Category: Advice

December newsletter

We continue to meet in the  the Marian Centre at Hornsey Parish Church Hall, Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH, formerly St. George’s Church.April 2013 001

Access for the Marian Centre is through the big metal gates shown on the photograph, behind the bus stop on Park Road for W7 buses towards Muswell Hill.

The entrance is by the steps on the right of the building, but a step free access can be found through the second wooden gates around the building. Look out for our notices to guide you.  Bus routes nearby: W7, 144, W3. Cross safely using the zebra crossing or the crossing with traffic lights.

News of members

The meeting on November 20th began with a minute’s silence. In sadness we honoured both Hetty Bower and Vilma Grant.

We had hoped that Hetty would recover from her stroke, but unfortunately she suffered a second one and died on November 12th. There will be a private family funeral on December 7th, but a gathering to celebrate her life will be held in 2014 and we shall let you know details when this is arranged. It is hoped this will be in February.

IMG_0881Hetty crWe remember Hetty Bower as a founding member of our group, but her renown is national. Born 1905 as Hetty Rimmel, she devoted her life to campaigning for peace and social justice. Only last September she received a standing ovation for a speech at a Labour Party fringe meeting.

 

Hetty with her family marching to stop closures in the Whittington Hospital recently

She regularly attended the annual August 6th                    Hiroshima  Commemoration Day.

Reg and Hetty Bower set up our Pensioners Action Group; we shall miss her – we have lost a loved and respected campaigner.

A complete obituary will be available at the next meeting.

Meeting November 20th ‘Scrimp & Save’

This was a lively session; our members exchanged ideas working at three tables. Members are apparently expert in saving money and also had ideas for saving water and fuel. We learned new tricks from each other; don’t despair if you missed it. The tips will be collated in a pamphlet to be handed out later.

Gordon Deuchars had come to tell us more about Age UK. Gordon added his comments after our teamwork.  He concurred with many of our ideas, but urged us to observe safety considerations when saving electric light and heating. He added more suggestions on shopping wisdom. He mentioned ‘Love Food/Hate Waste’ that run events www.lovefoodhatewaste.com and Silver Travel Advisor, [c/o Age UK, 4th Floor, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, LondonWC1H 9NA].

Gordon urged us to claim the benefits that we are entitled to. Age UK can advise. 0800 169 6565.

HPAG attended the National Pensioners Convention Lobby of Parliament Wednesday 27th November, for the photo and at the Rally/Lobby. (Photos later.)

There was a very long wait to get into the House of Commons so The meeting started late. We had speakers from Unison, 38Degrees, Northern Ireland speaker for ‘The Hands Off Campaign’, Brian Sturtivant (NPC expert on pensions), Kelvin Hopkins MP and Rodney Bickerstaffe. NPC General Secretary Dot Gibson gave a rousing introduction on the many NPC campaigns on behalf of pensioners now and in the future. Keeping public services is crucial for us and the younger generations – we want no scape-goating of older people. Most important is to oppose the ‘Transparency & Integrity in Lobbying’ Bill being rushed through parliament. It is misnamed -the Bill hardly affects Corporate lobbying but would restrict the democratic rights of ordinary citizens belonging to charities, unions and NPC. Such organisations are not rich and have few paid staff yet the bill will impose heavy reporting, and unreasonable limits on spending long-term, not just during the election period. Do all you can to ensure that MPs and those in the House of Lords oppose it.

The next HPAG meeting is on January 22nd 2014

The speaker Joanne Barrett from ‘Living under one sun’ on Haringey Big Community Switch.

This is our Annual General Meeting at which you can put forward your suggestions for how the group is run. You can also propose motions on local or national issues that you care about. Please let us know well before the AGM.

The AGM for London Region National Pensioners Convention (LR NPC) is on March 27th2014. The following motions have been suggested.

Elections:    

This meeting notes that in the run up to local and parliamentary elections that it essential that candidates are fully informed of the concerns of older people and the National Pensioners Convention policies. 

This meeting urges members to lobby existing councillors and MPs and candidates to make sure they are all properly informed and to gain their assurances for support.

Safe transport:   

This meeting observes that for the safety of travellers, particularly those with mobility problems or in need of assistance, stations in London should be staffed at all times when trains are running.

This meeting resolves to liaise with transport unions and campaign for all stations to be fully staffed.

The meeting also resolves to continue campaigning for stations to be step free.

Home care:         

This meeting recognises that the local authority provision of home care has been largely delivered through commissioning of services to agencies, and that many of these are employing care workers on zero hours contracts.  We consider that this must be detrimental to the care delivered to older people, while we note that the care workers themselves struggle to give good care.

This meeting urges members to campaign for better home-care services by:

  • Endorsing and publicising the NPC Fair Care Campaign.
  • Lobbying local authority commissioners to strengthen contracts to ensure that care workers get training and good working conditions.
  • Gathering evidence from local people in receipt of home care.
  • Making contact with care workers to encourage them to join unions and demand fair conditions of work.

Reverse marketisation of NHS:       to be drafted in line with our article in Ham & High

Nurse Staffing levels:  this motion would back the call from the Royal College of Nursing for limits to be set in law for safe nurse to patient ratios.

 HPAG will put these motions at the GLR NPC AGM. The full text of the motions can be collected on December 11th.




Meeting of November 20th

“Scrimp & Save”

 Come with your ideas

Wednesday November 20th 2013

Arrive any time after 1.30pm for prompt start at 2pm

at the Marian Centre*

Hornsey Parish Church Hall,

Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH

Entrance behind W7 bus stop on Park Road

Buses W3 144 stop nearby 

Socialise with refreshments & raffle after the talk.

Next meetings: Social  on Dec. 11th 

    AGM & Big Community Switch  on Jan.22nd 2014

 Contacts:  Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335, Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571 [email protected]

We continue to meet in the autumn at the Marian Centre at Hornsey Parish Church Hall, Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH, formerly St. George’s Church.

Access for the Marian Centre is through the big metal gates shown on the photograph, behind the bus stop on Park Road for W7 buses towards Muswell Hill.

The entrance is by the steps on the right of the building, but a step free access caApril 2013 001n be found through the second wooden gates around the building.

 

Look out for our notices to guide you.

Bus routes nearby: W7, 144, W3.

Cross safely using the zebra crossing or the crossing with traffic lights.


 



Report on September meeting and other news

September 18th ‘Are you prepared for when you need care?’ speakers: Paul Hatchment & Marcella Gibbi.

There was very good attendance to hear about this important issue. Lauritz was chair and opened with Defend Haringey Health Service’s challenge to the government to approach those commissioning care services about standards of service and employment practice; to encourage care clients and employees to comment on services.

It was a lively session with interesting questions to Paul Hatchment (Haringey’s Interim Team Manager for Neighbourhoods and Older People and Marcella Gibbi from the financial assessment team.

Paul emphasised that referrals came from a wide range of sources e.g. social workers, family, GPs. If anyone is concerned over an elderly person they should contact the Integrated Access Team (0208489 1400 9-5pm Mondays to Fridays or email [email protected])

Everyone has up to 6 weeks of re-enablement FREE after leaving hospital until the client reaches the level of health previous to hospitalisation. A social worker would then consider any need for more support.

The client’s personal budget would be assessed. Previously a social worker would allocate the care services. Now with Personalisation a certain sum of money per week would be allocated to the client by the Personal Budget Support team. The client can choose for the team to commission their care services through agencies or they can chose to employ a friend or relative not living with them. The latter may be a choice on cultural grounds. The client can decide to handle any part of the services they require or all parts if they so wish.  There are drawbacks to the latter because they may have to pay their carer’s employment rights (holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave). Pam Moffett who has 24 hour care said at least the agency would have an immediate replacement if the carer was sick. With the client in control of their budget it also encouraged competition between the agencies. The care agencies recommended have been vetted by the community team and been CQC (Care Quality Commission) checked.

Clients had various needs ranging from 3 days at a day centre to 2 carers at a time needed throughout each day. The money available is linked to needs. Older peoples’ needs fluctuate and the panel would decide the amount. The overall care budget is given to the Council from the Government. Marcella said that total needs, which were monitored every month, were projected from one year to the next and tended to be roughly similar. The speakers did accept that with an ageing population the budget would need to increase but there were already mechanisms for higher management to apply to the Government if the budget was already spent. Not all of a care package would be financed from the Council e.g. NHS funding could be part of it. At the moment there are 2,200 people being supported in Haringey.

Agencies charged between £12 and £24 an hour for carers depending on the level of skill required. (Lauritz pointed out that because of better employment conditions and employment costs Council employed carers had cost £36 an hour)

The Council aims for all carers to receive the minimum London wage of £8.30 an hour. They make spot checks for quality of service and review agency contracts every few years.

Paying for care is full cost for people with over £23,250 savings but if still living at home the value of the property is not included.  If needing residential care- costing from £500 to £700 per week in Haringey or from £650 if nursing care needed- the value of property will be included although this can be offset by renting or deferring its sale. (See included leaflet of Contributions for Community Care services 2013/2014).

A linked issue was raised by Helena Kania (hospital governor) concerning poor communication between the hospital discharge team and social services when a patient in their 90s had been sent home without any social care to his disabled elderly wife. Paul said the Social Services team should receive a fax from the hospital for any concerned discharge. Others in the meeting knew of similar poor discharge events.

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NB The National Pensioners Convention policy is: “We need a free National Care Service funded like the NHS through general taxation and a redistribution of current government spending”

This ‘Fair Care Campaign’ is fully explained in the NPC booklet, cost £2.

Look out for the next HPAG Ham & High column to be published on October 3rd.

Party Time!         Come Forward

Our meeting on December 11th will be a party.  We invite members to come forward with their contribution.  This could be a story from childhood or career. We know many of us had interesting lives!

Contributions may be a reading, story, poetry or musical.

We prefer to hear from you before December 2nd.  Those inspired on the day are welcome but there may be a queue!

LR NPC AGM (London Region National Pensioners Convention is next year, but we are preparing HPAG motions. Please make your suggestions. The deadline is in December.

HPAG AGM January 15th or 22nd 2014

Get ready with your suggestions for how the group is run, or motions for local or national issues that you care about.  It is your group!  Deadline is December 4th but start thinking now.

 

Looking out for one another – 

Would you be prepared to join a ‘Telephone Tree’?

This would mean being given numbers of other members who have agreed, so that you could phone them or be telephoned yourself. Often members get ill or have other troubles and no one knows. In this way we may be able to help. Please let the committee know if you are willing.  You could also indicate members that should be on your list.

 

Report of the September 29th demonstration at the conservative Party Conference in Manchester against austerity cuts

 

LOCAL ACTIVITIES

Esther Singer (8883 3391) informs us of this exercise class that will be added to our list of local activities.

Keep Fit for over 50’s with musical accompaniment.  United Reformed Church Hall, Tetherdown, Tuesdays 10.30 from Sept. 3rd. (£3 followed by optional refreshments to follow)



September Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group Meeting

 Wednesday 2pm September 18th 2013

Arrive any time after 1.30pm for prompt start at 2pm

Marian Centre

Entrance behind W7 bus stop on Park Road

Hornsey Parish Church Hall, Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH 

Are you prepared for when you need care?

The cost of Integrated Care

Paul Hatchment  Haringey Council

&

Also a presentation on National Pensioners Convention’s ‘Fair Care Campaign (NPC booklet available)

Next meetings:  16 Oct. 20 Nov.

Contacts:  Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335, Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571 [email protected]



Meeting for July 17th 2013

Wednesday 2pm July 17th 2013

Arrive any time after 1.30pm for  prompt start at 2pm at

Marian Centre, Hornsey Parish Church Hall, at junction of Cranley Gardens and Park Road, N10 3AH  to

Let’s Talk about Bereavement’

with

Father Bruce of Hornsey Parish Church

& Hans Meijer , Humanistic Integrative Counsellor & Psychotherapist

plus

Reports on serious debate & seaside fun from our delegates at Blackpool

Next meetings: 18th Sept. 16 Oct. 20 Nov.

Contacts:  Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335, Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571 [email protected]