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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2003): Care of the Elderly - UK

AUDITING AGE DISCRIMINATION: A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO PROMOTING EQUALITY IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

R. Levenson

London: King's Fund, 2003.

Draws on the experiences of health and social care staff, older people, policy-makers and local campaigners to offer clear guidance on:

  • how to gather and assess evidence of age discrimination;
  • who to involve in the process;
  • what kind of evidence to look for;
  • where to look.

CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE: NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS. 3RD ED

Department of Health

London: TSO, 2003

Following consultation, document outlines new standards for care homes for older people. Many of the environmental standards have been relaxed. The standards that came into force in April 2002 will apply to brand new care homes only. Existing care homes can use them as best practice. All homes will have to provide prospective clients and their carers with information on how they meet the national minimum standards. This will enable people to make an informed choice of home.

CARERS OF ADULTS NEEDS RIGHTS TO

Anon.

Labour Research, vol. 92, Feb. 2003 p. 14-16

Over three in five people in the UK will become carers of elderly or disabled adults. However people in this position have no special employment rights. Very few employers have specific policies to help adult-carers, but there are a few examples of excellent practice.

CHARITIES FURIOUS AT U-TURN ON CARE HOME STANDARDS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, February 19th 2003, p. 5

Charities for the elderly have complained after the government dropped environmental minimum standards for existing care homes.

COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN OLDER PEOPLE: ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE DEMAND FOR SERVICES AND COSTS

A. Comas-Herrera and others

London: Personal Social Services Research Unit, London School of Economics, 2003 (Discussion paper; 1728)

Concludes that, if more effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other causes of cognitive impairment are not found, the cost of providing care for this group will rise from £4.6 bn currently to £11 bn in 2031. The study shows that the number of people with cognitive impairment in England is likely to rise by 66% from 461,000 to 765,000 between 1998 and 2031. Of these, the number of people in care homes is projected to rise from 224,000 in 1998 to 365,000 in 2031, an increase of 63%.

COUNCILS BUYING UP NURSING HOMES? WE DON'T THINK SO!

G. Hodgson

Caring Times, Feb. 2003, p. 1+4

Local authority strategies for the direct provision of nursing home services have been strongly criticised by the independent sector, and may be illegal.

DOES THE NCSC OPERATE TO ITS "CODE OF PRACTICE" ?

M. Wigg

Caring Times, Feb. 2003, p.15-16

Calls for a Code of Practice to iron out local variations in the approaches of National Care Standards Commission inspectors. There are concerns about inspectors being rude and aggressive and invading the privacy of care home residents.

MOVING ON FROM COMMUNITY CARE: THE TREATMENT, CARE AND SUPPORT OF OLDER PEOPLE IN ENGLAND

L. Easterbrook

London: Age Concern, 2003.

This book provides an overview of recent changes within the NHS, local government and the independent sector, relating to health, housing and social care for older people in England. It gives a brief history and discusses treatment, care and support for older people; regulating services and protecting users; access to services; paying for care; and communication with users and carers.

PARKER RE-ENFORCES AUTHORITY OF REGULATIONS

Anon.

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 7, 2003, p.133

Government has shown itself willing to water down the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes in practice. However, some of the material in the Standards is replicated in the Care Homes Regulations, which have the force of law. The Chair of that National Care Standards Commission has warned ministers that it will enforce the Regulations relating to the environment of homes rigorously.

UNDERSTANDING THE CARING CAPACITY OF INFORMAL NETWORKS OF FRAIL ELDERS: A CASE FOR CARE NETWORKS

N. Keating and others

Ageing and Society, vol. 23, 2003, p. 115-127

There has been increasing interest among policy makers in using the social networks of frail older people to provide informal care in order to limit public spending on health and welfare services. Paper reviews the literature on the caring capacity of informal networks of frail, older people. Makes distinctions between "social", "support", and "care-giving" networks. Argues that transitions of networks from social, through support, to care roles are likely to show systematic patterns, and that at each transition networks tend to contract as the more narrowly defined functions prevail.

WHO IS THE AUDIENCE FOR INSPECTION REPORTS?

K. Rogers

Caring Times, Feb. 2003, p. 13

When reporting on adherence to national minimum standards in a care home, an inspector uses a scoring system of 4 (commendable) to 1 (standard not met) for each of the 38. Scoring is based on the inspector's judgement, and is being applied inconsistently over the country. Inspection reports are now available to service users and relatives, and can give a false impression of the quality of care.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

S. Greaves

Colchester, North Essex Advocacy Teams for Older People, 2003

Research uncovered wide-spread physical and institutional abuse of older people in care homes and sheltered housing. As well as physical abuse, complaints focused on lack of independence, rigid routine, having to share a room, and having to take a bath at set times. Most staff had never been trained on how to deal with physical abuse and feared the consequences of whistle blowing.

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