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

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
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More problems with implementation ... care plans ... Community Care web site : ... -watchdog/

Care plans should be reviewed more than once a year, says watchdog.

Healthwatch England made the recommendation in a report on the experiences of people who use home care services

If you are in receipt of a " Care plan " , well worth a couple of minutes reading this article.

It also found that care workers were frequently unfamiliar with their clients’ care plans and when it was a staff member’s first visit, there was often not enough time to read the plan. In some cases, this was leading to “serious problems”, such as medication being missed.

A survey of 363 people in Newcastle, found one in seven had experienced medication being missed because of the home care provider. One in six respondents also said they felt the provision of medication was either “partly” or “never” safe.

The report recommended that automatic notification systems could be introduced to update staff about important changes to care plans, or prompts could be left around people’s homes as a reminder of their preferences.

The report also said local authorities needed to be more realistic in care plans about how much is achievable in the limited time available in most home care visits.

It found that only half (56%) of 73 people responding to Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen’s survey felt there was sufficient time to complete all tasks set out in the care plan.

A service user told Healthwatch Redcar and Cleveland: “Sometimes they give me a shower but they go over their time but most of the time they haven’t got time to give me one so I go a couple of weeks without one and that’s not right, I feel dirty.”

Home care workers in Torbay also reported “unrealistic staff rotas” that left them exhausted and having to carry out double-handed care tasks on their own.

Some service users also reported that staff lacked basic skills such as being able to boil an egg or make a bed, which resulted in poor care.

Neil Tester, deputy director of Healthwatch England, said: “We heard examples of compassionate care from dedicated staff, but people also talked about care that doesn’t meet even basic standards. Given the challenges facing the social care sector, it’s more important than ever than ever that people’s voices are heard.”

Margaret Willcox, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “Most adult social care services in England are providing people with safe, high quality and compassionate care. That they are doing this in the context of rising demand and inadequate funding is a tribute in itself, but there is always room for improvement.”

I look forward to the day when a " Positive " report / article will be published.

Say , by 2020 ???
Article from the Huffpost asking a very apt question.

Given the authoress's position , one to really read and judge for yourselves ...

By Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK and co-Chair of the Care and Support Alliance. The CSA represent 80 of Britain’s leading charities including Age UK, Scope, Mind, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Alzheimer’s Society and The Royal British Legion, campaigning for a properly funded care system alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care. ... 36600.html

Is The Care Act Dream Over ?

The Care Act 2014 is rightly widely admired. It not only consolidated the law on adult social care, it also made progressive ideas like the importance of ‘wellbeing’ central. The Act was brought forward by the Coalition Government and owes much to the then Liberal Democrat Social Care Minister Paul Burstow, whose commitment to improving the lives of people in need of social care is in no doubt.

But is the Care Act dream now over as a result of the funding crisis affecting social care? I think that is a question we now need to ask in the light of some of the responses by social workers to the online survey posted by Community Care magazine, with the support of the Care and Support Alliance.

As most readers will know, the Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to assess people who are in need of social care by reference to set criteria and come to an objective judgement based on what they then find. They have discretion over ‘how’ to meet the needs which have become evident through this process and regular reviews should assess whether any changes are needed. But reviews should not reduce a person’s provision unless their needs have also diminished and/or they can demonstrate that there are other less expensive ways in which those needs can still be met.

Whether or not someone is eligible for social care hinges on how many outcomes they are unable to achieve in their day-to-day life and the impact on their wellbeing. These outcomes include being able to wash and dress, as well as being able to take part in leisure and social activities like other members of the community. What constitutes wellbeing is individual and the Act does not create a hierarchy of those needs the criteria personal care needs are given the same level of priority as support to access the community.

However, many of the comments made by respondents suggest that this objective, needs-based approach that takes a person’s wellbeing into account is being overshadowed by demands to cut costs within their local authorities. In some cases people are being denied their rights. For example:

“The view within the council is that is that only 20% of all those assessed should be receiving formalised care packages from the local authority and that 80% should only receive information and advice.”

“I was moved off a case because the cost of a home package was too high (care and wellbeing principle ignored) and I refused to put the client in a care home against his (prior) wishes. The case was removed from me while I was on leave...... I left not long after.”

“There has been a reduction in calls from 45 to 30 minutes so the call is now rushed and the basic needs are met but it’s not very personal and there isn’t enough time to check how the person is emotionally - managers need to remember that wellbeing isn’t just about meeting basic needs, it’s about the whole person! They are not just bodies, they are people.”

“Reducing support for someone with mental health difficulties is very unhelpful. In essence, it usually has a negative impact on any progression that individual might achieve in terms of their wellbeing and personal development, hence producing a revolving door syndrome which I have personally seen in practice. There really is no such thing any more as a person-centred approach.”

“Funding for quality of life activities such as to promote wellbeing and social inclusion is seen as a luxury we can no longer afford.....higher cost providers who will focus on quality skills development are shunned in favour of a need to fund just enough to pay the cheapest provider to ensure people are washed and fed, with little else to ensure a decent, dignified life with hope....”

It is important to make clear that other respondents to the survey talked about how the Care Act principles had been correctly applied. In these cases, reductions in packages were made when on review, needs were found to have genuinely decreased following a period of reablement or a change in circumstances.

Social workers have to navigate the grey area between ‘good’ reductions in care packages and ‘bad’ ones. Our findings demonstrate the complexity social workers face in making these decisions. As a number of respondents commented, this is more difficult now than ever. It feels as if the integrity of the profession itself is put into question in this climate, where managers and panels too often override social workers’ decisions about the care people need in order to keep costs down.

There is a need for an honest debate about what it means to promote independence in this climate. But over and above this, I think the survey responses demonstrate just how incredibly hard it is to sustain the good intentions of the Care Act at a time of such acute funding distress in many local areas. And that is something we all need to worry about.

...... and nobody sought the views of either carers or carees who could have told them almost verbatum that the KEY issue would be funding.

We saw it clearly .... why didn't our supporting organisations ????

Comments citied in the above article are from social workers.

All very much third hand ... how about an academic with first hand experience ???

What about the end users ??????????

Is she right ?????

A glorious failure ... or disaster ?

Only history will decide ... and then , who gets to write it ???
Wondering why delays and cost cutting are blunting the effectiveness of the Care Act ?

Carers are not the only ones suffering : ... 95101.html
Record number of children in care as social services reach 'tipping point'.

Rise linked to household issues, such as poverty, poor housing and substance misuse, which experts say have been exacerbated by cuts to local services intended to tackle them

At face value , nothing to do with carers but ... when virtually all LAs are short of cash , the queue for all services administered by their SS departments gets longer.

So , potential meltdown in one service tends to lead to all areas.

Akin to the proverbial Dutch boy and holes appearing in the dyke ?

The answer is , of course , to make more resources available ... unfortunately , that's where the politics comes in.

Still keeping an eye out for any " Positive " reports .... suffice to say , a futile search almost daily !
Most of all, the people making decisions about services have absolutely no business training whatsoever, and many don't seem to have an understanding of basic mathematics. I have yet to meet a Social Services manager who can competently discuss where my son's £100 allowance has gone, mention looking at a money sheet and they avoid even looking.
The mere mention of contract law frightens them. Yet these are the same people who are making decisions involving millions of pounds of services which in turn affect the lives of everyone.
The very first time I ever saw a Powerpoint presentation about personalisation, I knew it couldn't work long term, it was going to be too expensive.
Now my son is bored most of the time at his flat, with poorly trained staff who just want to play with their phones, and are nagging him to get broadband, presumably to get better services on their phones.
Personalisation seems to mean living in splendid isolation from the rest of the community.
Given the choice of one member of staff on a one to one basis for a short length of time, or an interesting day out with a group of friends, I know my son would choose the day out every single time.
104 posts