At the moment I am in the midst of writing part of a unit for the new course ‘Adult Health, Social Care and Wellbeing’ (K217) on ethical dilemmas , and have been struck by the reporting of a battle over the closure of a care home in Wolverhampton. On the one hand, it is being argued by the relatives of the residents, there is a risk to the health and wellbeing of residents if they are moved, or split from other residents with whom they have forged close relationships. On the other hand, the local council insist that the home does not meet modern standards for care provision.
So which argument will win? If the care home is difficult to navigate and cannot be fitted with modern equipment, then is it not in the best interests of the residents to move them into a more appropriate and modern care environment? But what happens if in moving the residents to newer facilities, there is a risk of harm?
This situation demonstrates some of the ethical issues in providing care in the twenty first century, in the context of resourcing and planning for an ageing population, meeting care standards, and the ever shifting sands of local and central government policy. I for one will be watching with interest to see what the outcome from the Court of Appeal is in this case; I wonder if it will instigate similar types of battles elsewhere?