You ask about the role of English MPs. Well, the role of our former Cambridge MP Anne Campbell seemed to be to avoid the issue as far as devolution and discrimination against citizens of England was concerned.
A dear friend of mine, who has a long history of mental illness, spoke to Mrs Campbell about Top Up Fees - the unfairness of them being foisted on England by Scots MPs, and the fact that Scotland would discriminate against students from England by charging them fees.
Mrs Campbell simply walked off - flinging over her shoulder the comment: "Some people SHOULD pay to be at University." That was no answer.
Having been deposed as Cambridge MP, Mrs Campbell has now been made head of Mental Health Services in Cambridgeshire! Can you believe that?! They look after their own, the "in" crowd, don't they?
Mental health services in this county have been slashed to bits since the introduction of foundation hospitals, at the behest of Scots MPs. The local psychiatric hospital at Fulbourn is now virtually closed, and day services for people with histories of mental illness living in the community have also been slashed to bits.
Anne Campbell will continue to fling a lot of unsatisfactory comments back over her shoulder whilst drawing a big fat salary, it seems.
Nice work if you can get it...
I have had an interesting mail from somebody we shall call "Fiona", who has asked that I on no account reveal her real name. You have my word, Fiona!
Fiona tells us...
What is happening in the NHS and other care providers in Cambridgeshire, such as housing societies, is scary. Services are cut to the bone in the health service. Meanwhile, registered care homes become de-registered and become accountable to a government funded organisation called Supporting People, which slashes staff hours, cutting management and coal face care staff to a minimum, and increasing workloads and stress levels to the max.
Fulbourn Hospital barely exists now and the government is also cutting funding to day care services.
The trouble is that care and nursing staff are not allowed to speak out. We are gagged. It is in our contracts that we must not speak out publicly.
It worries me to death, yet at the same time I am powerless.
Thank you, Fiona.
Life in England for those in need of care under caring, sharing New Labour and the Scottish Raj...
It's getting like Piccadilly Circus at rush hour on here! Can I stand the pace?!
Greg from Cumbria writes:
Why don't you open up the comments on here?
Me: I may do, Greg - but I'm currently in the midst of wedding plans. I'm a novice at this, so I'll stick to the e-mail approach until things are quieter.
"Fiona" - great pseudonym! Why bother with one - a bit "Dick Barton", isn't it?
Me: I hope that Fiona will become a regular contributor on here and wanted a name readers would recognise.
Greg: The nursing institutions in England don't recognise England exists. We're just regions. I suppose that's why services are so inferior here and being downgraded further.
That and the fact that people don't know what's going on! Roll on our own parliament!
I have been chatting further to Fiona this evening, who tells me that the mantra employed by bosses in health and care services where she works is "adapt, adapt, adapt".
It is always adapting to lower standards. A friend of mine who works in a residential care home was horrified when the residents were persuaded that it would be in their interests to transfer from being a registered home to a "Supporting People"-backed establishment. More staffing hours were promised as an inducement. Instead they have been slashed. These are vulnerable people, being abused.
In social care and the health service, we are told to "adapt, adapt, adapt". If we question things, we are usually given a load of glib patter or told that if we don't like it, we know where the door is. "You must keep up - must adapt!"
Services are no longer being run for the benefit of patients or clients.
When I hear how different things are in Scotland and Wales, it really makes me think.
You know, people talk about the Thatcher era, the 1980s, as the epitome of selfish evil. No, hateful as they were, they were an absolute sweetie compared to now.
When New Labour came to power, they were saying that the Tories' Care in the Community plans were actually a cost saving excercise and inadequately resourced. I agreed. I hated the Tories with a passion. But I cannot believe what has been done now.
Is this Blair and co's revenge on the "auld enemy"?
A lot of people don't know what is going on. That's why I am speaking up. But if my identity was discovered, I'm sure I'd lose my job.
I find all this deeply disturbing. I was aware, for instance, that the Social Services care homes for the elderly in my county had been sold under the Blair government and there are now horror stories of declining standards, even in one case of residents at a certain establishment suffering from malnutrition.
But I have never really take the issue of care services in England under New Labour fully on board.
My thanks to "Fiona" - and to "Cambridgeshire girly".
There is much to think about.
Sue Campbell writes...
The "Suporting People" organisation came about because the Government decided that all health and residential care workers should have NVQ training. As many of these poorly paid staff members (many of whom were expected to meet at least part of the cost of their training) dropped out of the service, the Government found itself with a staffing crisis on its hands.
So, many residential homes, covering a variety of client groups, including mental health and the elderly, were de-registered. Supporting People took over from Social Services registration, and completely untrained care staff could then be employed. Supporting People also took the opportunity to cut staffing hours.
Don't ever become in need of care in England unless you are financially loaded. That's my advice.
The likes of Anne Campbell are nothing more than bloated Humpty Dumptys, sitting atop walls built on foundations of poor standards and oppression of staff likely to tell the truth.
The way she spoke to the mentally ill person described in the first e-mail in this thread does not surprise me at all. The top bods are all the same - exalted, out of touch and uncaring.
This blog is supportive of the aims of the Campaign for an English Parliament, but is in no way connected.