20th November 2014 - What social care support is provided to family

The Care Act 2014 strengthens the rights and recognition of carers in the social care system, including new rights for carers to receive services. In the run-up to implementation of
the Act, this study maps different types of social care support for family carers across England.

Using information from commissioners, carers ‘leads, voluntary organisations, social care workers with a specific remit to support carers, and family carers themselves, this mixed methods study used interviews, surveys and secondary data analysis to ask:
• How do carers access information about social care support?
• What are carers' experiences of assessment?
• What support is provided by carers' workers whose tasks involve providing specific support to family carers?

For more information see link



20th November 2014 - CQC: Covert care camera guidance approved

Guidance for people who install hidden cameras to check on standards of their own or a relative's care has been approved by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The information covers the issues of privacy and dignity that should be considered before taking the step of using a covert camera.

The guidance is expected to be published in the new year.

The care regulator says it neither encourages nor discourages camera use.

It added that it does look at footage which is brought to its attention.

Information is also being published for care providers on what they need to take into account if they are thinking of installing hidden or visible cameras in their homes.

For more information see link



21st November 2014 - Financing social care: 'time for society to make its choice'

The prospect of further cuts in social care budgets is very likely to erode further our capacity to provide vital care and support to disabled and older people; to ensure their safety and wellbeing, and to create conditions to underpin resilient, self-determining communities.

This was the message ADASS President David Pearson brings to Parliament today and is due to present to the House of Commons Health Select Committee inquiry into health and care finance.

Only weeks before the Chancellor was due to announce his Autumn Statement, Mr Pearson warned that meeting the £4.3 billion gap opening up between the cost of rising demand and the ability of social care departments to meet them (See LGA press release 28 October 2014) became more challenging month by month.

For more information see link



21st November 2014 - Have you wondered what goes on during a CQC Inspection?

Well here's your opportunity to find out… BBC's Radio 4 were given exclusive access to accompany one of our social care inspection teams, on a recent unannounced inspection of a care home, so the public can find out exactly what happens when our inspectors come to call.

During the 'day-in-the-life-of' style report you will be able to find out about our new style inspections and how members of the public with experience of health and social care – our Experts by Experience play a vital role in our inspections talking to residents, families and friends about their experiences of care, which form a key part of our inspection findings.

David Hastings, a CQC Adult Social Care Inspector who managed the inspection says "The whole day was very intense, but after about an hour I started to relax and actually quite enjoy it! The whole team were brilliant and very supportive and I felt we all did a really thorough and detailed inspection even with Jon following us around all day!"

For more information see link



Act now for fair pay for homecare workers


17th October 2014

MPs have a chance to back the campaign for homecare workers to be properly paid for the time they spend travelling between clients - and you can ask your MP to put their name to it.

Labour MP - and former UNISON president - Dave Anderson has submitted an early day motion on the subject, which other MPs can sign to show their support.

His EDM 349 notes that "homecare workers in particular are consistently not paid for travel time or training, too often have illegal deductions made from their pay and are frequently put on zero-hours contracts to deny them their legal rights".

This means that these workers, providing vital services to vulnerable people, are often paid less than the minimum wage.

For more information see link



Stigma of dementia stops over half of us talking about it


17th October 2014

Over half of UK adults would find it difficult to broach the subject of dementia with someone they thought was developing the condition.

This is according to a poll commissioned by Alzheimer's Society* published today (Monday 13 October).

The YouGov survey found that 52 per cent of people would find it difficult to have the conversation, with the percentage being higher for women than men - 56 per cent compared to 48 per cent. Those aged between 25 and 34 were most likely to find it difficult (62 per cent) to mention the subject.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent of people surveyed said they would find it difficult to tell their friends if they thought they themselves had dementia and 40 per cent would find it difficult to tell their family.

Alzheimer's Society is urging people to be more open about dementia and to seek information and advice if they are worried that they themselves or someone they know might have dementia.

For more information see link



Living life with dementia - updated guide


17th October 2014

New guide demonstrates how local Age UK services help people with dementia

An updated version of the Living Life with Dementia guide (funded by the DHSPP) is now available.

The guide, containing updates on the latest dementia landscape and policy drivers, includes a wealth of case studies from local Age UKs, demonstrating the range of services available for people with dementia and their carers.

The case studies include quotes from older people living with dementia, who are using these services, bringing to life the ways in which policy can be translated into positive, practical and life changing action.

For more information see link




Care and Support Jargon Buster


15th October 2014

The Care and Support Jargon Buster is a plain English guide to the most commonly used social care words and phrases and what they mean. The definitions were developed and tested by a steering group that included people who use services, carers, representatives from local authorities, information providers and key stakeholders from across the social care sector.

The Care and Support Jargon Buster won a Plain English Campaign Award in 2013.

For more information see link



Review of dementia care services shows too much variation


15th October 2014

A major review into the care provided to people living with dementia by the Care Quality Commission found an unacceptable gap in the quality of care that means people are at risk of experiencing poor care as they move between care homes and hospitals.

The CQC carried out a themed review of dementia services in 129 care homes and 20 hospitals across England, looking specifically at four areas: how people's care needs were assessed; how care was planned and delivered; how providers worked together and how the quality of care was monitored.

In about 29% of care homes and 56% of hospitals we inspected, we found assessments were not comprehensive in identifying all of a person's care needs and the impact this has on people living with dementia.

For more information see link



CQC: Behind the headlines: accessing records on inspections


13th October 2014

CQC's work helps to keep people safe and helps care improve. As part of that, we need to look at records for a number of reasons. For example, we check that the provider is complying with the regulations regarding record keeping, care planning, consent, cooperating with other providers, and management of medicines. We also have to report on how providers handle patient information.

Media stories this week about Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors looking at care records as part of inspections have sensationalised and misrepresented an important part of the inspection process. The Daily Mail was entirely wrong to describe this aspect of our work, which help us protect patients from poor care, as 'snooping'.

For more information see link



CQC: Making the 'Mum Test' real: New model for inspecting!


13th October 2014

Today (Thursday 9 October) marks an important milestone for us at CQC – confirming how we will regulate, inspect and rate care homes and community adult social care in England.

Following extensive joint development, consultation and testing over the past 18 months, we have issued documents called 'handbooks', which will help care providers to understand how they will be assessed and rated from now on.

Specialist teams, including trained members of the public (called Experts by Experience) will inspect services, unannounced, against what matters most to those who use them: are they safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led?

We will then rate these services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate so that people like you can have access to clear information to help you make informed choices about your care.

For more information see link



CQC: Coming guidance on the use of cameras in care homes


10th October 2014

In response to media coverage today about the potential use of cameras to monitor care, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission said:

"Our consultation earlier this year on how we will inspect, regulate and rate care services, has told us that people's views on the potential use of surveillance to monitor care, are hugely mixed.

For more information see link



Marie Curie research shows pressures on carers


10th October 2014

New research uncovers hidden pressures of caring for family members with terminal illnesses at home

Marie Curie Cancer Care have today published research highlighting some of the many difficulties family carers can face. The research found that:
•Too much responsibility is placed on those caring for loved ones approaching the end of their lives at home, when administering medications such as pain relief,
•Carers are not armed with the right information and understanding of how medication should be administered,
•Many are concerned about dosage errors, especially overdosing or failing to administer drugs correctly,
•Carers themselves are often dealing with their own medical conditions, further complicating daily medication regimes and management
•Certain methods of administering medications, such as syringe drivers are often perceived as the patient making the transition into the final dying phase, which is further adding to carer's distress

For more information see link



Dignity poem


10th October 2014

A dignity champion who observed some poor practice in their workplace was so upset that she wrote the following poem. Which we think is a wonderful way of getting the message across and we reprint it here. It also started a discussion on the forum on the website which is yet another way that something like this can get the message across to a whole range of 'ears'.

For more information see link