Sir, – “If a society is truly judged by how its vulnerable members are treated, then ours is already in ruin,” writes Kathrine Murphy (Opinion, August 9th). This excellent yet sad piece about Winterbourne View care home in the UK could have been written about the care of some of our most vulnerable people in our own country and about the need to train staff in compassion.

Those who attempt to highlight the need for compassionate care are dismissed, as management- speak and political correctness conspire to silence voices that need to he heard.

Expert groups, commissions, the human rights community and others never refer to compassion – it somehow appears to weaken their message rather than it being the foundation.

As Ms Murphy states, “Once efficient and effective systems [are] swallowed up in the vacuum of management speak, with old-school action dedicated vocations and craftsmanship destroyed in the wake”.

Many dedicated and undervalued personnel stand accused of wasting time with people if they give time to those in their care, time which is measured by bureaucratic experts far removed from the pain and vulnerability of those needing care.

This opinion piece should be read by our policy makers and educators at all levels, bearing in mind that it is an issue of grave concern in this island of ours, not just about our neighbouring country. We are all entitled to quality care, particularly the most vulnerable of our people.

As a person working in the area of healthcare for half a century, observing the decline of services, poor morale, the waste of money, I find it hard to see that things will change for the better. If things don’t change, history will judge us to be no better than those we are quick to criticise.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that everyone is entitled to dignity and respect, something we should not forget in these challenging times for all. – Yours, etc,


Director Co-Founder,


Bride Road,

Dublin 8.