‘We deserve a better quality of care’

CONCERNED Andy Bundy champions the rights of the disabled
CONCERNED Andy Bundy champions the rights of the disabled
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Andrew Bundy, secretary of the Havant Area Disability Access Group, talks about the need for better care for people who need it

Falls and migraines, coupled with late or non-existent care visits, have driven me to distraction.

Unlike many, I am not afraid to speak up, and after working in large US companies for some years, have the knack of phrasing dissatisfaction down to an art.

However, knowing this, if I’m treated badly, what about those who won’t complain?

Nowadays, we British will be quite happy to complain over poor service and demand satisfaction.

However, despite the huge amount spent on community care nationally, many elderly and disabled people receive very poor quality of service, and feel somewhat disempowered from complaining for fear of retribution or simply knowing how.

More upsetting is that council charging policies force many recipients, young and old, to pay part or all of their care costs.

Most concerning is where family, friends and neighbours do not know to call out bad practice, or even recognise it.

My family despair of me for, as they put it, permanently complaining.

However, I don’t complain.

Where I find an issue, I highlight it to the best person, explain the problem and possible outcomes, and suggest improvements.

What is scary, for me, is the type of situation where I find the disabled toilet providing home to a dozen highchairs, two sets of cleaning gear and a pair of wellies.

Surely I’m not the first person to notice?

Over the recent months, and longer, I’ve heard some hideous stories of care practices and standards, and even seen some, which are positively Victorian.

It is completely inappropriate for a ‘go to bed’ call to be scheduled for 5.30pm – yet it happens, or a lunch call scheduled 15 minutes after the breakfast call.

It happens.

Before the online trolls comment, probably more than 90 per cent of service users have worked some or all their lives, so fully deserve the best care possible.

We’re into the festive period, in its many multicultural forms, which is followed by the deadliest time of year for people who are not properly cared for.

I could not live with myself if I did not speak out for a relative, friend or neighbour receiving a poor quality of care.

n Andy Bundy is the secretary of the Havant Area Disability Access Group: email info@hadag.org.uk or visit hadag.org.uk to find out more.