Following the latest delay to the social care green paper, a campaigner for the introduction of an adult social care voucher scheme is calling on backbench MPs to put pressure on the government to prioritise the social care green paper.

John Woodward OBE, one of the driving forces behind the introduction of childcare vouchers in 2005, is campaigning for a similar scheme to end the adult social care crisis.

Pioneer of the Childcare Voucher Scheme used by more than 600,000 people, John is calling on backbench MPs to pressure the government into finally making clear its proposals on adult social care reform. The social care green paper, previously due aſter the Easter recess, has since been delayed to a summer spending review - which itself may be delayed until the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal has passed.

Mr Woodward believes the only way leſt to get social care back on the agenda is for backbench MPs and the opposition to wield the same power they have over the Government’s Brexit deal towards social care.

John Woodward said: “The only item on the government’s list is Brexit, because MPs have made their voices heard on this


CHEF OF THE YEAR The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has crowned Martin McKee, of The Hawthorns, Aldridge, the NACC Care Chef of the Year 2019, following a closely-fought national final.

Stratford-upon-Avon College provided a new venue for the final of the prestigious culinary competition on Wednesday 5th


The finalists showcased their culinary skills under the judges’ expert eyes in front of a purpose-built viewing gallery where the audience of supporters and industry colleagues watched.

The standard of competition was incredibly high, but Martin stood out to take the coveted title with his excellent menu of pan roast cod, fondant potatoes, garden peas and vegetables with sauce vierge. Martin’s offering was topped off with a dessert of white chocolate, lemon and thyme mousse, rosemary shortbread with sherbet and raspberry.

The judges were impressed by Martin’s all-round approach, from his knowledge to the excellent results achieved.

Martin McKee said on winning: “I’m speechless! I’m absolutely - 8 -

important issue. If MPs choose to wield their considerable strength against a minority government on this equally important issue, our social care system could be on a much more sustainable footing by now.

“Just as Brexit led to MPs collaborating on a cross-party basis to force the government to bring forward meaningful votes and economic projections, MPs have the power to do the same and force the government to bring forward desperately needed proposals on social care.”

Mr Woodward’s proposals, backed by Care England, would deliver more money for the social care system without requiring excessive tax rises. Based on the Childcare Voucher Scheme, Adult Social Care vouchers would offer a tried-and- tested way of delivering more money for the system that can be supported by MPs across the political spectrum.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Brexit or no Brexit, social care needs and deserves the attention of Parliament. For too long, it has been the poor relation to the NHS which is very short-sighted. Health and social care need to be integrated properly and funding solutions put into place.”

The scheme should form part of a mixed policy response and does not aim to provide a one-size-fits all solution to the social care crisis. Adult social care vouchers would instead allow eligible taxpayers to sacrifice a portion of their salary to fund either their own or a dependant adult’s care, giving families freedom and flexibility, while reducing the burden on the taxpayer.

honoured to have won; it has been four years in the making.”

Tim Ware of Green Tree Court, Exeter, took second place, with Carl Weston of Cuffley Manor Care Home, Potters Bar, taking third place.

Martin McKee was also awarded Highly Commended Main and Graham Watson of Lauder Lodge, Edinburgh, took the certificate for Highly Commended Dessert.

Neel Radia, the NACC’s National Chair, said: “What an amazing NACC Care Chef of the Year national final we’ve just experienced! Huge congratulations to Martin McKee from The Hawthorns on taking the title. It was a closely-fought competition with the standards higher than ever. All the finalists did an excellent job and they should be very proud of themselves.”

The NACC Care Chef of the Year competition, which is proudly supported by the main sponsor Premier Foods and the Worshipful Company of Cooks, recognises the excellence of chefs working in the care sector.

The competition challenges entrants to create a two-course menu (main and dessert) that is suitable for service users in a care setting. The combined food cost for both courses should be no more than £2.25 per head and it must be nutritionally balanced. The menu must also incorporate one of the listed Premier Foods products and be produced in just 90 minutes.

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