Fewer elderly people receiving long-term care despite rising demand : Care Home Professional

The number of people receiving long term care has fallen for the last three years, according to figures published by NHS Digital.

new report shows the number of people aged 65 and over receiving long term care fell by 39,060 between 2015-16 and 2018-19. The research, which is based on data supplied by 152 councils, also revealed that requests for adult social support from local authorities rose by 3.8% between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Gross current expenditure on adult social care by local authorities was £18.7bn in 2018-19, up by £807m on the previous year, a 4.5% increase. Long term support saw the biggest increase, of 4.8%, or £674m, to £14.6bn.


Source: Fewer elderly people receiving long-term care despite rising demand : Care Home Professional


A week of Protests in Catalonia

In my view the Spanish Government is acting as a ‘Tin Pot’ dictator, rather than a democratic country and is using the legal system for political motives.

Granted the current protestors are themselves not acting legally, but they are not being listened to . When listening breaks down the forces not agreeing with the Government stand either give up or extend their protests in other ways. So when you appear to have exhausted the legal processes, it may be that illegal is the only way forward to make your opinions even more heard.

The Spanish Government should be respecting the views of Catalonia and while the numbers now supporting Independence are some what lower, the original views should have been respected.

In a wy this is similar to the Brexit movement in the UK, where the power is with Remain factions, while the country is more to Leave or was in 2016.

Is this an EU prespective where if an opinion is raised against an EU view point, the powers request that it be looked upon again, but not when the views are in agreement with them.

The are doing it with the UK Brexiteers and some years ago with Ireland, when they had a referendum on some issue and the issue was not upheld but a further vote was held which reversed the initial result.

This is not democracy where a vote, no matter what the result should be respected, for not to do so, beggars the question ‘Why have a peoples vote in the first place’.

So, while I abhor violence, in some respects, it would appear to be justified, if only as a ‘freedom of expression’.

This is not to say violence should be resorted to in every instance where there are disagreements, as in some instances there is a pressure group who have not resorted to find the views of the public, but assume their own views should be acted upon.

While I agree that there is ‘Climate Change’ no referendum or other such facility has been sort, so with ‘Extinction Rebellion’, while their ideals may be right their current actions are not because there has not been a public vote.

But with Catalonia there was a public vote and Independence became the majority view of those that bothered to vote, so that result should have been respected by the Spanish Government and not discountit and even bring legal action against the main supporters. That is using the legal process for political motives.

Josep Goded

– 200 detentions.

– 30 imprisoned.

– Around 600 injured.

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Surprised over Doral flap, Trump thinks he’s still in hospitality business – Mulvaney – Reuters

Trump on Saturday announced on Twitter that he was abandoning the move to host the meeting at Trump National Doral near Miami in June, citing “Crazed and Irrational Hostility” from Democrats and the news media. He said he would look for another site, possibly the Camp David presidential retreat.

“He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback” to the original announcement, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.”

“At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business, and he saw an opportunity to take the biggest leaders from around the world and he wanted to put on the absolute best show, the best visit that he possibly could and he was very confident of doing that at Doral,” Mulvaney said.

The G7 is a group of leading advanced economies comprising the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.

“I think it was the right decision to change,” said Mulvaney, who said he had discussed the matter with Trump on Saturday evening. Mulvaney had made the initial announcement that the Trump property would host the annual meeting at a White House news conference on Thursday. Ethics experts and many lawmakers quickly attacked the decision.

The Republican president faces criticism and a number of congressional investigations over his finances and potential conflicts of interest stemming from his real estate business, which he still owns, and an impeachment inquiry into accusations that he pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine.


Source: Surprised over Doral flap, Trump thinks he’s still in hospitality business – Mulvaney – Reuters

Scientists may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine : Medical News Today

We already have vaccines that prevent influenza, but there is a catch. Specialists have to keep creating vaccines that target specific flu strains if they want this preventive strategy to be effective. Can scientists create one flu vaccine to rule them all?

Scientists may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine

person preparing flu vaccine

Influenza — which people commonly refer to as “the flu” — is one of the most widespread illnesses worldwide.

Two virus strains — influenza virus strain A and strain B — are responsible for the flu. This disease has led to between 9.3 million and 49 million estimated cases of illness each year since 2010 in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As there are different viral strains, and each strain has many different subtypes, doctors must administer the correct vaccine each time. They need to use one that targets the specific strains and subtypes that are circulating in the population for this preventive approach to be successful.

So far, there has been no “universal vaccine” that can target all influenza viruses effectively. But are researchers getting closer to developing one?


Source: Scientists may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine : Medical News Today

Charity calls for better benefits support for sick and disabled people : Welfare Weekly

A leading charity has called on both the UK and Scottish government’s to improve the benefits support available for people with disabilities, as new figures show that more than one in four people (28%) who visit the charity for advice are unable to work due to illness or a disability.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is calling for a substantial reduction in the number of face-to-face benefit assessments, as well as the complete abolition of repeat assessments for claimants whose medical conditions are unlikely to improve.

They are also demanding a change to the eligibility criteria of Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Under the current rules, claimants can only access the highest level of the PIP mobility component if they are unable to walk more than 20 metres without severe pain or discomfort.

CAS wants this rule to be increased to 50 metres, as it was under the previous system Disability Living Allowance, so that a greater number of applicants with severe mobility issues can access the support they need and hopefully prevent the loss of specially adapted vehicles.

Other recommendations include:


Source: Charity calls for better benefits support for sick and disabled people : Werlfare Weekly

Man ‘bullied’ into attending benefits interview days after brain surgery

Is there something seriously wrong with the DWP for how can so many mistakes be made and continue to be made.

When will the immortal phrase be uttered ‘Lessons will be learnt’, for are lessons ever learnt, for it would appear they are not in many of the organisations where they need to be.

Are these organisations willing to learn or are there other reasons?

Govt Newspeak

Sunderland dad ‘bullied’ into attending benefits interview only days after brain surgery for Parkinson’s disease, he is battling serious illness and related how he was “bullied” into attending a benefits interview only days after undergoing brain surgery.

Russ Bradford is angry at having to attend a benefits assessment meeting only a week after undergoing brain surgery.

Russ Bradford, who has had two eight inch probes inserted into his head as part of his treatment for Parkinson’s disease, feared his disability payments would be reduced or even stopped if he did not attend the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) sanctioned assessment.

Mr Bradford, who has fought the degenerative illness for eight years, insists he told the DWP about the planned surgery and its six-week estimated recovery period during previous correspondence more than a month before the operation date.

The father of two was then stunned to receive a letter – which arrived just days before he was admitted to hospital – instructing him to attend the Sunderland assessment.


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Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one

Is this another Government Benefit disaster waiting to happen, for while the theory sounds sound the practical aspects never appear to go right for the benefit claimants.

Is this just accidental or is it Government policy?

Govt Newspeak

Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one, despite concerns raised by disabled campaigners.

Therese Coffey speaking to the work and pensions committee

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to offer a single face-to-face assessment – with the agreement of the claimant – that would replace and merge the current work capability assessment (WCA) and the assessment for personal independence payment (PIP).

A parliamentary petition calling on DWP to abandon the plans was signed by more than 7,000 people earlier this year. But the new work and pensions secretary, Therese Coffey, mentioned the proposals as she gave evidence for the first time yesterday (Wednesday) in front of the Commons work and pensions select committee.

In an evidence session marked by apparent frustration and even anger from some opposition MPs, Coffey (pictured) also insisted that – despite repeated and serious concerns raised by disabled activists, campaigners, charities and MPs – the new…

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Closure of York Independent Living Network, December 2019.


I am sorry to hear of your decision to close, but congratulate you for recognising your’ lack of capacity in being able to sustain and organise a network of disabled people in York’, be this by restricted finance or some other reasons.

I respect your vision that ‘should be greater involvement of disabled people in all aspects of social and community life, and that this is vital to achieving a truly inclusive society’.

I welcome that you have ‘made arrangements for some of our remaining resources to be used to set up a human rights forum of disabled people and their allies. We believe that we need to bring together a wide and diverse group of disabled people, draw on human rights thinking and take action to achieve greater inclusion. This forum will be coordinated by the York Human Rights City Network during 2020 and we hope it will spark the further and ongoing organisation and action of, by and for disabled people.’ This is showing foresight and showing your respect for people with disabilities.

I therefore wish the forum and the York Human Rights City Network all the best for the future.

I especially wish to thank yourselves Stephen and Abi for acting responsibly as Trustees in conducting your duties and wish all your colleagues the best for their futures.

For whatever the reasons for the forthcoming closure of York Independent Living Network this is no reflection on yourselves and those of your colleagues, it is just, that in the present climate not all organisations will be able to build on their previous successes, which is seeing many good and essential organisations to find that they are not able to continue in the manner that they wish to for the benefit of their members.

All the best for the future for all concerned.

Chris Sterry
a fellow Trustee of a Charity

York Independent Living Network

After much consideration we have decided to close York Independent Living Network.  This will happen at the end December 2019.  We make this decision mainly because of our lack of capacity in being able to sustain and organise a network of disabled people in York.  This is not because we think a network of disabled people and their allies is no longer necessary or relevant.  Rather we believe that there should be greater involvement of disabled people in all aspects of social and community life, and that this is vital to achieving a truly inclusive society. However, we at this time are not able to commit to the effective facilitation of such a network, so therefore have decided to take a change in direction.

We have however made arrangements for some of our remaining resources to be used to set up a human rights forum of disabled people and their…

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An avalanche of confessions: Trump’s chief of staff just admitted a stunning amount of wrongdoing on live TV – Alternet.org

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney adopted a new approach to President Donald Trump’s war on impeachment in a Thursday press briefing: admitting a gigantic amount of wrongdoing in one sitting and daring Republicans to care.

The avalanche of confessions began in the White House briefing room, where Mulvaney revealed that the United States will host the upcoming G7 summit of world leaders at Trump National Doral in Miami, the president’s own Florida resort.

This is a grotesquely corrupt move, and the White House knows it. Even if, as Mulvaney claimed, the Doral was the best possible location for the G7 in the country — a ridiculous assertion — it would still be incumbent on the administration to choose another location to avoid the appearance of corruption and the reality of a conflict of interest. Mulvaney claimed that, all things considered, Trump decided he would “take the hit” of accusations of corruption. But it’s not just Trump who “takes the hit,” it’s the entire federal government, and the United States itself, that gets stained with corruption, and that’s a condemnable choice to make.

Mulvaney even admitted: “There’s plenty of other good places in this country to hold a large event. There’s no question.” And yet, they still chose absolutely the most corrupt place to do it.


Source: An avalanche of confessions: Trump’s chief of staff just admitted a stunning amount of wrongdoing on live TV – Alternet.org

ProPublica’s Trump Tax and Accounting Findings Look Familiar – Bloomberg

Thanks to some inspired digging from ProPublica reporter Heather Vogell, it appears the Trump Organization has been massaging reported profits, expenses and occupancy rates at a pair of its Manhattan properties to make them look robust to lenders, but much less so to authorities who assess property taxes.

If this means that President Donald Trump’s company keeps two sets of books, it may be an attempt to secure lower interest rates on borrowings while keeping tax expenses down. A dozen real estate experts Vogell contacted couldn’t explain “multiple inconsistencies” in Trump Organization documents she showed them. The variations are “versions of fraud,” Nancy Wallace, a finance and real estate professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, told Vogell. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

No, it’s not. It may amount to the same kind of financial fraud that sent two former Trump advisers, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, to prison. Cohen, in congressional testimony in February, accused Trump of falsifying records he provided to banks in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce to real estate taxes,” Cohen said, essentially portraying the president as a serial grifter.

The problems Vogell uncovered pertain to two signature Trump properties in Manhattan — 40 Wall Street and Trump International Hotel and Tower — and involve transactions and records she examined dated from 2012 to 2018. The Trump Organization, its lawyers and its accountants declined to respond on the record to Vogell’s detailed questions about the irregularities.

The Trump Organization has been at this game for a long time. When I interviewed its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, in 2005 for a biography I wrote,financial fraud he told me that Trump valued 40 Wall Street at $400 million — at a time when it was assessed for property tax purposes at only $90 million.

Trump unsuccessfully sued me in 2006 for libel, arguing that “TrumpNation” damaged his reputation by including unflattering assessments of his business record and unfair speculation that he had spent decades inflating his wealth. Trump lost the suit in 2011, and during the litigation was forced to turn over his tax returns to my lawyers.


Source: ProPublica’s Trump Tax and Accounting Findings Look Familiar – Bloomberg