Socialist Worker

Scandal as 102 year old faces eviction

Issue No. 1856

A 102 year old woman in Kent faces eviction from her care home because she can't afford to pay the increased fees. Winifred Humphrey is a victim of the privatisation of care for the elderly. Over 86 percent of care homes are in private sector hands. They are run as a business with high fees for residents and low pay for staff. This is the reality of Blair's 'modernisation' of public services.

He announced this week he would push ahead with the 'reform agenda'. It means the vulnerable have to plead for the services they need or face having to pay.

Winifred, like many others, sold her home to fund her care. But the money ran out last year. Now Lifestyle Care Homes has told her she will have to leave Bradley House. Its fees are higher than the amount Kent's Tory-run council is paying for Winifred's care.

In Blair's Britain 'entrepreneurs' are worshipped and profiteering firms are brought in to 'solve' the crisis in public services. Yet the elderly are regarded as a financial burden, who are 'bed blocking' in hospitals. New Labour refuses to implement the findings of a report it set up in 1997 which recommended that personal and nursing care should be free. This is despite the fact that this change would cost a third of what the government spent on war in Iraq.

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Sat 21 Jun 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1856
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