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

AN ADAPTATION PROGRAMME FOR OVERSEAS NURSES: THE BRENDONCARE EXPERIENCE

H. Mercer

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 6, 2001, p. 7-9

Describes the Brendoncare Foundation's experience of recruiting and inducting nursing staff from the Philippines. The Foundation is a charity providing specialist care for physically and mentally frail elderly people.

CARE HOMES CASH CRISIS ESCALATES

V. Rodrick

Municipal Journal, June 8th 2001, p. 6

Scottish Care, the national body representing residential home owners, has threatened to halt admissions unless Aberdeen City Council immediately raises its payment rates. Other councils across Scotland could receive similar demands.

CITY'S HOSPITALS JAMMED BY CARE CRISIS

J. Carvel

Guardian, June 11th 2001, p. 8

Beds in Birmingham city hospitals are being blocked by older people who are medically fit for discharge but cannot leave because the Council Social Services Department is unable to fund their aftercare.

(See also Guardian, June 15th 2001, p. 10)

A FAIR DEAL FOR OLDER PEOPLE

C. Deeming

London: King's Fund, 2001

A survey of over 1000 people aged over 25 living in England demonstrated that more than half of respondents in all income groups believed that personal care costs for people with long term illnesses should be covered entirely by the state. More than half of respondents also supported state funding for accommodation costs in nursing homes.

FREE PERSONAL CARE TO TEMPT FLOATING VOTERS

Anon

Community Care, no. 1372, 2001, p. 3

Reports that results of two opinion polls have shown support among the public for the principle of free personal care for older people.

THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT: WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR OLDER PEOPLE?

M. Hunt

London: Help the Aged, 2001

Report highlights sections of the Human Rights Act that are most relevant to older people and urges advocacy groups to use them in making arguments on behalf of older clients.

LABOUR STRATEGY TO REVAMP LONG-TERM CARE FOR ELDERLY

D. Charter

Times, May 31st 2001, p. 2

Reports that the Labour Party is planning a new strategy for commissioning long term care for the elderly, to be called "Concordat Two". This will set a framework for a partnership between local authorities and the private sector for planning nursing and residential places and ensuring that more people are cared for at home.

LONG-TERM CARE: FROM PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY TO PRIVATE GOOD

S. Player and A. M. Pollock

Critical Social Policy, vol. 21, 2001, p. 231-255

Shows how long-term care, with its vulnerable client base, has been changed from a public to a private responsibility with little or no debate or discussion. Using the social security regulations, the Conservative governments of the 1980s pump-primed with public funds the massive expansion of private nursing and residential care. Responsibility for payment for care was then transferred from central to local government in 1993. Local authority budgets for long term care were cash limited, so eligibility criteria introduced and care became a personal and private responsibility. Government is now encouraging private companies to diversify into specialist areas such as diagnostics and acute hospital care, with long-term care increasingly seen as a lower profit "core" industrial package predicated on basic services and casualised, low wage labour.

NURSING HOMES GIVE COUNCIL CASH ULTIMATUM

N. Hawkes

Times, May 30th 2001, p. 2

Nursing home owners in Devon are considering repudiating existing contracts with the council, which they say do not pay them enough to keep their businesses afloat. They will then give the council four weeks' notice of a new scale of charges, with the option of either paying up or taking over the care of elderly patients itself.

PARTY LEADERS TRY TO MARCH IN TUNE WITH THE GROWING ARMY OF THE AGED

S. Womack

Daily Telegraph, May 31st 2001, p. 10

Pressure is mounting on party leaders to introduce free personal care for the elderly so that pensioners would no longer have to surrender assets to the state to fund their care. Article goes on to summarise the policies of the three main parties on their issue. Only the Liberal Democrats promise free care.

PRIVATE SECTOR IN SECRET TALKS OVER CARE FOR THE ELDERLY

D. Charter

Times, May 30th 2001, p. 1

Claims that government has been secretly negotiating a new agreement called "Concordat 2" with private sector care homes. Under this residents and their families would be able to top up state funding from their own resources to purchase a higher standard of care and the government's long term care grant to local authorities might be ring fenced.

ROYAL ASSENT FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE BILL

Anon.

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 6, 2001,. p. 1-2

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2001, means testing of "personal care" for older people remains in place, together with a tight definition of "nursing care" which will be paid for by the NHS. The Act also mandates the creation of care trusts, the latest strategy for promoting co-operation between health and social services. There are concerns about the lack of democratic accountability of these bodies, the danger of their domination by health professionals and the absence of detail about how shared budgets will work in practice.