Sunday, 20 September 2009

Halting the axe

I fear the public spending cuts following hard on the heels of the massive banks bail-out are going to hit the weak and vulnerable as much as the well-padded.

So a round of applause to one woman who's determined to stop that happening and is being witch-hunted by local council leaders out to save cash by closing care homes.

Yvonne Hossack, a 53 year old solicitor, has saved at least 80 care homes for the elderly and disabled. So thwarted local councils tried to get her struck off the solicitors' roll for unprofessional conduct such as misusing confidential information.

She was very anxious they might succeed and care home residents would no longer have a sympathetic lawyer to fight for their rights. Fortunately all the most serious charges were dismissed and Yvonne is free to continue her vital work.

Good for her, taking on these controversial cases that other solicitors would shy away from in favour of something more routine. She wanted to use her legal skills to defend those who were being mistreated and victimised, and was prepared to face the wrath of the axe-wielding councils.

It's yet another example of whistleblowers being hounded while the wrongdoers who've been caught out neglecting the vulnerable, committing fraud or otherwise abusing their positions so often just carry on regardless.

Too many politicians seem to lose whatever social conscience they had as soon they've got their hands on the levers of power, and some of them are actively competing with each other to slash public services to the bone.

If the recipients are too old and frail to make any effective protest, so much the better. Thank God there are more ethical souls like Yvonne to stop them in their tracks.

Pic: Yvonne Hossack. Her website is at


  1. Nick, if there is anyway I can support her work, please let me know. We need more people like this in our world.

  2. Ramana - Her website is at
    She is based at Kettering in Northamptonshire. We certainly need a lot more public-spirited professionals like Yvonne.

  3. A fine example of someone from a profession not known for its financial generosity. I admire those who do pro bono work for anyone who can otherwise not afford it. Dreadful that care homes are being closed! Politicians forget that they may be in need of one themselves someday.

  4. Baino - I don't think she's working pro bono, but I have no idea what fees she charges. The politicians will presumably be able to afford some swish private care home should they need one.

  5. Great story Nick, good for her and I hope more spring forward as a result of her example. They do walk among us, these quiet heroes with a fierce grip.

  6. A resounding hurrah for Yvonne! Her kind of courage and compassion is sorely needed in the world.

  7. www - Yes, I hope she inspires other lawyers to take a similar interest in those who can't fend for themselves.

    Heart - It's a refreshing change when so many people are just lining their own nests with little concern for anyone else.

  8. Nice to hear some of that profession who have a rep as vultures are giving back to the community

  9. Quicky - Absolutely. The vultures presumably think she's completely mad not to be in some mega-lucrative branch of the law.

  10. Megan - Yay indeed. Hopefully she'll save many more care homes from the chop.