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Received through the ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) network:

A worker at Inclusion London has mentioned that some Disabled people are being asked to replace funding for Personal Assistants with volunteers to undertake their personal care by some Local Authorities.   Inclusion London would be grateful for your thoughts and  any examples of expectations from social workers to use volunteers to make up for cuts in your support package. Email Henrietta.Doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk
I am aghast that this could be on the agenda of any authority.
This is extremely worrying and hopefully is not being contemplated within many Local Authorities. That being said, could you advise your thoughts to  Henrietta.Doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk.
Hopefully this worrying situation can be stopped.
My own view on this is what messages are these local authorities, who are in the process of asking for volunteers to replace paid carers, sending to the paid care workers. For the huge responsibility that these care workers undertake within their role for the low remuneration they receive, this is deplorable. No paid care worker should be only on the Minimum Living Wage, but should be, at least on the Living Wage and even above.
To be a care worker requires them to be committed to the person they are caring for, be responsive to the needs and requests from the cared for person and conduct themselves respecting the cared for persons dignity, privacy and the confidentiality with regards to the information they will be aware of about the cared for person and also their family.
They are required to attend at the times required according to the respective care packages and inform the cared for person when they are unable to do so with sufficient time for a replacement care worker to cover the caring shift to be found. Where the cared for person is deemed to be vulnerable and therefore be at risk of abuse, safeguarding is therefore an area of concern and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
You cannot say that one person requiring care is the same as the next person requiring care, as we are all individuals and therefore have our own views. This is especially so for persons with learning disabilities and those with Autism. In these instances it takes considerable time to understand each individual and their routines, for to not take this into account could cause the cared for persons to have an adverse reaction, which if a full understanding is not known could and most likely will create situations where harm could occur to the carer and the individual concerned. The carer needs to understand that they are technically a guest in the cared for persons home and as such they should act accordingly.
While a volunteer could and should be capable of all of the above, will all volunteers respect the commitment that is required to undertake care. After all they will be undertaking this on a voluntary basis so will they really commit to engaging with regards to timings. Then what will occur if they cannot attend , say to illness, will the cared for person have a bank of volunteers they can call upon.
These Local Authorities are only looking at their own interests. If they are so committed to using volunteers, why do they not have a volunteer Chief Executive and then there will be a multitude of funds saved.
That you could say is flippant, but where is the difference with regards with paid carers.
Any local authority who undertakes using volunteers could be open to a challenge on ‘Duty of Care’.
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A detailed investigation by Economists for Free Trade has shown that when Government policy on Brexit and its key objectives are used then the British economy will in fact grow by between two and four per cent better than if the UK had stayed in the EU.

The Alternative Brexit Impact Assessment has now been passed on to Cabinet ministers to inform the crucial discussion of the Brexit sub-committee on Thursday.

It also reveals that a “no deal” scenario gives Britain a £651 billion boost while the EU would lose £507 billion.

The discredited Government impact study was branded “Project Fear 2” after it was leaked to a pro-Remain website earlier this month and described as “flawed” by Brexit minister Steve Baker.

 

Source: Project Fear FLOP: Bungling civil servants put WRONG data into Brexit impact study : Express


The UK’s care sector has been thrown a lifeline as Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has won the right to intervene in the Court of Appeal’s sleep-in-shift case – with the hope of solving the impending £400million financial crisis for care providers.  

With the hearing set for 20-21 March this year, law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors are acting for Care England, with the body given the opportunity to pursue new arguments not yet considered in the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case to date.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive at Care England, which has 160 members providing over 3,500 care services, said:

“I cannot stress the magnitude of this opportunity for our members and the care industry as a whole. If the existing decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is upheld it would be a watershed moment for the sector, with profound affects for the viability of residential domiciliary and supported care which supports 1.2 million vulnerable people across the country.

 

Source: Care England granted right to intervene in Court of Appeal Sleep-in shift case | Care Industry News


Govt Newspeak

Northern Ireland mum refused care benefits for daughter with heart problems

Erin Hamilton at home in Carrickfergus with her daughter Sophia
Erin Hamilton at home in Carrickfergus with her daughter Sophia

Co Antrim mother of a baby girl born with severe heart complications and a genetic disorder that impairs her immune system said she cannot understand why she was refused Disability Living Allowance.

 Little Sophia Hamilton was born 13 months ago but was so ill that doctors feared she might not live at all. Cardiac consultants and surgeons in Belfast and Dublin battled against the odds to save Sophia. After a month in Dublin and further treatment in Belfast, Sophia’s mum Erin was eventually able to bring her baby girl home to Carrickfergus.

Sophia’s continuing ill health means single parent Erin is on permanent high alert over her daughter’s care, which often means sleepless nights as well as constant care through the day.

Erin said she was advised to apply for DLA…

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As the National Rifle Association grows increasingly out of touch with most American gun owners, the organization still claims “more than five million members.” A number of corporations are making membership to the group, which opposes nearly all gun safety legislation, more enticing by partnering with the NRA.

After paying the gun lobby’s $40 annual fee, members are offered access to a range of discounts and “five-star savings.”

Much like AARP or AAA, the organization promotes its discounts for members as a selling point for why people should join. The “valuable 5-star benefits” promised include not just a subscription to an NRA magazine and a gun-owner liability protection policy but also savings on insurance, identity theft protection, hearing aids, car rentals, moving vans, shipping, and even wine. While some of these perks are provided by in-house subsidiaries, many are offered through corporate partners — including some household names.

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the NRA has been the focus of renewed national attention, as the group continues to successfully block any legislation to curb gun violence on the national level. Dallas’ mayor pro tem told the NRAMonday that the group will be “met with opposition” if it holds its scheduled May conference in his city. And over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the group’s Virginia headquarters to hold a vigil and protest.

ThinkProgress asked 22 corporations that the NRA says offer incentives to NRA members whether they plan to continue their relationships with the gun lobby.

 

Source: The NRA is being supported by these companies : Think Progress


Renewed calls for stricter gun controls following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead are falling on deaf ears.

Legislators in states across the country have delayed, defeated or refused to take up new measures to prevent more gun violence — despite the impassioned calls of victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

In Florida’s legislature, House Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to revive debate on a measure to ban assault weapons with student survivors from Parkland watching in the gallery.

The bill, introduced after the 2016 killings of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, failed on a party-line vote.

Students from Parkland who have blanketed the media to call for gun reforms have expressed incredulity at the lack of action.

“It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say ‘no,'” Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old student from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Advocates for gun control also ran into opposition in other states.

In Arizona, Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to force debate over whether to ban bump stocks and other modifications to increase weapons’ rate of fire — and instead voted to debate an anti-porn bill.

 

Source: Calls for new gun laws are falling on deaf ears : The Hill


The SNP’s Westminster Social Justice spokesperson has echoed concerns raised in a new report which highlights that disabled people across the UK are facing “substantial costs” for their cost of living, due in part to the UK government’s flawed social security system.

The report published by the disability charity Scope, found that on average disabled people face extra costs of £570 a month related to their condition – with the figure rising to £632 in Scotland. The findings also show that for every one in five disabled people, extra costs amount to over £1,000 per month.

Neil Gray MP warned that the current Personal Independence Payment (PIP) infrastructure is simply not fit for purpose, and that the UK government’s “tick-box exercises” are failing people with disabilities across the UK, and ignoring many aspects of their experience living with a disability.

The SNP MP pointed to Scottish Government plans to put in place the necessary infrastructure to take on responsibility for the provision of PIP assessments, as well as creating a new social security system in Scotland based on dignity and respect.

 The Scope report concluded that the UK government must commit to reforms of the assessment for PIP to ensure it accurately captures the type and level of extra costs faced by disabled people, so that individuals receive the support they need to help meet those costs.

 

Source: Tories failing disabled people over ‘substantial’ cost of living : Welfare Weekly


Social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by 2021 – by which time nearly a million people in the UK will be living with dementia. With no way to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia, it is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.

While the NHS can’t offer people with dementia the same options as for other long-term conditions – because there is no cure or effective medical treatment – people with dementia must rely on the cash-starved and crumbling social care system. The social care and dementia crises go hand in hand.

Solving the care crisis goes beyond throwing money at the situation. Funding is desperately needed, of course, but we can’t simply pour more cash into a fundamentally flawed system. After decades of squeezed budgets and successive governments failing to put a long-term plan in place, we have a limited social care offering that too often leaves people with dementia footing the bill.

In the battle to meet rapidly rising demand with ever-shrinking resources, care providers must be as efficient and effective as possible. So why does investment in dementia research heavily focus on a cure for future generations, while less than 5% of funding goes to researching the best care possible for all those affected today?

The need for a cure for dementia is as pressing as ever, but we also need care research to develop practical solutions that can benefit people with the condition and their carers. Improving knowledge and practices among health and social care professionals, as well as the quality and inclusivity of the wider system, is just as important as developing medical treatments.

 

Source: Dementia research must study care as well as cure : The Guardian


VIENNA (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has no objection to plans to turn the euro zone’s bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund, she said in comments published on Saturday.

The European Commission has suggested transforming the role of the government-controlled European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a full-blown European Monetary Fund under parliamentary control and anchored in European Union law, which would also become a backstop for the euro zone’s bank resolution fund.

Source: IMF chief says ‘Why not?’ to European Monetary Fund plan: paper


Govt Newspeak

sickening beyond belief

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