1. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    Have just received the following, which I thought would be of interest.

    'Thank you for your recent email regarding EDM 1621. As a former Secretary of State for Health, I have considerable sympathy for the views you express.

    I have always argued that the current system of long-term care is unfair. It cannot be right, that those who save to provide for themselves in old age are forced to sell their homes to pay for their care, whilst those that have not bothered to do so are in no worse a position. My colleague, Michael Howard MP, the Leader of the Opposition, announced our plans to provide personal care for the elderly free of charge. We are keen to listen to reactions to our idea of a three year partnership scheme between Government, the insurance industry and families in the coming weeks. Under our scheme, individuals providing for the first three years of their residential care would be provided with free long term care by the Government thereafter, regardless of their assets. Those on lower incomes would of course, still receive means-testing for free long term care. We believe that such a system could mean that no-one will have to sell their home to meet the costs of long term care.

    I also recognise the very real concerns that people have regarding the price people must pay to provide for care of Altzheimer's Disease and other severely debilitating forms of dementia. Although, clearly, nursing care should be and is provided free of charge, I am concerned that the Government has drawn the definition of nursing care particularly tightly, thereby excluding many aspects of care which pople should be provided with free of charge. I know that my colleages in the Conservative Party health team are currently examining ways of redrawing the definition of nursing care, so that those with severe dementia are not unfairly discriminated against. We hope to finalise our proposals by launching a consultation document in the coming months. In the meantime, I have added my name EDMN No 10, which places my views on record.

    If you feel I can be of any further assistance, plese do not hesitate to contact me again.'

    The RT Hon Virginia Bottomley
    MP for Surrey South West


    All very well and good. What about AD suffers at home?

    Any other comments before I reply?

    Jude
     
  2. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Thanks Jude

    Other comments? Only the usual unprintable ones!

    Kriss
     
  3. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    You wrote to VIRGINIA BOTTOMLEY?

    Will get back to you later. Just off to the Gulag to see Mrs Pumblechook following which and a hefty slug of domestos will be in a more settled frame of mind, (not).

    Lotsa
    Chesca
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Jude, I received an almost identicle reply from Francis Maude on 22nd September. It is an almost word for word copy, if I had a scanner, (busted at present) I would put it on just for the hell of it. Seems they have stock replies to us as well as everything else!! Love She. XX
     
  5. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear All

    If there is a stock reply there has to be a lot of mail along the same lines.

    Whilst we all have to look to future full time nursing care systems and the relative funding, the here and now is what we deal with every day. Many of today's patients are drawn from people to whom we owe something - there was not the relative wealth that we currently experience in our working lives, many of them have come through so much in their lives in order that our lives may be better. So yes, we, or our children may have the opportunity to make provision for our future nursing care, but quite candidly at this moment it is not of paramount importance and rarely relevant to today's sufferers.

    We don't need the worries of having to sell the family home to fund nursing care or buying out your pension at an early date to cover the cost, where you have to take early retirement in order to ensure comfort for your loved one. Tell me any other illness where this is a requirement.

    We need choice - nursing home or home nursing - and for funding for that choice to be a matter of course following diagnosis.

    There needs to be more substantial funding for care homes to enable staff training to a higher standard such that we are more readily amenable to leaving our loved ones in those places. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case: staff are paid low wages in most places. Somebody in government needs to spend a week in a care home to witness how bad it can be and then spend a week in somebody's home to see how the family are coping. They may just get a shock. And a shock is what is needed, because this situation is not going to go away - if anything, it is going to increase with devastating consequences to many people.

    We need national guidelines, not locally administered schemes which vary according to post code. We need an official definition of '24 hour nursing care' be it at home or in a residential nursing home, and clear guidelines on how funding is obtained for both the patient and the carer; and all of it in plain speak, not legalese, to lessen the stress on those responsible for accessing support: has anybody calculated the cost to the NHS, one way or another, of the illnesses - depression, stress inc. heart attacks, etc - suffered by the carers themselves? Any investment to lessen these stresses has to be of some long-term financial benefit to the NHS.

    We need somebody to stand up and stay that anybody requiring 24 hour nursing care is a 'patient' as defined by any NHS directive at whatever the cost. If somebody is mentally ill, they are mentally ill. End of........

    Jude, sorry I've gone on. Just off the top of my head and probably repetitive, I know but if you want to use anything out of that you're more than welcome. Or, if you need any support give me a yell.

    Need a large domestos!
    Best wishes
    Chesca
     
  6. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All,

    I emailed via the AS at Norm's suggestion that we email our local MP regarding EDM 1621. This reply from Virginia Bottomley came on House of Commons letterhead and was signed by her. It didn't look like a bog standard answer, which it so obviously is from Sheila's post! Before that, I was feeling quite pleased that she had take the time to write to me personally. I took the time to type the whole thing out on TP because I thought I'd had a small WIN for all of us. Now I feel we've been conned and I'm a little bit ****ed off about it.......

    I will be writing to her again and hope I can quote some of your comments Chesca.

    Jude
     
  7. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Jude

    Help yourself, please. Will do anything I can to help. I think that you might point out to the Rt. Hon. the anger (mine) and offence felt by AS members at her stat response. Perhaps she needs reminding that there are over 500 members of TP alone, not to mention god knows how many carers of sufferers out there, getting more and more agitated at every stumbling block! That makes for a lorra lorra votes!

    Give me a shout if you need anthing at all.

    Happy screeding

    Chesca
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Chesca,

    Thanks and will do!

    Jude
     
  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Just a few thoughts here - Virginia is within 50 feet of being my MP too.

    I'm sure that MPs get shedloads of e-mails and letters from all sorts of people, and as in life generally, they will have an initial "there's a standard letter for this" response.

    The challenge comes after this. Many people will accept the response and let it go at that - the MP will rely on that for 80% of cases.

    It is the second letter to the MP that is the important one.

    It should not show anger at receiving a standard response. Better, it should acknowledge that the response has been made and show you know it is a standard letter and that you realise why - quote that someone else with a different Conservative MP has received a carbon copy.

    Maybe say that you would expect this from New Labour, but had hoped that the Conservatives would be more understanding.

    [by the way, interchange the political party names as appropriate, they are all the same really]

    Be grateful in the letter for that first response but then take it further to differentiate yourself from all the other people who write in. Maybe some personal stuff - in Virginia's case, why not invite her to your place, Jude, as it homes a lot of people and People = votes, something the Conservatives could use right now.

    Chesca has a good point - there are lots of us out here and our votes could swing the next election the way of which ever party is most sympathetic.
     
  10. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    Thanks for the info. I REALLY wasn't planning on sending her a snotty reply Brucie because I know that MP's are busy and do get tons of letters every day. I was just feeling miffed that her 'personal' response wasn't at all actually personal and it was made out to be that way, which is where the 'con' bit comes from. Apart from that, there is no use at all in annoying people if you want them to help you, is there????

    I shall certainly write and ask if she would like to visit us, which is acutally a brilliant idea.

    Jude
     
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Jude

    well I really didn't think you'd be tearing a strip off Virginia, but since so many people read the posts on TP [praise be], I usually try and couch things in terms that may be of general use.

    I hope the visit things work - MPs are always on the lookout for PR opportunities, and we can utilise that!
     
  12. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Jude, Brucie et al,
    House of Commons notepaper (very posh indeed!), dated October 1st, signed John Bercow - text as above ...... The handwritten 'Dear Mrs. J.' plus signature makes it look very authentic, but these letters are not that original after all.
    I will try and muster the energy to reply to this, as per Brucie's recommendation.
    By the way: isn't it a bit of a farce? I (and 'everyone else') used the template provided to write to John Bercow, he seems to have done exactly the same to reply to me (and everyone else). Tit for Tat ......
    Looks like we could all do with being a little bit more imaginative!
     
  13. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    269
    notts
    Hi all, I am going back to the pen and paper and i am going to write from the heart in words that i understand and explain what they are doing to the carers and the people they care for and tell them what iwould like and what they are not delivering. storm
     
  14. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear all,

    Personal letters sound like a good idea for the second round, don't they? Good luck all...!

    Jude
     
  15. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Dear All

    I too have received a letter from my MP in answer to the request for a signiture on the EDM for free healthcare for dementia sufferers. I won't bother typing out the letter but as he is a labour MP he is obviously toeing the government line.

    I have today sent the following email in reply, whether it is as diplomatic as it might be I neither know nor care, but I was incensed when I heard the news today on the overspend on a new computer system for the NHS.

    Your Ref. 04-08-024 CON XX-EW
    Dear Mr Sheerman
    Thank you for your reply to my email on Healthcare for people with dementia.

    I note that you do not answer my request for you to sign the early day motion to provide free care for people with dementia. But from the tone of your letter it is apparent that you are following the government line and do not intend to sign.

    I also note that the government is spending and additional billion pounds for social services over the next three years.

    I would be very interested to learn how you and your conscience can reconcile the spending of up to thirty (30) billion pounds, five times the estimated budget, on a new computer system for the NHS and yet refuse to provide free healthcare for people with a terminal illness.

    I would also point out that the vast majority of dementia sufferers are cared for by relatives at no charge to the NHS and are saving the country an estimated 57 million pound per year.

    There is much talk in the social services of prioritising the service to the people most in need. It would be better if the priority was to put terminally ill patients before ill conceived and even worse monitored plans to install new computer systems.

    Yours sincerely
    Frank Barraclough

    I think that perhaps if everyone contacts their MP in a similar manner it might cause enough embarrassment to prick a few conciences. Although knowing how thick skinned polititians are that is a doubtful premise.

    However it has eased my wroth and cheered me up just writing it.

    Cheers Barraf
     
  16. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Barraf,

    Good on you! I hope receive a speedy reply. Would be very interested to read it.

    I've just had another letter from Ms Bottomley, which apart from switching paragraphs around, is in fact, exactly the same letter that she sent me originally. I wonder if she is suffering from short term memory loss?

    Jude
     
  17. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Dear All

    Just received a further letter from Mr Sheerman MP in reply to my second email.

    He still doesn't answer either my request for him sign the EDM. or my question of his concience and the overspend of £30 billion on a computer system.

    In my next email I think I shall ask if he has ever considered becoming a polititian as he seem to have the requisite faculty of ignoring any question and coming out with a load of old bull.

    The only relevant paragraph in his latest epistle is as follows.

    "One of the main issues here is whether care for dementia is defined as personal care or nursing care. The care of people with dementia often requires the involvement of a registered nurse. Where an individual's assessed continuing medical needs are of a certain level, as defined by the strategic health authority's eligibility criteria, then the individual's package of care is fully funded by the NHS. People with dementia are as entitled to fully funded NHS continuing care as those with other conditions if they meet local eligibility criteria."

    Make of that what you will.

    In my veiw the first sentence is what we are objecting to, care for dementia should all be classed as nursing care.
    What the rest seems to be saying (if I have deciphered the gobbledegook correctly) is that if a dementia suffer requires hospital treatment we won't charge.

    What do you think?

    Cheers Barraf
     
  18. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Barraf,

    You're correct - it is a load of bull. ......'if they meet the eligibility criteria'...... The whole point surely is that we are objecting to eligibility criteria as discriminating against AD/Dementia sufferers.

    Er, I think he isn't reading the question.

    Jude
     
  19. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Dear Jude

    Oh he is reading the question alright he is just not answering it.

    Cheers Barraf
     
  20. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Deat All

    Have sent off yet another email to Mr Sheerman MP as below.

    Dear Mr Sheerman
    Thank you for your two letters in reply to my queries on Healthcare for people with dementia.

    You have up to now failed to answer either of the two question I put forward.

    The first question was, would you sign the EDM proposing free health care for people with dementia. All this required was a simple YES or NO. What I got in reply was five paragraphs, non of which applied to the question.

    My email in response to your first letter repeated the question and also asked what your position was on the overspend of £24 Billion on a computer system for the NHS. Again what I got in reply was another five paragraphs, non of which applied to the questions either.

    With this aptitude for ignoring difficult questions and pouring out pages of gobbledegook I think you should go far in your chosen profession.

    I look forward to hearing from you with a simple answer to simple questions. After all you can live in hope if you die in despair.

    Yours sincerely

    Frank Barraclough

    I seriously doubt it will have any effect, but I enjoyed writing it.

    Cheers Barraf
     

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