Glennis Hooper - We need to cut through the red tape

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When I was teaching, one of the highlights of the school year was book week when everyone dressed up as one of their favourite book characters and we read and shared so many wonderful stories together.

I have dressed up as Billy Bunter, a Wicked Witch, Mr Blobby, Queen Victoria – to name but a few.

My most memorable character, however, was when I dressed up as Miss Trunchbull from Matilda, written by Roald Dahl.

It was so much fun.

With the story now turned into a West End Musical my friend and I had tickets to see it last weekend.

It was a superb show but unfortunately I was not able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked, my mind focused on other things. To begin with it was touch and go as to whether I could, or should go because earlier last week we, as a family, had to move my mum into a nursing home, her health having deteriorated rapidly in the previous few days.

I feel sure many readers will empathise with the emotions we had to go through. What, to us, should have been a simple transfer was not as straightforward as we had hoped and we were, and still are, shocked and upset over all the hassle of getting the move organised. We could not believe the amount of red tape and bureaucracy involved, with their being no sense of urgency.

I think the powers that be, who sit behind a computer screen, forget they are dealing with real-life situations and real people who genuinely need the help and support they so deserve; in our case, our mum, unable to fend for herself and dependent on everyone, who urgently needed better nursing care.

The world of statistics, targets and inadequate pots of money for the care of the elderly needs to be reviewed with more common sense and humanity. Dealing with the various Government and council departments has been an education and, sadly, our story goes on; a story, that one day, I know I must elaborate on in the hope that services for the elderly are improved – quickly. Thankfully for mum, my two sisters, my brother and I are all local and able to help her. What happens to the elderly who do not have this support and back-up?

My mum is settled now and is being very well looked after, but not without a fight which, I am afraid, will go on. Perhaps it needs a character like Miss Trunchbull to get things moving!