Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sir, give him another one.

Been to Care Forum Wales AGM in Cardiff today. Its a useful organisation - largely because of the enthusiasm of its chief executive, Mario Kreft. Over recent years, most social care has been transferred to the private sector, backed up by public sector regulation. I approve of this principle. I also believe that the trend towards the private sector will continue, despite an alternative rhetoric emanating from some corners of the Assembly Government.
There were speakers about regulation of service providers (CSSIW) and employees in the sector ( Care Council for Wales). Then I had to leave early. Learned a bit, but my related interest is in the way we treat dementia, which wasn't on today's agenda.

Which brings me to Terry Pratchett, who has done more to make dementia an issue for public debate than anyone since Ronald Reagan. Yesterday we heard the harrowing story of how Alzheimer's Disease has transformed the lives of Bonnie and John Suchet. Its a disease that destroys the lives of carers as well as sufferers. Another great article by Terry Pratchett in today's Telegraph. Please read it. He gets angry about the lack of support - which is a consequence of the reluctance to talk about it. "Lets keep it behind closed doors" is still a common response. Same goes for Bowel cancer, which I do my bit to publicise and raise awareness. Perhaps that's why I so admire Terry Pratchett. Today, he became Sir Terry Pratchett - a reward for his services to writing. He should become Sir Sir Terry for his services to dementia awareness. Anyway, tomorrows post is likely to be about colonoscopies.

6 comments:

dalesman said...

It's great that Terry Pratchett, and now John Suchet have raised the profile of dementia care. But it needs to be constantly brought to public attention.
I hope that both of the above will keep doing that, and that John Suchet in particular (I'm sure Terry Pratchett will), will keep on publicising dementia and the need to improve care.

Anonymous said...

Mario is a true star, as is his wife gill.
Now if he had either the time or inclination for politics then many would vote for him.
Trouble is he is a man of great business skill, and would not have the time for such petty committees that take an age to get round to what they think they need to do.

dalesman said...

I'm sure you're right and that care services will be provided more and more by private providers.
I don't have a problem with that (having worked for a number of them), but the regulation needs to change. There have now been about 3 changes in the regulation of providers in the last 8 or 9 years and it needs to be strengthened and then given time to settle (something this government doesn't like to do).
The regulation of care workers also needs some momentum now, it seems to have been being rolled out very slowly for a number of years now.

Glyn Davies said...

Dalesman - The key message to get across is that its an illness. Its still looked on by many as something shameful. Families don't want others to know about it - as cancer used to be. It is changing, thanks to people like Terry Pratchett.

I'm in favour of firm regulation. While Government has to take the overall responsibility here, there is a role for self regulation as well. The company I'm involved with has introduced a Lay Visitors Scheme, and we're looking at an Advocacy Scheme as well. I think self regulation will grow, and may well become a marketing attraction to users.

Anon - Thankfully, he is willing to do some committee work!

Anonymous said...

Glyn - this dementia thing is realy important - stick in there and keep us up to date with Wales initiatives..we must see the CARDIFF bay crowd take it seriously,

A job for Rhodri when he retires?

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - Assembly's problem is that the money tap has been turned off. All those vote grabbing freebies look to be - well vote grabbing freebies. As always with spendthrift government, its the most vulnerable that pay the price.