ROBIN Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member and his Party’s Westminster candidate in the area, has said there is a need for all sections of society, especially the police and community workers, to co-operate fully to protect the elderly in the constituency and, if elected, he would campaign for new powers to protect the elderly.
Assemblyman Swann said the elderly had become the “most vulnerable” section in the area and it was imperative that all community-based organisations devoted personnel to help the plight of pensioners.
Mr Swann added: “We need to develop a real ethos of community care on the ground regarding the elderly. Caring for the elderly should not be left solely to the community nurses and home helps.
“If the Westminster Government is to successfully implement a policy of effective community nursing, it must earmark cash to provide more personnel.
“Our district nurses and home helps already perform a terrific task in North Antrim, but it is essential that all the other organisations which have a link with the elderly population do so in a spirit of greater co-operation.
“There also need for the development of the emergency telephone service to all pensioners, whereby the elderly and other vulnerable people can have easy access to the phone.
“Equally, there can be no doubting that the key to the success of both acute care and convalescent care lies in the quality of our nursing staff. Northern Ireland needs more nurses both for acute hospitals and district community nursing. This situation needs to be radically addressed as too much cash is being wasted on bureaucratic duplication.
“The danger is that our health service is being built around empires and individuals. As a result, the nursing staff on the wards are suffering and the patients are having to bear the brunt.
“However, with greater co-operation between the various organisations which have an interest in or have a responsibility for the elderly, then perhaps more personnel, resources and finance can be diverted directly to caring for this very vulnerable section of our community,” said Assemblyman Swann.
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