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The hard end of things

There were two stories in the newspapers this week centred on the conditions and provision of care for people with the greatest needs and impairments, often approaching the end of their lives.

Attempts to clear hospital beds by diversion of patients to care homes reveal a complex of problems which cannot be easily solved: Care providers ask for doubled fees to care for people discharged from hospitals | Social care | The Guardian

And: Sweeping social care reforms can wait – homes need money and workers right now | John Harris | The Guardian

The first reveals a desperate attempt to solve a hospital crisis by putting up money to ease the transfer of people from hospital to care homes. The response from care homes is to ask for additional funding. This comes over as cynical and naïve denial from government. Care home operators may be portrayed as cynical too, but it is known that the current fees available to them are insufficient to meet the needs of the people they care for, so maybe this is an opportunity to press home that message.

The second article stresses the urgency of the current situation, but outlines the longer term flaws in our services and asks that they be recognised and face honestly.

Again we have received communications from individual families who are dismayed and outraged at the way that their applications for NHS Continuing Care funding have been dealt with – and decisions made which are beyond belied, in the face of evidence of clear and severe evidence of healthcare needs.

This is a dishonourable situation for our country. As far as we can see, none of the major charities is addressing this with focus and vigour. Is there a champion in Parliament? Does no one care?

Can we make an effective protest?

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