Brexit could cause break-up of UK, says ex-Chancellor George Osborne | Daily Mail Online


So, George Osbourne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, is saying Brexit could be the cause of the break up of the UK, well, if it is then so be it.

But, it is not Brexit, but the actions of previous Governments, with Brexit being the easiest reason to put forward, for previous Governments, be they Labour or Conservative, could not be the cause, could they!

George was never in favour of Brexit, but, then, I was never in favour of George.

Brexit will, eventually, be good for England and any other country within the UK who stays with England.

As to Brexit, I did vote to leave and my conviction to do so, is only strengthened more each day, when I see how the EU is prolonging the discussions on the terms of a Trade Deal between the UK and the EU, for they only wish to punish the UK for daring to leave the EU and to show others who are not happy being in the EU, how they would be treated, if they wished to leave,

What I would say, is if I had known in 1975 what I know now I would have voted to leave then, instead, I mistakenly voted to stay in 1975, my worst vote ever.

Goodbye EU, but hello Europe, for we wish to trade with Europe not the EU.

 

Source: Brexit could cause break-up of UK, says ex-Chancellor George Osborne | Daily Mail Online

BBC tweet sparks controversy over North-South divide in England | Daily Mail Online


They shared a controversial map as part of a discussion between writers and academics over where the North-South border lies.

The unusual suggestion was put forward by Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones of Newcastle University.

 

Source: BBC tweet sparks controversy over North-South divide in England | Daily Mail Online

Transparent and fair: what England can learn from Japan’s social care reform | Natasha Curry | Social Care Network | The Guardian


The long-awaited green paper on social care in England will finally be published this summer. But despite a royal commission, multiple independent reviews, and social care green and white papers over the last two decades, pledges to address problems in the system have become politically toxic and the issue has been repeatedly kicked into the long grass.

At the Nuffield Trust, we have been looking into Japan’s long-term care system to discover how the country managed to transition from a setup of highly variable and largely unaffordable care in the 1990s to a universal care system supporting nearly 6 million people. Although the context is different, Japan can teach us valuable lessons about implementing change with widespread public support.

 

Source: Transparent and fair: what England can learn from Japan’s social care reform | Natasha Curry | Social Care Network | The Guardian

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.

Air pollution in Victorian-era Britain – its effects on health now revealed : The Conversation


BY 

Professor of economics, University of Essex

The health hazards of atmospheric pollution have become a major concern in Britain and around the world. Much less is known about its effects in the past. But economic historians have come up with new ways of shedding light on this murky subject.

In the early industrial age, Britain was famous for its dark satanic mills. And the industrial revolution, which did so much to raise income and wealth, depended almost entirely on one fuel source: coal. Coal supplied domestic hearths and coal-powered steam engines turned the wheels of industry and transport.

In Britain, emissions of black smoke were up to 50 times higher in the decades before the clean air acts than they are today. The great London smog of 1952, that prompted policymakers to act, killed 4,000 in the space of a week. But even that was not as dramatic as what went before.

Unregulated coal burning darkened the skies in Britain’s industrial cities, and it was plain for all to see. But air quality was not measured and monitored until well into the 20th century. And while soot blackened buildings and clothing, the effects of toxic air on health were not assessed, until recently.

In the absence of data on emissions, economic historians have come up with a novel way of measuring its effects. They combined coal consumption by industry with the industrial composition of the workforce to estimate annual coal use in each district. Not surprisingly, coal intensity was highest in the Midlands the north of England and in South Wales, and so this is where we should expect to see the worst effects on health.

Coal intensity in England and Wales, 1901. Bailey et al. 2016Author provided

Coal intensity linked to early death

As early as the 1850s, higher coal intensity was associated with higher death rates from respiratory diseases, especially among the old and the very young. An increase of just 1% in coal intensity raised the deaths of infants by one in every 100 births. Indeed, the effect of pollution in India and China today is comparable with that in Britain’s industrial cities in the late 19th century.

Geography mattered. Those located downwind from a coal intensive district suffered from their neighbour’s pollution. And communities in valleys surrounded by hills suffered more deaths as their own smoke emissions became trapped and concentrated.

Coal combustion also affected the health of those that survived. It led to repeated respiratory illness, slower growth during childhood and shorter adult stature. Although much of the variation in individual height is genetic, we can nevertheless compare the adult heights of those who grew up in more or less polluted districts.

The effect of atmospheric pollution can be measured by looking at men who were born in the 1890s whose heights were recorded when they enlisted in the British army during World War I. Their average height was five feet six inches (168cm), but 10% were shorter than five feet three (160cm).

Those who grew up in the most polluted districts were almost an inch shorter than those who experienced the cleanest air, even after allowing for a range of household and local characteristics. This is twice as much as the difference in adult height between the children of white-collar and manual workers.

The average height of men increased by about three inches (7.6cm) over the 20th century. Increases in height have been associated with gains in life expectancy, education, ability and productivity. Improved air quality may have helped almost as much as better hygiene or improved diet.

Recent scientific reports have warned that we face increasing pollution from a range of sources, especially vehicle emissions. Failure to maintain and further improve air quality risks jeopardising the improvements in health that have been achieved by technological advances and public policies over the last century.

 

Source : Air pollution in Victorian-era Britain – its effects on health now revealed : The Conversation

We can’t fix social care if we think it’s just for older people : The Guardian


Disabled people aged 18-64 make up a third of all social care users, yet they are not getting the support they need

Young man with crutches sitting on hospital chairs

For too long, discussions on social care have overlooked those who need care and support earlier in life. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest challenges facing Britain is how we deal with our ageing population. The countless warnings about the crisis in social care leave no room for doubt. Over the last seven years, budgets have decreased by more than £6bn (pdf) in real terms, and more than 1.2 million older people are struggling to get by without proper care.

The government’s promise to consult on social care in England provides an opportunity to bring about change. But for too long, this debate has almost exclusively focused on older people, overlooking those who need care and support much earlier in life.

More than 280,000 working age disabled adults rely on social care to lead independent, healthy lives. When done right, it empowers them not just to live, but to have a life.

At the MS Society, our new report, End the Care Crisis: Stories from people affected by MS in Englanddemonstrates the transformative impact social care can have for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). From Edith, whose support enables her to get to work each morning, to Martyn who, with the support of a carer, is able to do things others might take for granted, like go to the cinema.

It also highlights the devastating consequences when people aren’t able to get adequate support. Take Angela, for example. At just 35 with two young children, her husband (and carer) is at breaking point. And yet the first time she contacted the council for support, she was told help was only given to people in wheelchairs.

The system continues to fail us, and that is totally unacceptable.

Disabled people aged 18-64 make up a third of long-term social care users, accounting for almost half of the social care budget. We already know that younger people with MS are less likely to get proper support – only 32% of 18- to 29-year-olds with MS have all their care needs met, compared with 73% of those aged 70 to 79. But this isn’t the only thing illustrating the age divide.

Perhaps one of the most worrying symptoms of our failing social care system is the number of younger adults living in care homes for older people. A Freedom of Information request by the MS Society revealed more than 3,300 adults under 65 are in this situation in England. This indicates that, across the country, almost one in seven younger disabled adults in residential care could be in homes with mostly older people, and potentially missing out on the specialist care they need.

Not only are care homes for older people rarely equipped to meet all the needs of younger adults, living in such settings can be extremely isolating, and have a damaging impact on their quality of life and mental health. This is just one example of a much broader, deep-seated problem.

As a country, we do not provide younger adults with conditions such as MS the care we know they need. The question of how we fund and deliver quality social care has been a subject of debate in this country for at least 20 years. We’ve seen 10 government consultations and reviews of social care in that time, yet our politicians have failed to make the difficult decisions on the back of these.

Social care remains in crisis and there will be a £2.5bn funding gap by the end of the decade. While it’s promising that the government last month finally acknowledged the need to improve social care for younger as well as older people, we must hold it to account on this.

There is increasing evidence that fixing the social care system makes sense – not just ethically and morally but financially too. Reform could help prevent and delay acute needs from developing, reduce pressure on the NHS, galvanise local economies and, most importantly, enable disabled people to live independent, dignified and productive lives.

This latest consultation has to involve disabled people of all ages, offering real action and a bold vision for the future. One that recognises the experiences of everyone who depends on social care, and finally gives us a system that works for all who need it.

Michelle Mitchell is chief executive of the MS Society

 

Source: We can’t fix social care if we think it’s just for older people : The Guardian

Don’t Let Memories Die


Memories are our own history and is important to ourselves and our family to record as much as we can.

I do wish I had done this, especially with regards to my own parents, for they are no longer with us and these memories are now lost for ever.

Author -Carole Parkes

As an avid family historian, I’m a great believer in memoirs and autobiographies. If your aged family members are capable, encourage them to give you a written piece on  their life experiences. If that would be too difficult, encourage them to talk about their lives — the times they laughed until their sides ached, or when sadness overtook them, in fact, to tell you about everything, including what they remember about great uncle Fred.

I know, it’s not always easy in our busy lives to find time to sit and talk but, just remember, those frail relatives will probably not be around when you finally do have the time to spend with them. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard those researching their family trees say they wished they’d asked the questions. Please don’t be one of them. We often only develop an interest in our roots as we…

View original post 289 more words

Councils ‘should be shamed into action’ on taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog


A disability activist has called on disabled people to shame their local councils into action, after his research showed more than a quarter had no plans to take one simple step that would protect wheelchair-users who use taxis from discrimination. On 6 April, the government finally brought into force legislation that imposes fines of up to £1,000 on drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles who refuse to accept wheelchair-users, try to charge them extra, or fail to provide them with appropriate assistance. But the new laws only apply in those areas of England, Scotland and Wales where the local authority has drawn up a list – under section 167 of the Equality Act – of all the wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles in their area. The government has been encouraging councils to start drawing up such lists for the last seven years. But three months of research* by disabled campaigner Doug Paulley – including freedom of information requests sent to all 366 licensing

Source: Councils ‘should be shamed into action’ on taxi access laws | DisabledGo News and Blog

BMA – Workload strain compromises patient safety, finds survey


Unmanageable workload means GPs are struggling to provide safe care to patients, according to the results of a BMA survey.Findings from the recent survey of GPs in England highlight the alarming impact spiralling levels of demand are having on GPs, many of whom are increasingly unable to cope.Based on more than 5,000 responses, the survey found that 84 per cent of GPs report that unchecked and growing workload pressures are undermining their ability to provide safe and quality care.Of this figure, 57 per cent described their daily workloads as ‘unmanageable’ with a further 27 per cent saying that excessive pressures are directly impacting standards. Struggling GPsBMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said the results emphasised how, despite the Government’s pledges of investment and support for general practice, much still needs to be done to address the monumental challenges facing the sector.He said: ‘This major survey of more than 5,000 GPs in England demonstrates that GP practices across the country are struggling to provide safe, high-quality patient care because of unmanageable workload.‘Many practices are being overwhelmed by rising patient demand, contracting budgets and staff shortages which has left them unable to deliver enough appointments and the specialist care many members of the public need.He added: ‘Addressing the crisis in general practice requires a clear strategy that addresses the numerous problems undermining local GP services.‘The recent GP Forward View accepted the principles behind the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice which laid out practical solutions, like those in our current survey, that the government needs to implement urgently.’We cannot continue to have a service that cannot deliver a safe and effective level of care to the public.’

Source: BMA – Workload strain compromises patient safety, finds survey