Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 18 September 2014 at 16:24 GMT

TUSC NHS 2012  'credit card': The Health & Social Care Act means privatisation and cuts

TUSC NHS 2012 'credit card': The Health & Social Care Act means privatisation and cuts

The struggle for decent social care - a personal account

Over the last few decades Britain's social care system has been bundled up and sold off to the private sector. At the same time savage cuts have taken place. Occasional scandals - like Southern Cross - give a glimpse of the nightmare that exists for millions of people who have to make use of the social care sector. As cuts and privatisation continue to bite - increasingly affecting the NHS as well as social care - a catastrophe is being created.
Ann Parkes, describes her family's desperate struggle to gain access to decent care for her husband, Alf Parkes:

Alf, my husband, was diagnosed 24 years ago with Parkinson's disease. Then later he also began to suffer from dementia. At first it was just little things like seeing things in the cupboard that weren't there but later he tried to attack me with a bread knife and threatened to break my jaw. He got out on one occasion and was wandering on the main road. For ten years I had no assistance looking after him and have been literally looking after him myself 24/7. In that time I had one holiday when my kids came and looked after him. I was left with no support.

It reached a point where I could no longer bathe him. He fell on me in the bathroom. My head cracked on the wall splitting my head open and I suffered fractured vertebrae and was hospitalised. Alf was on the floor for 20 minutes until my son could get there to get him up.

Alf then went into respite care in a local care home. I want him to come home again temporarily because he was third on the waiting list for a good care home for ex-service men. But for that I needed a care package put in place before he came home because I couldn't cope anymore. Then there were arguments between Birmingham and Solihull Social Services about who was going to be responsible. During that period he deteriorated. The home he was in for respite couldn't keep him anymore. I had been hospitalised again and so he was sent by social services to a care home called Jubilee Gardens.

Private 'care'

It is a private care home; social services moved him there because it was the only bed they could get. But that home, when we subsequently looked, failed the Care Quality Commission's assessment on every single point. He was only there for a couple of weeks but when we took him out my kids had to carry him out to the car, and he looked like death. He'd lost so much weight. My children had repeatedly found him lying in bed in urine and faeces. His congealed breakfast was still found there after lunchtime and he had grown a beard. He's never had a beard in his life, he is 76 years old, but they hadn't shaved him.

It was clear he wasn't being given his medication. I rang one night and spoke to the deputy manager. I asked if he had been given his medication and she said she had been with the nurse when she gave it to him an hour ago. Little did she know that my sons were there and witnessed her, after she spoke to me, racing off to give him his medication. That was the night I insisted he be taken out of there. We managed to get him a place where he had previously had respite care. That is where he is now.

I complained to the Care Quality Commission about Jubilee Gardens and they referred the complaint back to Solihull council who in turn referred it back to the deputy manager of the home, one of the people the complaint was against! I had asked friends and fellow human rights campaigners to email Social Services demanding a proper investigation into Jubilee Gardens. I was contacted by someone from Social Services who said that, if I didn't stop, they would make sure I was arrested. I then had an intimidating visit from two police officers.

Police reaction

When I went to the police to demand to speak to a senior officer, the woman on the desk said that was impossible, so I lay across the chairs. They locked me up for ten hours! They denied me a phone call, they did a mug shot and fingerprints. No-one knew where I was, I was concerned about my dog. In the cell I fainted and they had to call an ambulance. The paramedics came out and I said I need a phone call and the paramedics asked why I hadn't been given one. It was only then I was allowed to phone my son.

Eventually Jubilee Gardens was investigated by the police. They came out to visit me and said they couldn't bring a criminal case, but I could pursue a civil suit. I can't do that though because of costs. We have also had problems with the DWP stopping all of Alf's money at source even though he still has ongoing expenses - including loans - coming out of his bank account. Lloyds bank has passed the resulting debts onto debt collectors who are now harassing me, which is very stressful.

In the last year I have suffered a perforated ulcer, and nearly died, brought on by the trauma I have suffered. I always promised Alf I wouldn't put him in a home and it is very difficult to come to terms with. Maybe if support care had been available at home I wouldn't have had to. At least if there weren't terrible care homes like Jubilee Gardens I would have felt confident that he was being looked after. Social Services have acted with a total lack of moral responsibility or ethics, going so far as to get the police called on me for whistle blowing. It is time for people to take the power back.

The Socialist Party says:

Con-Dems destroying our services

The Con-Dems' cuts in public services are destroying social care. Over the last three years a massive 3.5 billion has been axed.

As a result, nearly 90% of councils in England have stopped providing care to people whose needs are ranked 'low to moderate', says the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass). The cuts are making the care system "unsustainable", says Adass.

Many elderly people with failing health, who depend upon home visits to help with washing, cleaning and cooking, are no longer being supported.

Yet many are completely dependent on council funded care packages, as their disability benefits are used to pay for other essential daily living costs, such as food and heating. Inevitably the health of those requiring care will deteriorate.

And according to a study earlier this year by the Nuffield Trust charity, which researches healthcare, government austerity has meant that:

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 18 September 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Related links:


triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleSelling the Socialist: we're back!

triangleBirmingham South Socialist Party: 1990s struggles against the far-right

triangleBirmingham South Socialist Party: Charities, volunteering and the welfare state

triangleBirmingham North Socialist Party: The General Strike and workers' power


triangleBooks that inspired me: The Mother

triangleHow the FBI and Chicago police murdered a Black Panther

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

triangleTrade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

Care Homes:

triangleFrom first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

triangleNo going back: Nationalise social care!

triangleJohnson blames care workers for deaths


triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

Public sector:

triangleSouth Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign


triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women


triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Exciting Cuban spy thriller exposes US-sponsored terrorism



The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party

I joined the Socialist Party to fight back



TV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families



Books that inspired me: The Mother


Black Lives Matter

How the FBI and Chicago police murdered a Black Panther



TV: The school that tried to end racism



The Socialist Inbox



Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time



From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed



Readers' opinion


Socialist Party

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party



The Socialist inbox



A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society



Tears and anger over the treatment of the Windrush generation

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020