THE TUC is backing a North Wales campaigner fighting for the rights of the elderly in their response to the Government’s national debate on care and support.
Ken Mack, an independent disability and elderly rights campaigner from Wrexham, has spent the last seven years trying to get the Government and Welsh Assembly to support his campaign to protect the elderly against eviction from care homes.
His own ageing mother-in-law died shortly after having to move out of a care home in Wrexham and Mr Mack believes it is a scandal that in their vulnerable twilight years the elderly should have the threat of eviction when a care home might have to close.
Now Mr Mack says he has the support of six-and-a-half million trade unionists.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve been ploughing a lone furrow for nearly seven years and at least this is a small glimmer of hope – not that this Government has been listening to people.”
The TUC is a consultee in the Government’s consultation on the UK care and support system.
Senior TUC policy officer, Richard Exell, has told him his campaign had “helped the TUC in drafting our response to the Government’s consultation...we express our support for your campaign.”
In its report to the Government the TUC says: “Ken Mack, an independent campaigner, has pointed out people who sell their homes to pay for a place in a care home are giving up a home in which they had a security of tenure in return for accommodation from which they can be evicted with no redress.
“Regrettably the Government has told Mr Mack it ‘has no intention to introduce legislation to ensure care home residents are never required to move’.
“This is probably correct if we continue to rely on a wholly privatised system of care home provision – if providing such homes is a business, should the business fail, the homes will close.
“To unions, this seems to make a strong case for avoiding over-reliance on the private sector.”
Mr Mack said the Government had ignored previous criticism and the findings of a Royal Commission.
But he was heartened an organisation representing about six-and-a-half million workers now agreed with his views.
He added: “It’s extremely positive and I’m very pleased with the response.”