Archives for category: Health

New figures from Age UK reveal the shocking extent to which millions of older people are being left to prop up the country’s disintegrating care system, with those aged 65 and over providing nearly 54 million hours of unpaid care each week in England in 2016[i].

These figures highlight the rising demands being placed on older informal carers as Government underfunding causes the social care safety net to shrink, resulting in increasing numbers of our older population in need of care, being thrown back on their own and their family’s resources.

In 2015/16, over two and a quarter million (2,299,200) people aged 65 and over provided care – a 16.6 per cent increase on five years ago when 1,829,200 did so[ii],[iii].

Over 400,000 (404,400) of these unpaid carers are from the oldest demographic in our society (aged 80 and over), and they provided 12.7 million hours of care in 2015/16 – a 12.7 per cent increase from 2009/10[iv],[v].

Most older people willingly take on the task of helping to care for a loved one – usually but not always a husband or wife – and don’t think of themselves as doing anything out of the ordinary. However, leaving older people to shoulder too much, or sometimes all of the responsibility and hard work of looking after someone in declining health and with significant care needs is unfair. It can also put these older family carers’ own health at risk, and many of them are coping with health problems themselves.

Over half (54.8 per cent) of people aged 65 and over who provide at least one hour of care have a long-standing illness or disability – equating to well over a million people (1,262,500), or one in ten (10.7%) of all these family carers

 

Source: New figures from Age UK show our social care system is disintegrating | Care Industry News

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The more you hear about these assessments and the assessors the more ridiculous these processes are shown to be.

It would not surprise me that eventually, if not now, only to turn up for the face to face would deem you ‘fit for work’. Then if you do not turn up you are sanctioned. Either way the system gets you.

Yes, that is ridiculous, but no more than ‘handshakes’. Handshaking is the acceptable British way to greet people, not the kissing on cheek or cheeks which is more European.

In fact, could not the kissing on cheeks be deemed by some to be a possible sexual approach, whereby the shaking of hands will not be.

Govt Newspeak

c  ‘If you’re disabled and meeting your DWP assessor for the first time – or any time – DON’T SHAKE THEIR HAND! They ain’t your friend!

Do you shake hands? I do – with people I’m meeting for the first time, and often meeting up with people I already know really well. But the classic handshake is now not the single accepted greeting, and even with strangers you must awkwardly negotiate the possibility of the kiss on one or both cheeks, or bro shake with optional shoulder bump.

But I’ve been trained to think of the unhesitating handshake as simple good manners. The same, I suspect, is true of former pub landlady Bethen Thorpe from north London, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in…

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The 4 witnesses from Citizens Advice, Scope, National Mencap and Sense are certainly tell the Work and Pension Select Committee about their findings regarding PIP and ESA assessments, but to what effect.

Hopefully the Select Committee will use this and other evidence to make major changes to the PIP and ESA progresses to improve them for the betterment of all claimants.

Disability Benefits Consortium

12th December 2017

The DBC has contributed to the Work and Pensions Select Committee which is conducting a welcome inquiry into the effectiveness of ESA and PIP assessments.

You can read our written evidence here

The Parliamentary Co-Chairs of the DBC (Rob Holland from Mencap and Victoria Holloway from Sense) also gave oral evidence.

You can watch the evidence session here

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Govt Newspeak

Disabled people protest against cuts
 ‘The Tories have repeatedly promised and failed to drive down unemployment figures while tightening eligibility and making cuts to out of work sickness benefits.’ 

Look closely enough and recent announcements reveal the two faces of Conservative disability policy. At the end of last month, Penny Mordaunt, the former disability minister and new international development secretary, announced the UK’s first global disability summit. To fanfare, Mordaunt positioned Britain as a global leader in disability rights, pledging to help other nations “tackle the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fulfilling their potential.” Then the same night, buried at 10pm, the…

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Is it not strange how these Government Ministers are willing to talk to people, but do not want to hear what they wish to say.

A case of I will tell you how it is but I do not want to hear your objections.

Is it that these Ministers are so far from the public that they have no understanding how their judgements and directives affect people and how they will proceed in reality.

Or more likely are they so not bothered what happens in reality and do not care for the majority of the population within the UK, as long as they and their friends are OK.

ukgovernmentwatch

Adam Kay was a junior doctor before writing a book about his experiences

”There are fears the NHS is heading for another winter crisis after 20,000 patients were left waiting outside A&Es in ambulances in the last fortnight.

It might be the latest problem for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt but it’s not the first. In his recent book, Adam Kay wrote an open letter (which you can read at the bottom of this story) to him over his treatment of junior doctors.

Here’s what happened when Mr Hunt invited him round for a chat…

For an unsettling few weeks, Jeremy Hunt shot up in my estimation. This morally repugnant dark lord, whose hands are drenched with the blood of so many patients, whose policies and lies have chased thousands of doctors out of the profession, actually rose in my estimation.

I received a letter from him which essentially said “If…

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Now there is one more and how many since this one more, surely anyone with any brain cells can see that this system is ‘not fit for purpose’ as for as the public and all others who care.

But it is ‘fit for purpose’ for all those who do not care.

Where do the DWP and the Government and the ESA assessors fit into the above mentioned ‘fit for purpose’ comments, I will leave this to you, but I feel it is not that difficult to decide.

Stop UK lies & corruption

A man with terminal cancer died before he was able to appeal a ruling by the Department for Work and Pensions which stated he was “fit to work”.

Phillip Balderson, 46, had been working at a hotel in the Lake District but was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2013.

He also had psoriatic arthritis and a number of mental health problems, including anxiety and OCD.

balderson-2Read more

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A young man with special educational needs has been left in short-stay accommodation for nearly two years because social workers in Lancashire could not decide where he should live permanently, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The man was placed in short-stay accommodation by Lancashire County Council after his family told social workers they were struggling to cope with his behaviour and the impact it was having on his younger siblings.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the placement in January 2016 was only meant to be temporary, but the man is still living in the accommodation today. It is likely the man’s behaviour has deteriorated through not living in suitable accommodation and not receiving appropriate support.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:

“This man has been left in limbo in this accommodation, which by its very nature was only ever intended to be a short stay. He has missed out on vital support and development opportunities

 

Source: Disabled man left for two years in unsuitable short-stay accommodation let down by council | Care Industry News


This Writer has been meaning to look into this information, and how it ties in with other sources of information that condemn the way ESA is administered by the Conservative-run Department for Work and Pensions.

In the meantime, here’s the Disability News Service piece:

“Shocking” NHS statistics have revealed that almost half of the people claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit in England have attempted suicide at some point in their life.

The figures, showing rates of self-harm among claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA), were published by NHS Digital in September 2016, but have apparently never been reported by the media.

Although only one in 15 adults (6.7 per cent) in the general population had ever made a suicide attempt, that rose to 43.2 per cent for ESA claimants, and as high as 47.1 per cent for female ESA claimants.

 

Source: ‘Shocking’ NHS stats show nearly half ESA claimants have attempted suicide  : voxpoliticalonline.com


The UK’s care homes are grappling with an unsustainable £1bn-a-year funding gap caused by councils not paying enough money, resulting in many homes charging residents over the odds in order to stay afloat, an official review has found.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also revealed it is taking enforcement action against a number of care homes that have been unfairly demanding large upfront fees, or charging families for weeks after the death of an elderly relative.

In its report into the £16bn care homes sector, which covers 410,000 residents and stretches across 11,300 homes, the CMA said “urgent action” was needed because the current regime was “not sustainable” without additional funding.

It suggested that people who paid for their own care were being asked to pay more than they should in order to subsidise council-funded residents.

“On average, a self-funding resident is paying over £12,000 a year more than a local authority to have a place in the same care home … This difference between self-funded and local authority prices for the same service is understandably perceived by many as unfair.”

 

Source: £1bn funding shortfall may force UK care homes to close, says watchdog


SNP Social Justice spokesperson at Westminster Neil Gray MP has said the Tories need to face up to the fact that they are still planning to ‘plunge hundreds of thousands more people into poverty’ with their Universal Credit policies (UC), and that the public must be allowed to see the internal assessment reports.

The comments come as a result of today’s UC debate in which the UK government minister responsible -David Gauke – made a concession which would mean he will make available redacted copies of Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) assessment reports on Universal Credit, to the Westminster Work and Pensions committee.

However, the Secretary of State confirmed to Neil Gray during the debate that he will still challenge the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ruling to publish the reports at the High Court.

The ICO has already said they should be published publicly and in full – as that is specifically in the public interest.

 

Source: Tories forced to release Universal Credit assessment reports

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