Greater Manchester care home owner condemns way NHS look after elderly as ‘impersonal and undignified’

A Greater Manchester care home owner, and former NHS doctor, is calling for more funding and a radical change in the way the government look after our elderly.

Dr Chai Patel CBE left the NHS and went on to launch HC-One care homes in 2011 – HC-One runs Richmond House in Leigh.

The founder, Dr Patel, left the medical profession because he found the care provided for old people in NHS run homes detached and degrading.

He said: “I left the NHS because of the impersonal and undignified geriatric wards and social care in old Local Authority homes which had more in common with Victorian workhouses than a home for anyone’s mother or father.”

To tackle these issues, Dr Patel believes government spending on health and social care should be integrated – a proposal put forward by The King’s Fund’s Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England.

The Commission, headed by former Bank of England economist Dame Kate Barker, claims a single budget would create a closer link between the NHS and social care and make the system simpler for those who need it.

There is currently a divide between the two types of care, which are often used at the same time.

Dr Patel said: “It is heartening to see a former Bank of England Economist highlighting that the economics of how we care for older people doesn’t stack up.

“Those of us working in the sector have been saying for some time that we need an NHS which includes social care and is accessible based on need, not means, and is free of age discrimination.”

The HC-One chairman acknowledged that the NHS has undergone some improvements since he worked with them, but maintained that more change was needed – that is if the necessary funds were available.

He said: “We endlessly talk about how we can’t afford the care we need.”

The Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care has proposed a solution to the problem of raising enough money to facilitate these changes.

It suggest raising taxes for high earners or those over 40, stopping winter fuel payments, removing free television licences for the over-75s and increasing prescription fees.

HC-One is an award-winning company which runs many care homes across the country, including many which are in Manchester and the surrounding areas.

They work with the elderly and those in need of specialist care, such as people with dementia.

Richmond House is the most rated care home in Leigh on

Main image courtesy of Kariobinja, viw Flickr, with thanks

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