Sheffield launches Action Plan for Adult Carers | Sheffield News Room


The newly launched Sheffield’s Adult Carers action plan will make sure that people in a caring role continue to get the support they need so that they can care for others.

The action plan was conceptualised by carers themselves at an event they held and will support their 60,000 unpaid adult peers across Sheffield.

Sheffield City Council works not only with the individual themselves but also a range of related organisations including Sheffield Carers Centre, Sheffield Young Carers, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Health and Social Care Trust and Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group to coordinate the help and support given to the city’s carers.

Chris, who cares for his adult daughter who has autism and cerebral palsy explained that it was essential that the process was a genuine collaboration between services and individual carers and that the plan needed to be “open, honest and transparent to make lasting change.”

 

Source: Sheffield launches Action Plan for Adult Carers | Sheffield News Room

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Disabled people split over personal health budget expansion plans | DisabledGo News and Blog


Government plans for a huge expansion of personal health budgets could help to deliver independent living for disabled people, according to a leading disabled peer.

Baroness [Jane] Campbell, who has been receiving a personal health budget herself for more than a year, said the plans also had “huge potential” for “getting to grips” with the integration of health and social care support.

But the government’s plans faced determined opposition from other disabled campaigners this week, with many concerned that they could be part of a planned creeping privatisation of the NHS.

They were speaking after the government launched a consultation on the plans to expand the legal right for people to have choice and control over their healthcare through personal health budgets (PHBs).

One mental health activist said the plans were about “offloading us to the private sector”, and said she feared that funds would only be made available “as a temporary sweetener” until privatisation of the NHS was complete, when they would be withdrawn.

PHBs give individuals a pot of money to spend on their health and wellbeing needs, in agreement with a healthcare professional.

Some areas of NHS care will not be covered by a PHB, including GP services, unplanned hospital admissions, drugs and operations.

Currently, only about 23,000 people receive a PHB, but reports suggest that ministers want to increase this to about 350,000.

 

Source: Disabled people split over personal health budget expansion plans | DisabledGo News and Blog

Councils cannot cap personal budgets under Care Act, Ombudsman warns | Care Industry News


Councils cannot set maximum budget levels when calculating the cost of people’s care, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

The Ombudsman has issued the advice after an investigation found Wiltshire Council had a policy of placing people into bands, and paying in line with those banding levels, regardless of need. This is contrary to the Care Act.

The Ombudsman became aware of the council’s system after a woman, whose adult son had substantial and complex health problems and disabilities, had her support cut significantly.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for using an outdated matrix tool to calculate the amount of support offered to the family, and for reducing the support offered immediately, rather than as a staged reduction as the matrix tool said it should. It was also at fault for the way in which it reduced their funding for transport.

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

“Councils cannot put a cap on people’s budgets: the Care Act says eligible needs must be met, regardless of the cost.

“The reduction in support, and the haste by which those changes were introduced, has had a significant impact on the mother.

“Having to care for both her husband and her son has left this woman exhausted. She said she has been treated by her doctor and reported being frequently distressed, tearful and unsettled by the changes.

“I am pleased the council has accepted the formula it used to calculate people’s budgets was not in accordance with current guidance and has now agreed to stop using it.”

 

Source: Councils cannot cap personal budgets under Care Act, Ombudsman warns | Care Industry News

Minister suggests the government will not halt attack on human rights


Unfortunately this Governments attitude and policy is taking the Thatcher directive to bring back ‘Victorian values‘, but are they values to be applauded, for were there not child labour, poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and many others.

Are the progressions of the 20th Century and the start of the 21st to be abandoned. Will we bring back poor and workhouses, debtors prisons and may be even child labour, will there still be free education for all children and the disabled and poor left to their own devices, while the rich elite gain all the benefits of life.

We have the Equality Act 2010, the Care Act 2014 and others but are these just bits of legal jargon, which when they come to be tested are not worth the papers they have produced.

Are they just bits of paper with no real significance, but giving all the non-elite a belief of a caring Government.

Are we now seeing the real true colour ‘Blue’, when previously there could have been a tinge of ‘Red’ now what does that produce, could it be purple, now what party does that create and do they still exist. Something with UK in their terminology, perhaps.

Is this what our recent forebears fought for in the wars of the 20th Century.

If so, is life really worth living for, are we not just producing for the wealthy elite, while fighting and working for a pittance.

Govt Newspeak

Minister suggests ‘realities of the world’ mean government will not halt attack on rights. The justice minister responsible for human rights appears to have dismissed calls for the government to do more to protect the social and economic rights of disabled people and other groups.

Dr Phillip Lee, a junior justice minister whose responsibilities include human rights, was speaking at the launch of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) new report detailing Britain’s progress in implementing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

In a speech at the launch, he appeared to suggest that “the realities of the world” – including population growth, an ageing society, and mass migration – and “finite resources” meant the government could not afford to meet the report’s call for action on the rights laid out in the covenant. The covenant includes the rights to work, including safe and healthy working…

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‘Care Act breach’ judicial review over provider fees dismissed : Community Care


A judge has dismissed a judicial review brought by national care provider body Care England against a local authority it said had breached its Care Act duties by setting fees too low.

Care England argued that Essex council had fixed the fees it offered to providers under a new commissioning framework at a level “significantly below their costs of care”.

It said this contravened section 5 of the Care Act, which stipulates local authorities must promote an efficient and effective care market and “have regard” to ensuring its sustainability.

The issue was highlighted last month by a report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which found care home operators had been charging self-funding residents an average of 41% more than council-funded ones in order to remain solvent.

 

Source : ‘Care Act breach’ judicial review over provider fees dismissed : Community Care

Adult social care needs long term funding, starting now says ADASS : Care Industry News


Measures to address the long-term reform of adult social care need to be brought forward to tackle the significant financial, workforce and quality pressures facing the sector, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is urging.

 

With more than half (53%) of councils expecting to overspend their adult social care budgets this year by up to nearly £21 million each, quality challenges increasing as a result of council savings, and vacancy rates for home care staff rising, there is a fear that the sustainability of adult social care could breach its tipping point.

 

Despite a £2 billion injection for social care over three years, which is going to reduce delayed transfers of care from hospitals, and the publication of a Green Paper next summer, ADASS remains concerned that this does not address a continuing funding gap, increased support for people living longer with more complex needs and the costs of the welcome National Living Wage.

 

The challenges – which threaten the ability of councils to fulfil their statutory duty under the Care Act – are impacting now on older and disabled people and their families, as well as care markets, care workers and the NHS.

 

ADASS is particularly concerned that financial pressures for the increasing care needs of working age adults – those with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems – now exceed those of older people.

 

With ring-fenced investment money topping a list of concerns of Directors, ADASS has made its submission to the Autumn Budget, in which it is calling on Government to:

 

·         Build on the additional £2 billion for the period to 2019/20 by taking further steps to secure extra recurring funding to address continuing service pressures and secure the stability of the care market

 

·         Bring forward at the earliest opportunity clear and wide-ranging options for consultation about putting the social care system on a more secure and sustainable long-term footing beyond 2020. This should aim to secure the right balance between the protection of private assets from catastrophic care costs and adequate public funding for those who have never been able to acquire such assets

 

·         Help to address the urgent workforce pressures in the sector by: affording care staff, social workers and social care nurses the same recognition as other professionals, like doctors, nurses and teachers; enhancing the status of care workers and addressing pay issues and training; and developing a national recruitment campaign and addressing the uncertainty for non-UK EU citizens who are a crucial part of our workforce.

Recognising the importance of adult social care in achieving long-term transformation of the wider health and care systems in order to promote independence and reduce the need for long-term care; and ensuring the full engagement of councils in sustainability and transformation partnerships and in the emergence of accountable care systems.

Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said:

“There is a growing depth of shared concerns about the quality, safety and sufficiency of adult social care services from across the sector. This is impacting on thousands of older and disabled people and their families now.

“The extra £1 billion for adult social care this year barely covers the £824 million in savings that Directors will have made this year and cannot hide the fact that by the end of this financial year, £6 billion has been cut from councils’ adult social care budgets since 2010 – with need for our services growing all that time.

“With a continuing funding gap this year and beyond, increased overspending in council budgets, care providers closing or returning contracts, rising need, extra costs due to the National Living Wage and continuing difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, the social care system remains in a perilously fragile state.

“Not only is there evidence that the future care needs of older people will be greater than previous estimates, with far more care home places required over the coming years, but greater cost pressures are now coming from the needs of working age adults.

“Dedicated and hard-working care workers are providing good, personal care despite increasing pressures, but only 4 per cent of Directors are fully confident in their ability to fulfil their statutory duties under the Care Act this year.

“Adult social care needs to be a national priority and future-proofed for current and future generations who will be needing care in increasing numbers and for a longer time during their lives.

“Whilst we are pleased that Government has committed to publishing the long-awaited Green Paper on social care next summer, more needs to be done now to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, address continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market.

“Proposals for the long-term reform of adult social care should be brought forward and need to address the needs of the whole population – not just older people.

“It is also vital that future funding settlement for the NHS and adult social care take account of the inter-dependency of these services and encourage collaboration rather than cost shunting.

“The need for a cross-party consensus on establishing a fair and transparent solution to adult social care is growing – and ADASS looks forward to contributing to debates on this.”

 

Source : Adult social care needs long term funding, starting now says ADASS : Care Industry News

PA employers will not be exempt from further HMRC action on minimum wage : DisabledGo News


Disabled people who employ personal assistants (PAs) will not be exempt from a new government scheme designed to ensure that sleep-in care workers receive the minimum wage back pay they are due, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.

Disability News Service (DNS) has been told by HMRC that some individual employers of PAs are still being investigated over their failure to pay the full national minimum wage (NMW) to PAs who had worked overnight “sleep-ins”.

And HMRC has made it clear that any arrears owed by disabled employers of PAs will eventually have to be paid.

But it is not clear whether those arrears will be the responsibility of local authorities who funded direct payments that paid for PAs, or if individual disabled employers will have to meet that liability themselves.

Other disabled employers of PAs may have funded that support themselves.

The government announced this week that it was launching a new “compliance scheme”, which will give social care employers up to a year to identify how much they owe to staff who have been incorrectly paid below the legal minimum wage for sleep-in shifts.

At the end of this period, employers who have identified arrears will have up to three months to pay workers what they are owed.

Those who decide not to opt in to the scheme will be “subject to the full HMRC investigative process”, which could lead to financial penalties, public naming and shaming, and prosecution.

The government had previously waived further penalties for sleep-in shifts underpayment that took place before 26 July 2017, and temporarily suspended enforcement action between 26 July and 1 November 2017.

That action in July followed a high-profile tribunal ruling involving the disability charity Mencap, which found in April that many care workers should have been paid at least the minimum wage for the hours when spent on an overnight shift.

An HMRC spokesman told DNS this week that his department was not able to say how many individual PA employers were being investigated for non-payment of sleep-in NMW arrears.

But he said: “The government is aware that individuals who have used their own money, or direct payments, to fund sleep-in shifts could be personally liable for NMW arrears.

“These individuals are themselves extremely vulnerable, and the government is committed to doing all it can to prevent them from suffering financial difficulties as a result of this issue.

“However, the law states that all employers must pay NMW for sleep-in shifts, and this includes cases where an individual becomes an employer.

“The government is working with local authorities to develop solutions that enable these arrears to be paid to workers without causing financial hardship for individuals.

“Personal budget holders who have NMW arrears will be eligible for the social care compliance scheme as part of the government’s efforts to make sure that vulnerable individuals receive the support they require.”

But he added: “The Care Act sets out a number of duties on a local authority to ensure a personal budget adequately reflects personal needs.”

Asked whether this meant that HMRC believed it could be the responsibility of local authorities to meet the arrears faced by PA employers who receive direct payments, he said the government had “engaged local authorities to ensure personal budget allocations take into account the rules on NMW and when time spent asleep is working time for NMW purposes.

“The government will work with local authorities to provide appropriate support on a case by case basis and intends to carefully monitor any additional local authority spending as a result of supporting individuals and the effect on local authority finances.”

But he had not been able to clarify by noon today (Thursday) whether HMRC believed local authorities who funded direct payments could now be responsible for meeting the sleep-in shift NMW arrears of individual PA employers.

Meanwhile, Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, has warned that some disabled people are now having to cut back on their day-time support in order to be able to pay NMW rates during the night.

She said: “Although employers will have longer to deal with any underpayment of sleep-ins, the government announcement fails to get to the heart of the problem.

“Of course, PAs and other social care staff should be paid the proper rate for the job, but a direct payment must be sufficient to cover the costs.

“Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that people are having to reduce the support they have in the day to pay for support at night.

“The hole in social care funding just gets deeper every day with disabled people and older people having to pay the price through lack of essential support.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “The fact that employers won’t have to settle any back-payment for sleep-in costs until March 2019 is helpful and buys some much-needed time to further understand the size and potential impact of the historic liability.

“But this announcement does not end the uncertainty for providers, care workers, the people they care for and their families, and those who pay for their own care or employ a personal assistant through a personal budget.

“It was misleading government guidance in the past which caused the confusion over whether national minimum/living wage should apply for sleep-in shifts.

“Now the government has clarified the position, it needs to provide genuinely new funding to deal with back-payment.”

News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com

Source : PA employers will not be exempt from further HMRC action on minimum wage : DisabledGo News

Austerity 2:  the income of a registered blind, wheelchair bound man cut by 42%


So not only is the UK Government ignoring directives from the UN, but also Court of Appeal judges in their decision to rule against Luke Davey and side with Oxfordshire County Council. Disabled people cannot count on the Government, the system of UK Justice and the Care Act 2014 over Luke Daveys case based on the Wellbeing principle. Lets hope the case is referred to the Supreme Court and where, hopefully, justice will prevail and Luke Davey will win his case and thereby not only justice for himself but also for all disabled people. If not what will become of all disabled people, perhaps they will continue to be treated as though they are residing in 3rd World countries and international aid may become available.

Currently this is a disgraceful state of affairs for disabled people to live reasonable lives in the UK and not have to beg to live.

Political Concern

Were these judges aware of the United Nations condemnationof current violations of disabled people’s human rights?

A severely disabled man has lost his battle in the Court of Appeal over cuts by a local authority to his care funding. Luke Davey, was seeking to overturn Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to reduce by 42% his weekly personal budget, which provided a 24-hour care package.  He is registered blind, uses a wheelchair and requires help with all of his personal care needs.

Luke with his mother, who is 76

The council proposed to reduce funding for his care package in June 2015 when the Independent Living Fund (ILF) was closed by the government

Mr Davey, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is registered blind, argued it threatened his well-being and breached the Care Act

The judges were told at a recent one-day hearing that Mr Davey and others like him have…

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David Cameron’s former Tory council has just been given a free pass to ignore the law, and the UN | The Canary


A Court of Appeal judge has thrown out a case against Oxfordshire County Council, the borough in which David Cameron’s former constituency sits. And in doing so, he has effectively given local authorities a free pass to override both national law and the recommendations of the UN.

Unbelievable cuts

As The Canary previously reported, on Thursday 17 August the Court of Appeal was hearing the case of Luke Davey. In November 2016, a judge had granted the 40-year-old from Oxfordshire a judicial review against the council. This followed its 42% cut to the amount he received to pay for his care and support. Davey has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is registered blind, and requires assistance with all of his intimate personal care needs.

Davey’s case was a legal first, because his lawyers used the Care Act 2014 to argue that the council had broken the law.

The establishment sticking together?

But on Friday 1 September, a judge agreed with Tory-led Oxfordshire County Council, ruling it hadn’t broken the law. BBC News reported that, in his written judgement, Lord Justice Bean said:

It is understandable that the claimant, Mr Davey, and other members of his family objected to the updated needs assessment, which has resulted in a substantial reduction in the level of the claimant’s personal budget. I have great respect for the manner in which the claimant, his family and his team of carers cope with his difficult situation. But that is not the same thing as holding that the council’s actions have been unlawful.

An opportunity missed

Source: David Cameron’s former Tory council has just been given a free pass to ignore the law, and the UN | The Canary

DPO plans court vigil as it intervenes in ‘hugely significant’ Care Act case – Black Triangle Campaign


A disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has intervened in a “hugely significant” court of appeal hearing that is set to decide how far the government’s Care Act protects disabled people’s independent living and well-being.

Inclusion London is the first DPO to intervene in a case involving the “flagship” Care Act 2014, while it will also be the first such case to be heard by the court of appeal.

To highlight the importance of the case, Inclusion London will hold a vigil outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday (17 August), from 9.15am, to show the three judges the impact the case will have on disabled people’s lives.

The case has been brought by Luke Davey, a disabled person with high support needs, whose support package was “slashed” after the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015.

He lost his high court case earlier this year, after seeking a judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to cut his support from £1,651 to £950 a week from May last year.

The council had decided both to increase the number of hours Davey spent without the support of his personal assistants (PAs), and reduce the rates of pay of his PAs.

His lawyers are now arguing that the care plan drawn up by the council should be quashed, while it should draft a new plan that takes into account the risks its decision poses to Davey’s wellbeing.

They will argue that the council is breaching the Care Act by suggesting that he can rely on volunteers or unpaid family carers if he wants to go out for longer than three hours at a time.

And they will argue that the council should have seriously considered the risk to Davey’s wellbeing if his long-established team of PAs broke up.

Source: DPO plans court vigil as it intervenes in ‘hugely significant’ Care Act case – Black Triangle Campaign