Social Care News

25th July 2018 - Health and Social Care Secretary sets priorities in first speech

New Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock listed his three main priorities as technology, workforce and prevention, in his first major speech, which saw the announcement of a £487m fund to boost the use of technology in the NHS and provide better support to both staff and patients. 

The former secretary for digital, culture, media and sport spoke about how technology could be used to streamline services, by, for example, using digital prescriptions and remote health checks. Matt Hancock acknowledged that the whole health and social care system needed to work together, and the importance of preventative care in supporting people at home. He intends to launch a consultation exercise on workforce issues, as well as the Green Paper, and support the development of leadership, diversity and apprenticeships in social care.

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26th July - Multi-disciplinary teams: working together to make integration successful

Integrated care requires professionals and practitioners from across different sectors to work together around the needs of people, their families and their communities. Multi-disciplinary teams can help professionals in health and care services to collaborate successfully. A new highlights report shows a snapshot of current practice.

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20th March 2018 -  Listen to the dementia experts - It’s a welcome return to Social Care News for Yvette Wetton as she explains the work she and the Healthwatch Essex Engagement Team have been doing to make sure people living with dementia are fully involved in projects to make their county a friendly and supportive place to live.

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People with deafness and hearing loss don't have full access to healthcare - A new report by charity Action on Hearing Loss entitled Good Practice? has found that people with deafness and hearing loss still don’t enjoy equality of access to healthcare.

Despite the Accessible Information Standard having come into effect in August 2016, which legally requires all providers of NHS care and publicly funded adult social care to record and meet the communication needs of people with disabilities and sensory loss, the report has found that many GP surgeries are still falling short. The report found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of people who are deaf or have hearing loss still feel unclear about their health advice after their GP appointment, at least some of the time.

A key area of concern for patients with deafness and hearing loss was booking urgent same-day appointments, with more than one-third of survey respondents having experienced difficulties. Of these, one in five (19%) survey respondents said they had experienced difficulties because they were offered a same-day phone appointment by their GP surgery, even though they cannot use the phone.

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Hearing loss and end of life care - Difficult Conversations National Clinical Lead, Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders and the Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell discuss why identifying and managing hearing loss at the end of life is so important:

Being able to communicate effectively, not only with doctors and carers but also with friends and family is arguably never more important than when nearing the end of life. Effective communication is, of course, essential to creating positive last years, months, weeks and days for individuals and meaningful, lasting memories for loved ones.

71% of people over 70 and 75% of people in care homes have hearing loss. We know that hearing loss can make it difficult to communicate about the vital things that need to be discussed at the end of life, such as medication and choice of treatments. When you are able to hear well it can be difficult enough to discuss decisions such as resuscitation for example, but hearing loss, if not identified by a professional, provides another hurdle. Action on Hearing Loss found that nearly two-thirds of those with hearing loss who responded to a recent survey were unclear about the information they had been given by their GP, at least some of the time. This is despite recent legal duties placed on health and social care professionals to comply with the Accessible Information Standard.

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Pulling together: enabling conversations to help people thrive in later life - The Mental Health Foundation have release Pulling Together to be a 'simple and practical' guide to dealing with mental health in older people and changing the way people talk about mental health in the sector.
The Standing Together project the book concludes findings from, facilitated 19 peer-support groups in extra-care housing and retirement centres across Greater London, in partnership with two housing providers, Housing & Care 21 and Notting Hill Housing Trust.

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Relocating power to citizens for an asset-based area  - What does it take to turn ‘customers’ into ‘co-producers’? We know that for the power dynamic to shift, something’s got to give. This time Alex Fox and Clive Miller offer some advice for people with lived experience and commissioners to help them in their journey toward healthy partnership working.

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Future of social care - Think Local Act Personal’s partnership meeting saw 55 people coming together to talk to the Department of Health and Social Care about the Green Paper due this summer.

There was a wealth of experience and expertise in the room with so many TLAP partners present. We heard from colleagues in the DHSC about their ambition to deliver better outcomes, the grand challenges in the Industrial Strategy and the additional issues facing adults of working age with care and support needs. Some TLAP partners then presented their own hopes for the green paper from the floor. Speakers included Sue Bott, Disability Rights UK and Martin Routledge, Community Circles. The rich table discussions were captured and a summary with information of TLAP's next steps are soon to follow.

"Well done to you, Caroline and team on a great event - worthwhile use of time"

"I have a greater understanding of the issues round the scope of the green paper exercise and the opportunity it presents"

"We had an engaging discussion, it was good to meet other passionate people".

Watch the short film clips - starting with Clenton Farquharson MBE, chair of TLAP

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NHS ENGLAND: Improving self-care at local level  - Health Partnerships is a programme looking at how developing relationships between local people, the VCSE sector and statutory services can help to improve selfcare. Eight areas are taking part in the programme, and interim findings have just been published. For more information about the programme, including information from each STP footprint, visit:

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Which? care homes investigation - Investigation by Which? has found that care homes are failing to provide contracts and may be breaking the law by neglecting to tell residents and their families about important terms and conditions.

Consumer watchdog Which? is calling on the Government to act now on the competition authority's recommendations to strengthen consumer protections for care home residents and relatives including on contracts, unfair fees and evictions.

Andrew Boaden, Senior Policy Officer at Alzheimer's Society, says:
'The findings from this investigation are deeply saddening and shameful, but unfortunately unsurprising.

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