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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.

Slashing queues, helping new mothers: NHS explores apps for care in a digital age

Doctors, tech experts and scientists tested new ideas at a health €˜hackathon€™ €“ now a fund aims to back the best with cash

Social care postcode gap widens for older people

Council funding cuts have reduced help for the old in deprived areas, study shows

Richard Humphries: Could social care finally become truly local?

Had T S Eliot been thinking of social care when he wrote The Wasteland, November not April would have been the cruellest month.

Ofsted: Deprived councils face biggest social care challenge

Councils in areas of lower deprivation, and those with a higher spend on children€™s social care, are more likely to receive a higher inspection rating from Ofsted, the regulator€™s annual report has found.

More than 1,400 NHS dementia patients well enough to go home at Christmas will be stranded in hospital, warns charity

Lack of social care funding €˜turning wards into waiting rooms€™ as figures shows dementia patients are delayed up to 10 times longer than hospital patients without the condition

Consultation begins on social care info for NHS.UK

Initial focus to be on how future website for health service can support social care of senior citizens

NHS Digital has begun a consultation on what social care information, notably for people aged over 65, should be included on the future NHS.UK website.

The state of social care shames us all

Care homes are unfairly relying on better-off residents to subsidise others care. The government urgently needs to increase funding to the sector

Urgent talks over future of Four Seasons care homes in UK

Creditor H 2 makes concessions amid crisis at health firm caring for 17,000 elderly and vulnerable people

5 Ways to Sustain High-Quality Social Care

So youve developed your company€™s first dedicated social customer service team€”congrats Now how do you keep it going

Plans for cap on social care costs in 2020 pulled by government

Consultation on social care reform will include proposals for a limit on individual spend on care, but 72000 cap will not be introduced in three years

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NHS wards becoming long stay institutions amid lack of social care

Hospitals are being turned into long-stay institutions, amid a crisis in social care, with more than 17,000 people now stuck on hospital wards for at least three weeks, official figures show.

There is no silver bullet for social care, but ministers must not dodge the issue

With services under severe strain, the government must catalyse a culture shift that puts prevention at the heart of care

Enhancing health in care homes: system leadership in action

Effective leadership in complex systems is not solely an attribute of top bosses, but is better understood as a shared process of many small (and great) leaders working together

NHS bosses sound alarm over hospitals already running at 99% capacity

Bed shortages prompting concern for patient safety even before onset of winter weather and anticipated major flu outbreak

Disabled People Are Not For Sale

The UK has had a policy of competitive tendering for public services since the 1980s. There is no evidence to support this policy - but plenty of evidence that it has a severe negative impact on social care and human rights.

We need a massive expansion of volunteers in public services

More people would get involved in voluntary work if we threw open the doors of our hospitals and care homes and made it easier for them

Care home provider under threat as Labour attacks profit-first firms

Four Seasons Health Care, which looks after 17,000 residents, could go into administration after talks are derailed

David Cameron admits we didnt solve problem of funding for Britain's ageing population

David Cameron has expressed regret he was unable to do more to deal with the huge challenge funding social care for Britains ageing population.

Social care green paper can deliver if it sees the bigger picture

The autumn budget failed to tackle social care funding, but Damian Greens comments on reform are loaded with promise

1bn funding shortfall may force UK care homes to close, says watchdog

Fees paid by cash-strapped councils fail to meet costs of caring for residents, according to Competition and Markets Authority

Budget lament is getting louder

Blog Post 30 Nov 2017

The chorus of complaint about Philip Hammond’s approach to our national finances is growing.

Small changes can make a big difference to the quality of care

It takes bravery and humility for those on the receiving end of complaints to listen and act

Virtual reality and the fight against dementia

Blog Post 3 December 2017

In the midst of all the issues of politics and money, misery and gloom, you can always guarantee there will be a ray of sunshine shining somewhere in the care industry.

Reality Government panto is no laughing matter

Blog Post 29 November 2017

Well, it didnt take long before the Governments own MPs were creating waves over Philip Hammonds Budget you know, the one that bypassed social care.

Senior Tories in budget backlash over NHS and social care cash

Two former health secretaries and chair of select committee call for end to short-term thinking as crisis grows

Councils forced to use emergency cash to pay for social care as funding shortfall grows

More than half of local authorities due to overspend on social care this year with most set to make up shortfall through reserves

Have there been two decades of failure to reform social care

A politically-charged Budget has passed with no mention of social care, despite a growing sense in recent years that the system of support for older people and younger disabled adults is on the point of crisis.

Budget 2017: Furious Jeremy Corbyn lashes out at Tories jeering him as he calls for urgent social care funds

Labour leader rebukes members of Government for displaying uncaring and uncouth attitudes towards care for desperate elderly people after Chancellor fails to mention issue in speech

Knight Frank is pleased to introduce the sixth annual review of trading performance in the UK care home sector.

Supported by data kindly provided by leading care home operators, the

Care Home Trading Performance Index (CHTPI) provides industry-leading

benchmarks on occupancy rates, mix of funding type, average weekly fees

(AWF), costs such as staff and agency outlays, and profitability.

The report is availble to download from this website

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 children€™s 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 €œeconomic 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 ÂŁ400m 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

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