THE chief executive of one of the UK’s leading care providers has said politicians and civil servants must use their power to resolve the impasse that is keeping vulnerable adults locked away.
Dorothy Jarvis-Lee of ubu in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said that recent comments by the Care Minister, Norman Lamb, blaming civil servants for the missed deadline to transfer vulnerable adults from institutions into their communities were inexcusable.
She said that as an elected politician he was responsible for ensuring that action was taken to protect those at risk in society and blaming others was not good enough, particularly not when he knew that there were viable and more cost effective solutions available.
Mrs Jarvis-Lee was commenting after Norman Lamb described the ‘transfer plan’ to get all vulnerable adults out of institutions and into the community by June 1 as ‘an abject failure’ and said that there had to be a ‘complete culture change’ – a reference to the fact that many people were still locked away because civil servants were arguing over funding and care options.
“He visited one of our uStep settings in Leeds in March and commented then on how progressive and successful it was,” she said.
“There is no excuse for inactivity and inertia particularly when you consider it costs up to £6,000 to keep some vulnerable adults in institutions,” she said.
“Norman Lamb is responsible for changing the culture. The blame game is now being batted back and forth between politicians who say the civil servants need to change and the civil servants who say the politicians are starving them of the resources”, she said.
“Real people are at the heart of this issue. We proved to Norman Lamb there was a way forward. uStep has demonstrated tangible improvements in the lives of those most at risk in society and he agreed it should be rolled out further.”
Mrs Jarvis-Lee said a real frustration at ubu was the investment it had made in developing and implementing pioneering care models.
“uStep has been evolving since the mid 1980s and we have literally scoured the world to find new ways of helping those with the most complex needs. We have invested huge resources to improve the lives of our consumers while safeguarding them.
“When Norman Lamb visited our uStep in Leeds he agreed that it was a good solution. It is up to him to kick start the implementation to help vulnerable adults.
“When we see inertia like this it is frustrating to think that so many are denied better lives because politicians won’t act.”