Care service changes made 'under cover of Covid'
Janet Shapiro, Hornsey Pensioners Action Group
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Hornsey Pensioners Action Group is not giving up.
Our Christmas card greeting was “Keep on Keeping on into 2021!” – in the spirit of the Harry Lauder song Keep Right On to the End of the Road, sung at the finale of each annual National Pensioners Convention (NPC) Parliament, except 2020.
Our group is part of NPC, founded by Jack Jones in 1979 as an organisation to fight for older people’s rights and this gives us strength (npcuk.org).
We follow precautions to keep safe during the Covid-19 pandemic; monthly bulletins have been delivered to all members by post and email.
We miss the monthly face-to-face meetings but the expertise of NPC has helped us campaign to keep the hard won rights for older people, threatened “Under Cover of Covid”.
These include the “triple lock” that prevents erosion of the meagre UK basic state pension and the concessionary TV licence for those over 75.
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The government is duty bound to fund the TV licence cost while pensioners stay at home, dependent on safe communications until the pandemic ends; then we shall need public transport and concessionary travel to keep active and give our time as volunteers.
We look for policies that will “save the planet” – government subsidies for public transport – cheaper fares, especially for the unwaged young and older passengers, adoption of clean air strategies to benefit the health of residents and reduce global warming.
Details of Haringey’s climate action plan can be found here .
The greatest threat, sneaked in “under cover of Covid”, is the consultation from NHS England, Integrating Care: Next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England’, to be commented on by Friday, January 8 at england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/integrated-care-systems/
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A wholesale revamp, replacing clinical commissioning groups with business units called “integrated care systems”, no longer responsible for those in need, but fully privatised as in the United States, more expensive and less effective.
See hornseypag.org.uk for advice from Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together. The proposals become law in April 2021. Get informed now and make your comments.
- Janet Shapiro represents Hornsey Pensioners Action Group.