By Stephen Ho, Charlie Mole and Micheal McKenna
A CHESHIRE nursing home manager has today slammed Labour’s proposed health reform for the elderly.
Helen Rigby of the Rangemore Nursing Home, Knutsford, has also seen a decline in quality elderly healthcare over the last 10 years.
She said: “The current system is useless; it takes a month for the funding to come through because of all the paperwork.”
Calling for a complete change in the way elderly care is provided, Mrs Rigby believes that the new proposals are unworkable.
“I don’t think the new system can cope,” she said. “It’s not a realistic idea.”
The new national £670million service will guarantee free care to 280,000 elderly and disabled people in their own homes.
The proposal will change the current criteria for free care and will be based on need rather than the ability to pay.
However, Mrs Rigby believes that the system of community care at home will make the situation worse rather than better.
She said: “Bring back money to the care homes otherwise they will have to close down because they can’t afford to look after patients.
“It will leave everything in a bigger mess than it is in now.”
Commenting after 41 years in the business, Mrs Rigby believes that community care must be stopped.
She said: “It costs £20 an hour for care in their own home, which will work out to £800 to £1000 a week.
“We only get £400 a week from the NHS for one person in elderly care even though it costs us £720 to look after them.”
However, there are people who welcome the proposed reforms.
A spokesman for the Beyer lodge Nursing Home, Manchester, said: “By the sounds of this new health reform the elderly are going to get the healthcare that many of them couldn’t get before.”
Age Concern defended the current system, saying that at the moment no one is excluded because they cannot pay, there’s always someone to help them.
They said: “It’s very good in Manchester but we could always with help.”