"Discounting the voice of the vulnerable disadvantaged"
About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Nottingham NG3 6AA
Posted by M E M P H A S I S (as ),
Disabled people in continuing care are facing a new and worrying situation. It has long been the situation that disadvantage has been recognized and remediated by providing community care, which safeguards against relapse and a worsening situation for which statutory bodies like social services and Healthcare incur a multiplication of costs if they do not implement preventive intervention and provide a social base for vulnerable people to focus and rebuild their lives.
In my opinion, for mental health the last few years have seen these bases for social and specialist support falling like a house of cards. In our area, first the Resource at Duncan Macmillan House changed its independent basis for clients and carers to being reclaimed by the Healthcare Trust to serve the trust’s interests (I think) as an Involvement centre. Next went Manor Road Day Centre for older people, not replaced, and its clients moved in the direction of the Broad Street Centre, which in turn closed a year ago last March, with no efforts as far as I'm aware being made to relocate a vulnerable clientele and all the specialist infrastructure that SPAN had built up with many years’ experience of working with our needs. I feel the Healthcare Trust needs to Protect its Investment, instead of sweeping it all away, which I feel sets in motion a slide in care standards and a proliferation of costs which have to be met later.
These personal and social costs show in rates of relapse - the old ‘revolving door’ - and social problems which are left unmet and unmeasured except in high profile catastrophies like suicides and violations of the Law.
I feel we now have an underclass of ignored people which is very damaging to social cohesion and devastating for the people so ignored. Where the situation is changing I feel it is in being not simply ignored but in being actively targeted with inappropriate expectations that the disabled ‘must work’, that Day Care should produce outcomes that move people on - when these people are there with incurable illnesses and recognized vulnerabilities when working functionality is an unrealistic expectation.
The protection of these people is safeguarded by Statute. The extent to which the catalogue of pre-meditated closures described here is in violation of statute is contended here to highlight what some people are hoping will not come to light, but I believe this is something which is reaching scandalous proportions.
As the futures of Beeston Day Centre and the Jewel in the crown of community provision - SPAN Foster Drive currently lie in the balance, the conclusion here is that statutory commitments to continuing care in the community are jettisoned each time a day care facility is swept away.
These outcomes unfortunately serve to hit the most vulnerable people the hardest! Withdrawal of the investment in specialist provision that these have afforded I feel recklessly throws a proliferating social and financial cost into an indeterminate future, with maximum distress and hardship for the blameless targeted people who deserve better than to be mal-treated in this way.