The Health Minister, Norman Lamb wants the job of providing social care and interaction for elderly people who are living alone to be carried out by the local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
A great idea, given the prediction by one of our clients last week that the current funding crisis for elderly care is likely to lead to falling care standards due to pressure on carers to provide value for money to the local authority, but how practical is it? The job of neighbourhood watch is primarily to deter and prevent crime in a particular locale or street. As such, it has something of a reputation of being carreid out behind the twitching curtains when there is a whiff of disturbance of the peace or some unfamiliar faces lurking in the shadows.
Could this same neighbourhood watch provide regular friendship and social interaction for the elderly in our society as a general rule? What do you think?
Neighbourhood watch groups should be responsible for providing care to more than a million “miserable and lonely” pensioners, the health minister has said.