Public Finance, Oct. 5th-11th 2001, p. 17
From April 2002 elderly Scottish people in residential care will be entitled to free nursing care plus £90.00 a week towards the cost of personal care. At present, elderly people without funds can apply for £55.00 a week attendance allowance to help pay for personal care. With care free in Scotland, this benefit has technically become redundant. The Scottish Executive assumed that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) would continue to pay it and planned to use the money to help fund free personal care. The DWP has so far refused and the issue of how the shortfall will be made up has still not been resolved.
Guardian, Oct. 10th 2001, p. 14
Government has promised an extra £300m over two years to local authorities to purchase more intermediate care for elderly people to prevent them from blocking NHS acute beds. The money will be used to purchase more "hospital at home" packages, more short stay beds in nursing homes for those needing intermediate care and more residential care home places.
(See also Times, Oct. 10th 2001, p. 19; Financial Times, Oct. 10th 2001, p. 12)
Community Care, Oct. 4th-10th 2001, p. 20
There are fears that the government funding allocated to pay for free nursing care for people living in residential homes may be insufficient.
Health Service Journal, vol. 111, Oct. 11th 2001, p. 9-10
In principle England, Wales and eventually Northern Ireland will fund nursing care, but not personal care, for people in residential homes. However Scotland will, up to a point, fund both.
B. Hudson et al
Nuffield Institute for Health, 2001
The first round of the charters for users of long term care services were produced in June 2001. An investigation of the charters showed they differed widely in their content, style and approach. Differences were identified in charter availability, stakeholder involvement in their development, the range of information offered, organisation ownership and the treatment of charter champions.
Ageing and Society, vol. 21, 2001, p. 255-278
Paper reports on a small scale qualitative study involving older people who had been referred to a local authority social services department but who were refused help on the grounds that the referred need did not meet prescribed eligibility criteria. Through interviews with the older people concerned, the study aimed to explore how older people perceived and managed their "unmet needs". Findings suggest that the efforts of older people to manage need are directed at maintaining a positive identity. Community-based support strategies need to be directed at supporting these efforts to sustain selfhood.
Registered Homes and Services, vol. 6, 2001, p. 70-72
Older people in care homes have high levels of dependency and a range of complex needs, which often require skilled attention. Concern is often expressed that care assistants working in these homes are under-trained. The introduction of national minimum standards for training under the Care Standards Act 2000 will mean that owners and managers will have to make sure that more of their staff than at present are either qualified or undergoing training.
Health Which? Oct. 2001, p. 21-24
Government is keen to promote intermediate care services to ease problems of bed blocking and premature discharge. However, it is proposed that intermediate care episodes should last no longer than six weeks. After this, people still in need of help will have to pay.