Government launches recruitment drive for adult social care – ITV News | Carer Voice

The Government has launched a recruitment campaign to try to plug a hole of 110,000 vacancies in the social care workforce.

More than 1.45 million people work in social care at the moment, but an extra 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 due to an ageing population, ministers said.

The move was welcomed by charities but they said more needed to be done to improve working conditions and pay.

The new campaign – Every Day Is Different – also comes as the Health Foundation published its own report on the NHS workforce, expressing concerns about the growing number of staff shortages across the board.

Social care is a hugely important service on which many depend and more needs to be done to make it an attractive career

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK

It said there were “worrying trends” in community care, with a drop in nurses and health visitors in the community.

The new Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) campaign aims to promote social care as a career with good progression and professional development.


Source: Government launches recruitment drive for adult social care – ITV News | Carer Voice

Exclusive: Hancock’s ‘NHSX’ power grab for NHS England work | News | Health Service Journal

Matt Hancock is pushing to create a new digital unit in government – labelled “NHSX” – which would give him more direct oversight of national strategy currently controlled by NHS England, HSJ has learnt.

Senior sources familiar with discussions told HSJ that, if it proceeds, the new unit would represent a major shake-up of how the multibillion-pound digital transformation programme was managed and delivered.

The proposal has sparked concern among senior figures at NHS England about the impact of separating digital work from other core-NHS operational oversight, HSJhas been told.

If it does proceed, NHSX would host the lead managers for about 40 national digital transformation projects, most of whom are currently employed by NHS England, HSJ has been told. This would include NHS chief clinical information officer Simon Eccles, chief information officer Will Smart and the chief digital officer.

While talks are at an early stage, HSJ has been told the health and social care secretary wants NHSX to be based in the Department of Health and Social Care, under a director general.

Another proposal being considered is to retain the unit within NHS England but make it more accountable to Mr Hancock and DHSC.

NHSX is also likely to affect NHS Digital, the arm’s length body that collects NHS data and runs some national IT infrastructure, such as NHSmail, the NHS Spine, and the health and social care network.

When approached by HSJ, a DHSC spokesman said it was “keen to create a platform for innovation in the NHS and [to] demonstrate to innovators that this is the best country in the world to develop and deploy health tech to solve some of healthcare’s biggest challenges”.

“We are therefore looking at ways of combining expertise across the government, NHS and industry to make this happen,” he said.

He would not comment further on NHSX.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “We are completely supportive of the approach being developed with DHSC to align national NHS work on technology and information, and agree with the approach which the secretary of state will soon be setting out.”


Source: Exclusive: Hancock’s ‘NHSX’ power grab for NHS England work | News | Health Service Journal

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

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

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

NHS digital programme to benefit from £760m government funding : digital health

The government has announced it is releasing £760 million into the NHS, which includes money to improve the use of its digital programme as part of the national health body’s 70th birthday.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced the money is part of a £760 million investment to modernise and transform NHS hospitals and community services over the next 10 years.

Part of the funding includes £150 million set aside to support the NHS’s work to become more efficient.

This includes “improve the use of a digital programme that helps the NHS use its workforce better” and “improve pharmacy IT and administration systems to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety”.

The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) will also receive £300 million to transform local hospital services. It proposes to use the funding to develop an emergency care site and a separate planned care site, with 24-hour urgent care centres at both sites.


Source: NHS digital programme to benefit from £760m government funding : digital health

Minister’s ‘insult to injury’ snub to DPOs over social care round table | DisabledGo News and Blog

Government ministers are facing criticism after organising a “round table” event on the future of working-age social care without inviting any disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) to attend.

The failure to invite DPOs emerged after the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell had asked the government to extend the scope of its green paper on older people’s social care to include working-age disabled people with care needs.

The green paper was announced in November, but it frustrated campaigners when the government revealed that it would examine the care needs of older people, while “a parallel programme of work” would look at working-age disabled people.

Baroness Campbell told fellow peers this week that the “proposed parallel process” was “simply not acceptable when half of social care spending now goes on working-age disabled people”, a concern she raised this week through the website PoliticsHome.

She said: “Please will the minister confirm that both older and younger disabled people will receive parity of status and attention from the government?”

But the junior health and social care minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said only that “a parallel programme of work is going on” and that the government was “giving the issue equal seriousness, as it deserves”.

And he said that the care minister, Caroline Dinenage, would soon be co-chairing an “important” round table “with Mencap, Scope and others”.

It was only when the Conservative peer Lord Cormack suggested that Baroness Campbell should be invited to join the round table that Lord O’Shaughnessy said he would “do everything that I can to encourage” Dinenage to invite her.

Baroness Campbell later said on Twitter: “Pleased my friend on the Conservative bench requested I get invited to the round table on the future of social care [but there will be] no DPO represented!!”


Source: Minister’s ‘insult to injury’ snub to DPOs over social care round table | DisabledGo News and Blog

The adult social care workforce in England – National Audit Office (NAO)

*The Department of Health and Social Care is not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce. The number of people working in care is not meeting the country’s growing care demands and unmet care needs are increasing, according to today’s report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

While many people working in care find it rewarding, there is widespread agreement that workers feel undervalued and there are limited opportunities for career progression, particularly compared with similar roles in health. In 2016-17, around half of care workers were paid £7.50 per hour or below (the National Living Wage was £7.20 in 2016-17), equivalent to £14,625 annually. This, along with tough working conditions and a poor image, prevents workers from joining and remaining in the sector.

There are around 1.34 million jobs in the adult social care sector in England, across more than 20,300 organisations1. The turnover rate of care staff has been increasing since 2012-13 and in 2016-17 reached 27.8%. The vacancy rate in 2016-17 for jobs across social care was 6.6%, which was well above the national average of 2.5%-2.7%.

However, demographic trends suggest that demand for care will continue to increase and people’s cares needs will continue to become more complex. To meet these challenges, the Department estimates that the workforce will need to grow by 2.6% every year until 2035.

The social care market is operating in challenging circumstances. Care providers, already under financial pressures, are struggling to recruit and retain workers and are incurring additional costs as a result. Local authorities spent 5.3% less on care in 2016-17 compared with 2010-11, and spending is expected to reduce further over the next two years due to continued government funding cuts and increased financial pressures on local authorities.  Uncertainty over funding is limiting local authorities’ ability to plan future spending on care.


Source:* The adult social care workforce in England – National Audit Office (NAO)


*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.