There’s no time like the present for Caring Together, says former RAF pilot

24th December 2014

The Caring Together vision of integrated care in Eastern Cheshire can’t come soon enough for 91-year-old Macclesfield man Jack Spencer.

Not only is the former RAF pilot concerned that he won’t live long enough to see the new care model implemented. As a pastoral leader for the town’s United Reformed Church, he has witnessed first-hand the pressing need for joined-up care that enables people to live independently at home – where they want to be.

He said that he knew of at least five parishioners from his pastoral group who had not benefited from much-needed home visits following hospital discharge.

Therefore, Jack welcomed the impending publication of the public documents spelling out how Caring Together would develop over the next few years.

He was also pleased by this month’s launch of the STAIRRS service (Short-Term Assessment, Integrated Response and Recovery Service) which will see a wide range of health and social care professionals working together to make sure patients get the care and support they need as they return home.

While Jack said he supported the Caring Together approach, he also stressed the need for health and social care decision makers to keep their eye on the ball and ensure the existing system was fit for purpose while the changes were being made.

Jack said: “Health and social care are hugely expensive and I’m sure will always be so. But I’m convinced it would be more cost effective if it were truly joined up, allowing people to live at home and reducing hospital admissions. That’s why I think Caring Together is taking the right approach.”

Jack was introduced to Caring Together by his GP at Cumberland House Surgery following a serious hernia operation last year which would have benefited from six weeks of post-operative intermediate care.

However, he was not granted the care because he did not meet the conditions. He felt aggrieved by this because he was 90 years old at the time and was living alone, having lost his wife and both daughters in 2009.

Jack enjoyed a successful career in telephone engineering, logistics, sales and youth training after leaving the RAF. He has lived in Macclesfield for 52 years.

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