Archive for the ‘White Paper Social Care’ Category

‘They know you are vulnerable’ – plight of older people in home care

23 November 2011

Most of the women from the care agency, were, in the words of a 78-year-old, “nasty and rough”. Whatever the carers’ demeanour, the frail woman in a wheelchair did not expect attitude to translate to violence that left her bewildered and powerless.

“Rather than say ‘sit in the chair’, they’d push me back into the chair, that sort of thing, and I didn’t like that … I couldn’t do anything about it. I can’t even walk and I think they know this you see; they know you’re vulnerable”.

However, such tales were depressingly familiar in a damning indictment of council-funded home care across the country – the Equality and Human Rights Commission found evidence of a “systematic failure” in the way we look after the elderly.

The commission’s report, “Close to home”, painted a disturbing portrait of poor treatment of the old in their own homes, which breached their human rights.


BBC One Programmes – Inside Out East, 21/11/2011

14 November 2011


David Whiteley asks what went wrong with the Southern Cross care home business.

BBC – BBC One Programmes – Inside Out East, 21/11/2011

Council under fire over proposals to close 30 day care centres in Lincolnshire

11 November 2011


A former social services boss has warned it could be "impossible" to bring back council care for the elderly and disabled if it is axed.

Opposition is mounting to Lincolnshire County Council proposals to close 30 day care centres, two short break facilities and reduce supported living services.

Council under fire over proposals to close 30 day care centres in Lincolnshire | This is Lincolnshire

MPs demand end to closures of council-run elderly care homes and call for enquiry into deaths

14 October 2011

Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services for the vulnerable and their carers. The already inadequate care system is dying on its feet. We have to halt that process, not next year, not the year after that, we have to halt it now. Caring for the most vulnerable in our Society should be a Government priority not something that is left on a metaphorical backburner while vulnerable people suffer.

Therefore CarerWatch welcome the call from MPs calling on a block to the closure of local authority homes for the elderly.  Full details below.

We urge everyone to contact their MP and ask for their support in signing  EDM 2251 . You can find contact details here

Media Release

October 14, 2011

A BLOCK on the closure of local-authority elderly care homes has been called for by MPs concerned that the care crisis highlighted by the collapse of Southern Cross has left frail old people frightened and in danger of death brought on by being forced to move.

 An early-day motion tabled in parliament by Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell calls for a moratorium on closures and an enquiry to establish how many deaths have been caused by home closures.

The move has been welcomed by campaigners and pensioners’ groups who urged MPs to sign the motion in order to prevent further unnecessary deaths.

 National Pensioners’ Convention general secretary Dot Gibson said:

“It is a brutal fact that frail, elderly people are likely to die if they are forced to move out of a care facility that has become home.

 “Older people should not be seen as mere figures on a private care company’s balance sheet, and with the collapse of Southern Cross and the unravelling of the private social care market it is essential to stop the closure of any more local-authority-run homes.

 “It’s time for a national care service that begins to look after our most vulnerable pensioners in a way they deserve.”

Campaigning lawyer Yvonne Hossack said:

Since 1997 I have seen the devastating effects of care home closures on mortality.

“Too often those charged with the welfare of our old soldiers and their widows trot out the lie that there is no risk provided the best methods of eviction are used – and all, let us be clear, to cash in the value of the land that the innocent and confused old lady once called her home.

 “It is time now to stop the slaughter”.

Phillippa Wood of CarerWatch, the online campaigning group for carers, said:

“Every day we hear of local authorities closing, withdrawing or cutting back on essential facilities and services for the vulnerable and their carers.

“The already inadequate care system is dying on its feet and we have to halt that process now.”

MP John McDonnell said:

“There is a huge and growing body of evidence that closure of care homes has caused the early deaths of frail, elderly people forced to leave their homes.

“The collapse of private homes and the shocking revelations of abuse have shown what happens when care is farmed out to privateers who are interested only in profit.

“We urgently need to see a stop put to any further closures of local-authority elderly care homes and for an enquiry into the misery and death that closures have already caused.”


Full text of EDM 2251 and contacts follow

EDM 2251


tabled by John McDonnell MP

That this House notes with deep concern the worsening crisis for elderly care as growing numbers of local authority and private care homes face closure; acknowledges concerns that the loss of elderly people’s care homes causes fear, anxiety and, in many cases, a higher mortality rate when vulnerable, elderly people are forced to leave their homes; further notes that the Southern Cross crisis will increase the need for local authority care; and therefore calls on the Government to hold a public inquiry into the deaths following closures of local authority care homes and impose a moratorium on the closure of local authority care homes until that inquiry publishes its results to ensure that vulnerable, elderly people’s lives are not put at further risk.


For further information please contact: Sarah Evans T: 07941 227757

National Pensioners Convention, call Neil Duncan Jordan – T: 07940-357-608

Yvonne Hossack- T: 01536 518638

CarerWatch: Philippa Wood at

With many thanks to  Sarah Evans  for her work on this issue

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved

5 October 2011


HUNDREDS of elderly and vulnerable people will have their home help removed as part of the biggest shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire for more than 60 years.

County councillors agreed yesterday to remove care allowances to people who need help with simple household tasks like cooking or cleaning.

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved | This is Lincolnshire

A Policy Dialogue Platform | Promoting Better Governance

16 September 2011


Experts have been enlisted to help the Government’s discussions on how to improve the care system in England, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced today.

From Monday, the Caring for Our Future engagement exercise aims to pinpoint the priorities that this Government needs to focus on to inform its formal plans to improve the care system. This follows on from the report on Commission on Funding of Care and Support. It aims to use the report as the basis for engagement as a key part of a wider care and support reform agenda.

eGov monitor – A Policy Dialogue Platform | Promoting Better Governance

Care (Older People)

8 September 2011

Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford, Conservative)

Thank you very much, Mr Streeter, for calling me to speak. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship for, I believe, the first time, which is an honour.

I am grateful for the opportunity to hold this important Adjournment debate on care and services for older people. As part of the younger generation of MPs, I am proud to initiate a debate on a subject that I hope will be of interest not only to those who are in their third phase of life but to the next generation and to the generation after that who will one day find themselves in need of care and services. The statistics show that those of us who are in our thirties will fuel the ticking time bomb that is the ageing population, so it is incumbent on us to try to provide solutions to meet this challenge.

see debate in full here

Health and social care insolvencies rise by 49% | Public Finance

7 September 2011


There has been a huge rise in insolvencies in the health and social care sector, with an increase of 49% in the first six months of this year alone, research shows.

Health and social care insolvencies rise by 49% | Public Finance — official CIPFA magazine

Out of the shadows Carers UK

11 August 2011

 Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, speaks to Editor Caroline Pennington about what health and social care reforms mean for carers

In June 2011, the NHS Future Forum’s independent review of the Health and Social Care Bill made significant changes to the much debated and most radical reforms that the NHS has faced since its inception in 1948.
During the surrounding dialogue, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation Mike Farrar stated: “The government must now give the NHS some clarity and enable it to focus on the major problems it faces such as financial pressure and the variability of care.”1 His point echoes the deep concerns of experts who fear the reforms may threaten quality and patient outcomes amid the need for the NHS to find £20bn in efficiency savings from 2011 to 2014.

click below for article in full

Out of the shadows – Public Service

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now


Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

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