A few days ago I did a local party event with members in Somerset. Given my role in the party, understandably much of the discussion was about internal party matters, but as I mentioned both to them and to Chelmsford members recently also, it’s important we remember the point of it all. Which is to get more Liberal Democrats elected, and so have more power to improve people’s lives.
As The Times recently reported:
Health leaders in Somerset recognise that many traditional models of healthcare are not fit for the future. Instead of demanding more from stretched employees or pouring money into hospitals, they believe solutions to the NHS crisis can be found in the village halls, park benches and farmers’ markets at the heart of Somerset’s communities. Patients are kept at home as long as possible, rather than “chucked” somewhere else. And if they do have to be admitted to hospital, it is designed as an experience which should “empower” them…
This focus on keeping patients active and independent pays off: more than half of patients who spend time on the ward go home with a less intensive package of social care support than was originally planned. Patients waiting to be discharged get stronger and are rehabilitated, rather than deteriorating as their muscles waste away…
“We have no right to move people from their own homes and chuck them somewhere else,” says Mel Lock, Somerset’s director of adult social care. “How would you like it if you were whipped into hospital then moved into care and never got home again? You could never pack your bags or say goodbye to your house. Hospitals are there to mend people. People already have a bed — their own bed in their own homes. Let’s get them back there.”
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