“Nothing will change until everyone takes this as seriously as I have.”

A Devon resident has been campaigning for nine years for an overhaul of the private care home system following his mother’s death, which he believes could have been prevented.

As we await the long anticipated Social Care Green Paper, John Barrass, from Bickington, appeals to Healthwatch Devon to help have his concerns heard about the adult social care system.

This is his story so far…

My Struggle
“My whole life changed on 23 October 2009 when my mother died following a serious stroke, and subsequent appalling care.”

A summary of the actions taken since 2009

  • I wrote a document called, Care Means Care, Justice in Care which has been sent to 2 Prime Ministers, 80 MP’S, The Health Secretary, Chairs of the select committees
  • I have had replies back from 6 out of 7 Care Ministers, and from the last 2 Prime Ministers
  • I have contacted 12 Peers in the House of Lords
  • I have contacted 14 celebrities including Joanna Lumley , Esther Rantzen, Angela Rippon, Brian May, Kevin Whatley, Barbara Windsor, Ann Widecombe, Glenda Jackson and Joan Bakewell
  • My MP Peter Heaton Jones, (pictured with John above) has held 2 debates in Parliament, November 2015 and November 2016
  • I have been to the BBC and have received a reply from the Director James Harding; to ITN National News and have had a reply back from Geoff Hill Editor; Channel 4 News and Channel 5 NEWS
  • I have contacted all national newspapers, BBC Spotlight and ITV Westcountry, and all of the leading charities
  • I attended a meeting via video link up with Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, and Care Minister, Caroline Dineage MP, on 25 April 2018, 14:00. The BBC reported on 26 April 2018 ‘Peter Heaton-Jones, MP for North Devon, says a meeting between a local resident and a senior government minister to discuss concerns about care homes was “extremely constructive”.’ Peter Heaton-Jones MP “The minister was extremely sympathetic. She says there is a major consultation about to be launched on this issue and she invited Mr Barrass to take part. She also committed to take away many of the points raised by Mr Barrass and address them directly.”*
  • Also read, Liberation of Parliament 

Please read here a summary of the points covered in this meeting, called The Point of No Return, by John Barrass. 

Following their meeting, the Minister of State for Care wrote to the Prime Minister, Teresa May MP.

As we publish this, we are told that publication of the Green Paper has been delayed further:
Status Tracker (Published Friday, December 14, 2018)
Social Care: forthcoming Green Paper (England)
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the forthcoming Green Paper on social care for adults. Its publication has been further delayed – it will now be published “at the first opportunity in 2019”.
Source: House of Commons Library, www.parliament.co.uk link https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8002

Please tell us your stories
Healthwatch Devon and Mr. Barrass would like to hear from you if you have a story to share about your experience of social care in Devon. (Ed. For National News we can quote Healthwatch England and Local Healthwatch nationally).
We are particularly keen to hear about what IS working so that we can gather case studies that show good practice. Complete our feedback form here  or call 0800 520 0640.

“You would think, after uncovering so much that is wrong with the Care System that I would get their help. On the contrary – it has been the complete opposite. They all tell me I have, on a comprehensive scale, done more and gone further than anyone else in the UK – but we are not going to help you.” Mr Barrass fears that “nothing in our care system will ever change until everyone takes this as seriously as I have.” John Barrass

Mr Barrass’ struggle is made all the more challenging as he is a carer for his father and has no computer at home. He has to visit the library in order to write his documents, research and send emails. If there is anybody or organisation able to donate a PC to Mr Barrass, please contact jessica Crowley by emailing Jessica.crowley@healthwatchdevon.co.uk

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