John Spellar

Labour MP for Warley

Latest News

On Wednesday 23rd May, Sandwell MP John Spellar joined over 90 other Members of Parliament at an Alzheimer’s Society event to launch their new report, Dementia – the true cost as part of their Fix Dementia Care campaign.

 

This Dementia Action Week (21-27 May) Alzheimer’s Society is asking the general public to take small actions that can have a big impact on the lives of people with dementia. MPs were asked to take action by attending an event in Westminster to learn more about how they can support Alzheimer’s Society’s work to fix dementia care.

 

With no drugs to cure or slow down dementia, it’s social care not the NHS that people with dementia rely on every day. In the UK, three fifths of people using homecare and 70% of people in care homes live with dementia. Dementia is among the most complex conditions that the social care system has to support, yet too many people with the condition are struggling to access good quality care at a fair price.

 

Alzheimer’s Society has been campaigning to fix dementia care to ensure that everyone with dementia receives good quality care when they need it. Their new report, Dementia – the true cost, highlights the far-reaching impact of the broken social care system on people with dementia.

 

The report, based on testimony and evidence from people affected by dementia, social care professionals and dementia lead nurses, also outlines urgent areas for Government to address in its upcoming Green Paper on social care reform. 

 

John Spellar MP MP commented: ‘I am proud this Dementia Action Week to have united with people with dementia to fix dementia care. One million people will have dementia by 2021 and it is vital that we are able to deliver high quality social care to everyone that needs it, and at a fair price.’

 

Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said: ‘It is fantastic to see MPs from across parliament uniting with us to champion the voices of people with dementia, and call for reform of our broken social care system.

 

“This Dementia Action Week, as we’re asking everyone across the UK to take actions big or small to help people with dementia, it’s brilliant to see positive action from people and we’re looking forward to working with John Spellar MP to respond to the public demand for change. Our Fix Dementia Care campaign has exposed the poor quality care that people with dementia are currently receiving, and this must end now.”

 

Earlier in Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society delivered Dementia Friends sessions to both the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet. Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia ad turn that understanding into actions. Alzheimer’s Society welcomed the leadership shown by both parties, and look forward to working with them to take action to fix the social care system for people with dementia.

 

Dementia is the biggest health and social challenge we face. With one person diagnosed with dementia every three minutes in the UK, almost everyone knows someone affected but too many people face the condition alone, without adequate support. While much progress has been made to becoming a dementia friendly UK, including 2.4 million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends trained globally and over 350 dementia friendly communities across the UK, people with dementia tell us that more urgently needs to be done. 

 

People affected by dementia highlighted the small actions that would have a big impact on their lives and enabling them to live the lives they choose, such as continuing to invite people with dementia out and making sure you listen and include them in conversations.


Alzheimer’s Society is asking everyone to take these this week:

  • Talk to me. Don’t be worried about talking to me. I’m still me.
  • Listen to me. Take time to listen and involve me in the conversation. I can still teach you a thing or two.
  • Include me. Keep on inviting me out. Friends still mean the world to me.
  • Ask if I need help. If I seem confused, ask if I need help. These little things help me stay independent.
  • Be patient. Be patient with me and I’ll show you how I can still do things. It just might take me longer than it used to.
  • Ask me about my dementia. Don’t be afraid to ask me questions. When you take the time to understand my dementia, I know there’s someone on my side.
  • Help my carer too. Support my partner and others who care for me. My dementia affects them too.

 

Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia. For information and support, call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit alzheimers.org.uk.

Sandwell MP joins Alzheimer’s Society campaign to Fix Dementia Care

On Wednesday 23rd May, Sandwell MP John Spellar joined over 90 other Members of Parliament at an Alzheimer’s Society event to launch their new report, Dementia – the true cost...

At a debate in Westminster yesterday, Black Country MP John Spellar defended the bus pass scheme and called on the Government not to take “any action to change the availability of bus passes for pensioners.”

In the debate, Mr Spellar highlighted the health benefits of the bus pass scheme in keeping many pensioners active. Saying that, “There are lots of studies ​now on the impact of loneliness on older people. This scheme helps to get people out and about, and maintains their health for much longer.”

 

ENDS

HANSARD:
John Spellar (Warley) (Lab)

Surely a proper cost-benefit analysis ought to be part of that assessment. In many rural areas, the benefit is that people in smaller, local towns can access services. Most significantly, the benefit is to the health budget, by keeping so many of our pensioners active and engaged. There are lots of studies now on the impact of loneliness on older people. This scheme helps to get people out and about, and maintains their health for much longer.

John Spellar

 

Just before my hon. Friend moves on, I want to make a point that may lead on to the next part of his speech. Does he share my concern about the Resolution Foundation’s report today that calls for increased taxes and charges on pensioners? It once again raises the concern that many pensioners have that their use of or access to bus passes will be rationed or restricted. I hope he would say that that certainly should not happen, and perhaps give the Minister an opportunity to make it clear on behalf of the Government that they will definitely not be taking any action to change the availability of bus passes for pensioners.

John Spellar MP calls on Government to protect pensioner bus passes

At a debate in Westminster yesterday, Black Country MP John Spellar defended the bus pass scheme and called on the Government not to take “any action to change the availability...

At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Prime Minister Theresa May “get a grip” and ensure construction restarts on the 2/3 completed Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Spellar attacked the Government’s “endless dithering” – noting that most recently he had raised the halt of construction at the Hospital site with the Prime Minister six weeks ago at Prime Minister’s Questions on 28 February, following the collapse of Carillion.

Spellar added: “I have to ask the PM to get a grip of her ministers and officials and get a decision, get a deal and get this hospital built! Will she do that?”

ENDS
Notes to Editors

Video of the exchange: https://www.facebook.com/johnspellar/videos/2054188021290558/

Full transcript of the exchange:

John Spellar: Thank you Mr Speaker. Three months ago following the Carillion collapse, building work stopped on the 2/3 finished Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick. On 28 February I raised this with the Prime Minister and she assured me that: "the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Improvement are working with the trust and the Private Finance Initiative company so that work can recommence as soon as possible.” Six weeks later, after endless dithering from those bodies, I have to ask the PM to get a grip of her ministers and officials and get a decision, get a deal and get this hospital built! Will she do that?

Prime Minister: I'm aware that he raised this issue with me before. He may know that the contract between the Trust and the PFI company is still in place. So the PFI company is contractually obliged to manage the project and find another subcontractor who can continue to deliver the building work and the services. As the Rt. Hon. Gentleman may know, even before the issue arose with Carillion, there were some delays taking place to this particular project. The Department for Health and Social Care is working actively on it, but my Rt. Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is doing so and he's also been in discussions with the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street who has also been in discussion with the Trust. We recognise the level of concern that is being raised on this issue and we are working to resolve it.

“Get this Hospital Built!” Spellar tells Prime Minister

At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Prime Minister Theresa May “get a grip” and ensure construction restarts on the 2/3 completed Midland Metropolitan...

Yesterday in Parliament, Black Country MP John Spellar renewed his attack on the Government over the possible award of the contract for new blue passports to a French firm, instead of a De La Rue based in Gateshead.

He said the Government was stuck in the “the fantasy land of free trade” and should instead come back “to the real world where countries look after their own industry and their own workers”.

John Spellar later commented: “This Government’s record on supporting British industry and jobs is shambolic.”

“They repeatedly refused to support British firms and jobs bidding for Government contracts – preferring to allow jobs to go to foreign companies.”

“People in the Black Country and across the country voted to take back control, they did not vote for a ‘jobs-abroad’ Brexit.”

“Theresa May should perform yet another u-turn and ensure the new passports are made in the UK.”

John Spellar MP attacks Government for not looking “after their own industry and their own workers”

Yesterday in Parliament, Black Country MP John Spellar renewed his attack on the Government over the possible award of the contract for new blue passports to a French firm, instead...

A Government minister has revealed that despite compulsory microchipping of dogs becoming law in April 2016 there had been no prosecutions that year.

Black Country MP John Spellar said: “Unregistered dogs are a real problem on the streets of the West Midlands. Parliament has provided the powers to enforce the law, West Midlands Police and local councils should be using them to crack down on the minority of antisocial dog owners who cause problems for local communities.”

John Spellar MP calls on authorities to crack down on antisocial dog owners

A Government minister has revealed that despite compulsory microchipping of dogs becoming law in April 2016 there had been no prosecutions that year.Black Country MP John Spellar said: “Unregistered dogs...

At Home Office questions today Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Government to ensure any final Brexit deal includes an end to freedom of movement, while protecting the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK.

Mr Spellar later commented: “Sandwell Borough voted 67 per cent in favour of leaving the EU – a large part of this was driven by concerns over uncontrolled immigration from the EU and it is only right that our future relationship with the EU reflects these concerns.”

 

ENDS

 

Full exchange:

John Spellar: Thank you Mr Speaker. While protecting the rights of EU nationals who are already here, can the Minister reassure my constituents that whatever the other details of the final Brexit agreement, it will include the end of free movement.

Caroline Nokes: I thank the Rt. Hon. Gentleman for that question. I think we've been very clear. When people voted to leave the European Union back in 2016, that will involve the end of free movement. I can certainly reassure his constituents that will be the case.

John Spellar MP: Brexit must mean an end to free movement

At Home Office questions today Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Government to ensure any final Brexit deal includes an end to freedom of movement, while protecting the...

Today in Westminster, Black Country MP and former Defence Minister John Spellar urged the Government to get a grip to ensure no taxpayer money is wasted on bailing out contracts and companies whose business model is based on high-debt and maximising dividends for shareholders.

Responding to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on the financial concerns at outsourcing firm Capita, Mr Spellar slammed the company’s “lamentable performance on their recruitment contract for the Armed Services”.

This followed an article written by Mr Spellar for LabourList in which he called on the Government to learn the lesson from the collapse of Carillion, writing that it was now important to “empower regulators to ensure that companies providing services do not collapse in a manner such as Carillion – this measure would not only save the taxpayer money, but also allow smaller businesses who operate a sustainable model to compete for contracts.”

Adding that: “How is it right that the state has to foot the bill every time the companies mess up and they are unable to provide the basic services they were contracted to do.”

Black Country MP urges Government to “get a grip” of companies with high-debt business models

Today in Westminster, Black Country MP and former Defence Minister John Spellar urged the Government to get a grip to ensure no taxpayer money is wasted on bailing out contracts...

In the House of Commons today former Defence Minister and Black Country MP John Spellar blasted the Government’s recent defence statement.

He argued it marked a loss for the armed forces, the defence industry and Britain’s security and a victory for bean counters in the Treasury.

In his comments, Mr Spellar took aim at the Chancellor Phillip Hammond saying that “while the voice was the voice of [Defence Secretary Gavin] Williamson, the hands were very clearly the hands of Hammond.”

He added: “why won’t he [Williamson] just confirm that the winners are in fact the Treasury and their view that there are no votes in defence. In spite of his warm words, won't the real losers be our superb troops, our excellent defence industry and the defence and security of our nation.”

John Spellar MP blasts Government defence statement

In the House of Commons today former Defence Minister and Black Country MP John Spellar blasted the Government’s recent defence statement. He argued it marked a loss for the armed...

Black Country MP John Spellar warned that failure to restart work on Midland Metropolitan Hospital could result in spiralling cost to the taxpayer as well as delaying the completion of a much needed local hospital.

Speaking to the industry journal Construction News, Mr Spellar said:

“My concern is if they leave it too long, the subcontractors and particularly the workforce will start to head off on other jobs, they can’t just wait around week on week.

“This is all going to end up costing a tonne of money, you cannot leave this as a towering monument of failure.”

Black Country MP warns against delays to restarting work on Midland Metropolitan Hospital

Black Country MP John Spellar warned that failure to restart work on Midland Metropolitan Hospital could result in spiralling cost to the taxpayer as well as delaying the completion of...

Today, Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Government to secure the completion of Midland Metropolitan Hospital and to ensure the project would not be affected by the liquidation of Carillion.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Spellar said:

“The new Midland Metropolitan Hospital now towers over the terraced housing in the Smethwick part of my constituency. Despite a delay due to a design failure, work is now proceeding apace and is 2/3 completed.

So, what is the Government going to be doing about ensuring the flow of funding and work, so that the contract can be completed and we can look forward to the opening of this new - much needed - hospital?”

John Spellar MP calls on Government to ensure no delays to Midland Metropolitan Hospital construction

Today, Black Country MP John Spellar called on the Government to secure the completion of Midland Metropolitan Hospital and to ensure the project would not be affected by the liquidation...

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