In the second of a two-part series, Nick Andrews, a local Labour Party member, explains the very personal reasons why he is such a strong advocate for a National Care Service:
I was recently called upon to assist my elderly father and stepmother when she fell and broke her hip and arm. I met a wide range of social care and health professionals; without exception, wonderful people working extremely hard under difficult circumstances. I learned so much as I listened to their stories and engaged with the health and social care systems.
The stories are too numerous to tell them all, but here are some:
- The Senior District Nurse who explained that she was working with an approximate cut of 40% in resources in real terms from 10 years ago.
- The ambulance driver who described how far too often they were called back to homes because the lack of social care caused repeating emergencies.
- The social care worker, departing from the evening call who said, “You do realise that if you weren’t here, we would find her where we left her when we come in the morning”. It took a while for that to sink in. Getting to the toilet in-between?
- The discrepancy between ‘health’ and ‘social care’. Budgets are available for one and not the other. My stepmother has health needs, and these are being met, sometimes wonderfully. My father is not ill, just old and confused. These are not defined as health needs but social care needs. His potential fall is the same fall though, one has a budget and the other doesn’t.
- The social care worker who wept in front of me as she described her previous calls that day and how they were so short. She has some clients who see no-one else all day.
On a local level, it should not be forgotten that the originally purely local Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society became our beloved National Health Service through political will power and foresight – and there is practically no-one now who would want to unstitch that example of local politics in action.
Let the same become true of the National Care Service. We can and will achieve this. I am immensely optimistic.
Join the Labour Party, join this campaign and help us make it happen.
In part 1 of this series Nick outlines the key arguments for a National Care Service:
© Nick Andrews 29 05 20 NCS logo © Ali Boschen