Every effort is made to keep people in the community setting where possible. That's the default position.
yes and no, I'm afraid. If you happen to be a high needs disabled person there is in fact considerable pressure on you and your family to accept residential care of one type or another rather than be supported in your own home. This is first hand experience speaking, as well as the experiences of my high needs friends.
It's easy to believe all the nice words, as in the Disability Strategy, but the practice doesn't bear them out, unfortunately.
However I realise you are talking about the narrower field of mental health which might just possibly be an exception.
The issue is risk not resources.
It's much more complicated than that.
Although various funding agencies are contributing to Ashley's care to the tune of about a million, these funds can only be used in specific predetermined ways.
If it were the case that a key decision maker with oversight of Ashley's care was able to allocate up to a million in the most appropriate ways to obtain best care for Ashley and best safety practices for staff, that could and, I think, would be done. But this million is not like that, it is an estimated part of the cost of running the establishment which is imprisoning Ashley, plus the costs of medication and other aspects of his care, none of which approach meeting his needs. What it does is manage the safety and expectations of those charged with his care at the cost of his mental health and physical health and his human rights.
So it is an issue of resources because standard funding arrangements and bureaucratic systems ignore exceptional cases like Ashley and cannot easily be modified to meet the need. If you have unusual needs the health, disability and social welfare system we have developed does not cater for you. And you don't have to be as exceptional as Ashley to be in the too hard basket either. Ashley represents the tip of an iceberg.
can never get an opportunity to actually talk to the MP privately.
which I once thought was a right of citizenship, so that your local MP can actually represent you and possibly help with intractable problems you are experiencing
The difficulty of seeing your MP is probably true. I'm in West Auckland and when I made an appointment to see my MP, Paula Bennett at that time, the person I actually saw was her employee. I never spoke with her direct. The effectiveness of face to face interaction and potential to increase her visceral understanding was lost.
To be fair, I was subsequently invited to a morning tea event with Paula, but had to decline because of my daughter's health and disability needs.
The campaign Hilary was part of, to improve conditions for Ashley, appears to have succeeded, fingers crossed. We need a planned campaign that we can actually implement with our combined but still meagre resources.
There are some very good people on this group. But does anyone still think that even if by some miracle the group gets it right, the government will do it right?
I would dearly love to put the scales back on my eyes and go back to the comforting naivety I used to possess.
Family carers are excluded from the equity settlement being put in place for the mainly female caregiver workforce. Cliff Robinson covers it quite well in this interview with John Campbell http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201840857/anger-at-exclusion-from-new-caregiver-pay-rise
It stinks even more badly when you consider that there are only 300 or so families on FFC at the moment- it wouldn't have added much to the cost to include them. The Government seriously does not value their work, the message is loud and clear.