27 March 2009
This week I will be talking about two very important items.
The first item I want to discuss is the appalling case of the disabled (learning difficulty) people being locked in a mini bus on a dead-end street in Rotherhithe, while their carers slept with their feet up on the dashboard.
I would like to thank the Southwark News and the local Rotherhithe woman for exposing this scandal before anything more worrying could have happened. They were very lucky that even though it was the hottest day of the year so far, the temperature only climbed as high as 16C.
Suppose it was during the summer months where on the rare occasion the temperature can exceed 30C.
If you were the parent or guardian of one these vulnerable people, you would have every right to expect them to be looked after securely and safely once they had left home. While the Camden Society, who are not from Southwark as the name suggests and who run the day centre that they were from on behalf of Southwark Council, immediately suspended the drivers concerned (probably on full pay) pending an investigation, this incident raises two important further issues. (1)
That Southwark Police failed to respond in a timely fashion, despite being called three times by a concerned resident. Is this a case of disablism by Southwark Police? (2) The recent trend by Southwark Council to award contracts normally fulfilled successfully by the voluntary sector to private companies not even based in Southwark in order to save a few pennies.
This particular case highlights one of many problems this worrying trend can incur. Southwark Disablement does not pay any obscene bonuses or any bonus to anyone, in fact I do not get paid at all.
The second thing I want to highlight is the disconnect between various departments and different hospitals in the same NHS trust. I am referring specifically to Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS trust, This a very complicated issue and I cannot do it justice in the remaining space left in this column but I promise to do a full article, probably in my next column.
I have nothing bad at all to say about the staff from both hospitals, who are wonderful and very caring, and carry out a fantastic job. It's just the system they are required to work under. Until the next time may your God go with you.
The opinions expressed in this column are personal to the author and may not reflect the opinions of Southwark News.
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