This is by one of the founders of the charity Community Links. Coming from someone of his background and experience, it is particularly powerful:
Professor Bruce Keogh started work as the new NHS national medical director promising that hospitals would be fined if they failed to provide the best care.
Care driven by fear of punishment? The prospect is discomforting but it isn’t new. Talk to social workers, teachers, probation officers and care workers and you will find that regulations and systems, impersonal transactions and a fear of risk and reprisal shape the culture in which they all work. Public services are reduced to a set of transactions when the real need is for a more personal relationship, for common sense and human kindness.
Now listen to those who use the services and those who do not. For some, family, friends and neighbours are more than adequate but for many they are not – moments of joy go unshared, battles are faced alone. More than a million pensioners enjoy less than 30 minutes’ social contact in any given week, our services must change. And so must our communities.
- See more at: http://www.community-links.org/linksuk/?p=4041#sthash.ZJWQAunP.dpuf
It would be interesting to know the source of the statistic of a million pensioners with so little human contact. As it happens I have recently been looking at examples in 19th century literature of adult children caring for their elderly parents. There are many examples which even include Sweden. But one famous novel from France is Pere Goriot where the daughters do not care for the father who has given all he could to them. Balzac was apparently accused of imitating King Lear. But of course in both cases, they describe what was shocking to the audiences of the time, not what was normal.
Here is the link to the Robinson blog: http://www.community-links.org/linksuk/?p=4041
- “Two thirds of the adult population are frightened by the prospect of having to move into a care home”. Hypocrisy, selfishness and vanity are reflected in the way we care for the old. Care homes made ‘normal’ by the welfare state.
- “And while a generation ago only one in ten families in social housing had no-one working, this had risen to one in three by 2008-09.” The section on housing and social care in the Comprehensive Spending Review
- Waiting lists are on the front page, the elderly are not
- Ruth Kelly’s ‘social justice’ and taxing more pensioners
- Replacing the NHS with a system which works better