Gransnet forums

News & politics


(89 Posts)
Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 13:50:48

I said recently our drop in centre for people with mental health problems was to lose funding. Last week was contacted by our labour town councillors , the day centre for the disabled and elderly is to be closed down so we have to fight against this too . Just had a telephone call from local branch of Age Concern, funding being withdrawn , nearest support now will be fifty miles away , what will they close next and where will the vunerable find support? Volenteers are difficult to find and I am so tired

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 13:55:44

That's hellish Anniebach. Can your MP do anything about the situation?

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 14:21:33

Jane, this is happening in other parts of the country too, I spoke of my patch, perhaps others will speak of similar . We have a Tory MP who seems to have vanished

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 14:41:27

Hi, try to focus on your bit though. Can you not track down your MP? You may not like them but you never know. They need to know the picture in their constituency on a personal basis.
I've been had better results from an MP for a party I didn't vote for than from one I actually did!
Are there local organisations that might help even in some small way? Local papers that might highlight the issue and get others fired up to do something?

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 14:50:38

I have no problem with his politics Jane, he isn't interested, he told a councillor to get support from the Senydd, the Senydd are trying to come to terms with the massive loss of money we will experience when out of the EU. There is much poverty in South Wales . These cut backs are the result of the county council having a big drop in money from Westminster

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 15:12:41

OK we're out of EU. Where else does money come from? Vulnerable and disabled people are not new. How were they supported by communities in the past? How might this be done now? Needless to say this is something I'm well accustomed to. I know you're tired and fed up but where are the other Annniebachs who can take this on? You don't have to accept this as the status quo. People need to think up alternative approaches to waiting for 'the govt' to do things.

GillT57 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:25:13

Sadly this is happening all over the country as central govt funding to local govt is cut at the same time as strict controls on how much the council tax can be increased. Combine this with people having less time available to volunteer and you have the perfect storm. the usual source of volunteers are having to work until they are 66, and/or look after elderly parents and/or care for grandchildren as the children need two incomes to survive. I dont know what the answer is, maybe we should be looking at our consciences, at the results of voting for a govt who have proudly announced they will slash public spending. This public spending is not necessarily the nasty tabloid stories of people living on benefits and cheating the honest taxpayer, the truth is the cuts hit the people who need support the most and who are in the position to do the least about the situation. Those who were incensed about the prejudice they saw when some objected to funding of the anti aids drugs may like to consider that the funding for this is to be from local authority coffers, not NHS ( thats what the argument and court case was about). Whatever your views on the provision of this drug, the cost at around £400 per person per month would pay for a lot of elderly day centres and drop in centres offering respite for carers. Not wishing to make a necessarily political point, but we all want fairness, we all want lower council tax bills, and something has to give.We cannot continue to run what is essential social services just on the goodwill and hard work of wonderful people like anniebach and the thousands of others like her. flowers brew.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 16:28:17

We haven't had any mental health services in my district for over a year. All day care centres are run on a voluntary basis and the nearest branch of Age Concern is miles away. The bus service is about to be cut.

What's next?

£40 to see your GP!

I truly despair!

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 16:35:02


I'm not sure what the EU has to do with it. The UK joined the Common Market in 1973. Life expectancy was ten years lower than it is now, so the simple answer to your question is that people died younger and didn't need to be cared for.

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:42:00

I only mentioned the EU because Anniebach did. Not everyone died 10 years earlier and even that wouldn't account for care of disabled people. We used to do this better somehow then it all became something that either local govt or national govt took over. Now they seem to be trying to reduce their responsibility so something has to be done.

Linsco56 Mon 15-Aug-16 16:47:40

Just a thought Anniebach but you could try to obtain charity funding from large business enterprises in your area. Some businesses (banks included) have charity partners and often match pound for pound any funds raised by employees via the workplace giving scheme. I believe The Royal Mint do good work to raise funds for charities. There are probably many large businesses in South Wales who may be sympathetic to your plight. Do any of the centres you refer to have charitable status?

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 16:52:49

Far more elderly were cared for by family and neighbours .

Not so easy Jane, try keeping a day centre fir the disabled open when the council have other plans for the building, I think you are unfair in your judgement that people want the government to act. Mental hospitals have been closed, cut backs in mental health care, this is NHS not charities.

Gill is right, these are essential social services. Add charities are being stretched, Sod the Tories and their care in the community rubbish.

I had a telephone call from a disabled , elderly gentleman , he wants to volenteer to be a supporter, bless him, he can only leave the house in his mobility scooter , it can't tackle the steep hills in the town. I have been able to link him with a person who needs reading to.
Fact is we need funding and there isn't any

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 16:54:24

Lincs, we are in Mid Wales, no big businesses here

morethan2 Mon 15-Aug-16 17:07:11

You sound so despairing Annieback you've done you're best. I do wonder what happened to Cameron's big society. It didn't last. It seems very shortsighted because it will mean other public agencies, G.P's S.S will have to pick up the slack. So there's probably no money being saved just more pressure on those services.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 17:11:20

Unfortunately, far more elderly were dumped in geriatric hospitals and those with learning difficulties were looked after in long-term homes, too.

Anniebach is right. Funding for community services has been slashed and most community care has been transferred from the NHS to local authorities at a time when there is a greater need than ever for home and local care. I think I'll scream, if I read another newspaper article about loneliness being a killer without any strategy to overcome it.

Anya Mon 15-Aug-16 17:15:29

This is so sad, and it's always what happens when funding dries up or gets withdrawn. Can you perhaps look,at ways of embedding these projects within the community you live in.

Venue: can the church not help out here with the free use of a church hall or community centre?

Volunteers: can some be enabled to help out and work with those with needs?

Resources: donated food items, funding raised by small community projects....

and so on?

I don't know the scale of the project, how many people it involves and what resources are needed, but the only way to ensure the long-term viability of such good services is not to have to rely on external funding.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 17:23:37


Ah! I see about the EU! No, not everybody died ten years earlier, but on average they did, especially if they had medical conditions for which no drugs were available.

Disabled people and those with learning difficulties were looked after in homes or hospitals. Some disabled people weren't even born, because ante-natal and postnatal care wasn't so good.

My grandparents were never looked after by family. They just died when they got ill.

I really do disagree that we did this better. One of my sisters worked in this area all her working life, ending up as NHS manager for a large part of the country. She started off nursing geriatrics in hospital in fairly inhumane conditions and moved on to district nursing. Even then, the most vulnerable were in institutions. People would sometimes send their disabled children to a home for life. Some people didn't have visitors from one year to the next. It wasn't until care in the community that people were treated more humanely, but even then it was never financed properly and family didn't play a big part (generally, I'm sure there were individuals who did as much as they could). Now it's mainly left to charities, because it's no longer the responsibility of the NHS but local authorities.

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 17:24:10

Anya is thinking along the same track as me. I think people have just got used to this sort of care being a statutory responsibility. It wasn't always so. Its disappointing that we'll have to go back to the elderly and disabled being looked after in church halls by kind people. I remember those days so clearly. Also the big institutions. Not great. However, I do think that there's a place for shared living that's not necessarily mini institutions. It'll take imaginative and tenacious people to do it though. Where are the people who set up our hospices and other charitable organisations long before they became centrally funded? We need them now!

Jane10 Mon 15-Aug-16 17:25:37

Adult mental health is in crisis and should be given a far higher priority than it currently has by the NHS.

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 17:53:41

The church gives us use for the food bank and for the drip in centre for people who need advice on their finances, housing, unemployment etc.

Try getting volenteers to help with the mentally ill .

This is a small market town, nearest town is twenty miles away, nearest city fifty miles.

We are surrounded by farms and holiday cottages , small villages with very poor bus services, a few villages have a bus twice a week.

The library were going to stop the mobile library , we fought it and it comes once a month, to my shame i collect books for the elderly who live in sheltered accommodation and return them, the majority don't want the damn books but four do so I have to keep the numbers up to keep the library for the four. So I do lie on this , I have to. The library chap is aware of what I am doing, I collected some gardening books and there are no gardens , duh.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 18:04:01

I couldn't agree more about mental health services, Jane10

Tragically, children's mental health services are in just as bad, if not worse, state.

Mental health and learning disability servioes are in my area (and I know in some others) run under the same budget and team. Local authorities have statutory obligations towards some people with learning disabilities, so there is little left for those with mental health problems. They are two separate issues and few staff have knowledge and experience of both. Mental health is still the responsibility of the NHS, but increasingly related services such as addiction, homelessness, career coaching, etc. have come under the local authority umbrella.

I've had chronic depression with acute episodes since I was in my late teens and I've seen the service deteriorate.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 18:16:55

I know a couple of my district councillors quite well and I'm always complaining about the lack of 'joined up' services for the more mature. For example, the local leisure centre used to have a 'gentle gym' session and swimming and exercise classes for those who just want to keep moving. There were concessions for over 60s. When it was outsourced, the sessions were abolished.

We have a beautiful and spacious library with various spaces and conference rooms. I've suggested we run reading groups or talks, as used to happen. Apparently we can't any more - budget cuts. Adult education, where people could meet others, has almost disappeared.

The bus service is diabolical and about to get worse. Some villages are completely cut off and more are about to be. They're not all inhabited by wealthy people wanting the country life - many of the original inhabitants were farmworkers and used to rely on local shops (no more) and the daily bus into town (also gone).

Even if these people get attendance allowance, the private companies don't want to take them on, because the travel time between visits makes them unprofitable.

The council is hot on doing surveys, so they can claim to have consulted. The councillors I know say they always recognise my survey return, because I write impassioned pleas to think about the less wealthy in the area, particularly the elderly. grin

PS. We don't have a police station either.

daphnedill Mon 15-Aug-16 18:55:27

Ooh, Annie, the thought of you being so dishonest has made me laugh.

Anniebach Mon 15-Aug-16 20:27:03

Daphne, as i was taught from a young age to always be true to yourself and others , I confess, I didn't even blush when I gave the main library the false number who needed books , my thoughts were with the four who really did need them , they can't even get to the library van . It has become a joke every month now as I lug the books to the bungalows , they don't read them but love a giggle when they read the titles they have for a month , my darling Millie age 97 and just gone into a nursing home loved receiving a book on reducing wrinkles ,i am sure she flicked through it smile

loopyloo Sat 20-Aug-16 19:38:30

Everyone thinks it's wonderful living in the country but I think it can be very lonely from the sounds of things.Few services and poor transport. And yes we are tending to live longer and this creates some problems. Will I be doing the school run with my great grandchildren ?.........