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Suspension of the Care Act – act immediately - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

Suspension of the Care Act – act immediately

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Care homes refusing to take in patients ready to leave NHS hospitals.

Bosses say it would be madness to expose elderly residents and staff to coronavirus risk.

Care home managers are refusing to accept elderly people discharged from NHS hospitals owing to coronavirus fears, and one has said government-issued protective equipment for residents and staff is “completely useless”.

David Steedman, the manager of Arlington House care home in Sussex, said he had five empty rooms but he was not taking in people discharged from hospital as it would be “madness” to expose residents and staff to the risk of infection.

On Friday it was announced that every social care provider in the country would receive deliveries of personal protective equipment including masks. Social care workers will start being tested for coronavirus along with NHS staff from next week.

“The personal protective equipment issued for staff is laughable,” Steedman said. “These masks, as well as having an expiry date of 2016, are the sort of flimsy, paper thing that dentists wear with gaps all round the edges. The instructions say they should be used if a resident has symptoms of the virus or actually has it. But these masks are completely useless in those situations.”

He added: “The government needs to take a reality check if they genuinely think otherwise. The hospitals are desperately trying to empty beds so they can take new people in, who have the virus, but we can’t help them because they don’t have the equipment to test those they’re discharging.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/202 ... virus-risk

Nowhere to park many of our carees ?

See what may be coming ???
Just in case any readers have not seen these ... firstly , The Carers Trust response :

Last week the UK Government passed into law the Coronovirus Act, giving it additional powers to deal with the Coronavirus emergency.

“Carers Trust supports the Government in its efforts to manage the UK response to Coronavirus. With our network of local carer services, we are working hard to support unpaid carers, in partnership with our colleagues across the voluntary and statutory sectors.

“However, we are highly concerned about what the Coronavirus Act will mean for carers, and the local services that help them.

" The Act temporarily removes the statutory duties of local authorities to assess and support carers, as well as the people they care for.

"The consequences could not be more stark: if local authorities choose to do this, many carers will not get the support they so desperately need, and at a time when they need it most.

" This not only risks putting unpaid carers under even more pressure than they were already facing before the Coronavirus crisis, it risks putting an even greater demand on health, social care and education.

“Carers Trust also encourages local authorities to consider the needs of young carers, in their work with the local voluntary sector, schools and colleges. This will ensure young carers have access to breaks and respite, as well as support to manage changing situations. Many young carers rely on support at school, including free school meals, to manage their caring role.

“Adequate funding must be prioritised so that charities providing support to unpaid carers, including Carers Trust Network Partners who provide respite, information, guidance and support, can continue to provide statutory and non-statutory support.”

https://carers.org/news-item/carers-tru ... avirus-act

SCOPE and a few more :

We are a group of leading national disability organisations, speaking up for millions of disabled people of all ages. We are extremely concerned about the Coronavirus Bill’s removal of rights and safeguards for disabled people.

The Government and the entire country is facing an unprecedented crisis, but we have to work together to make sure this is not at the expense of disabled people. Sadly, we believe that the current Coronavirus Bill risks just that in a number of ways. We would ask that these provisions are revised urgently, as they relate to disabled people, to better reflect the balance between meeting the needs of the crisis, with ensuring the continuation of rights and safeguards for disabled people. Where emergency powers are outlined, we also believe that more information about how the Government will try and avoid them being used (through investment and other mitigation) would help us reassure the 14 million disabled people in the UK we collectively represent.

We would ask that current rights and safeguards relating to the detention of people with mental health conditions are maintained. Given the magnitude of the withdrawal of liberty, it is not reasonable or proportionate to rely on the judgement of a single doctor, or to remove all time limits and consequent review processes.

We would ask that rights to assessments, care plans and rehabilitation for disabled people must be maintained. It is currently only those with the highest levels of need, who receive help, and it cannot be right to leave this group of people without the right to assessment and support.

Similarly, protections relating to disabled children must be maintained. Again, it is only those with the highest needs that receive support.

Whilst it is fully acknowledged that proposals have been made with the best intentions, to reduce administration and free up the time of professionals, the above rights and safeguards cannot be viewed as administrative processes, they are there to make sure that support and protection is given to those who need it most.

The government has made it clear that it wants to support people through these difficult times, but we fear that the Bill’s proposed withdrawal of rights and safeguards for disabled people requiring care and support, will put those in greatest need at greatest risk.

We would urge government not to dismantle the rights and safeguards of disabled people.


Mark Hodgkinson, CEO, Scope (DCC Co-Chair)

Neil Heslop, CEO, Leonard Cheshire (DCC Co-Chair)

Caroline Stevens, CEO, National Autistic Society

Edel Harris, CEO, Mencap

Kamran Mallick, CEO, Disability Rights UK

Mark Atkinson, CEO, Action on Hearing Loss

Matt Stringer, CEO, RNIB

Paul Farmer, CEO, Mind

Richard Kramer, CEO, Sense

https://www.scope.org.uk/news-and-stori ... irus-bill/
Well written letters, and lots of seemingly heavy weight signatures.

Any such letter from Age UkK?

Just found this essay from Age UK, updated March 26, on social care and coronavirus. Not a forceful response to the bill.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/discover/2020/ ... ronavirus/

Shall have to dig a bit further.....

I did come across Age UK and others joint statement on rights for older people during the pandemic:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/a ... -pandemic/

Its citation on healthcare rationing protocols is not for the faint of heart.
Interesting reading
Government guidance to the LAs under this new Act :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... =immediate

Coronavirus (COVID-19) : changes to the Care Act 2014

Changes to the Care Act 2014 to help local authorities prioritise care and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

One for a civil rights lawyer to read ....
From elsewhere on this site :
Carers UK responds to new guidelines on Care Act easements

01 April 2020

The Government last night (Tuesday 31st March) published guidance for local authorities on how they should use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The new Care Act easements mean that where local authorities have to re-prioritise their resources to respond to coronavirus, their duty to carry out full needs assessments of unpaid carers, and those needing care, does not apply if:

their workforce is significantly depleted, or
the demand on social care increases to an extent that it is no longer reasonable practicable for the local authority to comply with its Care Act duties.

Should local authorities choose to “switch on” these easements, there will also be a reduction in the number of carer support plans, and care and support plans for those in need of care, being carried out.

Families won’t have to undergo financial assessments when requesting care during this period, but the assessments and charges can be back-dated.

Commenting on the guidance, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We recognise these are temporary measures which should help local services better cope with coronavirus, however, this guidance comes at a time when social care services have been cut back year after year. Many families who do receive some form of care have a much reduced package of support, having had to meet much higher thresholds to get the care they need.

“As local authorities respond to coronavirus, carers are hugely concerned about whether the services they depend on will continue, and if they’re cut, whether they’ll be reinstated.

“Carers UK will be closely monitoring the impact of local decision-making on unpaid carers and feeding back their concerns to Government.

“This guidance on the Care Act easements makes it clear that local authorities should continue to support unpaid carers where possible. We are pleased that the Government has recognised that charging carers for services during the coming weeks will be counter-productive when they do so much to uphold our fragile social care system.

“If carers are not clearly recognised and supported during this emergency then it will only mean that more people become unwell and will need even greater support from our already over-stretched public services.”

Carers UK is developing written briefings for both local authorities and carers on what this guidance means for them. We are listening to carers’ concerns and feeding them back to Government.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 Is Extremely Dangerous For Disabled People Like Me.

The 2020 Coronavirus Act will erode our civil liberties, rolling back 30 years of hard won disability rights, writes Sarabajaya Kumar.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ ... hqqzFnT2EL
Worth posting in full ... Disability Law Service response :

Coronavirus act threatens care for disabled people

Disabled children and adults need special protection in a time of crisis

The last decade of ‘austerity economics’ has seen savage cuts to local authority funding to the extent that they have been unable to meet their legal obligations to provide the essential care and support needs of disabled people and carers. Only those in the most severe need are receiving support and for these people the support that they receive is – effectively – the bare minimum necessary to enable them to cope.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 further curtails the rights of disabled people and carers to social care support. In place of the duty to meet their essential social care needs, in England the 2020 Act substitutes a minimal obligation not to reduce their support to the extent that they suffer a violation of their most basic human rights. It should be emphasised that, as a matter of law, it will be extremely difficult to establish a breach of human rights. In Wales the reduction in support would only become unlawful if it placed the individual at risk of abuse or neglect.

Disabled people are at most risk of experiencing serious harm from coronavirus, being people with a high incidence of the ‘underlying conditions’ that make the virus so dangerous. In the circumstances, a rational response to the emergency would be to radically redress the care and support deficits of the past decade, rather than take the action that is mandated by the 2020 Act.

Such action is not only contrary to international law – constituting ‘regressive’ social care legislation targeting those least able to cope – but it also makes no strategic sense. Removing essential care will simply lead to more crises, more hospital admissions and more NHS staff having to take time off work to care for their disabled friends and relatives. In the medium term it will also lead to more avoidable deaths.

The Disability Law Service expresses its profound concern about the inevitable adverse effects that the Act will have on disabled people and carers and the message it sends concerning the acceptability of their further marginalisation.

The Disability Law Service calls for:

A radical review of the priorities of the English and Welsh Governments during this emergency with the object of ensuring that the care and support needs of disabled people and carers are fully safeguarded and funded during this period;

The provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 relating to the care and support of disabled people and carers to be withdrawn at the earliest possible opportunity; and

The development of a transformative plan for social care to ensure there is a care and support service ‘fit for disabled people and carers’ at the end of this emergency – as universal, transformative and far sighted as the Beveridge reforms 85 years ago.

Professor Luke Clements & The Disability Law Service Team 3 April 2020
We are already a victim of this.
Briefly:- We are both in our late 70's
Wife has had MS for over 50 years. Has no mobility and has difficulty using hands etc. Has had care for about 16 years. Been with this care company for 41/2 years. She has to have two carers morning and evening as she is hoisted from bed and chair etc., During these four years we have complained on several occasions as the care company has always been short of staff. They have often telephoned to say they only have one carer and could I help out and be the second carer. As my wife's main unpaid carer I have always helped out, but it seems that I was just being used to fill the Care Company gap. (Legislation does state that there will always be two fully trained carers when lifting is involved with hoists). There have been other shortfalls by the Care Company, but to keep the story short, my last complaint went in on 1.4.2020. The findings by the care company has resulted in the ULTIMATE. They have said that they do not have enough staff to cover evening calls, at 9.30pm for half an hour and that we won't be flexible in changing times. We have never been asked or consulted. They say that with regret they have decided to withdraw their services from us and that we should look for another company.

So we have been ditched and this seems to be completely out of order. We complain and we are made to look the baddies. They have broken so many rules and regulations and will probably get away with it. Have reported it to LA and CQC. Instant injustice?????
Hi Academy

Can I also suggest you speak to your local MP.


Have the agency given you a notice period or just stopped forthwith.

Are you able to apply or want to apply for a personal budget. So you can employ your own carers. Or is this no an option you would wish not to pursue.