Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/939/24853
From The Socialist newspaper, 8 March 2017
Struggling to care against a backcloth of cuts
Cuts are forcing struggling families to pick up the slack (Click to enlarge)
The following is an account of years of struggle by parents of a disabled child to secure the proper resources to meet their daughter's needs. A situation made more difficult by draconian cuts in funding local services.
Our story by John Morrow
When my daughter was first diagnosed with cancer and a one in ten million neurological disorder side effect, we were told our council house was unsuitable for adaption and exchanged to a house the authorities said was more suitable.
Her condition meant it became dangerous taking her up and down stairs so I contacted Occupational Therapy (OT) to start the adaptations. An OT person came out and took one look at the house and told us "sorry it cannot be adapted you will have to move" (we had spent £2,500 doing it up as it was a dump).
It took two more years to find a suitable house and then five months to adapt. For the first couple of years everything was great.
My daughter was given a bath seat, and a comfy chair. However, no thought was given to her growing out of these aids.
When she became ten her replacement chair would not fit in the lift. We kept her old chair in the lift and swapped chairs to get her upstairs as all lift adaptations were for a five year old.
We were still using the same bath chair when she reached 13. An occupational therapist told us we needed an extension for a shower room, which the person put in writing, then denied saying it.
We endured six years of fighting the council for the shower room extension. The application was rejected.
We appealed and lost, then won after going to the ombudsman who said Gateshead council broke the rules in its appeals procedure. A council OT came around with an architect - but there were a series of fitting problems.
Relationships between us and the council became increasingly fraught. I was constantly lied to and started recording conversations, but was banned from doing this. This was extremely stressful.
Even once the work was finished we have had ongoing problems. They fitted a bedpan sluice instead of a sink to wash soiled clothes in. We were told it would be possible to use this, but when we asked for a demonstration of how, the penny dropped that it wasn't possible.
We understand that OTs are at the sharp end of council cutbacks. The situation is exhausting for carers of disabled children/adults. There needs to be a better understanding and more resources available to us.
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.
In The Socialist 8 March 2017:
Save our NHS!
Demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight the cuts: Demand no-cuts council budgets
One million workers on zero-hour contracts
Tories to dodge rulings against disability benefit cut
MPs take £1k raise
Aristocrats to hold byelection for one of their 92 reps
TUSC supports Irish MPs' call on Corbyn
Comments and reviews
Struggling to care against a backcloth of cuts
1987 Zeebrugge disaster
The Socialist inbox
International socialist news and analysis
Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
Support the Jobstown defendants: Defend the right to public protest
Build a movement to defeat Trump!
Socialist Party workplace news
Second front in battle over driver-only operation opens on Northern Rail
Leaked document threatens jobs and conditions at Ford Bridgend
Bus drivers' strike: Huge anger at bosses' attacks
Deliveroo cedes ground in Brighton dispute
Striking for jobs and union recognition at Fujitsu
EHRC workers walk out
Workplace news in brief
Join the Socialist Party!
Millions protest - now join the Socialist Party to fight to change the world
Why I joined: "I am a Labour Party member and I recently decided to join the Socialist Party"
Why I joined: "In those 16 pages of the Socialist I found more sense and integrity than in the mainstream media"
Why I joined: "I began to feel really exploited and to think about why"
Why I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
'Anti-union law' charges against trees protesters dropped
Sheffielders call for a no-cuts 'people's budget'
Hands off our Jobcentre!
Greater Manchester: patients are people not guinea pigs!
Bradford: Anti-cuts lobby against poor-bashing budget
Mary Creagh should resign not remain
The Socialist 8 March 2017 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook