

Recent independent analysis, verified by the House of Commons Library, has found that the £3.85m drop in public health funding for Portsmouth over the last five years equates to a real-terms cut of 17.5 per cent, or minus £20 per person in real-terms.

In 2021/22, the public health team (like all other public health teams in England) also took on responsibility for costs associated with the provision of the anti-HIV drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and services related to it, including sexual health.

For World Aids Day 2021, leading HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust is focusing the importance of HIV testing.

THT has also said testing is ‘key’ to ending HIV transmissions. More people are accessing HIV testing to find out their status and in new ways. But online testing is still not available all year round in every area, and over half a million people a year leave sexual health clinics not having had a HIV test, disproportionately women and black people.

Earlier this week, the Portsmouth MP met with local campaigners and pledged to continue to lobby government for improvements in access to local sexual health services and for better support for people living with HIV.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“40 years on from the beginning of this terrible epidemic, our country has made huge strides to tackle the harms of HIV, including drugs like PrEP which is now available on NHS.

“The ambition for no new HIV cases by 2030 is the right one, but we have a long way to go if we are to make it a reality, and testing will play a key role in doing so.

“That means government has got to properly fund community sexual health clinics with the support they need to boost HIV testing rates in communities, end the postcode lottery for treatment and stop UK HIV transmissions by 2030.”

The Portsmouth MP is set to meet and visit with local commissioners and sexual health providers in the new year to better understand local challenges and issues, including on HIV testing, following his roundtable this week.

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Portsmouth MP votes against government ‘con’ to fix social care crisis

Stephen Morgan MP has voted against the government’s ‘backward’ proposals to fix the social care crisis.
The government is proposing a £86,000 cap in personal care costs in its Health and Care Bill.
However, in new details published last week, government said support payments from councils will not count towards the cap, with charities warning the move would unfairly hit the poorest.
Labour’s Shadow Social Care Minister, Liz Kendall MP, also said that the £86,000 cap “would still mean many people will have to sell their homes to pay for their care – against everything Boris Johnson promised.”
Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, also pointed out the plan could “double your care costs” for someone who has about £90,000 in assets.
According to the Health Foundation, the government’s changes to the Bill “will no longer protect those with lower assets from catastrophic costs.”
The charity said that under “the current system people can lose all but £14,250 of their assets. For someone with £100k this represents 86% of their wealth. Under the Care Act, this would be reduced to 43%.  But under the Government’s proposals the maximum loss would be £80k – 80% of their assets”.
The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“This is a care con, not a care plan.
“We already knew most people won’t hit the cap because it doesn’t cover board and lodging in care homes, but now it has been revealed that the poorest pensioners will have to pay even more.
“Ministers have slipped out a significant change that means if you live in a £1m house, perhaps in the Home Counties, 90% of your assets will be protected.
“But if you need social care and live in an £90,000 in home in Hartlepool or even Portsmouth, your care costs could be doubled under new government proposals. That is not fair.
“That’s why I voted last night to reject these proposals and continue to press Ministers for a fairer option.”

Mr Morgan recently held roundtables with local care users and providers to better understand local issues and concerns, has asked a range of parliamentary questions on the issue and lobbied the Health Secretary on challenges the sector faces.