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

BRITISH GOVERNMENT POLICY AND THE CONCENTRATION OF OWNERSHIP IN LONG-TERM CARE PROVISION

C Holden

Ageing and Society, vol.22, 2002, p.79-94

Since the 1980's shift towards the private provision of long-term care for older people in the UK, there has been a considerable growth in provision by large for-profit firms. Concentration of ownership in the sector accelerated during 1996 and 1997 through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Concentration is likely to increase further in the near future due to the current state funding regime, the reformed regulatory system and the government's labour market policies. This gives rise to the possibility of local monopolies leading to a decline in the quality of care.

CARE HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY 'FACE £1BN MELTOWN'

A Frean

The Times, June 19th 2002, p.14

Care homes for older people are heading for financial meltdown, showing an annual £1bn shortfall in the fees paid to homes by councils. A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that councils are paying care homes between £75 and £85 per person per week less than it costs them to provide "an efficient service". Many of the 250,000 older people in care homes were coming under increasing pressure to "top up" their fees.

(See also The Guardian, June 19th 2002, p.8).

DESPERATELY SEEKING STAFF

A Jamieson

Community Care, May 30th-June 5th 2002, p.36-37

Private residential care homes for older people are facing problems recruiting both care assistants and nursing staff. To attract staff, owners have to pay above rates offered by other local employers. Their costs will be increased by the new staff training and development requirements imposed by the Care Standards Act.

FREE TO CHOOSE?

C Royston

Community Care, June 6th-12th 2002, p.32-33

Proposes a long-term caring model of healthcare for older people that is person-centred, based on the assessment of an individual's needs at a given time, and matches these needs with appropriate support and care. It recognises that the person should have the right to accept or decline the proposed care, but accepts that certain illnesses such as dementia, will erode a person's capacity to make such decisions and ultimately will therefore compromise their autonomy.

WHAT CARERS WANT TO KNOW

J Manthorpe and S Iliffe

Community Care, June 13th-19th 2002, p.34-35

Highlights the need for multi-professional care for people with dementia and their families. Families' concerns, as perceived by professionals attending a series of multi-disciplinary workshops, focused on what was likely to happen to their relatives in the future, how they were to cope, and what caused the dementia.

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