26/11/2014 Leave a comment
Last Tuesday week it was up early to travel to Colchester to give a speech to the Essex Care Providers Network. I was asked to do 30 minutes talking about Care Services – Past, Present and the Future, as you prepare for these things you sort of go to the place in your head questioning if can talk for 30 minutes on a subject but as I drafted my bullet point card to make sure I did not lose my way when speaking, I found I easily has 30 minutes of thoughts on this difficult subject, as it was I had to trim it down to 30 minutes which is what I did and from the Q&A session at the end I think I was at least thought provoking.
After my bit we heard from Rachel Robertson, Best Interests Assessor and Alison Woolf, Adult Safeguards, both from Essex County Council, who talked about the difficult world of DOLs, that’s Depravation of Liberty to you and me and the recent Lady Hale judgement against Cheshire West Council which in essence means that even for people who decide with their loved ones that the time is right to enter a care home setting an assessment now needs to be made however happy people are about making this decision and of course this has considerable costs implications for Council across the county. A simply judgement that has profound implications on procedures and costs for both residential providers and councils.
Last but not least was Michael Parsons and Quin his guide dog, Michael works for his own company ACC Consulting Limited and he talked with passion the need and requirements of the current legislation on Disability Discrimination. By way of illustration he told a very powerful tale of ‘the white box’ which as he began to speak I wondered what it was. Slowly he talked about the white walls, white doors, white wash basins, and white toilet and toilet seat then I began to realise he was talking about most toilets facilities in most building and it was so powerful how what we think of great design that is these white boxes, but to a visually impaired person these can be a real difficult spaces. In short we need to fundamentally shift our thought processes as we design and commission buildings to make they are truly disabled accessible rather than an after-thought, a very powerful story indeed and a good way to end the morning.