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  • on 14th January 2023

Social Care in this New Year

Dear Friends,

The creaking NHS and problems with Social Care have been in the news for a long time, but it feels like they are reaching breaking point. We probably all know people who are waiting unacceptable lengths of time for treatment, struggle to make a GP appointment or are in hospital despite being well enough to be discharged, because social care is not available for them in the community. Being ill is challenging enough. When we feel unsure about whether the care we need will be available to us, it can be very distressing.

Solving these problems is not a quick fix, but as Justin Welby said in his New Year’s message ahead of a C of E report into Social Care, the system doesn’t have to be broken. See Archbishop Justin’s message by clicking on this link.

I think the worth a society places on people who care for others shows a lot about that society’s values. I recently met a lovely woman who was attending the funeral of a woman she had cared for at home for 8 or 9 years. The carer was on the minimum wage. She isn’t paid travel time between the homes of the many elderly people on her daily visit list. She isn’t reimbursed her travel costs. She is required to attend training monthly but isn’t paid for her time. If she discovers anyone who is unwell and has to call an ambulance, she has to wait with that person until the ambulance arrives but isn’t paid for the extra time this might take, just her basic hour. She was attending the funeral in her own time and afterwards had to work late to get all her daily visits done.

Thank God for people like the woman I met at the funeral. She is a Christian who clearly understands that she is doing God’s work. That is her motivation and the reward that keeps her going. The deceased referred to her as the daughter she’d never had. But how appalling that we live in a country that places so little value on what she does and on the love with which she does it.

Much love,

Liz

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