A very good friend of mine, Emma Clifford, was selected to give her comments in today’s health debate. Watch the video below and see if you’re as moved as I am.
Her Speech is as follows (taken from the Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-conference-andy-burnham-warns-of-americanstyle-nhs-under-coalition-8839225.html )
Ms Clifford, a member of the Cheltenham constituency Labour Party, said: “I need more time to care. I am so proud and so excited to hear the Labour Party using terms like whole-person care and talking about integrating services. This is an approach which reflects the realities of giving and receiving care and it really will change lives for the better.
“But you have got to give me the time it will take to make it work. We do teach care workers in textbooks and online courses about the concept about whole-person care. But we do not give them the time to put it into practice.
“Simply put, there are rarely enough staff to do more than basic personal care tasks and even then we have to do those in a hurry. There is nothing more gut-wrenching than walking away from someone you know needs just a little bit more of your time when you literally have no more time to give.
“And when the next task is to help someone else to use the toilet to prevent them from sitting in their own urine or worse, I do not have the choice.
“The first person needs me just as much as the second person. It’s a horrible decision to have to make and it’s one I have to make most days.
“Unless our workforce grows with our ageing population it’s a situation I am going to be in more and more often.”
Ms Clifford said there is already a larger than average number of people aged 65 and over in Cheltenham, with that figure estimated to grow by 40% by 2029.
She said: “How am I and all the other carers going to find time to care for our elderly properly? I am going to need a huge workforce to do my job properly. Where is that workforce going to come from?
“I know it won’t come from the Tories with their fixation on privatisation and profit. They’re not going to build and nurture the workforce we need. They’ve got 5,000 nurses since they came into power. And it won’t come from the Lib Dems either, who voted with their friends to open up our NHS to competition and to companies looking to treat people in my care like objects to buy and sell.”
I will be writing up my conference review soon, but I really wanted to share this as soon as possible.