Child died at mental health hospital while staff were meant to be watching her, inquest told | The Independent

Exclusive: 14-year-old girl died at Taplow Manor Hospital in Maidenhead after she was left unattended


The true state of care in the UK, be it mental health, other health services or social care and, yes, funding, or lack of it is the root cause, but in this instance compounded by perhaps lack administration.

But funding is the root cause, but this government and many before are more concerned about reducing costs than maintaining good quality care.

Health and social care are not the only areas for there are funding shortages in many areas of the UK, but in health and care lack of funding can lead to deaths, which it has in this case and many others. Deaths which were avoidable if sufficient funding was there. Health and social care can’t be maintained on the cheap, but successive UK government have assumed it can, either by ignorance or by deliberate informed actions. Where is the ‘Duty of Care’ well it is not for this government is defunct of care, Duty or not.

It should be a Crime and government Ministers and Prime Ministers held accountable, but they are not and that is a Crime or should be.

Human Rights are not being respected for they are being totally ignored by this government.

But they really believe that if they are OK then that is all that matters, but it is not.


Source: Child died at mental health hospital while staff were meant to be watching her, inquest told | The Independent

Millions paid benefits without ever having to find a job

Claims have surged since face-to-face health checks were scrapped during Covid


Now is this supposed surge really an increase in health related disabilities or were there always there and the face to face health checks were too restrictive. I believe, in the main the latter, for we know on appeal many benefits turndowns were reversed, but many turned down were reluctant to appeal because they were already to traumatised by the face to face assessments and then the turndown. In fact, many were so traumatised that they took their own lives rather than appeal.

So, this is not a real surge, but a great reversal of so much injustice.
More social care could possibly be some of an outcome that may means some who are now so ill, could have not been if sufficient social care had been available before the inevitable declines in health occurred.

But then we would need a listening and caring government, which we have not had for years, if ever, and possibly not likely to have in the future, no matter what colour of Government we will have.

The past has been so depressing, but the future does not appear to have much light, so could well be equally depressing, or perhaps, even worse, if that is really possible, which it so is.

Source: Millions paid benefits without ever having to find a job

Labour’s plans for NHS get sceptical welcome from health leaders | The BMJ

Health leaders have given a lukewarm welcome to the Labour Party’s newly unveiled policy plans for the NHS in England, saying that the intentions are laudable but overly ambitious and in need of crucial detail on their workability.


One would have expected Labour to be more enlightened than the Tories and have does some work with the NHS, but this is politics and even more so politicians who always assume they are the experts, but experts at what, certainly waffle and not much else.

When advocating change, always include the organisation from the outset and not just follow a political Agenda for to do so just encourages failure.

As I said it is so expected of Tories, but is this just Labour under a different Tory colour.

Also, again, a major ommission and that is social care, for social care is an intergral part of the NHS, as is the NHS to social care. There is no point in considering one without the other. While the NHS is in a serious state, social care is even more so and in extreme danger of completely disappearing forever, then that will just lead to the same disappearing of the NHS. To safeguard the NHS, firstly social care has to be safeguarded.

Yes, get rid of the Non-Dom status, but that only brings in £3 billion while social care on its own needs £12 billion and hope that will cover both social care for children and adults. No good relying more on family carers for they are already doing more than should be expected, in fact, in 2021 £193 billion. In doing so family carers healths are deteriorating causing, not only more need for social care for family carers, but much more care from the NHS, let alone by family carers deteriorating health, this leads to more deteriorations of the family members they are caring for, so again more social care needed and so much more from the NHS.

Or is the inevitable being wished for and that is deaths of persons in need of social care and family carers so resulting in less need for social care and the NHS as even the NHS can’t get the dead recovered.

This is so expected from the Tories, but surely not from Labour, but it appears it is.


Source: Labour’s plans for NHS get sceptical welcome from health leaders | The BMJ

Is the Government rationing EHC plans? – Special Needs Jungle

MPs lightly grill the DfE over its SEND Improvement Plan. Are EHCPs being rationed, and isn’t SEND the fault of poor mothering?


A Minister prepared to provide the answer she wants to, even that is rare usually no answers at all, but really any Minister should fully and truthly answer any question, but that goes against the ‘Code of Conduct, of Ministers. What you find is them not answering the question stated, but a question they wish to answer, the one they have prepared for, even then not truthfully providing an answer.

Really providing a part truth or in most instances a completely untrue answer is what Ministers do, the art being trying to make it sound true and not be caught out.

But with demand increasing and funding reducing there is no way there is any sufficiency in any aspects. Now is this because there is a failure to understand the problem, a complete disregard of the problem or not even realising or not wanting to realise there is a problem. For problems can’t have any chance of being solved unless there is an understanding and an expectance to solve a problem, which there isn’t, for in most, if not all instances they want the problem to go away, so they ignore it.


Source: Is the Government rationing EHC plans? – Special Needs Jungle

Morning Call: Time to turn on the Starm

Inside: Labour wants to fix the NHS. Doesn’t everyone?


I have lived and breathed social care for 39 years for my now departed daughter (October 2022) and cared for her with my wife, who sadly died (September 2020), so I have been there and done that, not only on a personal family basis, but on behalf of other carers in Sheffield through also being involved, with many other carers and disability organisations and having my own network of Family Carers who I keep in touch with on a regualar basis, in most instances weekly through my own newsletter.

So, yes, we all want the NHS to be fixed, but how is part of the problem and does any politician really understand the NHS and the problems, as before anything can be fixed one has to fully understand all of the problems and that is the start of the problem with all politicians.

Yes, Starmer has relations in the NHS, but do they fully understand all of the problems or only some of the problems within their own areas. While the NHS is supposed to be National, in many respects it is not, for in many it is Local with the local ICBs (Integrated Care Boards) endeavouring to look at not just the NHS, but also social care.

I mention social care for there is and has been a drive to integrate the two, but that is far from easy. With social care being under Local Authorities and health under local health authorities. Then within each there are further splits.

In health there are

  1. hospitals
  2. community health
  3. primary care (GPs)

In each of the above there is public and private and in many instances a mixture of the 2 in many areas.

In health take GPs, the GP practice is NHS public, but GPs are self-employed, so while having a degree of NHS contract for the practice there are technically private in some degree. Similar to dentistry, but dentistry is in a so much worse state than GP practices, but how long will it be for GP practices to be in the same state as dentistry.

But in other areas of health there is a mix of public and private to some degree.

Now with social care there is also public and private, public is generally social workers, who are usually employed by Local Authorities, (LAs), but maybe not always so.

But care workers are generals employed through Private providers, but these providers get their main funding from LAs, with some from health through Continuing Health Care, (CHC). The providers then use this funding to provide social care to persons in need of social care either through contracts directly with the persons or some through contracts with LAs. But funding of LAs has been severely restricted through Tory Austerity Cuts since 2010 and to a very large extent still. This has led to LAs being extremely short of funding in an increasing Market, not only in social care, but all other essential service which should be provided by or through LAs.

Care workers are one of the professions who are paid the least in the UK, but there are others, agricultural workers and hospitality workers to name 2 more, but there will be others.

As in the NHS there are extreme staff shortages in social care, including social workers, but so much more so with care workers.

Many carer workers are only on or just above the National Living Wage of £10.42 per hour and with so many responsibilities, while they could be earning £4/5 per hour more in other occupations, such as Supermarkets, with much less responsibilities.

Many people assume that care workers only help to wash and dress people in need of care, toilet, and meal preparation, but the responsibilities are so much more, as they have to respect the choice and dignity of the persons they care for, respect the possessions and property of the person they care for, manage in many instances their finances and medication, manage the persons social outings, their safeguarding, provide empathy and support when and when needed and so much more.

So being a care worker is not as it is believed an unskilled profession for it should be and needs to be a highly skilled profession and they should be paid accordingly. By not doing so this is causing the shortages in staffing, but there is also insufficient travel expenses, recognition of holidays, including Bank Holidays, no sick pay except SSP (Statutory Sick Pay), which again is so insufficient and so much more.

As well as receiving carers from care providers, a person in need of care can apply to their LA to receive a Direct Payment and similarly with CHC (Personal Health Budget), (PHB).If you are successful in your application you can if you wish to employ your own carers, but you will need to due this yourself, but help may be available. Costs of recruiting could be included in the Direct Payment and costs related to payments will be be, but the rate of pay will need to be agreed with your LA or CHC, even costs to get an organisation to do so even the payroll and salary payments, all of which will be included in the Direct Payment or PHB, but if you wish you can do some or all of this yourself. However, the rates of pay will most likely mirror those which care providers pay their staff, so a major problem will be recruiting and sustaining, as it is for care providers.

Some people will say that care providers profit from the funding they receive from LAs, but that could have been so, but now is most unlikely and from a Direct Payment or PHB profiting is illegal and the accounts you hold or an organisation will be audited and at very regular intervals, at least half yearly and maybe earlier, especially from the outset of granting the payments.

This crisis in social care has a large bearing on the crisis in the NHS for it is leading to increasing health deteriorations through lack of social care, insufficient social care so patient discharges from hospitals are seriously delayed, this then leads to an inability for patients from A&E to be transferred to wards, so blocking new patients from waiting ambulances, which leads to insufficient ambulances to pick up other people in need of health care. But there is so much more.

I have only highlighted some of the problems in both social care and the NHS, but it goes so much deeper. So does Starmer understand the problems, do any politicans understand any of the problems, I do seriously doubt it.

Pushing funding down the road has gone on for far too long, Boris promised in 2019, now Rishi has push it further down to 2025, can social care funding wait that long, I so doubt it. Then when it comes will it be sufficient, well the real answer is a resounding no, for to be rally effective social care needs £12 billion now and not the little £millions the Tories promised and then halved it to then delay until 2025.

Starmer has said he will take steps to withdraw ‘Non-Dom status’ and yes, I agree, but this will only bring in around £3 billion and he has stated this is for the NHS, even if he had stated social care and NHS, it would not only be so insufficient, most, if not all would go to the NHS.

The NHS can’t survive without social care and social care can’t without the NHS, so integration is so essential, but will it be effectively achieved, I so doubt it.

1948 was a great year for that was when our great NHS was created and was it so welcome and needed, well yes, is the only answer. But a grave mistake was made and that was not including social care directly within the NHS, with each having it dependence on each other it makes sense to run it under one umbrella.

I say umbrella for the organisation would have been massive then and certainly so massive now, but there would have not been the infighting over who funds what between LAs and the NHS which there is currently and has been for years and in many respects duplications of management, staff and much more. Duplications have costs, so why pay twice for something much similar.

But in 1948 social care was seen as extensive as it is now, but then neither was the NHS. Since 1948 there have been great advances in medical understandings leading to many conditions where persons would not have survived, now have a good chance to do so. This has also lead to many more persons with disabilities living longer and many more disabilities being found, this is all welcome progression. Due to medical advances all of us are living longer, and again this creates greater demands on social care and the NHS.

So demand for social care and the NHS has not stood still and greatly increased while funding in real terms has been reducing, now does any of that make sense, well no, funding has to increase with demand and really well in front of demand.

Some may say where are families in all this with social care, well unlike what some government  Ministers have and are may be still saying Families have been doing all they can and in many instances so much more, in that their own health starts to deteriorate, causing more demands on social care and the NHS.

Do you kown that families carers are currently (2021) saving the UK £193 billion how much more can they do, well they will do but causing much more health deteriorations.

These are just some of the areas in social care and the NHS, so I very much doubt Starmer or anyother politican know anywhere near the problems and so can’t say they do, but they do because they are either incapable or unwilling to understand the problems.

Social care and the NHS are in the hands of these politicians, but I very much doubt they are anywhere near safe hands.

Good luck for we all very much need it, but so doubtful it will ever come.


Source: Morning Call: Time to turn on the Starm

Labour vow to cut heart disease and stroke deaths by a quarter within 10 years – Mirror Online

Keir Starmer is poised to set out “serious, deep, long-term changes” that also aim to slash cancer deaths and improve mental health treatment – and make the NHS “fit for the future”


Well great for Labour, but do they know what it will take and will they do it with the NHS or just ponder on and do it their way.

The NHS are the experts in health and most of any government or any political party are not, so to enact change you have to work with the experts.

Now they say this they will do within 10 years and in doing so create many more jobs within the NHS.

Well, do they know it takes 10 years to train a GP, so is their promise of change within 10 years realistic? Also, many more staff are required in all areas of the NHS, nurses, OTs, Physios, Junior doctors, Consultants and many more all of whom have to be trained, so 10 years does appear to be some unrealistic.

But without Social Care any funding and changes to the NHS is really extremely unrealistic, for social care is required on a much better basis than as currently. For without social care there will be much more demand for care within the NHS, not only by persons in need of social care, but also their family members who currently do so much to underpin social care. As of 2020 family carers within the UK saved the UK £193 billion an extremely substantial sum. But family carers are not well looked after, yes, they can claim Carers Allowance, but this is only £76.75 per week, but only if,

the person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Payment – the middle or highest care rate
  • Adult Disability Payment – daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate

If you are eligible you have to provide at least 35 hours care per week, but only if

  • your earnings are £139 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses
  • can only be claimed by one person caring
  • no additional allowance is available for caring for more than one person
  • if you start claiming your State Pension,If your pension is £76.75 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.

    If your pension is less than £76.75 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

So, effectively it is not really an allowance for caring, but an allowance for some or all loss of income while caring.

Family carers spend so much of their time caring, that in many instances they fail to monitor their own state of health and the state of decline could well not be noticed for some time, when much medical interventions could well be needed.

But you say, there is social care, which there is currently, but for how much longer, for as in the NHS there is also a severe lack of persons currently in paid care working for many reasons.

The main being the rate of pay as most care workers only receive the National Living Wage of £10.42 per hour for all the responsibilities they undertake. For caring is much more, than washing and dressing, toileting, meal preparation, for there is so much more. Carers are not there to do as they please, but have to follow a stated care plan arranged through the involvement of the person in need of care and any family members. The choices of the person in need of care are paramount and have to be respected, provide dignity at all times, and respect all of their possessions and their home. Even in a care home it is their home, especially so their bedroom, which in many instances is their only private space. But there is also medication, empathy, safeguarding, where requested taking the person out, and so much more.

Is £10.42 per hour really sufficient for all these responsibilities, when these carers could earn so much more in other areas without any of the responsibilities. But also there are insufficient travel expenses, insufficient allowance for holidays, especially Bank Holidays, no sick pay except for Statutory Sick Pay, which again is way insufficient.

So much is wrong and very little, in fact, nothing is being done to correct it, well the Tories have again delayed looking at social care, now not until 2025, will social care even last that long. Even, then whoever is the government, will sufficient funding for social care be granted, the Tories promised £1 billion in 2019 for all social care both children and adults but it never came.  So, in 2023 they promised £500 million over 3 years, but then reduced it to £250 million, but again that never came. To do anything reasonable social care currently needs £12 billion for adults alone and then sustainable funding for many years to come.

So, Labour what now of your promises?


Source: Labour vow to cut heart disease and stroke deaths by a quarter within 10 years – Mirror Online

Letters: Households should not have to pick up the bill for water companies’ failings

This is a very great outrage for these Water Companies have already been given the funding from increased costs to customers, but chose to use the funding, not for that purpose but to pay their executives very large bonuses and large dividends to their shareholders. Now is the time to use all that they have previously received for the purpose it was intended for.

Until all effluents have been stopped going into rivers and the seas no bonuses should be paid to any Water Company executives and no dividends to shareholders.

In fact there should be a public enquiry to see if any crimes have been committed by this misusing of funding, if so all the executives should then be prosecuted for fraud.

Water rates should in fact be reduced for the Water companies incompetence or criminal activities.

Source: Letters: Households should not have to pick up the bill for water companies’ failings

Keir Starmer does have a vision – and it’s not New Labour 2.0 | Martin Kettle | The Guardian

Defying political orthodoxy, the leader believes he can win an election outright by reuniting his party’s working- and middle-class wings, says Guardian columnist Martin Kettle


Well, whatever vision Sir Keir Starmer has, it doesn’t appear to include social care, but then social care doesn’t appear to be on any Party Agenda, with the slight exception of the LibDems, as their leader Ed Davey made a slight mention of Social Care a few weeks ago.

Now social care does not get a good press and many in the UK can’t understand why it needs to exist, let alone its importance.

For many in the UK will. most likely not ever need social care, until they could be very aged. But social care is there for all who need or should be whether they be children or adults. Many say, why can’t families provide the social care and many families do, in fact in 2015 this was costed at £193 billion. But families can’t do everything and providing care not only costs money, but health deteriorations. So, while families are providing the social care required their own health starts to deteriorate and as they are concentrating on caring for their relatives this decline of their own health goes unnoticed by them. This comes without much warning to them and in the process, they too could need social care and much needed help, not only in social care but from the NHS.

If social care was there in abundance, which it has never been, then these deteriorations in family health may not become so severe and be noticed much sooner, so meaning less interventions in social care and certainly the NHS.

So not only is the lack of social care causing more need of the NHS, by the lack of social care it is causing blockages in the NHS. This is due to patients due to be discharged, can’t be because of the shortage of social care so patients ready for discharge far longer than necessary. This means patients who should be admitted to hospital can’t be due to the blockages and eventually this leads to ambulance shortages as they are queuing outside A&Es.

In both the NHS and social care there are severe staff shortages and this is mainly down to the rate of pay, pay rates for social care workers are far too low, only around or just over the National Living Wage of £10.42 per hour, when to encourage recruitment it should be around £14/15 per hour, but working conditions are also dire as are travel payment costs and many others.

The government is both responsible for the low pay rates in the NHS and social care and while much of social care is private, wage costs have to come from somewhere and this is from Local Authorities, (LAs) who fund the providers so they in turn pay their care workers. But since 2010 Tory governments have severely restricted LAs by imposing Austerity cuts on them, so LAs have insufficient resources to fund essential service of which social care is one.

The little this government was supposing to put into social care has now been delayed to 2025, with no guarantee it will come then and if it does will be no way sufficient.

If some government does not do something urgently than both social care and then the NHS will go forever.

Source: Keir Starmer does have a vision – and it’s not New Labour 2.0 | Martin Kettle | The Guardian

Lessons From COVID-19 Now Public Health Emergency Is Over | Time

The emergency may be over, but there are valuable lessons to be learned


Well, for some they believed it was over some months ago, for others they believed it was never on, while for many it is not over and may be never.

For like influenzer, COVID-19 is not going away and will be with us for many years, maybe for ever, so many people are still be causious, especially people who are autoimmune.

I do hope ‘lessons have been learned’, the dreaded phrase I hate to hear, for from what I see lessons are never learned no matter what the lessons are.

Is it because people are unwilling to learn, are unware of what needs to be learned, or complete indifference. The later is what I believe many Governments come under and this is extremely worrying for the next pandemic will not be that far away and on top of that we have climate change, which could or could not be a factor to the next pandemic.

Also in the equation is finance for many governments are never willing to finance for any future and many are not willing to finance for the present and certainly didn’t for the past.

No matter how you look at it, the outlook is not good for many of us, whether we know it or not.


Source: Lessons From COVID-19 Now Public Health Emergency Is Over | Time

Social Work Recap: Finley Boden and Fatima Whitbread’s journey from care to the medal rostrum – Community Care

Social Work Recap is a weekly series where we present key news, events, conversations, tweets and campaigns around social work from the preceding week. From the Finley Boden case to how Fatima Whitbread went from looked-after child to champion and the children’s services with a history of failure that were rated good, here’s what you […]


While social care for adults and children are well short of funding and have been for many years, this should not means that care is not to be delivered to the required standards, children deserve so much better.

As we can see this has been happening for years, for too many years and by now all the lessons should have been learned. But learnt they have not been, so it is not just stopping these atrocious incidents from occurring, but that the lessons which are so obvious are being learnt.

Why are lessons not being learnt, well for lessons to be learnt there has to be a willingness to learn and it is obvious that that willingness is not there. So why are these incidents not being seen at inspections, a good question. It is my belief that again funding has some part in this and that more funding needs to be brought in for the CQC and it major reliance on records needs to be countered. Records have a part to play, but unless the inspection is there when they are written, then anything can be recorded, especially if management is not what it should be.

With the lack of funding, recruitment also has it shortfalls and maybe to maintain staff numbers the quality of staff being taken on may not be as good as it should be, as many of quality could be deciding that with the very low rates of pay that care is not for them. There will be good quality there, but if they feel they will not be listened to, then maybe they don’t speak up as they should do, who knows, but that could be an explanation. These good quality staff could then decide to leave and thus leaving more staff of not so good quality behind and when new staff are eventually taken on, they could follow the examples of the staff left behind and so poor quality care is maintained, especially when coupled with not good and ineffectual management.

So good and substantial funding is essential for many reasons, but as Local Authorities (LAs) are so short of funding themselves, due to Tory austerity cuts from 2010 to the present day, LAs are unable to fund social care as it so should be.

LAs are doing what they can with ever diminishing funding, so while the social care providers and their staff and LAs have to shoulder some of the blame, the real blame should be firmly placed at the door of government, which it is not, so government continue to well underfund social care.

This is a gross dereliction of duty of care from government for which they should be made fully accountable for, but they are not being and so government dereliction continues thereby causing all the suffering to those who are so in need of good quality care and undergo the much suffering and inconsideration during their lives.

This is about caring of children, but unfortunately, to a large degree it is endemic throughout all areas of care to some degree, there are many areas of good care and here we have to acknowledge the staff, but their rates of pay don’t.

This government and all previous governments should be ashamed of their total inaction with social care, but it appears they are not and continue to ‘kick dealing with social care down the road’, now not until 2025. Will it be then, well I doubt so no matter who is in government, for do governments and Government Ministers really care about social care, I have great doubts and therefore social care and the suffering of vulnerable children and adults will continue and become much worse.

All of this has a great impact on the NHS and with the decline of social care, the NHS suffers more and so do everyone in need of social care and the NHS.

When will we have a government who is prepared to listen and then take the required actions, unfortunately I fear never.

Human Rights and safeguarding are being ignored, when they should not be.


Source: Social Work Recap: Finley Boden and Fatima Whitbread’s journey from care to the medal rostrum – Community Care