Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services for the vulnerable and their carers. The already inadequate care system is dying on its feet. We have to halt that process, not next year, not the year after that, we have to halt it now. Caring for the most vulnerable in our Society should be a Government priority not something that is left on a metaphorical backburner while vulnerable people suffer.
Therefore CarerWatch welcome the call from MPs calling on a block to the closure of local authority homes for the elderly. Full details below.
October 14, 2011
A BLOCK on the closure of local-authority elderly care homes has been called for by MPs concerned that the care crisis highlighted by the collapse of Southern Cross has left frail old people frightened and in danger of death brought on by being forced to move.
An early-day motion tabled in parliament by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell calls for a moratorium on closures and an enquiry to establish how many deaths have been caused by home closures.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners and pensioners’ groups who urged MPs to sign the motion in order to prevent further unnecessary deaths.
National Pensioners’ Convention general secretary Dot Gibson said:
“It is a brutal fact that frail, elderly people are likely to die if they are forced to move out of a care facility that has become home.
“Older people should not be seen as mere figures on a private care company’s balance sheet, and with the collapse of Southern Cross and the unravelling of the private social care market it is essential to stop the closure of any more local-authority-run homes.
“It’s time for a national care service that begins to look after our most vulnerable pensioners in a way they deserve.”
Campaigning lawyer Yvonne Hossack said:
“Since 1997 I have seen the devastating effects of care home closures on mortality.
“Too often those charged with the welfare of our old soldiers and their widows trot out the lie that there is no risk provided the best methods of eviction are used – and all, let us be clear, to cash in the value of the land that the innocent and confused old lady once called her home.
“It is time now to stop the slaughter”.
Phillippa Wood of CarerWatch, the online campaigning group for carers, said:
“Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services for the vulnerable and their carers.
“The already inadequate care system is dying on its feet and we have to halt that process now.”
MP John McDonnell said:
“There is a huge and growing body of evidence that closure of care homes has caused the early deaths of frail, elderly people forced to leave their homes.
“The collapse of private homes and the shocking revelations of abuse have shown what happens when care is farmed out to privateers who are interested only in profit.
“We urgently need to see a stop put to any further closures of local-authority elderly care homes and for an enquiry into the misery and death that closures have already caused.”
Full text of EDM 2251 and contacts follow
DEATHS FOLLOWING RESIDENTIAL HOME CLOSURES
tabled by John McDonnell MP
That this House notes with deep concern the worsening crisis for elderly care as growing numbers of local authority and private care homes face closure; acknowledges concerns that the loss of elderly people’s care homes causes fear, anxiety and, in many cases, a higher mortality rate when vulnerable, elderly people are forced to leave their homes; further notes that the Southern Cross crisis will increase the need for local authority care; and therefore calls on the Government to hold a public inquiry into the deaths following closures of local authority care homes and impose a moratorium on the closure of local authority care homes until that inquiry publishes its results to ensure that vulnerable, elderly people’s lives are not put at further risk.
For further information please contact: Sarah Evans T: 07941 227757
National Pensioners Convention, call Neil Duncan Jordan – T: 07940-357-608
Yvonne Hossack- T: 01536 518638
CarerWatch: Philippa Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org
With many thanks to Sarah Evans for her work on this issue