Displaying items by tag: social care
A survey by the Nuffield Trust and the King’s Fund found that only one person in seven is satisfied with social care services. Social care efficiency has been falling, but this record low reflects the failure of successive governments to prioritise this service and an unwillingness to tackle deep-rooted problems in our social care system. The public are seeing a large number of people whose care and support needs are not being met, and there is a perceived lack of appropriate reward, recognition, and support for social care staff. Against this background, it is disappointing that the Government’s planned social care reforms have been watered down or delayed. This will result in dissatisfaction rising further if social care provision continues to decline. People who draw on care and support, their carers, and those working in the sector will feel the pain of this.
New SNP leader Humza Yousaf has said that despite his battles with the UK government he will work with them and other devolved nations constructively. Rishi Sunak congratulated Nicola Sturgeon's successor, saying they should both focus on ‘issues that matter to people’, like reducing inflation, rather than Scottish independence. Yousaf told his party, ‘Now it is time for the SNP to come together and deliver independence.’ He paid tribute to his rivals, finance secretary Forbes and former minister Regan, saying, ‘I know collectively we will continue to work hard as part of Team SNP’. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-scotland-65086830 Mr Yousaf had been health secretary, so is aware of the mammoth need to fix health and social care problems. 600,000+ are on a waiting list; A&E departments are regularly full. One in six hospital patients cannot get out, despite being ready to be discharged.
Despite MPs having voted overwhelmingly to reject measures to legalise assisted dying in 2015, and in 2021, due to mass opposition from fellow Peers, activists are again pushing for the law to allow doctors to ‘help’ terminally ill patients end their lives. Ahead of the pending debate, MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee in Parliament are now conducting an inquiry, asking for the views of the general public into assisted dying/assisted suicide, to help shape their recommendations to Government, regardless of what, up to now, has been a clear and settled opposition to any such proposal. This debate will not go away until activists get what they want. Like water dripping relentlessly on a stone, after each defeat the campaigners return, with the same demands. The Bible says life is the gift of God for man made in His own image.
Hundreds of care homes are refusing new admissions for 14 to 28 days because of Omicron, increasing pressure on hospitals unable to discharge patients into the community, and adding another pressure to an already challenging situation. 70% of MHA homes, a not-for-profit care provider, are refusing new residents because of Covid outbreaks and staff shortages. Four Seasons Healthcare has two or more cases in 40% of its homes: government guidance is not to accept new arrivals. The chief executive of NHS Providers said, ‘Patients deteriorate if they are fit to discharge but can’t leave their hospital beds’. He said it was also difficult to find room for serious cases coming via accident and emergency departments. Temporary settings may be installed to allow hospital patients to be released, and some health trusts have set up temporary care facilities in hotels with live-in staff from abroad.
The number of children in care, which has risen 36% in a decade, is putting ‘unprecedented pressure’ on local authorities' budgets. The Government provides councils with £4.8bn for ‘vital front-line services’, including children's care. Funding a child in residential care costs £4,000+ per week. In 2015, 69,000 children were in care: by March 2020, the figure was 80,080. The rise is explained by, among other things, foster carers not keeping up with increased demands. With local authorities spending more time on this growing need, they are unable to do more early family intervention rather than taking children into care. A trial scheme across five counties is looking to address this challenge. The No Wrong Door programme, funded by the Department for Education and the local authority, brings therapists, police and social workers together within the home to work with families before they reach crisis. Since April, the number of children in care aged 12-17 has reduced by 5%.
The National Health Service has been providing free health care to all UK citizens based on their need for medical care rather than their ability to pay for it since its inception in 1948. This mandate does not extend to social care such as home care and residential care, which is means-tested. There is no overall limit on social care costs so thousands of frail and elderly people have had to sell their homes to pay for residential care. See Only those with savings, homes and assets worth less than £23,250 currently receive free council help with residential care. On 8th September Boris Johnson revealed plans to fund England’s social care and help the NHS recover after the pandemic. Employees, employers and self-employed will pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance from April 2022. It will raise £12bn annually for the NHS and a proportion will be moved into social care over the next three years. Care cost contributions are to be capped at £86,000 from October 2023. If someone has less than £20,000 their care will be free and from £20,000 - £100,000 costs will be subsidised on a sliding scale.
Social care organisations want Boris Johnson to fix the broken care system.They want long overdue changes to funding social care and ‘immediate’ cash injections to cover costs incurred during the pandemic. Councils need money for new technology and fairer deals for care staff. In 2019 Boris Johnson vowed to fix the funding crisis ‘with a clear plan we have prepared’, but discussions around changing costs are still ongoing. Social care is not free to vulnerable people with assets over £23,500. Below that they receive council help. Consequently, thousands of people annually must sell their homes to pay for their care. Charities warned that ‘every week of dithering means an extra 13,000 pensioners being denied vital help’. It is believed the PM supports a £50,000 lifetime cap on care costs to shield pensioners from catastrophic bills. However Rishi Sunak is concerned over finding £10billion a year to pay for this.
Over-fifties could pay £300+ a year extra National Insurance, to ‘fund a fairer social care system’. The idea proposed by Damian Green is part of a range of measures to fill a funding gap for pensioners. The Pilgrims’ Friend Society said that while some people might struggle to make the payments, they supported it because ‘we know as Christians that we're giving to the general good. For some people who are barely getting through, that would mean the difference between paying the rent or not. But for people who are managing, it would be OK. It should be for everybody because everybody is going to become old unless they die young.’ The proposed model of state pension is that everyone will be entitled to a basic safety net of support, with individuals encouraged to top up this provision from their own savings or housing wealth. Proposals including winter fuel allowance tax and surcharges have been labelled ‘a tax on getting old’.
Sir Ed Davey put the ‘Homelessness End of Life Care Bill’ before Parliament on Wednesday, but it will need to win the support of MPs and ministers to move forward and end the current situation where people with cancer or long term illnesses are ‘dying on doorsteps’. The plan is to offer homeless people with terminal illnesses a right to housing. Under current laws, many who are sleeping rough, living in hostels or staying on friends’ sofas are not automatically eligible for long-term housing. The local authority deems they have other options. The number of people sleeping rough in England hit a record high of 4,751 last autumn, double the 2010 number. Those who are expected to die in the next twelve months need palliative care. They are cold and in pain, possibly in hostels with staff who have no medical training and no painkillers or drugs to manage people who are dying.