Do care homes engage sufficiently with the local economy?

Posted on April 13th, by geoff in CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

I do not know how much truth there is in the following – it could well be Euro-sceptic scare mongering. The story goes that, if a care home wants to source local produce (and therefore contribute to the local economy, local employment and build local relationships) it is now effectively prevented from doing so by the administrative burden of having to provide audit trails for food allergens in order to comply with a recent European directive.

If this is truly the case then I am appalled. But even if it has been overstated, it does highlight the potential effects of over-regulation, of too-much government.

We’ve seen it happen with corner shops and small abattoirs – where an ever increasing regulatory burden has driven them out of business, compromising local economies, favouring the bigger operators and reducing consumer choice.

While many of the big corporate care home operators are important employers of local people and have made huge improvements in the quality of care on offer to elderly people, there has been a concomitant creep in their reliance on national corporate suppliers – it’s cheaper and more amenable to head office control, but it does nothing to make a care home part of its local community.

Care homes should source more local produce and support their fellow local businesses. Let’s see some more ‘Think Local, Act Personal’ activity on this front.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 responses to “Do care homes engage sufficiently with the local economy?”

  1. John Burton says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Geoff. Nearly all good care homes are LOCAL – caring communities that are a true part of their neighbourhoods, and that means that the decisions about where to buy food should be made by people in the home. Central purchasing in the larger care providers demonstrates a failure to understand the fundamentals of care and community.

  2. This dilemma has been around for a very long time. Take the past controversies over frozen vegetables-v-fresh. Frozen veg is washed and blanched and then frozen to preserve its ‘fresh’ condition and retain its vitamins. In normal communication the word fresh has incredible ambiguity. Because the law states ‘fresh’ means not processed in any way, then rotten ‘fresh’ food thrown onto a compost heap is still legally ‘fresh’. Defies sense or reason. The debate is indeed about a technically ‘less healthy’ but enjoyable lifestyle -v- a healthy more clinical lifestyle that might last longer but be less happy.

    I can’t make head nor tail of it myself.

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