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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2000): Care of the Elderly - UK

THE CHALLENGE OF AGEING IN TOMORROW'S BRITAIN

M. Bernard and J. Phillips

Ageing and Society, vol. 20, 2000, p. 33-54

Argues for an integrated social policy which addresses the broad needs of an ageing society as opposed to narrow age-based interests, or the interests of specific stigmatised groups. The creation and delivery of such an integrated policy rests on:

  • an explicitly articulated value base;
  • a consideration of the educational, technological and spatial aspects of policy;
  • harmonisation of action of national and local levels.

ELDERLY TO BE GIVEN THEIR OWN 'MINISTRY'

P. Webster

Times, March 13th 2000, p. 8

Alistair Darling is setting up a pensions directorate to handle state and other pensions. The ministers are concerned that the numbers of older people are growing and they are living longer, but more of them retire early. There is a ministerial group looking at issues for the elderly, and the Treasury has announced a separate spending review for policies affecting older people.

FUNDING OF LONG TERM CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE NEEDS TO BE PUBLICLY DEBATED

J. Petrie et al

British Medical Journal, vol. 320, Apr. 1st 2000, p. 936

Letter from the presidents of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in Edinburgh, London and Glasgow and of the British Geriatrics Society condemned unequal funding of long term care for the elderly a national disgrace. Wide variations in care provided across the UK are due to variations in the availability of NHS resources locally.

INCREASED NHS SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

Anon.

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 4, 2000, p. 145-146

Reports proposals floated by the Health Secretary to reduce pressure on NHS acute beds by expanding provision of an intermediate level of care between hospital and primary care for older people. This includes expansion of cottage hospitals, improved domiciliary care, step down facilities in the community, and specially designated hospital wards run by nurse consultants. Examines implications of the reform for private nursing homes and residential care homes.

LONELY OLD AGE

D. Brindle

Guardian, March 20th 2000, p.19

Reports that private care home sector is in crisis. Closures are occurring almost daily and profit margins are described as "wafer-thin or even negative." The main reasons for this situation are rising costs and a continuing squeeze on the fees paid for state-funded residents. Many care home owners cannot face the requirements of the government's forthcoming minimum standards for care homes, stipulating everything from size of room to level of qualification of staff.

NURSING CARE DEFINED?

Anon.

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 4, 2000, p. 161-162

Rumours indicate that the government intends state funding of the nursing element of long term care, but retaining the means test for social care and "hotel" costs.

(See also Independent, Apr. 6th 2000, p.2; Guardian, Apr. 6th 2000, p.5; Times, Apr. 6th 2000, p.1)

THE PROGRESS OF OLDER PEOPLE PLACED DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF THE 1996 CONTINUING CARE GUIDANCE

J. Bridges et al

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 8, 2000, p. 147-150

From April 1996 health authorities in England implemented new local policies to clarify their responsibilities for funding continuing health care. Study of practice in a London HA aimed to determine the characteristics of individuals placed under this band of the policy (ie NHS funded inpatient continuing care), their progress since placement, and arrangements that individual units had in place for their care.

REHABILITATION REHABILITATED

J. Smith

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 4, 2000, p. 148-150

Considers rehabilitation services for older people in the context of the government's plans to expand intermediate care, and the possible role of private nursing and residential care homes.

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