Systems for challenging adult social care decisions failing, warns rights regulator – Community Care

The system for challenging councils on their adult social care decisions is failing those who need it, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned. Inaccessible information, “complicated and stressful processes” and a lack of advocacy were undermining people’s ability to challenge local authority decisions in England and Wales, the rights regulator found, on […]


Mostly I agree with the points raised and certainly more needs to be done to make the processes more equitable and so much easier to go through. But, in many instances it is down to trust, for a good proportion of the population are scared of very large organisations and certainly those who appear to have great power, which Local Authorities, (LAs) certainly have.

Over the years I have submitted many complaints to my LA, and in the main my complaints have been upheld, but the process can be very long, so is very time consuming and exceedingly stressful.

I was caring for my daughter for going on 40 years and over time became much more knowledgeable about processes and certainly what mine and my daughters Rights were.

I studied the legislations including the Care Act 2014 and I became aware that a significant number of LA staff were not very aware of what was in the Care Act, and also became aware that in some instances the Care Act was being ignored to some extent, either by design or lack of knowledge.

That being said, in one Formal complaint, I became so incensed about the complaints procedure that I added to the complaint , a complaint about the procedure.

Only once have I progressed a complaint to the Ombudsman, but was told I submitted to them too late, even though this was due to the LA taking over a year to forward to me their final response. To have a deadline to submit, to me is totally wrong and does not take into account the stresses encountered by persons with needs and their carers which in many instances can be considerable.

Also, the Ombudsman only takes into account whether the processes were fully followed and not the right or wrongs of any decision, which again needs to be rectified. So does the opportunities to raise a Judicial Review, which over the years has been made much more difficult due to Governments making it more difficult for persons to obtain Legal Aid to fund the process, having to rely on finding a law firm to take on by ‘No Win, No Fee’.

A ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, also known as a conditional fee agreement, is an arrangement between you and your personal injury solicitor. It means that if your compensation claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a contingency fee for your lawyer’s services.
While the Care Quality Commission is being given more powers, it should be given much more including the provision to investigate complaints.

I had the ability to understand, over the years, the process and have the strength and ability to go through the processes. At times having to explain my Right to complain by any media I wished to use, being in writing, by telephone, by email, etc and not as I was informed on occasions only on their complaint form and at times advised I would have to go through a more senior staff member, which again is untrue. So, I have had to talk through some LA staff what the process is.

Over the years I have become so much more involved with my LA, in that they call upon me to help them in various ways, as they wish to avail themselves of my ‘Expert by Experience’ knowledge and over the years have seen some improvements to some degree.

I am now 73 and took early retirement at 62 due to health, but this gave me more opportunities to be involved and I am now a regular contributor to many areas within my LA. But I have over the years become involved with my local Healthwatch, Health Authorities and many over local voluntary and Charity organisations.

I do appreciate that many others will not have the time, the strength and other requirements to do what I have and continue to do, so I do hope by doing what I do I am helping to improve what is there not only for my own family, but for many others too.

Unfortunately, over the last few years I had to deal with the death of my wife in September 2020 and my dear daughter in October 2022 and my involvement in the areas above have in many ways been helping me to deal with these losses and I have received many supporting comments from persons I am in contact with in my LA and other organisations.

To me complaining and then being involved in other ways has been, in most respects, good for me and my family and have been able to become much closer to the processes which are not easy to deal with and to know the people I am dealing with. This will not be possible for most of the population, but I do hope in time more improvements will be made.

The largest of these is funding, which since 2010 for all LAs has been well short of what is required due to Tory austerity cuts and really needs to be reversed. The government said the cuts would be absorbed through saving being made, well in most respects there were not opportunities to make saving, unless cuts to services were made, which there has been to many, if not all services, leading to great deterioration to the lives of many.

This Government and all future governments need to ensure that funding cuts are not the way forward and lead to much more deprivation and many more inequalities.


Source: Systems for challenging adult social care decisions failing, warns rights regulator – Community Care

The victim-shaming of Nicola Bulley has thrown an unflattering light on modern Britain

She’s the focus of ghoulish conspiracies and the police threw her reputation under the bus – her disappearance brought out the worst of us


Yes, this is pure and simple victim-shaming, and yes, she was a vulnerable person, but, in our own way are not most of us to one extent or another.

For the Police to do their job there needs to be trust, but this trust is forever being broken, and not just the Lancashire force, but many others.

South Yorkshire for Hillsborough, Rotherham Sexual abuse scandal and others, then the MET, well where do you start, at least 6 under Cressida Dick, but even newer, including Carrick and Couzens scandals.  But there are many more and maybe many more to surface throughout the UK.

There are many Police officers who are doing a good job, but the actions of the few are being seen as to how all forces are operating.

It is said that years ago we all, mostly, trusted the Police and looked on them to help and not cause us harm, do we really want to become so afraid of the police as in America, where it appears to be shot first and ask questions later, if that is possible. But did we, I feel in the main we did, but that trust is no longer there in most respects and even more so in ethnic communities.

So how can we progress, well every police force needs an in-depth investigation, not by themselves and not really by other forces, but by a fully independent body, who is made up of a representative body of the UK population and all members of the body should have equal authority within that body. The respective reports would then need to be made public and any actions that need to be taken are taken. In any serious implications, some appropriate action could need to be taken before the report is published.

For all our own safety the trust in the police has to be recovered and then actions put in place to ensure the trust is maintained and errors of the past are not allowed to reoccur.

Safeguarding is extremely important and always needs to be a high priority.

Did some of this relate to the Tories cutting back on Police numbers so saving could be made, perhaps, but was it there well before, well cutting numbers certainly didn’t help as we have seen in many other areas, NHS for one, Social Care in another, but in many sections of the UK.

Pay freezes and austerity cuts are never the way and these all need to be reversed without any further delay. Otherwise there is no real way forward. Human Rights have to be respected and been seen to be respected




Source: The victim-shaming of Nicola Bulley has thrown an unflattering light on modern Britain

Trussonomics is slowly winning the argument | The Spectator

Yes, I agree taxes do have to come down, investments up, less regulation, and more devolution, it can’t all be done at once and there also needs more ‘leveling up’, not just South to North, but rich to poor, in some respects more male to female, more equality for disability, ethnicity and much more. For there is too much inequality in the UK.

Pay levels in the UK are so bad and in some areas, so much more than others many where striking won’t be effective if it ever is for are all the lost income the strikers are experiencing will ever be gained back. But some of the argument is that strikers are not just trying to improve for themselves but for the UK in total. For the NHS is in dire need of improvement which has been covered for many years by NHS workers doing much more to cover some of the inadequacies in the NHS. But it may not be so well known the dire state of social care of which the NHS also needs to survive and the pay rates of social care workers are so much worse than many who are currently taking strike actions.

While this government is ignoring all of the problems in the NHS this government and all previous governments have totally ignored all of the problems in social care and not only social care but also hospitality, agriculture, and maybe others..

Does this government have a clue, no and perhaps Truss did, except she first gave tax reductions to those on higher rates of tax and not to the initial tax rates as the tax-free levels need to be greatly increased perhaps to the National Living Wage, so that it is much more of a Living Wage, for it currently is not?

Much needs to be done but it is the low-paid who are in the greatest need and perhaps paying them more could well improve their levels of life so then, their need to have NHS interventions could be reduced and thereby reduce some of the NHS pressures.

All life is so interrelated and no one area can be looked at in isolation as many governments still do.

Source: Trussonomics is slowly winning the argument | The Spectator

Family Carers and Social Care

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE I am a former family carer, former as my daughter died on 4 October 2022 following my wife’s death on 26 September 2020, and both are very sadly missed. My daughter was 54 when she died of a heart attack and she enjoyed her life with myself and her mother and then when our health deteriorated her care 24/7 was undertaken by a team of paid carers who provided excellent care respecting her wishes and choices, dignity, were empathetic and ensured my daughter had a very good life while continuing to live in our family home. The introduction of paid carers was gradual starting with 2 carers in a double shift of 60 hours in total Monday to Friday, which then progressed to similar for Saturday and Sunday, when they took my daughter out for lunch each day. As the health of my wife and then my own became worse we progressed to 24/7 care within our home and had an excellent provider of very excellent carers. The carers in many ways became part of our family and even after the death of my daughter many are still in contact with me and visit when they can. I was fortunate, today, to be on the Paulette Edwards, Radio Sheffield programme this morning talking about being a Family Carer and the experiences, the problems and the rewards and how it affected all of our lives. Now family carers are unpaid, but in doing so, as stated in a Carers UK report in 2015, was saving the UK £132 billion in Social Care costs and this can only have increased, substancially over the years in 2021 assumed to be £193 billion per year. Family Carers are entitled to Carers Allowance currently £69.70 per week provided at least 35 hours care is provided during the week, the carer has to be over 16 years and not earn more than £132 per week (after deductions including tax, national insurance and certain expenses). On retirement depending on the amount of State pension being received the Carers Allowance could be reduced or not paid at all. For the allowance is there to mitigate for any lost earning due to caring and when on pension there are no lost earnings. Family carers are also entitled to their own assessment, a Carers Assessment, independent of a needs assessment for the person needing care, to arrange for one contact your Local Authority who may do them themselves or contracted to another organisation to do them, in Sheffield this is the Sheffield Carers Centre. But, Social Care has, largely been forgotten about or dismissed as not being important, which is so wrong for social care is extremely important and needs to be considered on a par with the NHS, as the NHS can’t exist without Social Care and Social Care can’t exist without the NHS and in that Family carers are also so important, so their significance should never be discounted. For it is Family Carers who have been sustaining social care for all the years there has been social care. Lack of Government both funding and recognition of social care has been happening by this current Government and all preceding governments and none have given the so much needed funding and recognition it deserves and requires. This has led to the crisis in social care to escalate and is now and has been for many years seriously affecting the sustainability not only of Social Care but our very much respected NHS. Both the NHS and Social Care need equal respect and both need to be fully funded, for the staffing crisis in both are extremely serious. In fact the staffing crisis in social care could be far exceeding that of the NHS. But when we are looking at the NHS it is much more than Doctors, nurses , ambulance staff, for it is everyone employed within the NHS, for everyone contributes to the team and none can exist without the others. When I mention teams I am looking at everyone for take social care, it is not just social workers and care workers, but it includes families and the family carers for we are all part of the teams and all need to be respected, as is the person being cared for who needs and should be always the centre focus, in other words ‘Person Centred Care’ is the foundation of all care, be it the NHS, Social Care and in the family. This is so much the same in social care for it is not just the shortage of care workers, who so much need to be paid more, at least £15 per hour, but also their employment Terms and Conditions, re holiday pay, travel expenses paid sick leave and much more. You may say what has the Government to do with this, but the Government provides a grant to each Local Authority, (LAs) so they can have funds to which Council Tax, Business Rates and more are also included so that the LAs can then fund the services they provide. But since 2010 this grant has been severely reduced, by the Tory Government Austerity Cuts and therefore LAs have insufficient funds to fund all the services they should be doing, which means for them to keep within the funding, services have to be reduced, for any LA is not allowed to go into deficit. If this funding is not sorted, urgently, then the care staff will continue to reduce. It is said that anyone could be a carer, but that is not really true, for caring is not, as it is said to be, an unskilled profession, for to care correctly it is a very skilled profession and so needs to be recognised as so. Also when looking at Social Care it is so much more than care for the elderly, for it includes both children and adults, not only in care homes, but home care, supported living, respite and hospices. and more. Many will say that the UK can’t afford to fund social care, but I say it can’t afford not to, for if it is not, then social care will continue to diminish so much more and then the crisis in the NHS will be so much more and really threaten the continued existence of the NHS. So whether you do use social care currently or not and remember none of us will really know when we will need social care it is so important that it is sufficiently funded and then continued to be sufficiently funded and with that the NHS also. Look at military spending and I am not saying we should not help Ukraine for we all need to for if Russia is allowed to defeat Ukraine where will Russia strike next, but when any munitions are used, no one says can it be afforded to be used, but this is what is occurring daily in social care and the NHS.

How Does Levelling Up Spending Compare In London And The South East To Other Parts Of The Country?

Wales and the North West look set to most benefit from the most recent round of levelling up spending, how does this compare to other areas of the north, London and the South East following Rishi Sunak’s and Michael Gove’s announcement?


Levelling Up was never going to be easy, even if the South was discounted completely, as there are many deprived areas in the North, but if London was discounted there are a good number of deprived areas in the South to and some even within the London area.

Many projects have over the years been announced for various areas of the North, but have many been announced and then abandoned, well I believe so.

Some years ago there was the West Coast rail line from Manchester to London and the East Coast rail line from Newcastle to London, but not much upgrade from Leeds, through Sheffield to London.

There was some time ago a proposed idea to extend the Euro Channel link to the North with a container train area in the North Midlands, but it didn’t go ahead, then there was HS2 and HS3, but now HS2 only to Birmingham and then possibly to Manchester, but not to Leeds and Sheffield. HS3 was supposed to be an East to West  from Hull to Liverpool, but not now and may only be Liverpool to Manchester, with possible upgrades to Leeds.

The road links are not much better, yes the North East has the A1, but not a full motorway. Since the M1 not much has been built to the east of the Pennines. But to the West there are many motorways, the M5 to the M6, then many around Manchester M60, M61, M65, M66.

There is the M62 from Hull through Leeds and Manchester to further West, but no new routes from Sheffield to Manchester except the old Snake and Woodhead, which in Winter are many times impassable due to snow and ice. This is until you get to Birmingham and have the M5  to the South and then the M6 north to Manchester and further North.

In the South there is the M23, M25, M42 and others.

So the East of the Pennines is so much worse off, especially North from Birmingham to Sheffield and Leeds on both rail and road.

These links or the lack of them are seriously affecting many areas North of Birmingham and certainly East of the Pennines.

All of this could be affecting investments in the North and certainly the North Midlands to the North East. This infrastructure needs to be urgently improved, as does many more instances of investment.

No matter how it is worded the North does, still, see that compared to the previous investments in the South, albeit around London, the North is so much worse off and in many respects will continue to be so.

Source: How Does Levelling Up Spending Compare In London And The South East To Other Parts Of The Country?

The royals’ shroud of secrecy serves a dismaying purpose | Jemimah Steinfeld | The Guardian

Prince Harry aside, the royals excel at hiding information about themselves – and this prevents them being held to account, says Jemimah Steinfeld, editor in chief of Index on Censorship


To a large extent, the popularity of the Royal Family is diminishing, but there are still many who will support the Royal Family to their dying day, both their own and the Royal Families.

While I do believe there is far too much secrecy I don’t, surprisingly, wish for the abolition of the Royal Family, just the opposite, just wish for less secrecy.

Many people do feel the Royal Family does no wrong, but as we all are, we are all human and mere mortals and the Royal Family is just the same, but so much richer and so privileged.

The secrecy needs to be lifted so that we will all know what they are all about and the Family does need to be so much more streamlined, which King Charles III has promised to do, but not I expect to the extent that it should be.

Other countries’ Royalties have done so and so should ours.


Source: The royals’ shroud of secrecy serves a dismaying purpose | Jemimah Steinfeld | The Guardian

Met Police chief says its “crazy” he can’t sack “toxic” officers

Sir Mark Rowley was responding to figures that show 150 officers are currently under investigation over allegations of sexual assault and racism.


This is and needs to be extremely worrying and drastic actions need to be taken to change this not only for the safety of everyone but for the reputation of not only the Met police, but for every police force throughout the UK.

We were all for years brought up to trust and believe in the Police and for many of the UK population our Police could not do any wrong.

I was on Jury Service many years ago and I heard someone say why should the Police lie, well now we know that they do, hopefully only in a minority of occasions, but how are we to know.

Over the years it has been shown to be that it is not only the Police who endeavour to do cover ups, but in many other professions even in Parliament and the Government, but then who believes any politican.

But there has to be safeguards in any profession and they have to be seen to be effective, for to not leads to anarchy and very soon to the complete breakdown of Law and Order, with no trust anywhere.

We are supposed to be a democracy with the belief all are equal, but money and assumed power, talks and leads to forms of supremacy which are not good at all.

All aspects of the UK need to be accountable and it be easy to enact accountability to all.

Trust needs to be earned and so does respect, for in many instances what is seen as respect is, in reality, fear.

Human Rights also need to be respected.


Source: Met Police chief says its “crazy” he can’t sack “toxic” officers

Menopause remains taboo in most workplaces. This needs to change | Sydney Colussi, Elizabeth Hill and Marian Baird | The Guardian

It is both impractical and socially irresponsible to ignore menopause and its implications for our changing workforce


I totally agree and should never have been so, but it was and still is in many areas, let alone countries. In a workforce an employer should be understanding to all their employees and be there for all of them and each and every employee should be also understanding as well, this in turn will make a workplace good to be in and not a ‘hell’ for some.

While being a male, I will never experience the feelings in my own body, so my heart goes out to all women that when their menopause does occur they will be able to obtain all the help and care that they need and wish for. But, they will also need the trust and confidence to do so and not only from men, for it is known that some women, hopefully, a minority, also don’t offer help and care to other women taking the view that they did not have, so why should others and see it as just a fact of life, when it should not be so.

If this is occurring it is so wrong for ones own bad experiences should not be used as a way to not help and care for others, surely in this day and age we are all better than that.

But, as we know the main problems are to do with males, beit they don’t understand, not wishing to understand or totally don’t care, but this needs to change for we all need to be there for others and not just for ourselves alone.

So, it is not just a problem in Australia, but in many countries, if not all and some are much worse than others. In some, just being a female is a step too far as we can see recently in Iran, Afghanistan and some others. Being male or female, or other genders should mean we are all equal and no one should be more equal than others.

Human Rights are there to protect and we should all abide by them.



Source: Menopause remains taboo in most workplaces. This needs to change | Sydney Colussi, Elizabeth Hill and Marian Baird | The Guardian

Harry and Meghan are still giving Britons what they really want from royalty: a cruel spectacle | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian

You don’t have to be a fan of the couple to see that monarchy exacts too high a price – and abolition would do the Windsors a favour, says Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland


Yes, you either love them or loathe, be that Harry and Meghan or the Royal Family for both have their faults.

The Royal Family are slow to change and mainly live in the past, but at times don’t recognise what the past comprised of, only taking on the parfts they feel are good for them and discount the future.

While Harry and Meghan want change to occur quickly and more or less live in the present and relish the future, but don’t accept what they don’t wish to.

Harry has had a lot to contend with, the loss of his mother greatly affected him and in that he sees what he wants to see. Her was the spare, but not now and as such lives his life to how he wishes and not as custom dictates. He is not the first and may not be the last. Charles was always the one to be seen to follow his mother to the Throne, while Andrew was the spare, but he was more in tune than Harry in the seen processes, but that was more to do with the time and not Andrew, for now the pace of life is much quicker, which the Royal Family in following custom fail to see or don’t wish to.

Meghan as we know is not of British heritage and as such would not really understand the workings of Monarchy in the UK, no matter how much she tried to. She was, however a new breath of life as was Diana to some extent and she was eventually cast aside when she had served her function by giving birth to William. Charles then went back to his first love, if he had even left. It would have been much better in hindsight to have allowed Charles to marry Camilla, which was always his first choce, at the outset, but custom dictated to not do so. Yes, we would not have had William, but there would have been another and all the sorrows that have come and gone, but are still coming would not have occurred, but others could have, but now no one will know.

Over the years the Royal Family have had many instances to change, and to some extent they have, but not as quickly as life in the UK for many. So, they let go of Diana and now both Meghan and Harry. With the latter to move to more equality would have been much more possible than it is now, even if the Royal Family wished to, which I doubt. The UK, as have many other countries, become so multiracial while the Royal Family have not and still follow the well trodden white supremacy to some degree. In some other countries their monarchies have been changed, whether they wished to or not.

Whether all is true in the recently aired 6 Netflix programmes is open to question, but much of it will be, but as the Royal Family don’t have tendencies to be more open, we won’t know currently, but in time we will, when maybe it is too late.

So, the Royal Family will go their way and Harry and Meghan theirs and I really do wish both parties well, for they will all need it.

Source: Harry and Meghan are still giving Britons what they really want from royalty: a cruel spectacle | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian

Congressional Republicans divided on attacking Trump investigations – The Washington Post

The former president’s closest allies are working to discredit a potential prosecution by raising claims of politicization at the FBI and Justice Department.


How America and especially the Republican Party deal with the possible charges mounting against Trump will decide how justice is viewed in America and the standing of America in the World.

The wrong outcome could seriously affect Law & Order in America for many years to come, justice has to be seen to be the winner.

There is and has been much use of abuse of Power in America and for democracy to survive this abuse has to be countered.


Source: Congressional Republicans divided on attacking Trump investigations – The Washington Post