19th June 2015 - Health and social care under the new government

The new government takes up office with the NHS facing its biggest challenges for many years, while pressures on social care are escalating. Here we present our priorities for the government and other selected commentary and analysis, as the new parliament gets underway.

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19th June 2015 - Older people wait too long for essential social care

New figures released today (Wednesday 17 June) by Age UK show an escalating social care crisis in England with 2,431,120 bed days lost to the NHS between June 2010 and March 2015. 

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19th June 2015 – Women and Dementia

The purpose of this report from Alzheimer's Disease International is to understand the main issues affecting women in relation to dementia from an international perspective. The report examines the effect of gender on three specific groups: women living with dementia; women caring for people with dementia in a professional caring role; women undertaking an informal caregiving role for someone with dementia. The report also focuses on cross-cutting issues, including factors affecting women in low and middle income countries (LMICs); family structures and kinship; and the effects of migration. 

The report recommends that:

All countries need to understand the current and predicted prevalence and acknowledge that dementia disproportionately affects women. Accordingly, policy makers should review what support is currently available and what is required to meet future needs

There is also a need for skilled care competencies for health and care staff and professionals working with people living with dementia with complex needs and co-morbidities

In all regions people should be able to access appropriate information and support in place, enabling women across the world to continue to provide care, and to feel cared for themselves.

For more information see link




1st June 2015 - CQC: Integrated care for older people

This review looks at care for older people. It explores how different services are organised and coordinated, and how this affects the quality of care that people receive.

What we aim to achieve

Forming a better understanding of integrated care will help us to find out how it can lead to better outcomes for older people.

This project aims to:
Help us understand how well different health and social care services work together to meet older people's needs.
Make recommendations for care providers and commissioners about delivering integrated care for older people.
Help us to improve the way we regulate care services.

We plan to publish our recommendations next spring.

For more information see link



1st June 2015    Lay Visitors to assess quality in care - pilot scheme

What it would it feel like to live here? A report on a pilot scheme using Lay Visitors to assess quality in care homes and nursing homes for the elderly.

How did it start?
“ It was really depressing. The Care Quality Commission's reports on the home were really good, but my Dad was so unhappy there and I was certain that it could and should be so much better.” 

This was a fairly typical comment shared by a group of former health and/or social care professionals who were meeting together to discuss their concerns for their elderly relatives living in care homes or nursing homes.

The group decided to establish a framework to capture what they would want for their relatives; wanting them to be 

•Happy and content
•Comfortable and healthy
•Feeling individually valued and respected
•Not lonely
•Influencing our own day (choice)
•Appropriately stimulated

For more information see link



1st June 2015    Avoid medication as first resort for challenging behaviour  

The recommendation comes from latest guidance which covers the support and interventions that should be available for family members and carers of people with a learning difficulty and behaviour that challenges.

Between 5 and 15 per cent of people with learning disability develop behaviour that challenges. This can rise to 30 to 40 per cent in hospital settings, and is particularly high among teenagers and people in their early 20s.

Challenging behaviour can include aggression, self-injury, withdrawal and disruptive or destructive behaviour. It can challenge services, family members or carers. It often results through a combination of personal and environmental factors and can include aggression, self-injury and withdrawal.

For more information see link



24th April 2015 - Poor homecare training putting elderly at risk, according to survey

New survey reveals that staff are receiving inadequate homecare training putting elderly and disabled at risk.

The survey conducted by UNISON included more than 1,000 care workers employed by councils and private firms across the UK.

More than two thirds (69 per cent) said they cared for people with dementia. Despite this, more than a quarter (27 per cent) had received no training in how to work with people with this illness.

Additionally, homecare workers carry out many tasks such as; changing catheter bags, peg feeding, stoma care and administering medication for which they receive little or no training.

For more information see link



19th December 2014 - Carers Rights Guide – looking after someone

If you are looking after someone, find out about your rights as a carer and where you can go for financial or practical help.

Carers Rights Guide 2014-15Carers UK produces the Carers Rights Guide each year to outline carers' essential rights and signpost what financial and practical help is available.

For more information see link



17th December 2014 - Become a Dementia Friend today

Understand a bit more about dementia, and the little ways you can help.

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15th December 2014 - Request your free Kit for people with dementia

Dementia can disconnect people, not just from their memories, but from family, friends and the wider community. When dementia affects someone close to you, we understand it can be hard to know what to do. That's why we created our Staying Connected Kit, which you can request for free.

Your free Staying Connected Kit includes:

• Information about dementia

• Tips for supporting someone with dementia

• A guide to the support services available to you

• Some facts about Alzheimer's Society

• Guidance on what it's like to have dementia

• A handy fridge magnet and pen to help plan your week

For more information see link



5th December 2014 - NHS needs to be strengthened by investment in social care

Directors of adult social services have welcomed announcements that additional funds will be made available to the NHS in Today's Autumn Statement. But they have also warned that one of the key issues facing health agencies in England is the lack of out-of-hospital care for the many thousands of older people who need and deserve it.

According to ADASS president David Pearson, “putting additional resources into health while simultaneously reducing social care spending is a nonsense.

“Put simply,” he said, “despite local government's commendable resolve to work closely with the NHS to support the increasing numbers of people who leave hospital every week, social care budgets have been neglected and starved of the vital funding they need in order to make sure that unsustainable pressure on accident and emergency and other hospital services is relieved.

For more information see link




5th December 2014 - I'm Still Me - a narrative for coordinated support for older people

I'm Still Me is a co-produced narrative which sets out how older people want health and social care services to work together to help improve the quality of their lives.

For more information see link




5th December 2014 - Living and dying with dementia: barriers to care

Dementia sufferers are not getting the care they need because the condition is not recognised as a terminal illness, two leading charities have claimed.

A report by Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Alzheimer's Society said dementia sufferers faced barriers to receiving the high-quality care they require:

Living and dying with dementia in England: Barriers to care

The report draws on research from across the UK and particularly from University College London (UCL), as well as findings from health and social care services. Following its publication, Marie Curie and Alzheimer's Society is aiming to bring together NHS organisations, social care bodies, royal colleges, charities, researchers, and people with experience of dementia and end of life care, to plot out how to address the barriers and develop an action plan that each organisation can to sign up to.

The three main barriers that prevent many people from accessing appropriate high-quality care at the end of their lives include:

Inadequate Quality of Care
Identification and Planning
Inequality of Access

For more information see link




5th December 2014 - Dementia care past & present

Pauline Shaw, Director of Care & Service Development at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, recalls her experiences of dementia care through her career

There are journeys we make in life which have a profound impact, and this is a sample of an important journey for me.

I sometimes think back through my career in health care and reflect upon different times, working with a variety of people and in a range of care settings. Right at the very beginning I remember working as a health care assistant in what was known as a Geriatric Hospital in a former workhouse in Suffolk. It conjures up a mental image of an imposing and unforgiving brick building with rows of small, unhappy windows where former inmates would have once stood and gazed outside. It was indeed a massive brick building, with long, almost endless, dull corridors which opened up into wards where rows of beds stood in regimental lines.

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




13th October 2014 - CQC: Making the 'Mum Test' real: New model for inspecting!


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









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