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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Care of the Elderly - UK

ABSENT VOICES COMPROMISE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NURSING HOME REGULATION: A CRITIQUE OF REGULATORY REFORM IN THE UK NURSING HOME INDUSTRY

S. H. Kerrison and A. M. Pollock

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 490-494

Over half the healthcare beds in England are in the private nursing home sector, and regulation of the sector is under reform. However, requirements for user accountability have not been reflected in these reforms. Neither users nor their representatives have been given legal rights of involvement in the National Care Standards Commission or in regulatory processes. Paper argues that failure to involve users not only places the regulation enterprise at risk of capture by the industry, but will also weaken the legitimacy of the new Commission.

CAP IN HAND: HOW CHARITIES ARE BAILING OUT THE STATE IN CARE HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY

Liberal Democrats

[London]: [2001]

Reports results of a survey of 14 charities which shows that they are subsidising supposedly state-funded places for elderly people in care homes because local authority fees are insufficient. In the year to March 2001, charitable support for theoretically state-funded residents rose from £9.9 million to £11.8 million.

CARE IN CRISIS

P. Gosling

Public Finance, Jan 18th - 24th 2002, p. 18-20

As more and more private care and nursing homes for older people close, problems of bed blocking and delayed discharge in the NHS increase. The increase in home closures is due to:

  • increased staff costs;
  • inadequate local authority fees for state funded residents;
  • the impact of the new minimum standards.

ELDERLY LEFT IN NHS BEDS AS NURSING HOMES CLOSE

N. Martin

Daily Telegraph, Jan 15th 2002, p. 4

Government figures out today show thousands of elderly people are having to stay in hospital because of a shortage of specialist beds and home help. The report was compiled by the Department of Health in response to a parliamentary question.

EMPOWERMENT AND COMMUNITY CARE: PROJECTING THE "VOICE" OF OLDER PEOPLE

L. A. Fenge

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Vol.23, 2001, p. 427-438

Article considers "empowering" practice with older people within community care, and explores the restrictions placed on this by current policy and practice. It considers how a post modern perspective may encourage the participation of older people within community care assessment and ultimately empower them.

FRIDAY IS PAY DAY

L. Easterbrook

Help the Aged, 2001

More than half of state-supported residents in nursing and residential homes for older people may not be receiving their full weekly personal allowance of £16.05. The allowance is in any case inadequate and is insufficient to cover toiletries, clothes, chiropody, hairdressing, and the daily newspaper. Report calls for:

  • an immediate increase in the personal allowance to £20.00 a week, and an annual review to keep the entitlement at a realistic level;
  • clarification of the range of items the personal allowance is intended to cover;
  • measures by government to promote the financial independence of older people living in care homes;
  • strong guidance from the government on best practice.

HEARING WHAT USERS SAY: THE IMPORTANCE

J. Parker et al

Managing Community Care, vol. 9, Dec. 2001, p. 28-33

Paper explores the importance of seeking the views of service users with dementia. This is fundamental to raising quality standards in dementia care, and demands commitment to on-going training for social care staff. Contemporary research and policy developments are discussed in this context.

HELP IN ADVERSITY

C. Patmore

Community Care, Dec. 13th 2001 - Jan. 9th 2002, p. 40-41

Discusses how home care services could be developed to provide social and emotional as well as material support to isolated older people.

KEEP TAKING THE MEDICINE? ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND THE OVER MEDICATION OF OLDER PEOPLE: ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES

R. Stokoe

[London] : Liberal Democrats, 2001

Some older people in care homes are victims of a "chemical cosh" used as a management tool. Elderly people in a minority of homes are regularly administered with chemical cocktails of drugs whose interactions are poorly understood by staff. Their health and well-being is under threat. Report analyses the causes and consequences of inappropriate medication and makes recommendations for change.

NURSING THE COSTS OF LONG TERM CARE

H. Gaze

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, 2002, p. 7-8

Article discusses the controversial decision by the government that older people should receive free registered nursing care but will still have to continue paying for personal care themselves.

PROMOTING INTERDEPENDENCE: A NEW CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

H. Bowers

Managing Community Care, vol. 9, Dec. 2001, p. 34-39

Article presents evidence gained from development projects and consultancy in the UK about the meaning and nature of "independence" in the lives of older people. The concept is examined in relation to the current policy context of social inclusion, partnerships and modernisation, with special reference to the implementation of the National Service Framework.

REALISING PARTICIPATION: ELDERLY PEOPLE AS ACTIVE USERS OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

K. Roberts and T. Chapman

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001

This book discusses the idea that recipients of statutory health and social services should be regarded as 'consumers'. It examines to what extent British society has seen a move towards the culture of the private sector. It explores not only the opportunities provided for users to play an active role in their care, but also their degree of willingness to assume such a role.

SCOTS ADMIT DEFEAT ON CARE FUNDS

A. Macleod

The Times, Jan. 14th 2002, p.11

Scottish Executive ministers have admitted defeat in a lengthy battle to persuade Whitehall to help to fund free personal care of the elderly. Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has consistently maintained that to do so would undermine the whole unified welfare payments system across the UK.

THE SINGLE ASSESSMENT

M. Guest

Professional Social Work, Jan. 2002, p. 16-17

The single assessment process is one of the cornerstones of the National Service Framework for Older People. It will apply to all older people and their carers who require health or social care services. Any older person and/or their carer, seeking help at either a health or social care "access point", will be entitled to access a systematic co-ordinated assessment process, leading to an integrated response. This may be information, advice, treatment, care or support from either, or both, health and social care agencies.

WHO CARES IN SCOTLAND

I. MacWhirter

Public Finance, Dec. 7th - 13th 2001, p.19

The Scottish Labour Party is on the whole opposed to implementation of free personal care for the elderly, which it regards as subsidizing the middle classes. However as free personal care enjoys the support of the Liberal Democrats, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Nationalists, it is likely to go ahead.

WILL THE NEW MINIMUM STANDARDS MEAN STANDARDISATION?

J. Burton

Caring Times, Jan. 2002, p. 8-9

There is concern that the implementation of the new national minimum standards for residential care may lead to drab uniformity among homes and stifle innovation.

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