CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Blunt NHS note that is the very opposite of caring

19 August, 2021

THE human qualities of National Health Service staff were clear for all to see during the pandemic.

The selflessness of our health and care workers as they put in gruelling and dangerous shifts – often physically exhausted and stretched to a mental breaking point – was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

There was a real, and comforting, sense that the NHS will look after the sick whatever the cost.

The reality is that this was a brief blip and we are returning now to a point where care plans are meted out if they can be afforded and patients with complex and long-term conditions are seen as financial millstones.

For all the romanticism about our health system, it has for several years now been run by management often hewn from corporate backgrounds or financial pits of the City.

Of course, every resident of Camden who cannot afford to pay for care in old age should have it provided for them.

But it feels especially wrong when a hospital nurse, one of their own, is being treated so badly, (Ex-nurse, 85, is told NHS care at home will be cut, August 19).

One of the worst things about the decision to axe Banoo Deodat’s carers is the blunt and uncompromising manner in which the devas­tating news was delivered.

No home visits. No actual explanation as to the reason why. Just a short identikit letter harping on about how policy and procedure has been followed in accordance with a national framework.

A plea from her GP to reverse the decision describes her as having “a complex medical history including dementia, type 2 diabetes, currently bedbound requiring two carers several times a day and in the night as well”, adding: “She is doubly incontinent, requiring cleaning during the day and night – this helps protect against urinary tract infections and bed sores.

“She needs constant prompting with food and drink. The removal of part or all of her care package would result in an acute and chronic deterioration of her health.”

How is it possible that the response to this is not to see that the policy frameworks, which NHS managers have so unflinchingly stuck to, are not worth the headed-paper they are written on?

Ms Deodat’s son says North Central London Clinical Commissioning Groups has justified the cut by saying they may reinstate her care, but only if and when she deteriorates sufficiently.

This is far cry from the picture of the NHS that drew people out to bash pans and clap from their windows and doorsteps over the past 18 months.

No doubt, by the formulaic nature of the corres­pondence sent to Ms Deodat, the care of many other resi­dents of Camden will be at risk.

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