Archives for posts with tag: social care

Some time ago I was sitting in the Sunday school room of a local church, with posters made by kids depicting the teachings of Jesus curling at the corners on the walls. I was there to do my advice surgery in my role as a local councillor.

A man came in to ask for help getting his family moved to a bigger house. His daughter had two children who had been removed from her care but were allowed to live with her on condition that she live with her parents and they acted as guardians. I diligently took down the names and ages of the children to assess the size of house they needed.


Source: How many Telfords before we get serious about child grooming? | The Guardian – Jess Phillips

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Social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by 2021 – by which time nearly a million people in the UK will be living with dementia. With no way to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia, it is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.

While the NHS can’t offer people with dementia the same options as for other long-term conditions – because there is no cure or effective medical treatment – people with dementia must rely on the cash-starved and crumbling social care system. The social care and dementia crises go hand in hand.

Solving the care crisis goes beyond throwing money at the situation. Funding is desperately needed, of course, but we can’t simply pour more cash into a fundamentally flawed system. After decades of squeezed budgets and successive governments failing to put a long-term plan in place, we have a limited social care offering that too often leaves people with dementia footing the bill.

In the battle to meet rapidly rising demand with ever-shrinking resources, care providers must be as efficient and effective as possible. So why does investment in dementia research heavily focus on a cure for future generations, while less than 5% of funding goes to researching the best care possible for all those affected today?

The need for a cure for dementia is as pressing as ever, but we also need care research to develop practical solutions that can benefit people with the condition and their carers. Improving knowledge and practices among health and social care professionals, as well as the quality and inclusivity of the wider system, is just as important as developing medical treatments.


Source: Dementia research must study care as well as cure : The Guardian

The Government announced last year that it will be looking at social care reform in 2018. As part of the process, they want to hear from care users and carers so that they get a picture of what the system is like today and what the people it impacts want to see changed.

We want to hear from as many people who have experience with adult social care in England to be able to tell them what it looks like now and what needs to change, so we’ve launched a survey.

We want to hear from you if you need social care or are a carer who cares for someone who needs social care. As a carer,


Source: The Big Care Survey

Responding to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger’s report on malnutrition in older people, Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said:

“The thought of older people going hungry because they are isolated, have limited mobility, or are depressed is appalling, and social care staff do what they do because they are keen to do anything within their power to help.

“Hunger is a serious issue for older people, but it’s often just one symptom of wider issues, which is why it is our view that social care solutions should be personalised, and focus on the individual needs of the person in question.


Source: Hunger is just one symptom of deepening social care crisis-ADASS | Care Industry News

A good question for in the Tories austerity campaign there appears to be no room for manoeuvre to allow any reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Will any existing European Union legislation be maintained into UK law and furthermore will EU legislation coming through be also included. Without these current and forthcoming EU legislations the outlook for disabled people will be even more depressing and unequal as it is already.

All of the UK needs to unify behind ensuring that disabled people now and after Brexit are not abandoned by this Tory Government, as you may also become disabled within your lifetime. Think of others like you would for yourself and your own family, otherwise the life for disabled will be far worse than it is now and now is not as good as it should be.

Britain Isn't Eating

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Ministers’ social care and welfare reforms represent a deliberately prejudiced, vicious attack on a significant minority of the population

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, made no mention of social care in his autumn budget. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

A recent United Nations report on its inspection into the UK’s record on disabled people’s rights was described as a “17-page-long catalogue of shame” by one commentator, who wrote:

Over the past seven years, cuts to benefits, social care, the legal system and local authority funding have effectively put decades of slow, painful progress into reverse.

Cuts in social care funding have made a mockery of would-be progressive policies on personal budgets and direct payments. Cuts in day services and restrictions on access to freedom passes have marooned many disabled people behind their four walls.

We have also seen disabled students’ allowances cut; a reduction in funding of Access To Work, which made it possible for many disabled people to get into and stay in work; and greatly increased reporting of disability hate crime – including incidents against disabled children.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his autumn budget, made no mention of social care; the Care and Support Alliance saying that the “government failed to recognise the immediate crisis in social care”.

The government’s latest proposals delaying a promised green paper on social care until next year don’t include any disabled people or organisations in the team of “expert advisers”.

Disabled people of working age won’t be addressed in the green paper and we can get some idea of what’s in ministerial minds from a recent social care debate in the House of Commons. Social care minister Jackie Doyle-Price repeatedly emphasised the part yet more welfare reform will play in the government’s future thinking for this group.

Over the past seven years, the government has not so much increasingly failed to secure disability rights under the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities as appeared to attack those very rights.

Successive governments have denied this, but with suggestions that disabled people have died shortly after being identified as fit for work, or killed or contemplated killing themselves after the withdrawal of welfare benefits, it is difficult to see this as merely a matter of misguided policy or economic exigencies.

It is becoming increasingly difficult not to associate such catastrophic policies with something deeper, something more visceral. We have to ask why does this government and its recent predecessors seem so bent on harassing disabled people? Is there something about us they just can’t stomach?

The present government particularly has made cuts to social care and reforms to welfare benefits that – without exaggeration – can be said to have damaged and spoiled the lives of millions. We know that thousands of disabled people live in fear of the brown envelope through the door; that some have even starved to death after their benefits have been cut.

These are not isolated cases. They affect all groups: people with learning difficulties; people who are dying; those with major physical and sensory impairments; with painful and enervating long term conditions; with the most severe mental health problems.

Modern governments talk a lot about “evidence-based policy”, but evidence has highlighted the cruel, draconian effects of these social polices.

We need to look way beyond ideological discussions about whether or not policy is “fit for purpose”. Instead, we must ask where this apparent underlying loathing of large groups of people comes from. What is there about us as disabled people that prompts such extreme measures?

Of course we know that governments like ours clutch at a different rationale. Their attacks are not on disabled people per se, they say, but those pretending to be disabled, the “shirking” rather than the “striving” disabled people.

Sadly, it is disabled people indiscriminately – and those close to them – who are suffering appallingly through these measures, not some imagined cohort of con-people or impersonators.

The current direction of travel of social care and welfare reform doesn’t merely represent harsh policy or even reactionary ideology. Instead it is a deliberately prejudiced, vicious attack on a significant minority of the population.

Governments and policymakers haven’t caught up with the reality that medical advances and social and cultural changes mean that the nature of who we are as a population has changed. There are now many more disabled people. Making our lives increasingly difficult may kill some of us, but it won’t seriously change the maths.

The failure of policymakers is that so many disabled people still face appalling and increasing barriers to employment, education, training, family and social life. It’s not getting rid of us that welfare reform should be about, but about challenging and ending these attitudinal, institutional and cultural barriers. And to do this, this government needs to start very firmly with challenging itself and its ministers.

  • Peter Beresford is emeritus professor of social policy at Brunel University London, professor of citizen participation at Essex University and co-chair of Shaping Our Lives


Source : Why is the government waging a war against disabled people? : The Guardian


Damian Green
 Plans for the consultation were announced in a written statement to parliament by Damian Green. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

At last we have some details of the government’s long-awaited consultation on reform of long-term care. But let’s be clear: this will not be a social care green paper.

Plans for the consultation were announced on Thursday in a written statement to parliament by Damian Green, the first secretary of state. He did call it a green paper – something that had been in doubt – and said it would be published “by summer recess 2018”. Recess is likely to be late July.

It looks like its appearance will be more than a year, then, after the general election in June at which the Conservatives’ ideas for care funding reform were so disastrously mishandled, almost certainly contributing to the loss of their majority, and the subsequent Queen’s speech, which promised that the new government “will work to improve social care and will bring forward proposals for consultation”.

But this is a different prospectus than that implied by that pledge. In one sense, as Green said, it is broader than social care services and broader than funding alone: it will “incorporate the wider networks of support and services which help older people to live independently, including the crucial role of housing and the interaction with other public services”.

In another sense, however, it is far narrower. Care for younger adults, which accounts for almost half of all council spending on adult social care and includes the fastest growing element, learning disability, is to be excluded from the green paper. Instead, it will be reviewed by “a parallel programme of work” led jointly by the departments of health and communities and local government.

Given this, many sector bodies that had been stressing the central importance of having a green paper considering social care as a whole have been notably muted in their response. Even the usually vocal Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, representing not-for-profit providers of services for disabled people, has welcomed the announcement as “a step forward”, while cautioning that disability provision must not be sidelined.

Reaction on social media has been more robust. Calls for an all-age approach were supported even by some of those named as advisers on the green paper, while Victor Adebowale, the crossbench peer and chief executive of care provider Turning Point, simply tweeted #notgoodenough.

Other critics have pointed out that there is no care users’ or workers’ representation among the 12 experts, who will “provide advice and support engagement in advance of the green paper”. Trade union Unison branded this “a huge mistake”.

Carers’ groups were meanwhile left wondering what had happened to the carers’ strategy promised by the government in March 2016. It had been thought it might be rolled into the green paper, but Green’s statement made no mention of carers.

The accepting response of the sector establishment to the proposals is, no doubt, a reflection of relief that there is to be any kind of green paper at all. The focus on older people may finally point to a way forward on the vexed issue of care funding that has been becalmed in the muddy waters of politics since the Dilnot commission reported in 2011.

The 12 experts, ranging from statistician Sir Andrew Dilnot himself to Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, and Martha Lane Fox, the crossbench peer and dotcom businesswoman who seems to pop up on most government reviews, may also prove able to shape the consultation purposefully before it goes live next summer.

However, anyone with an interest in social care for younger adults will be left trusting that the “parallel programme of work” proves meaningful and that the sector stays in one piece. The spectre of the division of the former cradle-to-grave social services function into adult and children’s services in 2004 hangs heavy in the air.

Source : Government plans to reform England’s social care are an opportunity missed : The Guardian

The UK is approaching a perfect storm with an ageing population and many people unprepared for the future

Former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Ed Davey (centre) and campaigners protest against Theresa May’s social care policy during the 2017 general election campaign. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

For a short while, it seemed like the issue of social care funding would finally be addressed after years of government procrastination. The Conservatives promised a consultation on social care reformU-turned on the so-called dementia tax and, instead, confirmed their intention to cap the amount people pay towards care.

But now that plans to introduce such a cap have been scrapped and the social care consultation is rumoured to have been delayed until next summer, it seems that the government has followed previous administrations and kicked social care funding into the long grass.

Such a decision is worrying and flies in the face of public opinion. A cap on care costs will increase the fairness of social care, so it’s risky to turn our backs on this idea without an alternative plan in place. There are too many vulnerable older people at risk.

Following an election campaign full of confusing messages about social care, Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, conducted a public poll to gather insight into people’s understanding. Our research found that 70% of British adults believe there should be a cap on social care costs, while almost half believe that social care – including dementia care – should always be paid for by the state.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, who first proposed a cap on social care, has cautioned that plans to abandon it could cause a “catastrophic risk” of poverty in older age. And councils have warned that they cannot afford to pay for all those in need of state-funded care if the dementia tax is introduced, putting many providers at risk of going out of business.

The question of how we fund social care remains unanswered, and the most recent suggestions fail to get to the crux of the issue.

Jackie Doyle-Price, the social care minister, suggested that older people should sell their homes to fund their care. But this doesn’t take the full picture into account. There is a perception that all or most older people are well-off and own their own home – this isn’t the case. For those older people who are home owners and are, to quote the minister, “sitting in homes too big for their needs”, we know that two thirds would like to downsize but can’t due to a lack of suitable options.

Again, this comes down to a lack of funding and supportive policies, despite the fact that more retirement housing could save £14.5bn to the public purse over 50 years.

Whichever direction the future of social care funding is heading, and whether a cap is introduced or not, the government must be open and honest about how social care will be paid for so that everyone can plan for the best possible life in older age. At present, this is far from the case.

More than a fifth of people wrongly believe the state pays entirely for care needs in later life, and more than half underestimate social care costs by up to 20%. Considering these misconceptions, it’s no wonder that just 14% of us are currently saving for our care in later life.

We’re approaching a perfect storm where the future of social care funding is unclear, the population is getting older, and most of us are unprepared for the future. We need a transparent and sustainable long-term strategy that integrates social care, health and housing. Recognising, and acting on this, is our only option.

  • Jane Ashcroft is chief executive of Anchor

Source: Social care funding can’t take any more setbacks. It needs reform now : The Guardian

Whilst this may not seem entirely ‘care’ related; many British immigrants living abroad are currently dependent on free healthcare where they live. This

Source: Lords to investigate if healthcare in the EU will still be available to British citizens after Brexit | Care Industry News

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