Howard praises Nightin­gale

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community -

MICHAEL HOWARD spoke mov­ingly about the care given by Nightin­gale to his late mother Hilda in an ad­dress to its bi­en­nial din­ner, which raised over £1 mil­lion.

Be­fore over 500 Nightin­gale sup­port­ers at Lon­don’s Guild­hall on Tues­day, the for­mer Tory leader praised the south Lon­don home as “a shin­ing bea­con in the area of care for the el­derly”.

He went on: “Don’t we all yearn to spend the last weeks, months and years of life’s jour­ney in peace and com­fort? This is what Nightin­gale was able to give my mother. Noth­ing was too much for the staff. The ex­pe­ri­ence was quite ex­traor­di­nary and very hum­bling to see. Of all the char­i­ties that are candidates for your gen­eros­ity Nightin­gale is one of the most de­serv­ing. It is a place that takes in the old, the sick and the most vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of our com­mu­nity and cares for them in their last years.”

Nightin­gale chair­man Har­vey Rosen­blatt dis­cussed the chal­lenges fac­ing the char­ity at a time of eco­nomic dif­fi­culty. The el­derly were liv­ing longer and there was a need for ad­vanced nurs­ing and de­men­tia care, he said.

“We con­stantly en­deav­our to eval­u­ate de­mand and to pre­dict the age and health pro­files of fu­ture res­i­dents. The num­ber of peo­ple over 85 in the UK is ex­pected to dou­ble in the next 20 years and tre­ble in the next 30. Con­se­quently it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that fu­ture de­mand for de­men­tia care will in­evitably rise as the av­er­age life­span length­ens. We are pre­par­ing for this even­tu­al­ity.”

A £6.5 mil­lion de­men­tia wing is at the heart of Nightin­gale’s vi­sion and construction work will start in Jan­uary.

“Nightin­gale re­ceives no fi­nan­cial sup­port from cen­tral gov­ern­ment and what we get from lo­cal gov­ern­ment is woe­fully in­ad­e­quate and falls way be­low our cost,” he added.

“What­ever the colour of the next gov­ern­ment front bench, com­mon sense dic­tates that the par­lous state of Bri­tain’s pub­lic fi­nances will pre­clude any sig­nif­i­cant change in re­la­tion to Nightin­gale’s fund­ing re­quire­ments.”

The home had achieved an­nual sav­ings of £1 mil­lion through means such as re­view­ing staff de­ploy­ment and pay struc­ture.

Pro­ceeds from the din­ner will go to­wards run­ning costs and build­ing and re­fur­bish­ment.

Michael Howard, his wife San­dra and Nightin­gale chair­man Har­vey Rosen­blatt at the Guild­hall

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