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The penny drops

The headlines from Robert Booth and Michael Goodier on Friday March 24th read: ‘Councils spend £500m on beds in the worst care homes’ Five care chains thought to make £150m a year for low-rated homes in England | Social care | The Guardian

Why did I not see this before?

How did I, and most others, bumble on in our unease about provision and funding of care without putting these simple facts together:

Councils have been squeezed of funds for everything, yet required to balance their books and to claim they are looking after people in need, providing education, keeping roads clean and passable, and much else.

It is known that the payments they are prepared to make for placements are below what is necessary for care homes to deliver a good service.

They go for the cheapest option, often in homes a distance away from the private homes which old people have lived in.

Some care homes provide excellent care. Others offer basic, sometimes unacceptable environments.

So people without their own means have no option but to accept a placement paid for by the Local Authority – They are placed in the cheapest homes – And many of those cheap homes do not provide good care.

This is a disgrace. It is a scandal. We must all know that this is true. And we are all guilty.

We have to be prepared to afford decent care for decent people at the end of their lives.

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