Pandemic has raised profile of care homes
ONCE again our newspapers and other media outlets are full of ‘outrage’ because of comments made by our hardworking and fully committed Prime Minister which, if one reads their full text, were completely factual.
Care homes are businesses which are run for profit. They work in conjunction with the NHS but are not a part thereof. They operate under rules which are set by Local Authorities and are checked by those authorities for conformance. Care homes can also seek guidance from these agencies.
As with any business, there are some which are well run and some which are less so, some which cut corners and some which do not. Ultimately, bad businesses ‘go to the wall’ but not before employees and users have suffered which, in the case of the care sector, always has distressing consequences.
Our home is positioned adjacent to a care home which is run very professionally, the owner of which took action immediately the pandemic risk was recognised. That home, thank God, has experienced no problems.
Clearly this pandemic has raised the profile of these essential businesses and heightened the need for even closer co-operation with the NHS, Social Services and Local Authorities.
Hopefully, the Prime Minister’s well-timed statement will reinforce this need and lead to a general raising of standards in this sector of the care industry. elected representatives have a lot in common with them.
The quote – “All for one and one for all” means that ‘each individual should act for the benefit of the group, and the group should act for the benefit of each individual’. All very interesting when it comes to local politics.
According to the Local Government Association, ‘a councillor’s primary role is to represent their ward or division and the people who live in it. Councillors provide a bridge between the community and the council, being an advocate for local residents, signposting them to the right people and keeping them informed about issues that affect them.’
This is a view I share, but not one universally acknowledged by a number of my fellow councillors. Somerset is a largely rural county and we are fortunate in that many people, often of retirement age, choose to re-locate here.
The impact of this can be a double-edge sword (Musketeers analogy?!). There are those, often with income at their disposal, who are perceived to be ‘taking over’, causing resentment amongst those born and bred in the area. Then, particularly when it comes to planning, there is the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome, which frustrates the hell out of developers, and sometimes planning officers.
We live in a constantly changing environment and having invested money, time and emotional energy in your dream home it must be really infuriating to find development encroaching on the idyllic lifestyle you dreamed of. This is a view I can sympathise with on some levels; the NIMBY refrain is persistent but in reality most people just want to have their views and opinions considered, even if the outcome is not always desirable. All this aside, significant research has shown that where we live does have a huge impact on our mental well-being. For those making a conscious decision to seek a rural environment, I can see why they would want to protect it, finding it distressing to discover that a housing estate is about to be built on their doorstep.
South Somerset are currently reviewing their planning process, which everyone agrees is long overdue. Local councillors are involved in the reform that is taking place, but it concerns me that some hold the view that ‘parish and town councils have to adjust to the district council’s way of working, and learn to vote with their heads instead of their hearts’. It will be interesting, come election time, if the electorate do indeed vote with their heads instead of their hearts. I stand by the view that I have been elected, in the face of increasing bureaucracy, to represent the local community. Where we live is an emotional issue; can it be so wrong for an Englishman to consider his home his castle? nation to undertake, since Germany, for reasons of its own, had pursued a total commitment of the people, to build a hugely successful war machine.
Every activity in Britain had to be submitted to this one purpose, that we must win this war.
As we children were put on the train to be evacuated to a safer refuge, each of us carried our individual gas mask with us, just in case German bombers flew overhead, to drop poison gas on the civilian population.
Can you imagine the magnitude of that Government’s response, in the circumstances, to a threat which might never happen?
Would you compare that to present days, when a pandemic threatens seven billion people, with a viral infection of human lungs.
All infections of the lungs, such as influenza, are known to be passed on by exactly the same mechanism, when I am infected, and I cough into your face.
Globules drift in the air, from my air passages, containing viruses from the only place in the universe where they are produced, drifting airily in any confined space, with little concern for gravity, contained in the air which you must inhale, sooner or later.
Of course, you would tell me that I should fasten a scarf over the lower half of my face, if I know that that would at least capture some tiny part of the damp globules which are a threat to the health and life of those I love best.
Even better would be the widespread production of masks for everyone, just to reduce, by just a small but significant degree, the transmission, from out of one person, into another.
You see, if we can just cut down by just one, the number of people whom I infect, that reduces R, the exponential spread which proceeds from others.