Change is OK, but it must be for the better

EDITOR – Re consultation by Lincolnshire Social Services concerning adult care provision. There are two issues here.

One is about ‘democracy’ and the way in which that concept is currently being interpreted at county council level.

The second is about how to manage change.

Coun Graham Marsh (Leader October 19) is quoted as saying, ‘Nothing is off the table’, but do any of us really believe that statement?

Can we believe it, in the light of what has already taken place in relation to L/T care, day care, and respite care facilities for the care of the elderly and the elderly mentally infirm?

Perhaps Coun Marsh should be reminded that a) the tax payers are currently paying for these services and, contrary to what he appears to believe, do have some rights in relation to saying how we wish that money to be spent.

And b) the county council has ‘a duty of care’ towards its customers, service users, or ‘clients’, as I prefer; and also towards carers – so that services cannot simply be withdrawn without ‘adequate’ alternative arrangements having been made.

I’m aware that ‘adequate’ probably covers a multitude of sins and is open to a morass of legal interpretations.

Nevertheless, I believe it would be a very foolhardy judge who did not agree with me that Coun Marsh’s record, so far, in relation to the provision of services for the care of the elderly and elderly mentally infirm is such that one wouldn’t wish to see it repeated now with clients who have physical disabilities or learning difficulties.

Most staff members, whether trained or untrained, work extremely hard and well in excess of the hours they are actually paid for working – and, contrary to popular belief, do not earn vast amounts for doing so.

Most now work in a pro-active and preventative way which maximises the client’s independence and reduces the need for long-term placements in residential or nursing home care.

No one is resisting change. But it has to be change for the better, and not just as a cost cutting exercise, or for reasons of ‘political expediency’.

Shirley Laming

Northgate Court, Louth