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The government has taken a small step towards addressing the discrimination faced by service-users with complex healthcare needs who risk being forced into institutions.

Last month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) wrote to 13 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as the first step in a potential judicial review of their policies on long-term NHS funding for care outside hospital, known as NHS continuing healthcare (NHS CHC).

But the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) now appears to have quietly altered key guidance on NHS CHC, making it harder for CCGs to continue to discriminate against disabled people receiving such funding.

Concerns about the policies of more than 40 CCGs were first raised in January 2017 by Fleur Perry, herself a recipient of NHS continuing healthcare.

Her research showed that many CCGs had drawn up policies suggesting they would move disabled people eligible for NHS CHC out of their homes and into institutions against their wishes, even if the cost of a homecare package was only slightly more expensive than residential care.

These concerns were subsequently taken on by EHRC, which believes that “blanket” policies that have imposed “arbitrary” caps on funding and fail to consider the specific needs of individual patients are “a serious breach” of the Human Rights Act, the CCGs’ public sector equality duty and DHSC’s own NHS CHC framework .

But Perry has now spotted that DHSC has made a minor, but significant, change to its framework document, which is due to come into effect in October and is the first new version for six years.

 

Source: Government takes small step over risk of NHS care home discrimination | DisabledGo News and Blog

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Disabled Remploy workers who are part of a supported employment programme could be at risk of losing their jobs because the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to refuse to renew a three-year funding agreement.

The funding was awarded to Remploy in 2015 for its Interwork scheme, which was set up in 1998 and currently supports about 100 disabled people in mainstream employment.

Without that funding, many of those jobs could be at risk.

It comes only four years after the hugely controversial closure of the remaining Remploy sheltered factories by the coalition, after it stopped subsidising what was then a government-owned business.

Interwork employees are all disabled people whose employment terms and conditions reflect those of their host employer but who have a Remploy contract of employment.

The aim is for them to eventually become employees of the host company, with access to Remploy employment support.

But Disability News Service has been contacted by one Interwork employee, Sam* – who has asked to remain anonymous – who has been told by a Remploy manager that the DWP funding agreement was “coming to an end”.

He has been told that DWP “has asked Remploy to explore the options relating to Interwork employees on a without prejudice basis with a view to securing sustainable employment for as many employees as possible, ideally with the host employer”.

 

Source: Redundancy threat hangs over Remploy workers as DWP funding ends | DisabledGo News and Blog


The Windrush controversy has placed the Government’s efforts to crack down on illegal immigration under the spotlight.

Underpinned by legislation including the Immigration Acts of 2014 and 2016, ministers set out to introduce what then home secretary Theresa May described as a “hostile environment” for those in the UK unlawfully.

The approach was designed to deny illegal immigrants access to work, accommodation and vital services in anticipation this would encourage individuals to leave the country voluntarily.

Some immigrants from the Windrush generation have claimed they are facing deportation, or are being denied access to healthcare, or have lost their jobs, because they do not have official documents to prove their right to be in the UK.

The third reading of the Immigration Act 2014 was on 30 January 2014. A total of 311 MPs voted, with 295 in support of the bill and 16 against.

Source: How MPs voted on Theresa May’s 2014 Immigration Act, which took away the Windrush generation’s rights : i News


DWP boss Esther McVey struggled through a Holyrood committee meeting as the real life impact of Tory welfare policies was laid bare.

SNP MSP George Adam raised the case of a constituent who had been sanctioned after suffering a heart attack – but was met with a brick wall as Ms McVey insisted the system was working.

 After Ms McVey said that Universal Credit was fit for purpose, Mr Adam told her “with the greatest respect, that’s completely devoid from the real world.”

He continued: “In my constituency, I’ve got people who’ve been suffering constantly because of the roll-out. We’re not even a full roll-out area.

“What about people like my constituent, who ended up getting sanctioned because he had a heart attack and was in the Royal Alexandra Hospital?”

 

Source: ‘My constituent had his benefits sanctioned for having a heart attack’ : Welfare Weekly


I have just watched The Big Questions – The NHS is it still fit for purpose, in which I was in the audience. This was a debate which was presented by Nicky Campbell from the Manor CE Academy, York.

Many aspects of the NHS were debated, such as, funding from Central Government, should it still be free at point of delivery, privatisation, structure, treatments which should still be provided, end of life care, assisted suicide, etc.

I did respond to the comments made about assisting to end life as this is not straightforward. There are those, due to their conditions who do choose to end their life and there are those that do not. Suicide is not illegal but assisting those to die is (Assisted suicide is prohibited by section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961 and voluntary euthanasia is considered murder under UK law.). Many wish a change in the Law to allow, for those that wish it, to end their life with help from another person, which would mean that when this occurs the person helping would not be subject to arrest for providing this help, assuming all the checks and balances created by the Law were adhered to. There are many, especially some with long term disabilities and other life-long health condition who do not wish for this change in the law as they fear their life my be taken when it is against their choice and this choice also needs respecting.

This was just one aspect of the debate there was charging for treatments and visits to the GPs (General Practice Doctors), again an aspect that I disagree with, as we should continue with the original concept of being free from the point of delivery. For just a small charge would be a charge too many and what about the cost of the administration, as was mentioned in the debate. But another reason for this not to occur is, when would this small charge be increased by successive Governments and what about those who could not even afford a small charge.

Here are some of my other views

  • the lack of funding  on Social Care and its impact then on the NHS, which, while not being deprived of funding on the scale of Social Care, the two services run in tandem with each other. Problems with one are bound to affect the other, especially on bed blocking through insufficient access to social care being either home care or residential. The beds are blocked or patients are discharged before a sufficient care package is  effectively put in place and many more. This not only means the patient is not sufficiently supported to carry on with their life, but could mean a re-admission due to the lack of required care. This could cause a safeguarding alert, which could have been easily avoided, with sufficient funding for both the NHS and social care.
  • social care is suffering due to lack of suitable trained staff as is the NHS. None of these services can effectively operate on a ‘shoe-string budget.
  • do the Government have an agenda on the NHS, which their lack of funding of social care is adding to the problem, which could be political to show the status quo is not working and that privatisation could be the answer, hence the requirement for services being required to tender, with the service being allocated to the cheapest bidder, without any sufficient checks being made as to whether the tender is covering all aspects to the specification of the required service. So the privatised services become non-effective and non-efficient, leading to the call for more tendering and creating more privatisation.
  • there is no transparency or accountability, only profit taking from the private sector and it is the population as a whole who suffer both short and long term. Those within the decision process do not care as they have sufficient resources to bypass the NHS and use private health facilities. This creates a growth in private health who then further deplete the staffing resources of the NHS,  Then the cycle goes around again and again and so on.
  • funding is not the only problem, which is a major factor, but the root cause is not being addressed. To me the route cause is too many changes being brought in year on year without thought of the resultant outcomes to improve the facilities
  • also with no accountability and transparency of both the NHS and social care, they can effectively do as they please. The powers that be are always wishing to cover their own backs and therefore whistleblowing is not encouraged and is effectively not at the starting gate. By looking at mistakes and problems, including complaints these should be used as a learning tool to improve for the future.
  • the pay gaps of the frontline to the CEOs and other senior management are too vast and when there is a problem in one authority, the senior staff, if there is any investigation are allowed to resign and then gain similar employment in adjoining  authorities, maybe doing similar roles. Where problems occur there needs to be accountability to stop bad practice being ignored and transferred from one authority to another and then another and so on.

I have a, somewhat, controversial consideration, as we now have a Secretary of Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, whether you agree with his suitability or not, is it not time to have one organisation covering both Health and Social Care. Currently, around the UK, do Health and Social Care really work together and if they do is this sufficient. With one organisation would it not be easier to work as one team for the betterment for all concerned, including the population of the UK. Yes I am well aware that the many areas within the NHS do, now, not work together, but is that down to the various structures, individual management and many other areas. I can well believe that when the frontline personal are involved there is much more team working, if they are allowed to by their respective managements.

In doing this there will be cost savings, especially within senior management as there would be one management structure, instead of the two or possibly more currently in place.

However, funding would still be a major obstacle and each area of the UK would need to expressly calculate their funding requirements and the Government would have to listen

Also I have come across an article from digital health which I have made into a blog post  NHS digital programme to benefit from £760m government funding : digital health, perhaps this is part of the answer to improve what is there.
There is also another article I have come across from Denmark see my blog post Healthcare DENMARK – New inspiring White Paper: Denmark – A Telehealth Nation, could this be a solution
 The NHS is a wonderful concept and should be held as a great asset to the UK, if only the problems could be sorted by persons who care for what they are doing, which in the main is the frontline, whereas the management are only looking after number 1, themselves.

To view the debate Is the NHS still fit for purpose?


Global security giant G4S faced a record £2.8m of fines for breaching its contract with the Ministry of Justice last year, HuffPost UK can reveal.

 The huge sum collected in 2016/17 was higher than the previous three years combined, with two prisons – HMP Parc, in Bridgend, and HMP Rye Hill, in Warwickshire – forced to pay the highest amounts.
G4S’s justice contracts include five private prisons, a secure training centre and two immigration removal centres.

The latest figures mean G4S has been fined almost £7m since 2010, but the firm has refused to say how many separate fines that represents or what they were for.

Ministers can levy fines for contract breaches, including failure to conduct searches, smuggling contraband, security breaches, serious cases of “concerted indiscipline”, hostage taking, and roof climbing. Other cases could be failure to lock doors, poor hygiene or a dip in staffing levels.

 

Source: Security Giant G4S Faces Record Fines Of Almost £3m For Breaching Government Contracts : HuffPost


It should be an individuals right to be able to live where they chose to and not where an authority states they should. Care is personal to the individual and should never be reduced in quality or quantity.

Long term care should not be metered by cost, but by individual need in accordance with their choice. Why should having a disability or a life long condition mean their choice cannot be respected.

Govt Newspeak

The government has taken a small step towards addressing the discrimination faced by service-users with complex healthcare needs who risk being forced into institutions.

Last month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) wrote to 13 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as the first step in a potential judicial review of their policies on long-term NHS funding for care outside hospital, known as NHS continuing healthcare (NHS CHC).

But the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) now appears to have quietly altered key guidance on NHS CHC, making it harder for CCGs to continue to discriminate against disabled people receiving such funding.

Concerns about the policies of more than 40 CCGs were first raised in January 2017 by Fleur Perry (pictured), herself a recipient of NHS continuing healthcare.

Her research showed that many CCGs had drawn up policies suggesting they would move disabled people eligible for NHS…

View original post 480 more words


The SNP has said that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rhetoric to make work pay “reeks of hypocrisy,” after figures revealed that the department has taken on over 27,000 people for unpaid work placements since 2011 – with no record of how many have then been offered full or part-time employment after the placement has ended.

In response to a Written Parliamentary Question from SNP MP Alan Brown over the number of people who have taken on unpaid work with the department, the DWP said, that since 2011, it has taken on 27,775 unpaid staff – with no information on whether or not they had gone on to full time employment or let go.

 In Alan Brown MP’s own constituency of Kilmarnock & Loudoun, the DWP has taken on 55 unpaid staff.

Alan Brown MP said: “The figures detailing the scale of unpaid placements within the DWP, and the lack of any records as to how many of those placements have led to full or part-time employment, is staggering and reeks of hypocrisy.

“The grim reality is that whilst the DWP trumpet on about getting people into paid work, they have simultaneously taken on more than 27,000 people for unpaid placements – with not a single bit of paper to show how many have then been offered paid opportunities.

 

Source: DWP ‘make work pay’ claims ‘reeks of hypocrisy’, says SNP MP : Welfare Weekly


This shows, if further evidence was required, what the DWP is like and if they do this to ,one of their own, then what can be said for the rest of us.

This just shows that what has been occurring over the last few years is no mistake, it is the total agenda of the DWP.

What can they do,

  1. well if it was up to me the DWP manager Bev Lovatt would be severely reprimanded with a view to a capability assessment being undertaken
  2. the whole practices of the DWP would be minutely investigated by an independent non-government source

  3. the Government needs to suspend all assessments and new claimants processed on the previous benefit processes

  4. sanctions to be immediately removed and no further sanctions implemented

  5. Atos and Capita to have their contracts suspended and their methods of engagement investigated

  6. any claimants being in the process of being transferred to ESA, PIP or UC to have their processes suspended and immediately re-instated to their previous benefits

  7. awards of compensation to claimants for their suffering and any other problems or to their families where the claimants are now deceased to be implemented

Only then will there be justice for all the claimants and their families for the problems caused by the inhuman policies of the DWP.

Same Difference

A disabled DWP employee has won a £26,000 payout after his bosses called him a “whinger” and gave him a warning after he ‘nearly died’ at work.

An employment tribunal awarded compensation after finding Barrie Caulcutt had been treated unfairly by his bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The 55-year-old, of Caernarfon, North Wales, cried at the hearing, saying his life and health were ruined by bosses who said he didn’t deserve to be treated nicely.

The father-of-two, who suffers from anxiety, chronic asthma and eczema, had to be rushed to hospital after he suffered an asthma attack at work, the Daily Post reports.

He said felt “relieved and pleased” after the tribunal unanimously found the DWP had discriminated against him by failing to make reasonable adjustments for his disability.

Mr Caulcutt had worked for the DWP for 35 years with an “exemplary” attendance record.

Problems started after…

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