Parkinson's UK supporter speaks to Sky News about social care
8 February 2012
One of our supporters, Valerie Rossiter from Fareham, Hampshire
spoke to Sky News
this morning about her experiences with social care.
Valerie's interview came in the wake of a report released
today by a group of influential MPs.
The House of Commons
Health Select Committee report on social care says that older
people are being let down by the disjointed care system.
Valerie (pictured right) has cared for her husband
John, who has Parkinson's and Parkinson's dementia, for 18
Make costs more bearable
The report urges the Government to accept the recommendations
from the Dilnot
report and to spend more money on social care to make costs
more bearable for people.
It also says that the Government needs to do more for carers and
that GPs need to do more to identify carers so they can support
But the report also says that we can't struggle on with 3
systems of NHS, social and housing fighting over budgets, while
older people fall between the cracks.
Given the ageing population, the only sensible solution is for
all three systems to work together in each local area under one
budget for older people.
"Worrying about money was the last straw"
For Valerie and so many people affected by Parkinson's the
conclusions from this report are not new.
Valerie told Sky News:
"After 10 years of John receiving Continuing Health Care from the NHS it was
stopped last year. Now his care comes from social services which is
means tested. The NHS seems to have forgotten that with Parkinson's
someone's health needs get worse, not better.
After 17 years of caring 24 hours a day, the stress of worrying about money was the last straw.
The NHS seems to have forgotten that with Parkinson's someone's health needs get worse, not better.
"Within a couple of months of that perverse decision being made,
I had a physical and emotional breakdown. After 17 years of caring
24 hours a day, the stress of worrying about money was the last
"This is what instigated my husband going into the home. I now
find myself topping up from my disappearing savings for his care in
the care home.
"The decision to remove John from Continuing Health Care was
nothing to do with his care and everything to do with who was going
to pay for it.
"There needs to be one pot of money so they stop passing the
cost of care about from pillar to post. Then they can focus on the
person, not on their bottom line."
Invest in social care now for the future
Anjuli Veall, our social care policy and campaigns manager,
"We are campaigning so that social care is more affordable and
the system becomes fairer.
"But there is nothing more powerful than the stories directly
from people affected by Parkinson's. Unfortunately, Valerie's
experience is not uncommon for people affected by Parkinson's.
"We hope that today's report will bring home to the Government
that people with Parkinson's and their carers need support that
puts them at the centre, not the institutions involved."
Find out more
The more that the issues are ignored, the fewer people
affected by Parkinson's will get support and the worse care
services will get. We need your help.