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All the news from around the association and the WMCA Blog

Blog of Debbie Le Quesne
Chief Executive of West Midlands Care Association
She has worked in the Care Industry for over 20 years and before that was involved in fund raising and supporting several Care Homes for the Elderly and Learning Disability
Currently she is the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Care Association and the Co Chair of the Care Association Alliance

 "I work with Care Homes, Supported Living and Homes Care Agencies. We all admire the work they do and we want them to feel that they are not alone in trying to provide quality care in a ridiculously complex market in such trying times.

Councils acting positively on social care complaints

Councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people who complained to the local government ombudsman last year.

Ombudsman upholding two-thirds of adult social care complaints, annual review reveals

Watchdog hails learning culture in independent care sector but admits rise in safeguarding complaints is very worrying

Ofsted announces new director for social care

Ofsted has appointed a London borough director of childrens services as its new national director of social care.

Yvette Stanley will join the regulator in April from Merton LBC where she is currently director for children, schools and families. She wil replace Eleanor Schooling, who has agreed to extend her time with Ofsted until 31 March next year.

Government accused of dragging their feet on social care funding shake-up

Ministers delay publication of social care green paper until summer 2018, prompting claims they are kicking the can down the road

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths

The Conservatives have been accused of economic murder for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

HMRC is taking a punitive approach to care worker back-pay issue

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group says there is a lack of clarity with the scheme to make care charities give sleep-in staff back pay within 15 months

A charity representing more than 80 voluntary sector and not-for-profit disability and care organisations has accused the government and the taxman of taking a punitive approach to charities over the back-pay issue for sleep-in care workers.

Care home fees jump to 33,000 pounds per year - pushing the average stay to over 80,000 pounds

Average care fees have risen above 33,000 pounds this year, meaning the last 12 months saw costs rise at the fastest rate on record.

The 9.6pc increase between 2016 and 2017 was nearly double the previous year's rise and, assuming a two-and-a-half year stay in a home, takes the average total cost of care to 84,760 pounds

We can't fix social care if we think it's just for older people

Disabled people aged 18-64 make up a third of all social care users, yet they are not getting the support they need

Were running out of money message to Chancellor

Blog Post 15 November 2017

For a long time I have concluded that the way we care as a nation is a fiscal choice.

If we require good care, we must be prepared to spend money. Exactly how that funding is raised is still currently with the cross-party committee.

Answers overseas Not really . . .

Blog Post 15 November 2017

The rich, opulent West would learn lessons in dealing with the ageing crisis from poorer countries, according to an article I read online in The Guardian.

Brums drive to defeat loneliness in elderly now bid for cash

Blog Post 14 November 2017

By 2020, almost 57,000 people aged 65 plus will be living alone in Birmingham37 per cent of the age group.

This rises to almost 81,000 almost 53 per cent of the age group when those with a limiting long-term illness are included.

Transforming Ageing a collaboration run by the elderly

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Retirement is one of the biggest challenges facing peopleof an age.

It is predicted that by 2048 there will be more than 100,000 centenarians in the UK.

A celebration of work to redefine learning disabled

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Film, theatre, television, art, campaigning, cooking and music just a few things that some successful people are engaging in their day-to-day lives.

The battle against Alzheimers mixed emotions

Blog Post 14 November 2017

LipiDiDiet what? Sounds like the latest lose pounds regime before putting them back on over Christmas.

But no, this is the serious title of a neurology study that is looking at one-daily medical drink that could help those with pre-dementia stage Alzheimers.

Which? now seeking Government money for social care

Blog Post 14 November 2017

As if we needed proof, the Alzheimer’s Society is backing up research by consumer group, Which? that says half of those who have arrangements for care are finding care homes full.

Christmas is coming: Home alone and going without proper food

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Old, alone and worried where the next meal is coming from – the UK, 2017.

With winter upon us, Age UK reports nearly 1million people have unmet care needs and living alone means diet is compromised.

The black hole of care fees. We DO need a plan

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Has anyone heard of the Centre for the Modern Family (CMF)?

All change (again) with CQC regulation

Blog Post 14 November 2017

News by definition has to be new and it nearly always grabs some journalist’s attention.

From the beginning of this month the Care Quality Commission rang the changes again.

Urgent needed to keep care home beds

Blog Post 14 November 2017

You can always (well, nearly always) rely on the good old BBC to tell it how it is.

Following on from this springs bleak headline Social care system 'beginning to collapse' as 900 carers quit every day I was greeted the other day with Care homes places crisis in five years across England.

On yer bike . . . Yes, please!

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Student Fraser Johnston has received a Pride of Britain award for setting up Cycling Without Age in Scotland a volunteer initiative where the elderly with limited mobility get a chance to get back on a cycle

MPs now calling for bailout after sleep-in ruling

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Conservative MPs are calling for a government bailout for social care after warnings that some providers will go bust, the result of a crisis over a £400m bill for back pay.

The smart money is on paying the professionals . . .

Blog Post 14 November 2017

Could the Care Industry beceome more efficient by using 'Smart Home' technology?

Social care and housing crises must be tackled in Budget, Chancellor warned

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been warned he must tackle the crises in housing and social care in his forthcoming budget.

Councils have been forced to sell off enough properties to house a small city, such as Oxford, and are being prevented from building the replacements needed, local government leaders have warned.

60% of Council Tax to be spent on social care

The majority of Council Tax will be spent on social care by 2020, with little left over to pay for repairing potholes, cleaning the streets and running libraries.

MPs quiz government on social care back-pay bill

Social care charities have been given 15 months to repay an estimated £400m in back-pay for sleep-in providers

DoH aims to replace social care data system

The Department of Health (DoH) has begun to work on a project to build a new version of the National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC), the online service that pulls together a range of data from organisations in the sector.

NHS needs 4bn to ease burden on social care system

The NHS needs 4bn next year to prevent the health service deteriorating and putting the squeezed social care sector under added pressure, three health charities have today warned.

New Care Certificate Implementation Toolkit To Support Health and Care Apprenticeships

The Skills Platform, part of Skills for Health, has launched a free new toolkit designed to directly support those responsible for delivering the Care Certificate to new employees as part of their induction and for upskilling current employees working in health and social care.

We bailed out the bankers. And yet were ready to throw care workers to the wolves

Staff on sleep-in shifts are owed 400m we need their skills more than ever and must treat them fairly

Tory MPs demand bailout for care agencies in £400m backpay crisis

Services hit by massive bill may face closure without state aid, say campaigners

Policy on sleep-in pay could have dire consequences for people needing care

New guidance means providers are being forced to pay for the governments mistakes, and puts the future of the care industry at risk

New sleep-in shift pay compliance scheme launched to support social care sector and identify back pay for workers

The government has launched a new compliance scheme for social care providers that may have incorrectly paid workers below legal minimum wage hourly rates for sleep-in shifts.

Social care employers will be able to opt into the new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS), giving them up to a year to identify what they owe to workers, supported by advice from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Employers who identify arrears at the end of the self-review period will have up to three months to pay workers.

Awards evening celebrates care apprentices who go above and beyond

Coventry training firm hosts ceremony to recognise staff and employers across region

Social care funding can't take any more setbacks. It needs reform now

The UK is approaching a perfect storm with an ageing population and many people unprepared for the future

Social care providers dismayed by government sleep-in shift announcement

Sector has been given 15 months to meet a back pay bill of more than £400m, but warns of mass closures without government support.

Updated DBS Identity Checking Guidelines

The DBS have recently issued updated ID Checking guidelines

Fully Funded Health & Social Care Programmes in the Black CountrySkills Support for the Workforce

Fairway Training has been successful in securing 12 months funding to support organisations that operate within the Health and Social Care sector in the Black Country.

Ros Altmann: How advisers and politicians can tackle the social care crisis

The Government urgently needs to address the ticking time bomb of baby-boomers needing help with later life care

NHS at breaking point as lack of social care places clogs A and E putting patients at risk

THE NHS is at breaking point as hospitals struggle to deal with clogged wards and soaring patient numbers, a Newsnight investigation has found.

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price Tells Social Care Debate 'Austerity Is The Mother Of Invention'

Conservative health minister Jackie Doyle-Price has been criticisied for telling a debate on social care austerity is the mother of invention

The Thurrock MP recounted a conversation she had with a council leader during an opposition day debate called by Labour shadow social care minister Barbara Keeley, who is concerned about funding gaps in the sector.

Social care spending rises for first time in five years

Council spending on adult social care increased by 556m pounds in 2016-17, representing the first real term rise in five years, new figures show.

Dementia tax: Tory MPs urged to back Labour push to scrap policy

Opposition day debate will call on Conservatives to confirm they will ditch unpopular manifesto pledge

Can technology rescue the precarious state of adult social care?

A new report has revealed that, while the majority of adult social care is good, future quality is precarious as the system struggles with complex new types of demand, access and cost.

Social work leaders lack of diversity out of step with workforce

Data obtained by Adult Principal Social Workers' network also raises questions about embedding of social work values within council hierarchies

Council tax could rise by as much as five percent in Sandwell

Council leader Steve Eling said tax was likely to be increased for the third year running by the cash-strapped authority.

He said the authority was working on the assumption the amount for council services would be increased by 1.99 per cent - but warned up to another three per cent could be put on top of that to fund adult social care.

Elderly patients could be put at risk by pressure to empty NHS beds, warns social care chief inspector

Pressures on hospitals to empty thousands of beds ahead of winter could risk the safety of frail elderly patients, the chief inspector of social care has warned.

LGA: four million lost bed days shows social care reform must come sooner

Government must allocate more funds to social care services in the Autumn Budget.

An Age UK study found that almost four million bed days have been lost since 2011 due to problems putting patients into community care once they have received hospital treatment, with the number still on the rise.

The Guardian view on social care: the cost of cowardice


For a generation, politicians have ducked the challenge of restructuring health and social care. But if they dont act now it may be too late

Care and the brave new world its embracing

Blog post 18 October 2017

Pepper is a model social care employee. He can speak 12 languages fluently, is up with popular culture dances Gangnam Style and can quickly perceive the emotions of those to whom he speaks.

Homes are not assets to be passed on to children, says minister

Labour says Jackie Doyle-Price resurrected dementia tax by saying taxpayer should not prop up people with care needs

How social impact bonds are funding long-term care projects

Annual budgets make it difficult for councils to do meaningful work. Is third-party funding the answer?

The Tories are ignoring the worsening crises in social care, health and welfare

Iain Malcolm says the government has missed countless opportunities to improve social care; Nick Finer says the health minister is either complacent or in denial about the NHSs troubles; David Etherington and Martin Jones say authorities have ignored the evidence on universal credit; and John Evers wonders about the obsession with Brexit amid a sea of domestic troubles

After the Conservative election disaster, is the party policy on care still the same?

Blog Post 16 October 2017

The Tory party conference was overshadowed by Mrs Mays cough, her questionable ability to hold on to the leadership and the political infighting.

Social care central to easing NHS pressure as flu looms large

Blog Post 16 October 2017

Following the worst outbreak of flu in Australia and New Zealand for years, the NHS is issuing a grim warning that its a pointer to what could happen in the UK.

The secret to recruiting and retaining care staff? Rewarding them

Staff stick with inadequate authority thanks to £15k bonus but too few councils can find that kind of money

Home first' model aims to stop patients being stranded on hospital wards

The quicker older people get out of hospital, the less likely theyll end up in residential homes or back on a ward

Brexit could ensure social care gets the reform it badly needs

Theresa May had planned to move the political focus this autumn from Brexit to domestic priorities. That was always a tall order when the next round of negotiations and this months EU council are looming, but its particularly difficult given the Prime Minister managed to lose, not gain, authority with her conference speech. Its also made harder given that her statement in the Commons yesterday seems to have enraged Brexiteer MPs, who were willing her on before the conference speech fiasco.

Why wont ministers acknowledge social care's growing emergency

The warnings are getting ever bleaker for an over-burdened system

UN loosing its UK voice despite great cause for the elderly

Blog Post 11 October 2017

This post is about a United Nations event, with aims that impact every day on our older people, but first some thoughts from my previous career in marketing

Tories ditch plan to cap care home fees by 2020: Scandal of bills eating into inheritance to continue as policy is officially abandoned

David Cameron promised to bring £75,000 limit on amount people must pay

But Government source said cap will not be introduced until into next decade

This means scandal of enormous care bills mounting for people will continue

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