Thursday, 28 November 2019

Brent's independent voice for the disabled silenced

No longer able to afford the market rent demanded by the NHS  for its premises in Willesden Hospital Brent Advocacy Concerns has closed its doors today and will vacate tomorrow.

Last week I received this message from John Healy, one of the volunteers (there are no paid workers):
I know you are very busy with the election and climate change, not forgetting Brent's pavement's as well but I am just letting you know that we will be leaving our office this Friday, the 29th November 2019 (on the same site for over 31 years) where we have been continuously providing advocacy to the disabled community in Brent during all that time.

We are not closing down (yet) as we will still be available online but without seeing people in person, I think it will only be a matter of time before we close the charity down completely.

Through Wembley Matters, could you ask both the council and Brent CCG who will take over from us by  seeing disabled people face to face in an office, when we are no longer there.

With a nice bit of irony--A Clinical Psychologist from Northwick Park Hospital has asked us (21/11/19) to provide him with an advocate for one of his stroke patients, who can no longer access his kitchen & bathroom.  I have sent him two emails offering to advocate for him but as yet, he has not replied.
John got in touch again this evening to say:
Hi Martin, I had three disabled people contact me on my last day.


A lady with Autism who had been turned down by PowHer, Voiceability and Brent CAB who all said she did not meet their eligibility criteria.  Even the council turned her away, saying she was not entitled to a needs assessment.  Under The Care Act, 2014, the council have a statutory duty to carry out an assessment for anyone who asks for one.

So with us gone after today, who will help disabled people in Brent?
Best wishes
I hope the the Council and Brent CCG will respond but I don't think it right not to finish without thanking John and his colleagues, past and present, for what they have done for Brent people with a disability over the past three decades.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Green Left Committee said...

Cllr Hector has placed this comment on the Brent Fightback Facebook link to the above: Claudia Hector It is indeed outrageous and this isn’t the only charity that has been excluded from the Central Middlesex Hospital. This is the doing of NHS England. They have made it clear that they would rather have voids bringing in no money than have charities, that pay rent, in the hospital. We have done what we can via the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and numerous emails but NHS England will not relent. They refuse to have any organisation there that isn’t paying top dollar.