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Posts Tagged ‘care’

Why we’re thrilled our campaign to end ‘flying visits’ has succeeded

Thursday’s publication of the Care Act guidance was a huge victory in our year-long campaign to end the scandal of 15-minute care visits. We were delighted to see the government make it clear that these “flying visits” are completely unacceptable for personal care.

We launched our campaign to end 15-minute care in summer 2013, after having heard repeatedly from our staff and disabled people about the unacceptable choices people receiving care were being forced to make – often between having a drink and going to the loo. Something had to be done.

Without a clear picture of how often these inadequate visits were happening, and where, we knew it would be difficult to convince the right people that they needed to stop.

To find out what the scale of the problem was, we sent freedom of information requests to every council in England – and were shocked by the response.

The proportion of 15-minute care visits was far too high, at one in nine. These visits were also too widespread, with 60% of local authorities using them. And they were happening more and more frequently; the proportion of flying visits had increased by 15% over the previous five years.

We also heard from many people who receive these flying visits, like Mrs Taylor*:

“What can you do in 15 minutes? By the time they’ve helped me to the commode and helped me to change the time’s up. I end up choosing – have I got time to check if they can fill the hot water bottle? Do I get a drink or do I go to the toilet? If I ask them to boil the hot water and fill my flask for tea they might not have time to do the rest.”

With the scale of the problem clearly so large – and with tens of thousands of disabled and older people being stripped of their dignity by these visits every year – we knew we had to act.

Our year-long campaign saw our report into the scale of 15-minute visits make national news. We visited 10 Downing Street to hand in postcards from thousands of campaign supporters. We also took a giant mug and toilet to Westminster to send a clear message that no one should have to choose between going to the loo and having a cup of tea, and made a film with Esther Rantzen about the issue.

To their credit, politicians from all parties heard our call for action and responded. The government introduced an amendment to the care bill to put wellbeing at the heart of care commissioning, health secretary Jeremy Hunt described 15-minute care as “completely unacceptable” in parliament, and Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to call time on “clock-watch care”.

And now the government’s guidance has made it crystal clear that councils should not be buying these flying visits for personal care. We know that since our campaign began some authorities, like Calderdale, Islington and Essex, have already taken action to end 15-minute visits in their area.

Now is the time for other local authorities to follow their lead. We’ll be watching closely to make sure they do.

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/oct/24/care-act-15-minute-home-care-visit-disability?CMP=twt_gu

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‘By 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and today’s social care systems are not equipped to cope

We are all living longer and that is something to celebrate. A third of babies born today are expected to reach their 100th birthday. But are older people living well? Already that is debatable, and the future is clouded with uncertainty.

Our health and social care systems are antiquated and no longer fit for purpose, with vulnerable older people drawing the short straw. When the NHS was set up it was there to treat outbreaks of tuberculosis and measles, to see women through childbirth and children with whooping cough. Today, the majority of service users are older people with multiple long-term conditions. Seven out of ten people with dementia have another long term condition and require care and support from a range of different professionals.

Today the NHS is too often seen as just the hospital – the visible sign of health care in the town. But the community support that should be there to help people live well at home is hidden. We take an overly reactive approach, rewarding crisis admissions to hospital rather than delivering on the outcomes that matter most to people.

Alzheimer’s Society recently published new research which brought the disparity between the services we have and those we need into sharp focus. It found that by 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, more than ever before. The cost of this unfolding epidemic has hit £26bn a year, a price tag which is set to rise alongside the rising numbers. Most striking of all this is that people with dementia, their carers and families are shouldering two-thirds of this cost themselves.

The post second world war settlement of cradle to grave health care which is free at the point of delivery must remain. But today’s needs are as much about social care. We need new and flexible models of delivery where the emphasis is on building services around individuals, not institutions. For decades the closer integration of health and social care has been a goal of public policy, but we have yet to see its effective translation.

Fundamental to living well in older age is maintaining health and independence. This winter the crisis in NHS funding will once again be centre stage. But for many years, there has been a crisis in social care. Make no mistake: the services that support older people, often the most vulnerable, are on the verge of meltdown.

This is why the Ready for Ageing Alliance has created a manifesto calling on policymakers in government and beyond to start engaging seriously with the trend towards longer lives. The alliance formed in 2013 following publication of the Filkin report and its conclusion that we as a country were nowhere near ready for an ageing population. The aim of members Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers UK, Centre for Policy on Ageing, the International Longevity Centre – UK , Independent Age and Joseph Rowntree Foundation is to make the case for action to ensure that our society makes the most of our ageing population.

The manifesto sets out detailed recommendations for public policy covering housing; health & social care; the economy and communities and calls for government to take the lead.

It calls for us to stop seeing ageing as being just about older people – if we wait until we are 60 or 70 to prepare we’ll have left it too late. We believe everyone aged 50 should be sent a pack giving information and advice.

At the core of the failings of our health and social care system is ageism. Older people are too often treated like second class citizens. Legislation has gone some way to preventing discrimination on grounds of age, but bizarrely financial services are exempt and hidden discrimination remains in many walks of life.

It’s vital we stop operating hospitals on a model designed for the past. Staff and patient ratios on hospital wards for older patients are often lower than on general wards. This makes little sense given that older people often need more help and care. Two thirds of hospital beds are currently occupied by a person with dementia. People living with the condition have even further complex needs which must be taken into consideration.

2015 is the year of a general election. While the question of who will be in government remains to be decided, one of the greatest challenges that they face is already set. By 2051 we can expect to have two million people with dementia in the country. Now is the time for government to wake up and realise prevention can be the best cure.’

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/sep/16/services-supporting-older-people-verge-meltdown

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Government orders review of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Move comes just three months after officials insisted that there was ‘no fundamental flaw’ in Dols scheme

The government has ordered a review of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Dols) less than three months after it told peers there was no need to rethink the legislation.

The Dols legislation, which applies to care homes and hospitals, will now be added to a Law Commission review of frameworks for authorising deprivation of liberty, the commission announced today. Deprivation of liberty cases in settings not covered by the Dols, notably supported living, require authorisation by the Court of Protection.

The Law Commission project had been restricted to drafting a new legal framework to cover deprivation of liberty in settings not covered by the Dols, notably supported living. But recent changes in case law, notably a Supreme Court ruling in March that has led to a surge in deprivation of liberty cases, and consultation with stakeholders prompted the Department of Health to request that the project be extended to cover the Dols, the commission said.

The project will publish a consultation paper next summer and a final report in 2017.

The move to extend the commission’s review to include the Dols marks a significant change in stance from the government.

In June, in its official response to a highly-critical House of Lords committee report that described the Dols as “not fit for purpose”, the government insisted there was no “fundamental flaw” in the Dols legislation. It rejected the peers’ call for the Dols to be scrapped and replaced with a system that was simpler and more grounded in the principles of the Mental Capacity Act.

Nicholas Paines QC, the Law Commission project lead, said “The department’s decision is very welcome.  Our timetable for the project remains unaffected.  We expect to publish a consultation paper in the summer 2015 and our final report and draft legislation in summer 2017.”

In response to the announcement, the Department of Health said: ”We are committed to making sure that the Mental Capacity Act is used to protect and empower people receiving care and support. We are looking at the potential impact of the Supreme Court judgement on local authorities and will consider findings in the autumn.”

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/09/08/government-orders-review-deprivation-liberty-safeguards/?cmpid=NLC|SCSC|SCNEW-2014-0910

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Improve the standard of residential, domiciliary and hospital care of older, vulnerable people

I would like the best, both for me and my family and friends. What about you??

Join me in being PRO-ACTIVE in helping prevent abuse of older, vulnerable people. Please do not do nothing and wait for more abuse to happen and organisations to go into the homes/hospitals after the abuse has happened.

This is what I am asking you to read and sign. I hope that you will read it through and click on the link at the end where you can sign your name to say you support this petition. Please do not worry, myself or the public do not see any of your details, not even your name.

 

We call upon the government to improve the standard of residential, domiciliary & hospital care of older, vulnerable people, to:

•Ensure that all staff in residential, domiciliary & hospital care receive regular 1-1 supervision sessions where training needs are identified, receive positive/constructive feedback on practice, & concerns on poor practices are shared & actioned

•Require all care staff [& HCA’s] to complete & pass a nationally accredited course of training

•Set a mandatory staffing ratio of carers/nurses

•Ensure that all supervisory staff in homes & on wards receive training on leadership •Introduce maximum lengths of working hours & shifts; & increasing the minimum hourly rate of pay for care staff, nurses & HCA’s

•Establish a national register of care staff & HCA’s

•Ensure that managers/home owners are accountable for failings •Create tougher penalties for those guilty of abuse of those in their care •Ensure protection for all ‘whistle-blowing’ staff.

Improve the standard of residential, domiciliary and hospital care of older, vulnerable people, click on link and leave your name.

Thank you for your support. It is greatly appreciated. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66065

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Tomorrow, Sunday, I am being featured as ‘Author of the week’ on the radio with the fab Tracey Edges  on Sirenfm. Hope you can listen in, 9-11am. And  ‪#‎Koolandthegang and ‪#‎Elviscostello will be on there too!

Me! On the same show as Kool and the Gang and… Elvis Costello…?!

If only Mum and Aunty Ann were here, they would be so proud!

pic.twitter.com/8Qg5XXM9AP

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A complete stranger, a reader, got in touch with me via my website.

‘Hello Suzan, You don’t know me, but I have read your book – ‘Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother’ and wanted to tell you how much it has helped me.

My mother was in a care home and there were so many things that caused me anxiety and anguish about her care, I really didn’t know who to turn to at first, however, after reading the advice in your book I was able to get things moving.

There were so many issues we had to address that I was always expressing concern when things were not right for any of the residents, let alone my mother.  Eventually, they realised that I was not going to let them get away with bad care.  Again, we followed the advice in your book-we didn’t always visit at the same time or on the same day. And we saw different things happening, not all good!

I told the homes managers of my concerns. She was useless, so I did what you say in your book, I put my concerns in writing and I kept a copy. I thanked staff when they did well and told them when I knew [after reading your book] that things were not right, i.e. expecting mother to sleep on a wet, urine stained mattress [which smelt awful!] and be put to bed after tea time [although she didn’t always eat her tea, which meant she had to go right through until 7am the next morning to have something to eat]. She was put to bed at 6.30pm and lights out].

Similar to the good nurse in your book, this home had one excellent carer. She gave excellent care, empathy and understanding. She was with us at the end of mothers life having just completed a 14 hour shift, but didn’t go home as she could see that mother was nearing the end.

Thank you for sharing your story; it helped us at a time when we really needed it. The book helped my mother have a dignified death. Thank you. I am so sorry your mother did not have a dignified death. She would be proud if she knew what you were doing to help others. I will be thinking of my mother and your dear mother tomorrow, on Mother’s Day. I am shedding tears as I write. God Bless xx’

[Names omitted to protect identity].

My mum left me with a mission. A mission to ensure that no one will ever, ever suffer the way she did. A mission to get the message out there on what is good care and bad care and to raise awareness on how to report concerns if you or your loved one is receiving poor care, in a care home, nursing home, hospital or receiving care at home. ‘Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have FailedMy Mother’ is available in Kindle and Paperback and can be bought from various websites including:BMC jpeg

Amazon http://goo.gl/8wq4wo

My publisher’s website, Hammersmith Books ow.ly/uFIxW

4/5* reviews on Amazon ☆’Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother’ ☆http://goo.gl/dYiXJl

But you know it’s not about how many copies is sold. It is about getting the message out there, so why not ask your library to get copies in

Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother

ISBN no: 978-1781610282

 

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Report reveals undernutrition a major problem among people with dementia in all world regions

‘Nutrition and Dementia: a review of available research’ calls for stakeholders around the world to recognize nutrition as an important factor for the wellbeing of people with dementia, finding that 20-45% of those with dementia experience clinically significant weight loss over one year.

Commissioned by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Compass Group, the report reviews dietary factors across the life course that might increase or decrease the risk of onset of dementia in later life. It also details what actions could be taken to improve the nutrition of people with dementia both through diet and external factors, such as modifying the mealtime environment and supporting and training carers.

The report recommends that nutritional standards need to be adopted throughout the health and social care sector, and that more research needs to be conducted into the effective components of diets that might prevent dementia and the progression of mild cognitive impairment.

It also highlights that evidence-based advice should be provided to inform consumer choices regarding the balance of risks and benefits associated with the use of nutritional supplements claimed to protect cognition in late life, before or after the onset of dementia.

The report also suggests that the problem of undernutrition has been grossly neglected so far both in research and practice. Professor Prince, from King’s College London, comments, “While weight loss in dementia is very common and can be an intrinsic part of the disease, it is avoidable and we should be doing much more to tackle the problem.”

Read the report

http://www.alz.co.uk/news/report-reveals-undernutrition-major-problem-among-people-with-dementia-in-all-world-regions

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