Care Act 2014 : Should / Could / Would Act 2014 ???

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
104 posts
Thanks Susie ... must have missed it ... time for questions from the members unless covered under Members Conference ?

Any PLC would be obliged to allow time during their annual AGM ... are charities exempt from dealing with direct questions from the floor ?

Still waiting for a rely from the Carers Radio team ... emails / questions invited ... so , took up the offer several days ago.

Oh well .... if AGM is to be broadcast as per last year , I can always try again through this keyboard and the Carers Radio online facility.
Very little in the way of feedback , either from LAs or carers , as to the effectiveness of this Act.

If anyone has had experience , good / bad / indifferent , or aware of their local LA reporting anything , feel free to post under this Thread.

One link found points to " Problems " at the LA end , predicted earlier on this Thread.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/03/ ... vey-finds/

If this Act was " Welcomed " without any qualification , be nice to learn a little more. Numbers / figures / problems / successes etc.

I will assume that the supporting organisations are monitoring the effectiveness of the Act given their involvement. Any chance as to initial findings ? Any mention / questions at the agm ( No transcript
published so far ) ?

Are the LAs being overwhelmed with carer applicants ? 1 in 10 would give us 600,000 , even 1 in 100 would yield 60,000.

Ties in with the age old problem of identifying carers in the first place. The words CART and HORSE
spring to mind.

Little news is almost as bad as no news.
Exactly what I've seeking ..... some research into the Act's effectiveness.

Paul Burstow , Liberal party , 12 July 2016 , in the Guardian.

Before I came back from the shadows. I can vouch for Paul , always willing to listen but never in a position to act.

For the full sp . all pages of it in .pdf format , the link :

https://carers.org/sites/files/carerstr ... ear_on.pdf

Page 11 onwards for anyone wanting to skip the preamble.

Page 28 Recommendations ... I recommend any reader to take a deep breathe before reading those !

Interesting to record not one bleat from any of our carer supporting members in the House.
Too embarassed by the Report , perhaps ... ?


Have carers noticed any difference since the Care Act came in? That is the question the Carers Trust asked me to try to answer. Over the past six months, I’ve been working with a small team of experts by experience and professionals to take the first snapshot of the impact of the act.

Carers provide the bulk of care in our country. Three in five of us will become carers at some point in our lives. Without carers, our already stretched NHS and social services would be overwhelmed. But many carers pay a heavy price for their role in both their health and their wealth.
Analysis A quick guide to the Care Act :pinch:

During our inquiry, we were told by many of those who contributed that the Care Act is an important piece of social reform but its potential is far from being realised. The Care Act puts carers on an equal footing with those who have care needs. This parity in law is new, some even say revolutionary. Councils have a duty to promote the wellbeing of carers and to prevent burnout and crisis.

What we found is a mixed picture. There are beacons of good practice, but there is plenty of darkness too. For many of the carers who responded to Carers Trust call for evidence the response was stark: no, the act had made no difference. Indeed, for many it was news to them that there were new rights.

Some say it is too early to review the impact of the act. I disagree. This was never going to be a full-blown evaluation but it is a first snapshot, a baseline, that can be used to measure progress. It also offers the opportunity to provide encouragement and warnings about the ongoing implementation of the legislation.

We heard during the course of our evidence gathering that the 1948 National Assistance Act, which the Care Act replaced, took almost a decade to become embedded and supplant the outdated mindset of many charged with its implementation.

The same can be said today about the Care Act. More work is needed to impress upon those responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the act that business as usual is not good enough. The Care Act raises the bar. It expects decision-makers to look at the wellbeing of the carer and, where necessary, take a “whole family” approach.

We found evidence that when it comes to assessment, the law is either poorly understood or ignored. Too often it appears that carers are fobbed off with a one-off payment as if that discharges the obligation to promote their wellbeing.

So where should we be by 2018, three years on from the act coming into force?

Based on what we have heard and the evidence we have collected, the commission believe that at a minimum carers should be reporting satisfaction with the assessments and personalised support they receive, have access to the services they need and have an understanding of their rights under the Care Act. Social workers and other care practitioners should be able to evidence that they are applying the act’s wellbeing principle in all their adult social care decisions. The number of carer assessments in 2018 should reached at least 360,000 in line with the government’s own estimate.

Along with my fellow commissioners, I remain optimistic about the transformative potential of the Care Act. Our report (pdf) should be essential reading for directors of adult and children’s services, and directors of public health. It has messages for the NHS too. Above all, it is about making improvements for carers themselves.
In total , a lot to explore and , some very interesting questions !

From the article :
The number of carer assessments in 2018 should reached at least 360,000 in line with the government’s own estimate.
That folks is around 1 in 18 ..... 5 / 6% of all carers .... and , if we assume that 1 in 3 will benefit or
have the means to pay for whatever charges , that equates to a 2% success rate ... or 1 in every 50 carers.

The Care Act was " Welcomed " by all our supporting organisations without qualification.

A stepping stone ? What's the likely extent of LAs finances some two years hence ?

Sounds great in theory. Trouble is , it has to be put into practice.

Carers themselves have been reporting on LA cutbacks since 2004 and their effect on their lives. Nobody
else listening or reading postings on carer forums ????????????????

We are still two years away from a post mortem. Problems highlighted may be found on postings
throughout the carer forums , some more than a decade old.

Just think of how different things may have been if they listened to us instead of treating us like
an angry bee buzzing around and being constantly swatted away ?

Any reader can judge for themselves whether this is a success or not.

Perhaps just giving all carers in receipt of Carers Pittance a bonus instead , even though that reaches
only 1 in 10 / 11 of us , would have been a better use of the monies ??????

I had my doubts .... the last thing I wanted for all carers was for those doubts to be confirmed.

At best , probably no more than 2 out of every 100 of us will benefit.

Identifying carers again reported as a problem. CART and HORSE are two words to be repeated.
How can one plan for X when nobody knows what X is ???????

Some success .... ?

In business , failure normally results in a sacking , early retirement or demotion.

In the social care sector , failure is usually rewarded with a knighthood / a medal or a mention in
despatches followed by a lucrative salary in the private sector.

For the 6 million or so ? A kick in the teeth.

And , no WWI argument ... to gain an 100 yards , it was necessary to sacrifice 50,000 !

This time , it's a minimum of 5.5 million , General !

I simply despair at times .....
Information as to the Act , and just as importantly it's effectiveness , is freely available within the
original now separate thread.

Therein lies the distinction.

Good sounding Act , empowers all carers to demand an Assesstment.

On Government figures provided , take up projected to be close to 350,000 out of 6 million+ carers by
2018. What is not known is just how many carers will be offered support services but not be able to
afford them or decline as it is not the support they needed. In which case , will they be counted in
the 350,000 figure , or be excluded.

No highjacking beyond the effectiveness of the Act in practice.

The Report published highlights the initial problems quite clearly. For once , the case studies quoted are
apt to what some carers need , and the inability of the support services to deliver.

Any reader placing reliance on the Act's provisions should also be aware of the pitfalls when starting out
on their quest.
Comments on information ? Harsh sometimes but on this one , I would let the Report , allied to Paul's
article run under this Thread as testimony to anyone wishing to learn more once they have decided on their first step under the provisions of the Act.

If they seek gold , and find only fool's gold at the end , many will be looking to blame someone.

Social care ? Hardly any black and white , merely more shades of grey than the infamous book. No right
or wrong answers most of the time , just differing degrees of perception.

In all honesty , I would gladly return to the shadows as the world of caring has changed to the one I
left behind. Then , there was some hope. Now ? I leave that to the carers of 2016 and the years to come.

Even though my caring days finished some 8 years ago , I have never forgotten former colleagues whose caring days will only end on their death.

As for now , my concerns are with those facing the daily choice of eating or heating , or queuing with
others for food and / or energy at the local foodbank.

They need a voice as well.

And , at times , a brutal one.
More news from the archives .... Community Care , May 2016 ... citing concerns expressed by Carers UK
as to the delays experienced in getting a carers assessment in the first place.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2016/05/ ... sessments/

Hardly surprising given the financial pressures on LAs ?

Again , it's the application of the Care Act which is causing problems.

Fine as the Act stands but , introduced when the infrastructure needed to impliment it's provisons is
almost at breaking point ?

Nice timing ?

Certainly not for carers ! Long overdue.

But why weren't the infrastructure problems taken into account ?

What if the Government's own estimate in the region of 350,000 was actually one million or more
applying to their LAs ?

An increase in funding ring fenced to ensure the provisions could be met ?

Not in the case , and that's just one problem.
Interesting speech made by Andy Burnham in the House.

Note the date ... 13 May 2013 !
As ever, my hon. Friend says it more eloquently than I can. The Government are playing politics rather than addressing the national interest. People will see that, but at least the Government have revealed their hand. We will work hard over the next two years to show who is really to blame and expose this Government’s failures on social care, the NHS and public health. Let me take each in turn.

At face value, the social care measures that the coalition is proposing sound like progress towards a fairer and simpler system. Indeed, the Care Bill builds on many of the recommendations of the Law Commission’s review of adult social care legislation, which was initiated by the last Government and included in the White Paper I published before the last election. National standards for eligibility could help to bring consistency to the care system, and stronger legal rights for carers are long overdue, as is improved access to information and advice. However, the question in the minds of many today, particularly councillors watching this debate, will be: how on earth will we be expected to pay for all that? That is when we realise again that there is a huge gap between the rhetoric we hear from the Dispatch Box and the reality on the ground across England. More than £1.3 billion has been cut from local council budgets for older people’s social care since this Government came to power.

Just last week, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said that Government cuts to care and councils would mean a further raid of £800 million from care budgets in the next year. The Care and Support Alliance has said that the system is in deep crisis and that without

“appropriate funding for the social care system…the aspirations set out in the Care Bill will not be reached.”

The Care Bill does nothing for people who face a desperate daily struggle to get the support they need right now, with many paying spiralling charges for their care. That is the effect of this Government’s drive to cut councils to the bone. They are foisting huge care charges on the most vulnerable people in our society. These are the coalition’s dementia taxes.
Clear doubts as to the effectiveness of the ( Future ) Care Act.

Sadly , now some three years later , said doubts are becoming realities.

Wasn't anyone listening then ?
I remember going to a meeting in Winchester some years ago, extolling the virtues of the then new "Community Care". I heard how severely disabled people would be supported to live in their own homes and do their own thing, with 1:1 care. At the time I thought it was hopelessly optimistic to think that there was enough money in "the system". My son has severe learning difficulties, but is fairly able in many ways - in fact if you met him with me you wouldn't have any idea at all - he's even fooled a Special Needs Advisor he met socially! So he doesn't need 1:1 care but as he lives alone in a privately rented flat, there is no way "the system" can match him with someone with broadly similar needs in the same area. I see a perfect scenario as a block of 4 flats with one care worker on duty, and a group lounge/social area. At the moment his care package means he's totally alone 19 hours every Saturday and Sunday.
A very revealing article just extracted from the Carers Trust ( the old PRT ) web site.

https://carers.org/care-act-carers-one-year-commission

Makes mention of the same Paul Burstow , and his report recently mentioned on this same Thread.

Was this the same report that I read , and drew startling conclusions in confirmation of the defects in
the effectiveness of the provisions when those to be directly involved were the LAs ?

Judge for yourselves after reading the Carers Trust view.

Numerous links available off the same link.

People who gave evidence to the Commission ... page 1 , in pdf format :

https://carers.org/sites/files/carerstr ... idence.pdf

Note. One carer , the rest ? Professionals including the Voice's own CEO.

Perhaps drawing a random 10 or so off this forum to participate would have been useful.
Sssssh , mommy always knows best ?

What would they know about life for an ordinary carer ? How many have had to choose between
heating or eating ?

Place your bets now. How many of these names will also appear in the New Years Honours List ?
Only mentioned in despatches ? Half the odds.

Why not double up ? To the nearest 100,000 , how many carers will be shivering tonight , anticipated
to be the coldest night of the year so far ?

The old PRT ?

Any posters on their forum during the 2000s will appreciate that some tried to drag them into the 20th.
century. Now , same again for the 21st. ? The " R " ? No longer Victoria , and that news was a shock
to some of 'em.

Their fingerprints are allover the Care Act.

Saves time come 2018 and the post mortem ?
There's nothing wrong with the Care Act.

The problem is threefold.

1. There's no money to support it and no political will to do so. Cllr Rory Palmer of Leicester City Council told Parliament on 18th November that supporting carers "could bankrupt" Leicester. http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/suppo ... story.html

Sadly no one has taken up the challenge. Our carers centre's press release was ignored.
2. Social work staff are overstretched and see Carers Assessments and the use of advocates as time consuming and potentially expensive.
3. Social work staff are put under pressure to cut funding to existing packages and offer much less support than is needed.
104 posts