Caring for the Elderly

Following agreement of the WRFA Executive Committee, this letter was sent to all Wiltshire MPs and Leader of Wiltshire Council on behalf of members of our Association in 2018:


This Association is constantly seeking to serve its members, all of whom have served the public during their working lives and are now in retirement.

Inevitably, this means that the work of the Association is constantly bringing us into contact with aged members that have need to call upon the services of the NHS and/or the Wiltshire Council care services.

Hardly a day passes without our notice being drawn to the unsatisfactory service that some of our members are receiving when in need of medical intervention or the support of the care services provided by Wiltshire Council.  The minority of our members that can afford to pay for private medical insurance are able to avoid the waiting times for elective surgery and specialist consultations but the majority are left with no choice but to suffer the inadequate provisions of the NHS.

We fully understand that only the dedication, compassion and commitment of the NHS clinical staff is keeping the NHS from avoiding even worse problems but for how long can the pressure upon these people be endured?

We have recently heard the Secretary of State for Health try to reassure the British people that he understands the problems facing the NHS and he has an agreed plan to solve them but he has warned that the solutions will take time to come into force.  Hearing these words it is almost as if the causes of the problems that have beset the NHS and local government have appeared out of nowhere and could not have been foreseen.  Yet, we have been aware for many years that longevity of people in UK is increasing and this means that there are more elderly folk living longer and therefore requiring more services and support as inevitably they suffer illnesses and disabilities brought on by the natural ageing process.  This should not have come as a shock to either national or local government.

This same lack of political foresight and preplanning can be seen in the way that care in the community has descended into crisis.  Many of our members have come up against the problem of bed blocking and a source within a district NHS hospital has fed us with data that seems to indicate that this is a major factor contributing to the shortage of hospital beds for patients that need in-patient treatment.

This must indicate that the way that the Wiltshire Council is joining up its services to those of the NHS still leaves a lot to be desired.

Of course, we have not lost sight of the fact that we are still passing through a period of austerity and there is a limit to the money available to deal with all the needs of people like our members. However, so concerned and frustrated are we as an Association representing the interests of a particular group of public service pensioners that I have been authorised to write to you expressing our strong feelings on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

14th February 2017

The following responses have been received:

Clare Perry MP
To open letter, click HERE

Baroness Scott, Leader Wiltshire Council
To open letter, click HERE