Wednesday 25 March 2009

Fighting For Control….

Disabled people have no right to choose their NHS-funded carers despite complaints that current rules are robbing thousands of claimants of their "dignity and autonomy", the High Court ruled yesterday.
Why should they be any different from the rest of us who are daily robbed of freedom, rights and dignity by this government, I cynically say to myself…
A case brought by a paralysed former soldier and a woman suffering from a progressive muscular disease who wanted the NHS to provide a direct grant allowing them to live independently by employing their own care staff was dismissed after a judge found that legislation prevented any such payments.
Still, at least legislation to change this is on the horizon:
The court ruling was greeted with anger by organisations representing the disabled, who warned that handicapped people were being discriminated against for "bureaucratic convenience" and pointed out that legislation allowing the payments is already before Parliament.
Which does make you wonder why they brought this case, if the current legislation was clear, and a remedy was in the pipeline?

But still, a worthy cause, and all that:
An estimated 150,000 disabled people in Britain receive direct social care grants from their local authorities to pay for trained staff of their own choosing. But if an individual's health worsens, meaning they need so-called "continuing care" at home funded by the NHS, then they are no longer allowed direct control of the funds and must accept whatever provision is made by their primary care trust.
Ah, yes, can’t have people making their own decisions. All largesse must come direct from CentGov with numerous strings attached, less the populace become independent….
Mr Harrison, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and Mrs Garnham, from Holloway, north London, claimed their human rights were breached by the denial of direct payments and that the legislation governing the health service meant that such funding could already be given legally.

Mrs Garnham said: "I don't look at myself as a useless cabbage that sits at home and gets withered and wizened. Is my life worth living if I'm going to stay in bed and wait for a local authority nurse to turn up? We were very proud that we actually employed five people."
Five people!? Well, no wonder the local Care Trust wants to administer this themselves – she’s surely squandering public money on blatent overmanning, and we can’t have tha…

Islington Primary Care Trust in north London, which pays for Mrs Garnham's care, is expected to pay up to three times the amount it paid her in the form of a direct grant to cover the cost of employing a nursing agency to do the same work.
Words fail me…

So the NHS would rather pay three times the amount (of our money!) to keep Mrs Garnham dependant on their bounty and beholden to the State…?

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