Election 2015: Isolation and LonelinessPosted on 29th April 2015 by Jo Ivens
With the election only 7 days away, Peter Kyle, Labour candidate for Hove & Portslade attended our Befriending Coalition meeting this morning to hear from befriending organisations in the City on issues that affect our service users. This is a summary of questions and issues that we raised with him:
B&H Impetus asked: Brighton & Hove City Council has had to make £24m cuts this year, with the same planned for the next three years. These are predominantly coming out of Adult Social Care as other areas are protected. We are experiencing a double impact of reduction in funding but increase in demand because of cuts to public services – how will Labour stop damaging cuts that impact unfairly and disproportionately on the most vulnerable people?
Trust for Developing Communities asked: Digital exclusion marginalises older people, how can we enable younger people to support older people to get online and use technology to combat exclusion?
L’Chayyim said: There is disagreement with the rhetoric about debt and deficit, with the way that some politicians talk about the state of the economy and claims about cutting public services being the way to tackle deficit.
Impact Initiatives raised concerns about the emphasis on acute health care over social care, and worries about cuts to home care and the quality of home care. We need to value these roles and the people that provide care for our vulnerable and older population.
Time to Talk asked: All of the issues highlighted are likely to get worse in an ageing society – how can we be ready for this?
Macmillan Brighton Buddies said: Investment in health is a concern generally, but want to highlight an issue about patient transport. There are examples of cancer patients not taking up treatment because they cannot get to appointments, have no-one to accompany them or no-one to be with them at home after treatments.
Neighbourhood Care Scheme reflected that resources can often be better used collectively than individually – for example, community facilities can build community connections and cohesion.
It was great to have the opportunity to talk directly with Peter about the issues our service users experience. These are summary notes, and the conversation certainly flowed rather more than this short blog suggests! I hope this offers a sense of the conversation and that I’ve presented Peter’s comments accurately.