Lord Hanningfield's "abolish care homes" call slammed by Brentwood's Lib Dems

February 18, 2009 12:00 AM
David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall: "Lord Hanningfield is wrong to suggest that Care Homes are like prisons"

Cllr David Kendall, Leader of Brentwood's Liberal Democrats, has slammed comments made by Lord Hanningfield, Leader of Essex County Council, after he referred to Care Homes as "like prisons" and called for them to be abolished.

Lord Hanningfield made his comments after it was announced that Conservative controlled Essex County Council planned to spend £4 million on technology to help elderly residents stay in their own homes. The new equipment would include alarms, health monitors and sensors that would detect a fall, fire and gas.

Lord Hanningfield said "No one wants to go in a Care home it's like a prison. They want to stay in their own homes. As soon as we abolish care homes the better and people can stay in their own homes with care and support."

Cllr Kendall, who has worked on many campaigns for the elderly in the past such as the fight for a better state pension and the plight of residents living in Winifred Dell House in Warley, said

"Lord Hanningfield is wrong to suggest that Care Homes are like prisons. Many elderly residents who live in Care Homes view them as a safe haven were they can enjoy a sense of community and enjoy the company of others whilst maintaining a level of independence.

"If an elderly person wishes to stay living in their own home they should be given the choice and a guarantee that they will get the social services support they need but, clearly, this is not always possible for a variety of reasons, such as specific health care needs.

"For Lord Hanningfield to suggest that Care Homes should be abolished is ludicrous. It must also be extremely upsetting for those hard working staff caring for residents around the clock. Once again, Lord Hanningfield is making a broad statement about a very complex issue which could easily cause fear and anxiety to the many elderly people living in our community".