Sup­port­ing the vul­ner­a­ble

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS - Fromthe chamber Cllr David Hare is the Lib­eral Demo­crat spokesper­son for adult ser­vices and well­be­ing onWok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil david­hare

AS Lib­eral Democrats we be­lieve that all as­pects of the coun­cil’s work are im­por­tant to the peo­ple of Wok­ing­ham.

We want ev­ery­one to live as full a life as pos­si­ble, re­gard­less of dis­abil­ity, race, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or creed.

‘Adult ser­vices’ is one of the high­est spend­ing De­part­ments in the Coun­cil; we be­lieve it needs to be run ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively for the ben­e­fit of all the in­hab­i­tants ofWok­ing­ham.

It is this depart­ment that has been re­spon­si­ble for lo­cal deal­ings with the Covid-19 cri­sis, as well as its usual job of pro­vid­ing ser­vices to our older peo­ple, peo­ple with a learn­ing or phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity, and peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems.

In the Covid cri­sis the depart­ment has stepped up, re­sult­ing in­Wok­ing­ham

Bor­ough be­ing the first coun­cil to stop the trans­fer of those with­out a Covid test and re­sults from hos­pi­tal to care homes.

This was after the re­al­ity of Covid trans­mis­sion due to trans­fer­ring untested pa­tients was ap­pre­ci­ated from the Lib­eral Demo­crat leader’s com­ments.

The coun­cil has in­sti­tuted a ‘Task Force’ with NHS in­volve­ment, to sup­port and en­able care homes in this cri­sis.

Adult ser­vices through­out the coun­try­must learn lessons from the pan­demic and plan for fu­ture prob­lems

Peo­ple need­ing care, what­ever their sit­u­a­tion, need the best, most ap­pro­pri­ate care, al­ways be­ing mind­ful that sit­u­a­tions change and the sup­port pro­vided needs to re­flect this.

The Lib­eral Democrats will en­deav­our to en­sure that the care pro­vided pro­motes in­de­pen­dence; for some that means car­ers vis­it­ing homes, a day place­ment or other in­ter­mit­tent sup­port.

(The LINK Vis­it­ing Scheme is an ex­cel­lent lo­cal char­ity that pro­vides a be­friend­ing ser­vice for lo­cal peo­ple, giv­ing a ser­vice to more than 220 older peo­ple in­Wok­ing­ham).

For some in­di­vid­u­als a res­i­den­tial or nurs­ing home pro­motes an in­di­vid­ual’s in­de­pen­dence by giv­ing them a safe, sup­port­ive and friendly place to live.

Pro­vid­ing the best care pos­si­ble means Lib­eral Democrats want to re­view the wayWok­ing­ham­works and not be afraid of change.

We need to look at our ser­vices for older peo­ple, en­sure care is pro­vided ap­pro­pri­ately, that care homes are ex­cel­lent providers, that day fa­cil­i­ties stim­u­late in­di­vid­u­als, be­ing en­joy­able and pro­vid­ing the sup­port needed to live in­de­pen­dently.

OPTALIS is a Coun­cil-owned provider of ser­vices, the ser­vices pro­vided must con­tinue to be re­viewed to en­sure value for money.

The COVID cri­sis has put a spot­light on care. The Gov­ern­ment sup­port for Adult Ser­vices is woe­ful.

As well as lo­cal re­views of all ser­vices there needs to be a Gov­ern­ment re­view of adult care and more money needs to be in­vested in an un­der­funded sec­tion of our so­ci­ety. ED­I­TOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a new se­ries of col­umns. On al­ter­nate weeks, we will have a view from a Con­ser­va­tive or Lib Dem coun­cil­lor and there will be a monthly col­umn from Labour; In­de­pen­dents will also be in­vited to con­trib­ute

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