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

ACTING UP: ROLE AMBIGUITY AND THE LEGAL RECOGNITION OF CARERS

B. Gillies

Ageing and Society, vol. 20, 2000, p. 429-444

The contribution made by informal carers to the provision of care in the community in the UK is formally acknowledged in the 1995 Carers (Recognition and Services) Act. This legislation has focused attention on the relationship between formal services and those providing informal care. The article presents findings from an exploratory study about the experience of dementia. It seeks to examine the realities of caring for a relative with dementia in the context of three aspects of the caring activities which relate to role ambiguity: the needs of carers, their relationship with formal services and their position as being experienced and skilled in the care of their relatives.

CARE STANDARDS ACT WILL MAKE CARE PROVIDERS TREAD CAREFULLY

P. Ridout

Caring Times, Sept. 2000, p. 40

The Act will bring in tough new rules on dealing with care home staff suspected of, or guilty of, abuse of residents. Those found guilty will be named and shamed and banned from care work for 10 years or more.

CUBANS TELL NHS THE SECRET OF £7 A HEAD HEALTHCARE

S. Boseley

Guardian, Oct. 2nd 2000, p. 2

The NHS is turning to Cuba for inspiration on how to improve its services. Officials from the Department of Health and 100 GPs visited Cuba which managers to deliver excellent healthcare at a fraction of our cost. It appears that it is the quality, dedication and large numbers of family doctors in Cuba that have contributed most to its impressive health record.

DEPRIVATION STUDY PINPOINTS ETHNIC DIVIDE AMONG ELDERLY

J. Carvel

Guardian, Sept. 13th 2000, p. 11

Elderly people from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities are far more likely to suffer from multiple deprivation than their Indian or white contemporaries, according to a survey of over-60s published by ONS. The report said the ethnic dimension of social inequality among older people could no longer be overlooked. There were nearly 250,000 over 60s from ethnic minority groups, and this number was set to swell as these groups aged.

THE HEALTH CARE OF OLDER PEOPLE IN CARE HOMES

Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Nursing and British Geriatrics Society

London: 2000

Report recommends the introduction of specialist gerontological nurses to lead clinical practice "for the identification and integration of healthcare support" of residents in care homes. It also calls for a definition of GPs responsibilities to care home residents, and the development of "teaching nursing homes" in each region. The cost of introducing the measures would raise NHS input into nursing homes from £900 per year per resident to £1,840.

THE IMPACT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT

P. Ridout

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 5, 2000, p. 54-55

Considers the implications of the Human Rights Act for residential care home operators and public bodies involved in regulated care.

IN THE KNOW

C. Malone and R. Mackenzie

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Sept. 7th 2000, p. 28-29

People living in residential homes are becoming increasingly dependent and this trend is likely to continue, with more demands on district nursing services. An audit by the Essex and Herts Community Trust found that many staff in residential homes were caring for highly dependent patients despite having little or no training. Primary care trusts are responsible for care in residential homes and should arrange staff training in preventing pressure sores, managing incontinence, nutrition, rehabilitation, post-surgical care and other topics.

NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS

Anon.

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 5, 2000, p. 51.

Summarises government proposals on room sizes and staffing levels in residential care homes.

NURSES REJECT ELDERLY CARE BILL

J. Carvel

Guardian, Sept. 1st 2000, p. 6

The Royal College of Nursing has said that government plans to offer free nursing but to charge for personal care in residential homes are unworkable. The artificial distinction between nursing and personal care they create will produce perverse incentives and inequities.

UNACHIEVABLE STAFFING RATIOS DUMPED BUT RULES ON ROOM SIZES REMAIN A THREAT TO MANY HOMES

Anon.

Caring Times, Sept. 2000, p. 4

The Care Standards Act has imposed larger room sizes on residential care homes. The effect of this is likely to be catastrophic, leading to the closure of thousands of homes.

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