Princess's vision of care is 'too rosy'

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The Independent Online
A SPEECH by the Princess of Wales praising the Government's Care in the Community programme yesterday was criticised by pressure groups as 'rose-tinted' and idealistic, writes Esther Oxford.

At a conference in London, 'Can the Community Care?', organised by Turning Point, the drink, drug and mental health charity, the Princess warned against over-publicising the 'tiny number of people who have damaged themselves or others' when they were returned to the community from hospital care.

'However terrible these tragic cases are, they cannot be used as a way of dismissing the needs of thousands of others who are no threat to the community whatsoever,' she said.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of Sane, the mental health charity, later dismissed the Princess's vision as 'rose-tinted'.

She said: 'It is a wonderful dream to care for and be cared for. But if you could listen to the people I have to listen to every night - these people who call begging for help - you would realise that Care in the Community is a fashion. It is jargon. It is a way of saving pounds 2bn a year on hospital beds.'

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