It is clear that there is no place for caring with a Council obsessed with privatising services – when everyone is seen as a customer the poor and vulnerable lose out.
I am in the front line for witnessing the effects of the council’s proposed cuts in services for older people. Day centres are still threatened with closure. I wonder if anyone in the Tory Cabinet has actually come to these centres; have they sat with them and asked them their views - or have they relied on costly consultation papers designed to get the answers they wanted in the first place!
Barnet Council have seriously lost all awareness of the people they are meant to serve.
The people who chose to go to Day Centres are often the most isolated and vulnerable. If they have to stay at home, they may have no focus or purpose to their day, no social outlet or human contact, possibly no exercise or proper hot meal. It isn't rocket science to realise that very quickly, such people's physical and mental health will start to deteriorate, leading to possible hospital admission, and likely need for more services-thus costing the council and health service far more in the long run. And also, Day Care offers Carers the chance for a break from their caring duties too-often the only break they get from a 24/7 role.
At work it has horrified me to discover that a considerable number of our oldest, most disabled and vulnerable Barnet residents are now having to CANCEL their home "care" services, because of the prohibitive costs. The TRUTH is, that people are too proud to admit this to the politicians, but they will tell me. They simply cannot afford £22 per hour for someone to wash/bath them. Or £66 per week, for 30 mins "care" per day. So, in one place I visit, where the warden has already been taken away, I know of residents who sit in their nightclothes ALL day because they cannot afford the alternative. Where is the dignity in this? And these same folk, who loved going to a Day Centre, can no longer afford to go as, they tell me, it costs £35 per day and an extra fiver for transport. So now they sit all day, staring at 4 walls, or at the TV.
Where have we gone so wrong?
I see absolutely no humanity or care in the minds of the Barnet Council Tories.
This nurse was quoted in The Guardian this morning in the piece 'Battle of Barnet: activists secure legal victory in fight against library closure'