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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2001): Care of the Elderly - UK

CAN WE TRUST THE CARE TRUSTS?

D. Heptinstall

Working with Older People, vol.4, Oct 2000, p.17-19

The government's plans for Care Trusts offer the hope that a single and comprehensive service responsible for the health and social care needs of older people will bring increased co-operation and co-ordination among professionals. Article warns that the new service will need the meaningful involvement of patients and service users if it is to succeed.

CARE HOMES GIVEN UNTIL 2007 TO OFFER SINGLE ROOMS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Nov 30th 2000, p.5

In moves to enable private residential and nursing homes to maintain capacity, the government is to postpone until 2007 the requirement that they must offer single rooms to residents and is to create a concordat with them to develop intermediate care services for NHS patients.

THE CARE STANDARDS ACT 2000 AND THE EMPLOYER

P. Grose

Caring Times, Nov 2000, p.20

The Act imposes a regime for ensuring that "unsuitable" individuals are not allowed to work as carers with "vulnerable adults". The Act's provisions revolve around a list of "unsuitable" individuals kept by the Secretary of State. Article highlights the implications of these provisions for employers.

THE FADING PROSPECT OF DIGNITY, SECURITY AND INDEPENDENCE

A. Walker

Working with Older People, vol.4, Oct 2000, p.10-14

Analyses the government response to the report of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care. Points out that the Royal College of Nursing has called the proposals on making a distinction between nursing and personal care unworkable and supports a campaign to get the government to make personal care free.

FIT AND FIFTY?

J. Scales and R. Scase

Swindon: Economic and Social Research Council, 2000

Argues that Britain's over-fifties will become increasingly divided into affluent early retirers in search of a better quality of life and those on low incomes compelled to continue working beyond pension age. A rising divorce rate in this age group may lead to increased burdens on the welfare services as lonely men slide into alcoholism and depression. More people in this age group will suffer financial hardship as they struggle to care for both elderly parents and dependent children. For many the strain of supporting elderly parents will prove too great, leading to increased demand for state-provided long-term care.

THE GOVERNMENT SUGARS THE PILL

Working with Older People, vol.4, Oct 2000, p.15-17

Extract from the official response to the Royal Commission on Long Term Care, in which the government explains why it rejected the major proposal on free personal care and describes the measures it will take to provide better care for older people, including free nursing care, statutory guidance to local authorities on charging for domiciliary services, and assistance for people who do not want to sell their homes to meet care costs.

LOST AND CONFUSED

K. Janzon et al

Health Service Journal, vol.110, Nov 9th 2000, p.26-29

The government's decision to expand intermediate care into nursing homes presents a considerable challenge: there is already a serious mismatch between the healthcare needs of people in these homes and services available. A survey of all homes in one health authority area found a quarter had difficulty finding a GP for all their residents. More than two-thirds of residents had a mental disorder but few staff were trained in dealing with people with dementia and NHS support was low.

THINKING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF LONG-TERM CARE IN BRITAIN: DOES GENDER STILL MATTER?

C. Ungerson

Journal of Social Policy, vol.29, 2000, p.623-643

Argues that the reorganisation of the delivery of domiciliary care within the "mixed economy of welfare" will disadvantage a minority of very poor elderly women who will be unable to pay for care privately and who will have difficulty in accessing even quite heavily subsidised state provided care. Points out that women in low paid care work will lack the resources to purchase care for themselves in old age. This in turn will lead to their dependence on informal care by family and friends. In order to break this cycle both exogenous factors to do with the remuneration for care work and the acquisition of social rights in old age and endogenous factors to do with financing long-term care for those with a range of incomes need to be placed high on the agenda.