BBC Factual announce Ed Balls: Care In Crisis

Ed Balls: Care in Crisis (w/t) is a two-part series in which Ed Balls returns to Yorkshire to spend time in a typical mid-sized care home, St Cecilia’s in Scarborough

Published: 20 May 2021
The crisis in social care is deepening, and we need to work together to sort it now. Covid exposed and accelerated a long-term decline in this country's provision for adult social care, but it’s also given us a chance to do something about it.”
— Ed Balls

BBC Factual today announces Ed Balls: Care In Crisis (w/t), a revealing and thought-provoking two-part series from Expectation for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, in which Ed returns to Yorkshire to spend time in a typical mid-sized care home, St Cecilia’s in Scarborough.

Recently Ed Balls watched his mother, who has dementia, move into a care home. She entered a system in crisis, a crisis which has only been deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now the economist and former politician is taking an immersive journey into the elderly care sector, to explore what’s gone wrong and what could help put it right.

Ed Balls says: "The crisis in social care is deepening, and we need to work together to sort it now. Because my mum has dementia and lives in a care home I thought I knew what happened in them; but as I started to dig deeper into the realities of the issues that care workers face daily, I realised I've only ever scratched the surface.

"Covid exposed and accelerated a long-term decline in this country's provision for adult social care, but it’s also given us a chance to do something about it. It’s for our parents now and our children’s futures that we must take this chance to understand more about what's needed and do something before it’s all too late."

Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television, says: “Adult social care is one of the most important issues facing us as a society. How we care for our most vulnerable is a question that transcends party politics, asking us to deeply examine our values, priorities and hopes as a society. Ed’s personal and professional experience puts him in a unique position to explore the factors at work in this most complex and urgent of public service debates.”

Colin Barr, Executive Producer, says: “There couldn’t be a more pressing time to examine the crisis in elderly care, and there couldn’t be a better person to do it with than Ed. His willingness to immerse fully and explore with empathy, is what makes him unique. I know this subject is particularly close to his heart and he’ll pour everything into understanding the challenges facing staff, residents and families, as we emerge from Covid.”

Living and working alongside the staff and residents, Ed will get a taste of the challenges they face, including hearing heart-rending stories of the devastation wreaked by Covid.

He’ll meet families from all walks of life who’ll share their experiences of their sacrifices and struggles in dealing with a relative or parent in care. And he’ll travel beyond Yorkshire to see how individual care homes and councils have responded to the crisis in innovative ways.

Armed with his findings, Ed will sit down with those in power - in local government and Whitehall - to discuss what he’s seen and explore possible reforms to incredibly complex problems.

With trademark warmth and curiosity, Ed Balls: Crisis in Care (w/t), will take the audience to the frontline of care, revealing powerful human stories in a sector facing more pressure than ever before.

Ed Balls: Care In Crisis (w/t), a 2x60’ made by Expectation for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, was commissioned by Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The Executive Producer is Colin Barr and the Commissioning Editor is Clare Mottershead.

Produced in partnership with The Open University.

BDW