Effective personalised care must focus on ‘Can, not can’t’ | Care Industry News


Effective personalised care must focus on individual strengths, daily activities and social connections, new report finds.

A new report from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, (RCOT), has identified three key factors to enable personalised care:

  1. Focusing on a person’s strengths and balancing choice and risk
  2. Enabling people to take part in daily activities that are important to them
  3. Ensuring people stay connected to family, friends and communities

 

1 – The current approach to health and social care focuses on what people can’t or shouldn’t do – often for fear of aggravating or exacerbating existing conditions and placing further burden on services for treatment. Effective personalised care embraces risk taking so people focus on what they need and would like to be doing.

2 – A ‘can do’ ‘culture enables people with health conditions to feel productive and valuable both to themselves and the community.

3 – When people can’t or shouldn’t do things, they end up isolated, lonely and disconnected from family, friends and the community. Social connections are vital for a person’s wellbeing and enabling participation in the daily activities that are important to them often facilitates social connections. With around 50% of disabled people and 1.2 million people reporting being ‘chronically lonely’, there is a vast need to support wellbeing through social connections.

Julia Scott, Chief Executive of RCOT says; “Personalised care is about placing what matters to the individual at the heart of their health and social care. For occupational therapists, personalised care is about focusing on people’s strengths and enabling individuals to carry out the activities they need and want to do in their lives. It is intrinsic to our profession and always has been. We would urge health and social care leaders, commissioners and managers to look to their occupational therapy workforce to enable personalised care across their services.”

 

Source: Effective personalised care must focus on ‘Can, not can’t’ | Care Industry News

Healthwatch England reveals top health and care priorities for 2019 | Care Industry News


To mark the start of 2019, Healthwatch England has published their annual network priorities list – setting out the key health and care topics their local teams will be working on over the year ahead.

Over the last year Healthwatch engaged with over 400,000 people about their experiences of care.

Drawing on the wealth of qualitative data they collect, and through additional activities such as high-street surveys and townhall events, each local Healthwatch works with their community to set out a number of priorities for their area.

Healthwatch England has analysed 139 of these local plans and compiled a national list of the top issues.

The top five priorities for 2019 are:
• Primary care (including access to GPs) – 64
• Children and young people – 57
• Mental health – 50
• Services working better together – 49
• Adult social care, including residential care homes or care at home – 41

The projects undertaken by Healthwatch will build on the day-to-day activities of the network visiting hospital, GPs and care homes etc. and engaging with local people at events and in public spaces to gather their views.

At a national level they will look to use the combined findings to provide insight for decision makers across the NHS, social care sector and Whitehall about the sorts of improvements people want to see.

To do this they need the support of local people. They need more willing individuals to join their 5,000 volunteers and help smash last year’s recording breaking efforts – which saw an increase the number of experiences collected by an impressive 19%.

They also need more people to come forward and share their experiences and ideas , and help to reach their goal of hearing from more than one million people a year.

Focus on primary care

With the vast majority of people’s experiences of the NHS coming through their GP, it is not surprising to see it top this year’s list. And whilst problems getting an appointment is a common issue, it’s by no means the only thing people feedback about.

Online booking systems for example. Previous research by Healthwatch has shown that this the direction they want primary care to go in, but they want it to go further. They want to be able to book appointments with a variety of primary care professionals, from practice nurses to pharmacists, not just the GP.

 

Source: Healthwatch England reveals top health and care priorities for 2019 | Care Industry News

Councils continue to exploit their dominant purchasing power of social care | Care Industry News


Councils in Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Trusts are continuing to exploit their dominant purchasing power, according to a new report from UKHCA, the professional association for homecare providers.

The author claims that “Councils are buying homecare services for older people on the cheap” and calls on Government to fund care at a sustainable level in the forthcoming Budget.

“The Homecare Deficit 2018” exposes the scale of underfunding of a fragile state-funded sector across each of England’s nine government regions and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (notes 2).

Using data obtained under Freedom of Information legislation, UKHCA found that the average prices paid for homecare in the UK is just £16.12 per hour, almost £2 per hour less than UKHCA’s Minimum Price for Homecare of £18.01 per hour (notes 3 and 4).

UKHCA calculates that the UK’s homecare sector needs at least £402 million per year to ensure that homecare workers receive the statutory National Living Wage, while also ensuring that homecare providers can meet their statutory obligations.

However, the size of the deficit this year would be £921 million if national governments and local councils were to commit to raising the status of the homecare workforce to at least the independently calculated Real Living Wage.

Neither of these figures account for the additional costs of people currently going without care and support.

UKHCA’s Policy Director and author of the report, Colin Angel, said:

“Rates paid by the majority of authorities do not cover adequate wages for our vital homecare workforce and the costs of running safe and effective services.

“These rates also illustrate why homecare providers are increasingly left with no choice but to refuse to take on, or handback, care to authorities.

 

Source: Councils continue to exploit their dominant purchasing power of social care | Care Industry News

Talking Alexa: how assistive technology can help adult social care services | Community Care


At this year’s ADASS spring seminar, incoming president Glen Garrod told delegates a pinch of “creative disruption” was needed to find solutions to the problems facing adult social care.

In his speech, Garrod made particular reference to opportunities surrounding digital technology, arguing that new approaches towards the delivery of care could help people lead “more independent lives”.

Hampshire and Oxfordshire councils have embraced the potential of new technologies. Within the last year, both councils have worked with Amazon to explore how its voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant, Alexa, can deliver more personalised care to service users and relieve pressure on a stretched social care workforce.

Being home to one of the most expensive cities in the country, director of adults’ social care at Oxfordshire council Kate Terroni says the national challenge of recruiting and retaining social care staff is only too real in her county.

She says the local authority is faced with the challenge of finding and keeping staff with the right skill set to support a population with increasingly complex needs.

More on assistive technology:

Reducing demand on the workforce has been a core motivation behind Oxfordshire’s exploration into the potential uses of assistive technology, which Terroni hopes could “supplement and support” staff in the future.

This year, the council used its innovation fund to finance an Alexa trial, specifically focusing on how the voice assistant, housed in an Amazon Echo device (a voice-activated smart speaker), could reshape the way social services provide daytime support to people.

 

Source: Talking Alexa: how assistive technology can help adult social care services | Community Care

Opportunity to strengthen social care in Autumn Budget | Care Industry News


The opportunity to shore up the fragile social care system must not be overlooked in the forthcoming autumn budget, according to a new report on the impact of decades of underfunding.

A stitch in time: the case for fundingsocial care issued today by VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), representing over 90 leading not-for-profit organisations supporting disabled people, describes the growing threat to the nation’s vital care and support services.

Voluntary and not-for-profit providers predominantly serve publicly-funded clients so are disproportionately affected by adult social care budget cuts. Local authorities’ planned savings for adult social care in 2018/19 are £700m, cumulative adult social care savings since 2010 have amounted to £7bn, and the government has yet again postponed its Green Paper on the long-term funding plan for adult social care. 

 Brexit exacerbates the threat to social care because the likely economic impact may lead to less public funding and potentially create instability in the sector’s labour market.

 

Source: Opportunity to strengthen social care in Autumn Budget | Care Industry News

With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point | Care Industry News


Responding to a report by Voluntary Organisations Disability Group on adult social care funding, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeingboard, said:

“With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point.

“Over recent years, councils have protected adult social care relative to other services. But the scale of the overall funding picture for local government as a whole means adult social care services still face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care. The likely consequences of this are more and more people being unable to get quality and reliable care and support, which enables them to live more fulfilling lives.

“Action is needed, which is why, following government’s decision to delay its green paper on adult social care, the  consultation to drive forward the public debate on what sort of care and support we need to improve people’s wellbeing and independence, the need to focus on prevention work, and, crucially, how we fund these vital services.”

*The LGA’s green paper is available here. The consultation closed on 26 September.

 

Source: With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point | Care Industry News

Report on adult social care-Winter crisis, new challenges and opportunities for care sector | Care Industry News


Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has published its fourth annual report on adult social care. The report highlights the sector’s continued funding and staffing challenges, as well as the causes and impacts of winter 2017/18 which saw unprecedented levels of pressure on NHS hospital trusts, with 24 trusts reporting a ‘Code Black’ state across the UK.

The report, ‘Adult Social Care 2018: Funding, Staffing and the Winter Crisis’, also presents data gathered from surveys of local authorities and over 200 leading operators across elderly and specialist care in the UK, particularly looking at the use of agency staff, costs and fees, and how the Government’s additional funding has been utilised.

The 2018 report outlines the continued challenges the sector faces in both recruiting and retaining trained staff. Whilst the removal of the cap on Tier 2 visas for overseas nurses is a positive development, we observed a 13% drop in total nurse registrations. Uncertainty over Brexit has had a material impact on EU nurse registrations which fell by 87% compared with 2016/17 figures.

While favourable immigration policies and overseas nurses are key in helping bridge the current gap, the ability to train and retain UK nurses remains a key issue. Our report highlights that 30% of undergraduate students do not complete their nursing degrees.

Our operator survey responses showed that agency staff are becoming more expensive, despite 69% of elderly care operators reporting that they managed to hold or reduce agency staff usage. In specialist care, agency usage has gone up marginally whilst overall agency costs have fallen, indicating that agency staff are being used for lower paid support staff roles in specialist care, as opposed to more expensive, trained nursing staff.

Both our operator and local authority surveys have shown reasonable overall levels of fee increases, albeit for elderly care, these fall below the average fee rate increases shown in our 2017 report. Our surveys show that considerable regional variation continues, with funding remaining a critical issue as we await the anticipated Government Green Paper this autumn.

 

Source: Report on adult social care-Winter crisis, new challenges and opportunities for care sector | Care Industry News

Ageing population brings social care to breaking point | Care Industry News


Responding to Healthwatch England’s report into Social Care and carers, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point.

“Over recent years, councils have protected adult social care relative to other services. But the scale of the overall funding picture for local government means adult social care services still face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards. The likely consequences of this are more and more people being unable to get quality and reliable care and support, which enables them to live the lives they want to lead.

“Unpaid carers are the backbone of the care system, many of whom are unable to take a break, putting their own health on the line. Without these unsung heroes the system would collapse.

 

 

Source: Ageing population brings social care to breaking point | Care Industry News

Social care guides launched to help providers deal with complaints better | Care Industry News


Councils and care providers are being encouraged to adopt a new statement which sets out best practice in receiving and dealing with comments, complaints and feedback about their services.

Launched by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and Healthwatch England, the new single complaints statement helps adult social care providers set out what service users, their families and representatives can expect when making a complaint.

Born out of the Quality Matters initiative, which aims to improve the quality and consistency of adult social care provision across the country, the statement offers a simple bulleted guide for each stage of the complaints process.

The Government recognised the value of the new single complaints statement in supporting a more consistent understanding of handling of complaints as part of its recent response to the CMA market study on care homes

Launched alongside the complaints statement is a second document created for service users to help them better understand the complaints process. An accessible ‘EasyRead’ version is also available.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said:

“I want to encourage all service providers – whether independent or council run – to adopt the single complaints statements into their own complaints policies, and highlight them in any information they give to service users, their families and representatives.

“We know the complaints system can be a real labyrinth for people to navigate, but we also know many councils and care providers have excellent procedures which help guide people through the system, and signpost them to us at the end.

 

Source: Social care guides launched to help providers deal with complaints better | Care Industry News

Care needs will continue to increase and deepen the crisis in adult social care | Care Industry News


Responding to a report by Age UK on a rise in unmet care needs and the costs to the NHS of delayed discharges due to a lack of social care, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“People’s unmet care needs will continue to increase and deepen the crisis in adult social care unless the sector receives a long-term fundingsettlement, like the NHS, and further funding is made available for council’s public health and prevention services.

“To prevent crises in the NHS, government needs to plug the £3.5 billion funding gap facing adult social care by 2025 and reverse the £600 million in reductions to councils’ public health grants between 2015/16 and 2019/20.

 

Source: Care needs will continue to increase and deepen the crisis in adult social care | Care Industry News