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

ANYTHING BUT FINE

K Leason

Community Care, Feb. 27th-Mar. 5th 2003, p. 32-33

Argues that plans to fine social services departments for delayed discharges of older people from hospital could impact adversely on patients. Vulnerable elderly people could find themselves placed prematurely in residential care, forced to accept inadequate care packages or moved against their will.

CARE HOME CRISIS

Anon

Which? Feb. 2003, p.10-13

Found that of 70 private care homes surveyed, only 15 were able to offer a single room for a hypothetical female resident with low dependency needs. The survey also revealed that 40 of the 70 homes quoted prices higher than the maximum level quoted by local authorities. Results show a very real lack of choice for consumers.

CATHOLIC TRENDS FOR CARE HOMES

T. Philpot

Community Care, Mar. 13th -19th 2003, p. 36-37

Describes the impact of economic hardship, the new national minimum environmental standards and the fall in vocations to the religious life on Catholic care homes for older people. Homes are closing and religious orders are turning to other types of work such as teaching. Argues that religious orders should consider diversifying into new forms of residential care provision, such as sheltered housing.

DECEIVING, THEORIZING AND SELF-JUSTIFICATION: A CRITIQUE OF INDEPENDENT LIVING

C. Oldman

Critical Social Policy, issue 74, 2003, p. 44-62

Article attempts to show that policies promoting independent living for older people allow governments to justify cutbacks in social and housing investment. It also links independent living to attempts by government to ensure that families look after their elderly relatives. Older people are required to replace dependence on the state with dependence on relatives.

ENSURING EFFECTIVE DISCHARGE OF OLDER PATIENTS FROM NHS ACUTE HOSPITALS

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC392)

Report found that on any give day in Sept. 2002 about 4,100 people aged over 75 remained in hospital despite being fit to leave. This was down from almost 5,700 delayed discharges in September 2001. In order to further improve the situation the report recommended:

  • an earlier start to discharge planning;
  • efforts to improve relationships between social services departments and independent sector providers of domiciliary and residential care;
  • higher levels of funding to increase the numbers of care home beds available.

Finds that councils, under financial pressure, have cut back spending on services for older people and tightened criteria for eligibility.

EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF INTEGRATED HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE TEAMS ON OLDER PEOPLE LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY

L. Brown, C. Tucker and T. Domokos

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 11, 2003, p. 85-94

Using a non-randomised integrated design, outcomes were compared for a user group served by integrated health and social care teams, with those for a group of patients served by traditional arrangements. Results showed that delivery of services through integrated health and social care teams did not result in a greater proportion of older people remaining living independently. There were no differences between the groups on the following system and outcome measures: previous contact with social services, visits made by a district nurse, functional ability and mental functioning. Patients in the integrated group were more likely to self-refer or be referred by family.

INTERMEDIATE CARE IN SHELTERED HOUSING

C. Crawford

Working with Older People, vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p. 41-43

Describes some of the obstacles facing Hanover Housing Association as it seeks to develop intermediate care services based in rented sheltered flats as an alternative to care home beds or intensive support at home.

NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK FOR OLDER PEOPLE: BRINGING HOUSING INTO THE PICTURE

F. Thomas

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 6, Feb. 2003, p. 33-36

Discusses the role of sheltered housing as a main component of community care for older people. Explores how practitioners are developing preventive, rehabilitation and intermediate care services in the context of sheltered housing.

NCSC DEFENDS STANDARDS

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, Vol. 7, 2003, p. 149-150

The National Care Standards Commission has expressed its displeasure at successive retreats by the Department of Health from enforcing the National Minimum Standards for care homes for older people.

PROGRESS IN MAKING E-SERVICES ACCESSIBLE TO ALL: encouraging use by older people

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC 428)

Discusses progress in encouraging older people to access government services online. Government initiatives in place include:

  • establishment of a network of UK online centres offering training;
  • installation of information kiosks in public places;
  • distribution of refurbished computers to disadvantaged groups;
  • service delivery through digital television and call centres.

PUTTING SUPPORTING PEOPLE INTO PRACTICE

D. Morris

Working with Older People vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p. 12-13

Supporting People gives local authorities responsibility for planning, funding and monitoring housing support for vulnerable people including the elderly. The programme will fund support services in sheltered housing schemes, and home improvement agencies.

THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

A. Mackay

Working with Older People, vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p. 22-25

The independent sector provides around 85% of all residential and nursing home places, 80% of which are subsidised by the NHS or social services. Article discusses how the independent sector can work with statutory services to increase capacity. Care home providers need a fair price for their services and stable longer-term contracts to assist with planning.

STRATEGY FOR OLDER PEOPLE IN WALES

Cardiff: 2003

The Strategy is intended to help to ensure proactive planning for an ageing population. Its key features are:

  • establishment of a new Assembly Government Cabinet Committee on the needs of older people;
  • establishment of a National Partnership Forum for Older People in Wales;
  • moves to tackle ageism and discrimination against older people;
  • ensuring that older people can participate in making decisions that affect their lives;
  • ensuring that local authorities take a strategic approach to older people's issues;
  • development of an evidence based action programme on health promotion for older people.

THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR AND INTERMEDIATE CARE

M. Cornes, J. Andrews and S. Lakey

Working with Older People, vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p. 35-40

Describes progress on the development of seven partnership projects linking voluntary sector services to NHS-led or local authority-led intermediate care for older people.

WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR?

L. Easterbrook

Working with Older People, vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p.7-11

Outlines changes in services for older people to be introduced in 2003. Focuses on the Supporting People initiative, NHS funding for nursing care in England, and local authority charges for non-residential services.

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

J. Bush

Working with Older People, vol. 7, Mar. 2003, p. 26-29

Presents a case study of partnership working between an independent sector provider and local authorities for the provision of dementia care units.

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