Care workers descended on Northumberland County Hall on Tuesday to protest against the possible closure of residential homes in Ashington and Morpeth. Workers donned black Save Our Services T-shirts and carried placards and banners to protest. The staff are backed by the GMB, Unison and the FBU, coming together under the banner of Defend our Public Services. The protesters are trying to persuade the council that care for the elderly should be kept in the public sector. Read the article here.
Comment: There are good, reasonable arguments for reviewing and reconfiguring services for older people. It’s not just about quality of facilities, but about keeping them out of hospitals and residential care by allowing technology to do what it is good at (monitoring, alerting and aiding) and releasing people to do what they are good at (the personal touch). In a public debate reminiscent of when mental health services were being reconfigured from long-stay hospitals to community services, why aren’t these arguments coming across? Did no one learn the public relations lessons from those situations?