Austerity ‘ripped resilience out of health and care service’ before Covid-19 crisis hit, says IPPR | Care Industry News

Underinvestment in social and community care left four in five hospitals with ‘dangerously low’ spare beds as crisis hit

Major new analysis of the state of the health and care system in England in the run up to the Covid-19 pandemic today reveals the extent of the crisis that was facing medics and carers even before the crisis hit.

Source: Austerity ‘ripped resilience out of health and care service’ before Covid-19 crisis hit, says IPPR | Care Industry News



Report warns of ‘growing workforce crisis’ in England’s social care sector : Welfare Weekly

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has stated that chronic underfunding and a dysfunctional system is leading to a “growing workforce crisis” in England’s social care sector.

The IPPR report estimates a 400,000 staff shortage in England’s social care workforce by 2028, due in large part to the impact of Brexit.

The report has urged the UK Government to follow Scotland’s example by committing to a Real Living Wage for all adult social care staff – attracting more personnel into the sector.

The report, Fair Care: A Workforce Strategy for Social Care, also notes that a recent survey conducted by Unison found 94% of care staff believed England should take note of the example set by Scotland and introduce an official professional register for care workers, helping to improve regulation and boost training opportunities for staff.


Source: Report warns of ‘growing workforce crisis’ in England’s social care sector : Welfare Weekly

Tories urged to ‘press the reset button’ on damaging austerity agenda

SNP Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford MP, will today (Tuesday) set out how the UK can learn from Scotland’s progressive economic policies, and will call for the UK Government to ‘press the reset button‘ on its damaging austerity agenda – doing so much damage.

In a keynote speech in London, Ian Blackford will outline the contrast between policies implemented by the SNP Scottish Government and the UK government, and the challenges and threats facing the devolution settlement.

The event is hosted by the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) Commission on Economic Justice. IPPR is a leading think tank in the UK and IPPR Scotland its dedicated Scottish operation. IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice will publish proposals for radical reform of the UK economy in September.

Commenting ahead of the event , Ian Blackford MP said: “With Brexit dominating – it is all the more imperative that we all look for solutions to protect, bolster and stabilise our economy.

“Today I am calling on the Tories to press the reset button – and abandon their austerity agenda which is doing so much damage.


Source: Tories urged to\’press the reset button’ on damaging austerity agenda

Half of pupils expelled from school ‘mentally ill’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Half of pupils expelled from England’s schools have a mental health issue, according to analysis of official data. The Institute of Public Policy Research suggests if excluded students with undiagnosed problems were included, the rate would be much higher. This figure compares with one in 50 pupils in the wider population who have a mental health condition. The government said it would be publishing plans to improve mental health services later in the year. ‘Thrown out’ The research comes as the number of fixed term and permanent exclusions is rising. Figures just published show that last year, some 6,685 pupils were excluded permanently from state primary, secondary and special schools. Some 35 pupils were excluded every day in 2015-16 – five more daily than in the previous year. Eight out of 10 permanent exclusions happen in secondary schools. Here, the rate of permanent exclusions has increased from 0.15% in 2014-15 to 0.17% in 2015-16 – equivalent to 17 pupils per 10,000. Overall,

Source: Half of pupils expelled from school ‘mentally ill’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Corbyn ready to hit homes with policy that could TREBLE average council tax bills | Politics | News |

JEREMY Corbyn is preparing to hit households with a new “toxic” garden tax which will treble average council tax bills across the UK.

Source: Corbyn ready to hit homes with policy that could TREBLE average council tax bills | Politics | News |

Councils set up ‘Amazon-style’ e-markets to meet Care Act duties

Original post from Community Care


Social worker copied and pasted reports Photo: REX/GARO/PHANIE
Social worker copied and pasted reports Photo: REX/GARO/PHANIE

Local authorities have set up online e-markets to meet key duties under the Care Act but their potential to deliver choice to care users could be undermined by risk aversion from frontline staff and management, according to a report.

Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank found that around a quarter of councils now allow self-funding adult social care users and personal budget holders to search for and purchase care services via ‘Amazon-style’ e-markets. Many had set up the sites to meet their responsibility to provide universal information and guidance under the Care Act 2014, the IPPR said.

Benefits of e-markets

The IPPR identified three main benefits to the e-market systems: they improved access to the market for new and small providers, provided more opportunities for user-commissioning by allowing people to describe the service they want and providers to respond with a tailored service and price, and helped integrate networks of formal and informal care.

However, the report also identified a number of issues with implementation of the platforms. Too many local authorities viewed them as cost-saving tools rather than a chance to transform care. A culture of risk aversion among local authorities and frontline staff often stifled new providers from entering the markets and led to professionals and brokers directing people to services they had always used.

Culture change

“Action is required in a number of areas if the genuine choice that e-marketplaces promise is to be delivered. First, those who help users to select products and services need to become confident in helping those users find the services that are right for them, rather than simply directing those users to the services that the broker or social worker has always used,” the report said.

“Many of the most innovative providers are non-traditional, and substantial offline work and cultural change among staff may be required to ensure a diverse supply rather than a replication of the existing market. Carers, paid brokers, frontline social workers and charities with advisory functions all assist users in making choices, and they are key to this process.”

The culture of excessive caution must be tackled by ensuring that risk is shared appropriately and frontline staff are given the attention and permission they need to focus on outcomes rather than being “cowed by concerns about compliance and liability”, the report said.

The report pointed to Worcestershire county council as a good example of a local authority supporting its social workers to utilise the new system. The council held networking events for social workers to meet local care providers and discuss the e-marketplace.

Wider potential of technology

The e-marketplace model is just one example of how local authorities are looking to use technology to meet their Care Act duties. The most recent Care Act stocktake by the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) found that 147 of 152 local authorities planned to introduce an element of online self-service for care ranging from e-marketplaces to web-based assessments.

Richard Pantlin, the Adass technology and informatics lead, said directors were keen to promote online options for individuals and carers who were “happy and capable to use it”.

“Hard-pressed people in their 40′s, 50′s and 60′s who are the main informal carers for their elderly parents will find such resources particularly helpful. Many more are likely to be contacting councils as a result of the cap on care costs being introduced from next April,” he said.

“During this year, Adass is organising workshops in each of the regions to encourage more co-operation across councils and to share best practice for engaging citizens online for the Care Act. Many councils have already implemented good Information & Advice portals that direct users according to their needs.

“Some, such as Oxfordshire, have enabled carers to complete their own assessments online. Others are planning online financial self-assessment. There are also an increasing number of apps independently available to people in need of support and their carers to assist them.”

Adass is holding a ‘Care apps showcase’ on 19 October in Leeds.

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