Who cares about us?

I SUFFER from MS and have been in the care of Kirklees homecare for eight years.

During this time I have been washed dressed and given personal care with respect, professionalism, dignity, and care, by Kirklees Council homecare staff. Their knowledge of my condition is that they can recognise my state of mind, condition and how I am feeling as soon as they walk in through the door. This level of understanding takes months, if not years, to achieve with some service users.

I have received a cleverly worded letter now regarding my transference of care to private care.

Eighteen months ago I was assured by the council it had a duty to care for me when it altered the system. This re-organisation, I was told, was to enable service users greater freedom of choice and continuity.

Kirklees Council has always stressed we have a choice. I choose to have Kirklees in-house homecare. Now I am being told I have to have private independent homecare. I am also told who will come into my home, and that I have no choice.

Kirklees has paid thousands of pounds to train competent carers and now is turning its back on all that investment, and the service users. To introduce strangers and less-qualified people against my will.

Private companies have a reputation of missing calls, not being on time, and not completing their tasks to a professional standard.

I understand Kirklees has to save money but even I, a mere disabled dependent service user, can see the vast amount of wastage made by Kirklees councillors. Perhaps the first port of call to save money would be to cut the numbers of Kirklees higher management and their vast salaries. Kirklees homecare higher management choose to ignore any concerns of the service users and carers who work on the front line. These are the very people who know better than anyone what impact these alterations will have on the most vulnerable of our society.

If it is the councillors and Kirklees management who are making these decisions, then they should be brave enough to visit the people who they are affecting - maybe then they would have a different take on what they are doing.

Any decent person with any amount of compassion would not be cutting to the most vulnerable.

How many of Kirklees homecare management have actually asked the service users who they wish to give them their personal care? NONE!!

This is a democratic country where every member of the public, whether ill, disabled or vulnerable has a voice which should be used. Councillors should remember to take into account that we have put them where they are, and that we can vote them out just as easily.

Christine ILLINGWORTH

MIRFIELD