Thursday 2 November 2017

If we have to close down, who will help the disabled in Brent?

From Brent Advocacy Concerns (for background see LINK)

Yesterday a 74 year old disabled lady visited our office for her third appointment.  Her main issue is that she lives in a council flat with no heating and is on the third floor in a block with no lifts.  She has to stay in bed all the time to keep warm.  We have had to pass her case onto Brent Start, as we do not know how much longer we can remain in our office.  Normally we would do the work ourselves but we could not be certain that we could complete her case before we had to leave our office.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group informed us  exactly one month ago today, that they need our office for clinical use but they have not given us any further information and they do not reply to our emails.

This time last year (23rd Nov. 2016) the CCG and the council gave us assurances at 'The Well Being Scrutiny meeting' that they would support us to remain in Brent but they have not been in touch and the councillors do not reply to our emails either. 

The Dementia luncheon club adjacent to our office are still waiting to hear back from the CCG about their future.

Burnley Medical Practice have published on their website that they will start their new contract to deliver GP services from April, 2018.  But before they move in, they have reported that the construction of 8 new clinics will begin in January 2018 on the space currently used by the luncheon club.  A further 4/5 clinics will be based in the area which includes our office.

Burnley also report that they have held several meetings with the CCG and which have included the architects, the planners and others involved in the design of the practice relocation.

But to date, we have not been invited to any meetings concerning our future, nor have we been told anything about Burnley's relocation plans. Like you Martin, I can search and find out relevant information that affects us but it would be nice if the CCG would actually reply to us to officially tell us what is going on.

If we make it to next June (2018) we will have been providing services across Brent for 30 years, so we feel up for a fight, as there are still many disabled people needing our help and if we go who will take our place.


G.Lee said...

Services are so much worse today than they were 20 years ago. Why? Because 'Austerity measures' as practiced by Brent Labour Councillors have cut everything that remains, to the bone...many very positive and important organisations have already folded, and left huge voids where suffering, lack of support, and diminished community engagement have flourished. People in the community talk openly about corruption within the council...they see huge buildings springing up all over the Borough, but unaffordable homes, displacement of local people, diminished and over crowded local services...I am so disgusted by these current group of councillors who have stolen the Labour party banner to wreak havoc on the people of Brent, whilst lining their own pockets with allowances, back-handers, and a stupidly huge sparkly shiny HQ built from the proceeds of allowing Quintain to build on every inch of Wembley park...It makes me so sad to see closure after closure of services for the young, the old and the most vulnerable, all done under the name of Labour.... a party that should be supporting and fighting for these groups....well being....scrutiny....these terms are being mocked by these people.

Martin Francis said...

I agree with much of what you say although it was the Coalition and then the Tory government that slashed local government spending. Still Brent Labour bears resposibility for how they implemented the cuts and their lack of fight in resisting them, as well as the way they have become puppets of the developers. Not only do they ignore representations from local people but often hardly conceal their contempt for them. Meanwhile as you say those who are vulnerable or need a roof over their heads suffer. One of the most irritating things for me is the current bid to become a Borough of Culture when they closed half our libraries!

Martin Francis said...

Comment from Brent Advocacy Concerns: Just to clarify some points by the replies you received today and last week.

We receive nothing from the council in monetary terms and our independence might be questioned by some, if we were to move into the Civic Centre. Most of our work has been to question the council over their failings e.g I would love to hear why they failed to provide any heating for this lady in her flat for the last 40 years. BHP thought that they had met all their Decent Homes targets but obviously not in this case.

Anonymous said...

Brent still has a few genuine Labour councillors, but too many seem to have no principles and no care for the people they are meant to be representing.

Philip Grant said...

It is disgraceful that this situation should have arisen.

I would suggest sending an email, with a LINK to this blog and a request that urgent action be taken to resolve a positive future for Brent Advocacy Concern (in line with previous promises), to the following:-

Carolyn Downs, Brent's Chief Executive, at:

Phil Porter, Brent's Strategic Director of Community Wellbeing, at:

Muhammed Butt, Council Leader, at:

Ketan Sheth, Chair of Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, at:

Krupesh Hirani, Chair of Brent's Health and Wellbeing Board, at:


Dr Ellie Kong, Chair of Brent CCG