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Sunday, 1 November 2015

An essential aspect of society that is far too important to be left to private companies."

Cash crisis ‘could close 50% of UK care homes’

"The measure of a nation is how it treats its weakest members."

The provision of care for the elderly in this country, has for far too long been in the hands of private companies, where, which ever measure you may use, profit for shareholders is the prime driver. Where government funding is available to these companies to supplement the charges made to residents, then the facility will continue to provide the service. However, when government subsidies are cut of even removed,  then the standard of service and even the services themselves will be lowered or removed in order to maintain the "profit margins".
Some private care providers try to give a first class service in what are extremely difficult conditions, but recent events have shown us that too many providers have allowed poor care and provision of services to lead to physical and mental abuse of residents or even worse. 
These events and the drive to maintain "profit" for the care organisation cannot be unrelated.
With this governments misguided determination to drive on with its "austerity" measures and reduce funding even further for care provision in this country, the already bad situation for care homes and their residents will become even more chronic.
The time has arrived to integrate the provision of social care into the NHS, (it should never have been a separate function in any case), properly staffed, properly funded and properly managed. This essential aspect of society is far too important to be left to the vagaries of private companies and the pursuit of the profit margin.