Sunday, 2 May 2010

Tory Two Faces

The Conservative Party really do say one thing and believe another, the latest example of which is their attitude to the provision of care for the elderly.

This story is about elderly people having to wait years in some cases, for help with basic disability equipment. Needless to say we then find Andrew Lansley making a cheap political comment in which he is quoted as saying "One of the most shameful legacies of this Labour Government will be its neglect of our elderly people. It is unforgivable that frail people are being left without the help they need to make their homes safe for years at a time."

An important part of the neglect of our elderly people is the decision, by the present government, to un-ringfence the Supporting People grant from central government that pays for Wardens, or Scheme Managers, at Sheltered Housing and resulting in them being replaced with what is termed Floating Support, which in turn has meant residents maybe only seeing someone once a week or even once a month. Wardens/Scheme Managers provide a form of 'help' that cannot be quantified in terms of financial cost, in that they provide companionship and social help - besides their statutory duties - to residents who might not have any contact with another human due to their having no family.

At a recent surgery with David Cameron, before dissolution of Parliament, he was questioned by a constituent about this subject of the Supporting People grant being un-ringfenced, to which his response was that he was in favour of that. To paraphrase the last line of Wink Martindale's hit record;  I know - I was that constituent.

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