We do wonder whether Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is feeling more secure now.
They have told us publicly that it’s a temporary move that won’t last for weeks and weeks. That it’s to cope with a peak in demand for male beds, that of course has nothing to do with them closing 15 of them elsewhere in the county. And they’ve publicly stated that it’s not having a negative impact despite the women telling them that it is.
In their eyes this is surely a non-story now. It’s a temporary peak in demand with no impact. Our campaign is just an overreaction by a group of women to a perfectly rational and sensible decision by the Trust.
Now where have we heard that kind of thing before?
Women! You are overreacting to us putting the needs of male service users before yours!
Women! You are overreacting with your anxiety at being treated away from your homes and families!
Women! You just don’t understand how these things work, so do go ahead and STFU now won’t you!
Well, we’re not going to shut up.
Temporary or not, the closure should never have happened. Temporary or not, the needs of male service users are not more important than female service users. Temporary or not, the worry and anxiety felt by the women is real and harmful. Temporary or not, the costs incurred by families to visit their relatives are real and harmful. Temporary or not, the emotional distress of the families is real and harmful.
Temporary or not, denying women access to local inpatient care is harmful, discriminatory and should never have happened in the first place.
Temporary doesn't make it better.