I have not posted on this site for some time. Mainly because I have been extremely busy and also because the traffic on my previous posts has been minimal.
But here is my report of an important event that I wrote for the Older Feminist Network
SERTUC* Seminar 2012 “Who cares about care?” 18th April.
A trade unionist friend alerted me to the seminar. We were both impressed by the organisation, the venue at Congress House the perfectly working technology and the very powerful presentations chaired by Tony Lennon. It is difficult to summarise the wealth of information.
Dot Gibson on behalf of the National Pensioners Convention talked about the NPC policy and the Care Campaign for a National Care Service owned publicly, paid through general taxation and free at the point of delivery. She mentioned the Dignity in Care document that has been accepted widely by hospitals and other institutions for the training of carers.
Professor Steve Iliffe UCL looked at the Care needs from a medical perspective. He first considered the contribution of the 65+ who contributed £40 billion to the UK economy without taking into account the care of the young and old, and the work in the voluntary sector. He then explained very clearly the changes in longevity, health, complex illness and frailty in the last decades and the failings of the NHS in caring. He then proposed some solutions.
We then heard Eileen Chubb who related her experiences as a carer whistle blower who reported with 6 others the shameful abuse of old people in care homes. She moved many of us to tears by recounting of the suffering old people are experiencing in care homes. Her book Beyond the Face** is the story of the fight. She formed a charity Compassion in Care***.
Liz Kendall (Shadow minister for Care and Older People) mentioned the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care. She said how the issues of care of the old touch everybody and still are not on the political agenda. How local authorities cuts affects adversely the old and how local authorities differ in their approach. The white paper scheduled for this spring has been postponed until June.
Richard Exell (TUC’s Senior Policy Officer – Unions and Social Care ) finished the day by giving the background to the social care crisis, the issues around the workforce, and the Dilnot Report.
In his summary the chairman concluded that he learnt that the crisis in care is much worse that he imagined.
* Southern and Eastern Region of the TUC
** Beyond the facade £13.00 from 19a Transmere Rd., Orpington , Kent BR5 1DT
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