Social care's got worse??

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Here in Tynedale my care manager tells me the only day care centre isn't open on a Wednesday and only has vacancies at weekends anyway. Also the amount of home care available has been cut and the price has gone up way above inflation because the amount budgeted for it in council tax has been reduced in real terms in order to keep council tax bills down - in other words pile the costs onto the vulnerable so the politicians can look good and get re-elected.

We used to have a hydrotherapy pool. We now have a new multi-million pound hospital and our hydrotherapy pool is over 50 miles away.

Every service, not just those for carers and carees, has deteriorated during Tony Bliar's reign.
Thx for this Clare.

In no particular order....

New rules and regulations come into force and staff/soc.workers dont fully understand how to implement them.

Lesser qualified staff getting sent out to do assessments.

Waiting times of OT's horrendous.

Constant change over of SW's.

Day services/home care/mental health etc drastically getting cut.

Eligibility criteria gets changed to suit a councils/boroughs budget ahead of individual needs.

Re-assessment being done ahead of time to try cut hours for individuals e.g.DP's.

Each borough interprets rules different at times and like with the Post code lottery for medicines so it can be for services.

So many people involved to make one decision i.e. soc worker calls then you wait weeks till they report to their boss and in many cases now, paperwork goes before a panel before final decision given.Hence, lot of time wasting whilst vulnerable at risk sometimes.

Dont allocate enough time with clients therefore inaccurate care plans put in place at times.

Attitudes vary so much ...elderly often treat like children,as if they cant make a decision for themselves.
Well in 12 years my Mum eventually got a place in Daycare from last April, she goes Mon & Fri for 2hours and this was after being a waiting list.. She can't go for any longer than 2 hours as they haven't got the staff for high care patients (pegtube feeding and incontinence) and she only gets to go because I provide the transport otherwise that would of been another waiting list... Saying that I can't say anything bad about the Daycare they are all so lovely and very attentive and I feel Mums in great hands when I leave her which is piece of mind.

I agree that OT waiting time is way too long. To get anything passed takes months..and thats not including the time that its ordered etc.. At the moment I'm waiting on a new chair being passed for Mum its had its day and its 9 years old, OT thinks that they might just do a refurbishment. I'm not bothered what they do as long as they hurry up as its breaking my back having to keep repositioning Mum!
thanks for all those comments, just a reminder, if you do have something to say about your local services and what needs to change, you can put it to a Government minister at one of our events across the UK taking place over the next couple of months. All free, and we'll pay carers expenses to attend. You'll also be able to hear from local carers' leads about what's happening in your area, and carer campaigners about how speaking up can make a diffference.

To book just log on to our website: - places are going quickly so register asap

And if you can't attend, dont worry -you'll still be able to ask the Minister a question - via our website. We can't guarantee this will actually be asked on the day, but if its not, it'll be useful for our ongoing work on the National strategy for carers.

My husband has got worse (having early onset Dementia) We have had no further assesment and still get the same care limited direct payments to get care in £203 a week and at agency rates this is not much. The ILF want £83 a week of us to get extra care and we can't afford it ( Thats £332 a month) Do they not take it into concideration that you have bills to pay and a life outside of caring as well. Also when you get care into your home to let the person stay in there own home they are using your electricity, heat, food so you are paying twice. These carers are getting paid as well by Direct Payment and your contribution so you are paying for them through Council Tax as well. The system is a scam. They are taking back the benifits to pay for the care, and they even tax IB and carers allowance. Now why is everyone encouraged to save, take out private pensions, buy their homes. Its so the Government Authorities can take it all if you fall ill and leave the family in dept. You can't afford to get ill if you are of working age or care, all this counrty wants is people of working age to work ( even though my husband has Dementia he got a letter from the job centre to go there as they could get him back to work!!!!!!) OH I WISH.
Oh and Social Worker has never been to see him for ages and has never come when he has got out of hospital.
Its hard for me to get to any of the events that take place due to lack of support to care.
Hi all, just thought I'd let you know that in the recent Lancaster Skerton East elections I came ninth with 214 Votes (5%), out of eleven candidates, beating two Green party candidates. Labour won all three Council vacancies in this ward. Turn out was 17 %, so the winning Labour candidates got about ten percent of all the possible votes in the Ward.
I have never heard anything more from the TV Company who contacted me before the election.
Given that it is supposed that ten percent of the general population are Carers, and many people who know me personally and through my church activities said they voted for me.
The carer Vote was very poor indeed. It may be that they are by now too downtrodden to care anymore, or they have genuinely given up on any hope of an improvement in their lot via the democratic process.
I know my message got through to those Councillors who were elected, two of them are my friends, and many people I spoke to agreed with me. But actually putting a cross on a ballot paper to try and improve the lot of Carers does not seem a practical option for many Carers.
best wishes normangardner
Thanks Norman, and congratulations on getting the votes out!

I think you also stood in another by-election recently. Have you got any advice for carers about standing in elections - how do people go about it? What sort of things should they consider - e.g.
#the merits of going it alone v standing for a party?
#As an independent candidate how can carers get caring issues raised in their campaign?
# what kind of campaigning experience do carers need to have?
#what sorts of things get people's attention - e.g. doorknocking, leaflets
#do you need to have money to pay for leaflets etc or is any funding available

Has anyone else got experience of being a candidate in a local or national election? Tell us about your experience - What kinds of things have prompted you to speak up? Did you manage to get carers issues highlighted?

Are you considering standing? If so other carers like Norman might be able to help and offer advice.

Lots of information on the Electoral Commission's website - the organisation which organises elections and sending out ballot papers.

Hi Clare, you asked a number of questions concerning running an election campaign
- 1 How do people go about it?
- Contact the Returning Officer or Democratic Services Department of your Local Authority. Their website should also have a host of information including former election results and details of how to contact your local Councillor. Also the legal position of Candidates. Some people e.g. undischarged bankrupts and clergy are not eligible to take office as a Councillor.
- What sort of things should they consider - e.g.
What are the merits of going it alone v standing for a party?
- If you are nominated by a Party you are obliged to adhere to the party line which may or may not cover some issues of relevance to carers.
- If you stand as an Independent, you decide which issues you wish to raise with the electorate and as a Councillor if you are elected.
- #As an independent candidate how can carers get caring issues raised in their campaign?
- Usually by delivering unsolicited mail to electors and letters to the Press or other local Media
- # what kind of campaigning experience do carers need to have?
- None. If you can talk to your neighbour you can talk to everyone. However you have to realize that not everyone wants to talk to you. It can be fun. One time when I was canvassing a woman thought I was a debt collector and gave me her rent money and slammed the door. I had to knock for ages to give her the money back, but I don’t think she voted anyway.
- #what sorts of things get people's attention - e.g. doorknocking, leaflets .
- Yes leaflets, posters car stickers, badges. Depends on the budget. You are allowed £500 or 5p per elector in local government elections at the moment.
- Most Independents knock on doors as they deliver leaflets. Only the larger parties usually have the resources to do a full canvass backed up by number taking at polling stations and reminders to supporters to vote on election night.
- #do you need to have money to pay for leaflets etc or is any funding available
- You have to declare your expenses and any donations you receive. You or your agent if you appoint one is responsible for all bills and accounts concerning the election. No funding other than donations is available to candidates at the moment.
Have you got any other advice for carers about standing in elections Choose a Ward you know or have studied. Ideally the lowest number of votes gained by a sitting councilor at the previous election should be less than ten percent of the total electorate for that ward. Ensure your literature is pushed right through the letter box of the elector. Rivals will pull it out if the find it when delivering their own mail. Feel free to e-mail me if you need further advice