“But in making these decisions I will want to, if I am elected, take the whole country with me. I don’t want to leave anyone behind. The test of a good
society is you look after the elderly, the frail, the vulnerable, the poorest in our society.” David Cameron, 3rd May 2010
Fast forward to this week and this story fills roughly the same space that Cameron’s reassuring promise took up all those months ago. The BBC in the South-East reported that an octogenarian had had all of her care funding removed by a Conservative local authority:
A disabled Sussex woman whose care funding was withdrawn has said she is now “an accident waiting to happen“. For nine years, Pam Bartlett, 82, had 24 hours of paid care a week. Since her needs were downgraded to “moderate“, she no longer qualifies for support. Mrs Bartlett used her own funds to continue paying £240 a week for care for two months but has run out of cash.
East Sussex County Council said help was given to people with critical or substantial needs. Mrs Bartlett, from Wivelsfield Green, was left disabled after a car accident and is losing her eyesight. She said she needed help with food preparation, cleaning, shopping, and putting the rubbish out. She added: “Without any care, my life is going to be very shortened. I am an accident waiting to happen.”
Mrs Bartlett’s three carers have continued visiting her without charge. One of them, Lorne Thomas, said she continued visiting because Mrs Bartlett was almost housebound and had no
family. She said: “I can’t go to bed at night knowing that she could have had an accident, she might not have had anything to eat all day, [and] she might not have had anything to drink.” Jim Baker, from Age UK, said: “People are being reassessed steadily across the country. What we know is that about two million older people need care. Age UK calculate that by 2012, one million won’t be getting the care they need.” He added: “I’m not going to have a go at councils because we know the budget coming at them isn’t too good. But the reality is reassessment tends not to increase the amount of support anyone gets.”
In a statement, [Conservative controlled] East Sussex County Council said: “To ensure that everyone is treated fairly an assessment is made of an individual’s needs and of their financial situation. Support is provided to people with critical or substantial needs and financial support if they are eligible. This ensures that resources are used effectively and as many people are helped as possible who have the most needs.”
So much for Cameron’s hollow promise.
See the later article regarding Cameron’s promise: https://gobbledegooked.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/powerful-words-rendered-meaningless-by-a-morally-impotent-prime-minister/