CINTRE Extends Community Support with New Initiatives for Service Users

Cintre has a new Community Hub, where staff and service users across the charity meet to partake in diverse social events. Latest activity was "Just Pool-ing Around", at the local All Stars Snooker and Pool Hall. 7 teams of 2 each, 1 staff member and 1 service user per team. The competition was friendly but fierce and with an unblemished record of 6 wins out of 6, Majid and Colin were victorious! Soon in February there will another game of Football – and it will be the Hub’s, 4th match. The Hub is great because it includes staff and service users of all ages and abilities. Creating confidence and helping to build networks

STAMP OUT SOLITUDE CAMPAIGN (SOS). We are raising money towards Community Hub activities, and to end loneliness for adults with complex needs. So far we have raised £87.00 from a raffle at Christmas Party,. Please read article link.

VLOGS FOR SERVICE USERS: In another initiative to understand support needs, we are starting Vlogs with service users to begin an insight into their lives, and support. Here is a sample video featuring Sam, who lives at Cintre In-Via Supported Living Service.

C&SW 2018/19 Cost Pressures Report Available Now

Care and Support West produce a report each year on the Cost Pressures facing the sector every year; these are used in dialogue where we represent the sector. It is sent to both Local Authority and CCG commissioners within B&NES, Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos as well as relevant councillors and local MPs.

These are difficult times and we represent the entire sector in this dialogue, not just members. If you are not currently a Care and Support West member and are interested in supporting this work then you can find out more about C&SW membership

Our new 2018/19 Cost Pressures report can be found here

Developed from responses to a questionnaire, the report takes the stormy national discussions on the perfect storm brewing in relation to the funding of Social Care, and gives a local viewpoint, looking at what can be done to avoid it. 

We urge you to read the report. There is some useful information contained within it which can help you make your own case in relation to funding and to respond to the ongoing consultations

If you have any comments or feedback about the report then you can get in touch by emailing Mik Alban at mik.alban@careandsupportwest.com.

The Great Social Care Pass the Parcel Game

It seems that the music paused for a moment and the Social Care parcel has been left in another pair of hands! When Damien Green announced the Green Paper on how to fund and manage social care in the context of rapidly growing demand there was a kerfuffle. 

Care Industry News focused on the ADASS response; namely that the sector is already at tipping point with a funding gap. Secondly, where the Green Paper has a focus on the ageing population, Leonard Cheshire  point out that the Disabilities (Physical and Learning) Sector is just as big and the crisis is a "blight on the daily lives of disabled people up and down the country". The Guardian called the announcement a missed opportunity, it failed not just to take into account younger people in need of care and the disabled but failed to roll into it the long promised 'Carers Strategy' and failed to incorporate carer representation. The Local Government Association called for councils to have a key role in defining and shaping local care and again calling for immediate action to address immediate short term pressures.

However there was a broad welcome to the direction of travel albeit with a call for greater urgency and the need to build upon the inter-dependency of Health and Social Care.

At the time Jeremy Hunt said “We are committed to reforming social care to ensure we can guarantee everyone dignity and security in old age. It is important we consider a wide variety of views on the future of the social care system – as our ageing population continues to grow it is absolutely vital that we get this right.” So, is it surprising that Hunt's remit has been extended to Social Care and he has picked up responsibility for the Green Paper? Possibly it was the only and inevitable solution since Green's departure from the government.

But, is this extended role a substantive change?  The Financial Times tells us there is a sceptical response. A spokesman at Health says 'yes it is'; that where there were three organisations involved before, now there are only two. Plus, Hunt's role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the appointment of Caroline Dinenage as a minister of Health and Social Care, re-positions Social care at Ministerial level. On the other hand, according to Norman Lamb, ex Minister for Health, while funding still remains with Communities and Local Government, there is no real change at all. And funding is the crux of the matter; in the words of ADASS, "...more needs to be done now to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, address continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market".

Rachel Sylvester at the TIMES* says that the funding must follow the ministerial remit that it's absurd that it remains with councils. "If local authorities are funding social care they have a perverse incentive to transfer the cost to hospitals". And this debate doesn't consider the iniquitous situation where some conditions are funded and others are not (viz cancer v alzheimers) and where private funders are subsidising those paid for by the public purse. Hunt's new 'Social Care Parcel' appears to contain a ticking time bomb and needs to be handled with care! "..Mr Hunt is willing to be brave. The only question is whether the Prime Minister has the authority to back him up"

But with all that said... at C&SW we welcome the debate and are pleased to see the integration of Health and Social Care at a Ministerial level even in semantics! We are particularly pleased to see the role requested of Skills For Care in handling the Care Sector Workforce Consultation. We understand that a further consultation questionnaire , with more focus on care needs will be available from Skills for Care shortly. We would urge our members, indeed the whole local care community to respond in your droves to the consultation, and to continue to lobby politicians wherever possible. 

Sources: Care industry News: Guardian article; Local Government Association; Leonard Cheshire; *Times article: you will need to register to see the full article.

Care Awards 2018

Nominations open on 24th January and close on 16th April

Judging will take place in May and June.

Finalists will be notified by the end of June and will all qualify for a free place at the Awards Dinner on 20th October at the Lansdowne Stand, Bristol Football Stadium.

Nomination materials will be found here. (from 24th)

Success of Activities Fair for Dance Therapist

Juliet Binning is a dance therapist who attended the Activities Fair almost by accident! She is pleased she did as it lead to a contract with Ablecare for 2018!

Sam Hawker, director at Ablecare says: "our team who went to the event thought Juliet’s sessions would be good for our homes.  Juliet has done a trial in each of the 6 and as a result we have booked her up for the whole of next year!.

A large number of our residents really enjoy taking part in music and dance sessions.  We already have Music for Health coming in on a weekly basis and the new Dance Therapy sessions with Juliet give another opportunity in our programme to get up and active. 

Overall we have found interactive sessions have been really popular and so next year we will also be having regular Chair Yoga and Percussion Workshops.    We are also working with Making Pals and setting up links with local nurseries so that children will be coming in to visit.  It is a really exciting time for resident activities in our homes at the moment.  We are putting a big investment into them as we believe the results in health and wellbeing are clear to be seen."

Juliet says: "The sessions have been meet with enthusiasm by the residents. They really enjoy the tailored music, the 'football' warm up is especially a hit with the men! They have joined in the warm up and the dancing section of the session really well and with energy! They are definitely having a good workout on a Friday afternoon!
These are some of the comments I have received from my clients/the residents recently at the Ablecare homes, I was very touched,and just love my job!
' you make people smile'
' you bring people out of themselves'
' well I haven't kicked a football in 12 years!'
' I haven't heard this in years,I love this song!'

Several people who often 'don't respond' have been up and dancing to 'mack the knife' by the end of the session & I can hear them singing

It has been a pleasure getting to know the residents and having a chat,exercise and a dance.
The care staff have been great too, joining in and helping within the sessions.

I think the sessions benefit the clients hugely; socially, physically, cognitively, spiritually and emotionally, Dance Movement Therapy and Ablecare fit like a glove! I look forward to each session and what will 'come out' today!?!.. We've already had a 'chorus line'!! It was such fun!

The residents also inspire me and show me 'the moves'!

You can contact Juliet on jobinning1974@gmail.com

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Barbara Harris
Motivation and Recognition at Ablecare Homes

Ablecare have started a new initiative which aims to recognise contributions to the home and to wellbeing, made not by staff but by residents or visitors or volunteers.

Director Sam Hawker says: "A suggestion was made at our recent Managers’ Meeting to recognise the input of people other than paid staff into the running of the homes. As a result AbleCare Homes have created a Contribution of the Month Scheme.  Each month one individual will be honoured and will receive a certificate to thank them for their involvement. A copy of their certificate will be presented to them and posted on social media.

Suggestions for selecting AbleCare Homes Contribution of the Month:

  • Helping out around the home with duties such as setting tables, watering the plants etc. 
  • Joining in and helping to set up and lead activities for the enjoyment of residents. 
  • Cooperation, relationship with and support provided to residents.

The September Award was won by Roger, a resident at Crossley House in recognition of all the help he provides around the home

The October Award was won by Megan (below) who visited Hengrove Lodge every day during her half-term break, joining in activities and spending time with residents.  It really means a lot to everyone to have someone willing to spend time with them.

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Ablecare Focus on Community Integration and Involvement

Director Sam Hawker tells C&SW about the visit to Ablecare by the Mayor Lesley Alexander:

"It was a great pleasure to welcome Bristol Lord Mayor, Lesley Alexander, when she visited AbleCare Homes Patron House.

Lesley took time to chat to staff and residents and find out about life in the home. Everyone got involved, even our training provider who was assessing NVQ Candidates on the day. 

Sam Hawker, said ‘It was really special for the resident and staff team in the home to know that Lesley was interested in what they do.  It is another positive PR success for Social Care when those in public life are genuinely interested in discovering the difference good care can make to the lives of individuals in the city.’   

In case you were wondering about the post, The Lord Mayor is the first Citizen of the City and County of Bristol. There have been Mayors in Bristol since 1216 and a Lord Mayor since 1899, following Queen Victoria's decision to grant Bristol this privilege."

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In another initiative Hengrove Lodge has seen toddlers brightening the lives of residents. Children from the Hengrove branch of the Southern Links Childrens Centre visit the home. These visits have a real impact on the lives of people in the home says Lil Bowers from the Centre. Read the article in B24/7 here

Power Direct offer great savings on energy prices
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About Our 2018 Energy Buying Basket

Our energy buying baskets are intended to help businesses that want the best available rates for their gas and/or electricity whilst being able to fix their prices for the length of the contract. Combining your purchasing power with others means that the prices will be better than if you purchase on your own.

Many energy buying baskets are sold on the basis that the energy will be bought on a ‘wholesale’ or ‘flexible’ basis. The energy buying basket at Power Direct is not like that. The term of your contract will be a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months, depending on when your current contract ends, and your prices will be fixed for that period. All the options that we have negotiated include direct debit payments.

Clients who purchased their gas as part of our last basket, on average, saved 5.4% per meter and an average of 3.4% per meter on their electricity, compared to the best individual price quoted.

Our next basket will be in March 2018 and anyone with an electricity or gas meter with a contract end date between now and September 2019 can take part.

Our gas basket is currently at 9,546,246 kWh and our electricity basket is at 6,174,706 kWh both of which are growing fast.

Power Direct in Action

Whilst checking the latest invoice for a care home, we noticed that they had not been billed for any night rate consumption. Since we knew that the premises had a meter fitted that should identify day and night consumption separately and that our client had been contracted to pay differential day and night rates, we knew this could not be correct.

We contacted the supplier to ask them to investigate the fault. The supplier advised us that it looked as though the meter was configured incorrectly and it needed an engineer to visit the premises to replace the meter.

All the consumption had been charged at day rates when some of the consumption should have been charged at a lower night rate. The client had been overcharged and would continue to be overcharged until the metering issue was corrected. We proceeded to arrange an appropriate time with the client and supplier for the meter to be changed.

The meter was swapped and after obtaining up to date meter readings the supplier advised that the client used on average 81% consumption during the day and 19% during the night. The supplier acknowledged their error and split the consumption 75% (day) - 25% (night) for bills they had already sent. They then credited back the invoices and rebilled.

This generated a refund of £382.96 and going forward the client was not further overcharged.

 Get in Touch

To find out more about our energy buying baskets or for anything else relating to your energy supply, please don’t hesitate to contact Jordan either by phone 01452 347 549 or email jordan.douglas@powerdirectltd.com

Welcome Clarification on EU Nationals and Immigration post Brexit

Skills for Care have sent a copy of a letter they have received giving greater clarity on the rights of EU Nationals and Immigration post Brexit. 

The agreement reached means that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now. There will be a transparent, smooth and streamlined process to enable EU citizens to apply for settled status starting in the latter half of next year for two years after the UK leaves the EU – from 2018 to 2021.

The letter can be read in full here

Barbara Harris
Not Enough & Too Late: C&SW Comment on Proposed Green Paper.

David Smallacombe, CEO of Care & Support West suggests that current dithering on the part of government risks fundamental damage to the very structure of the care sector, increasing costs and reducing choice; the very opposite of what is required:

" a green paper entitled “Shaping the future together” in June 2018 will be too late for the care sector as many small to medium size businesses (which provide 70% of the care in England) will have by then folded. There will be a much reduced independent and private sector future to shape and local authorities will already have needed to fill the gaps via their Duty of Care to citizens under the Care Act and by dint of that will be in even more financial difficulty.

My advice to Government is simple 3 point ask:

1.   “Stop Brexiting” and manage the care crisis at home” or at least do it alongside

2.   Immediately fund local Councils to pay the real cost of care

3.   Challenge CQC and local authority QA Teams to work in partnership with independent sector care providers to appropriately weed out poorly performing providers

Barbara Harris
General Meeting 22nd: Regulation / Revised KLoEs

The meeting on Wednesday enabled us to look at regulation by CQC, Local Authorities and Healthwatch.

First up was Joanna Parker from Healthwatch outlining healthwatch's remit and the Enter & View process. Joana's slides are here.

New C&SW board member and new CEO at CINTRE, Claire Mould put the care provider's perspective on what it is like to have outsiders come into the service and the impact external pressure has on staff's performance. Claire called for more consistency in what assessors are looking at and for providers to take ownership of the process and make it more than an 'intrusive, exhausting interruption'. Claire's slides can be found here.

 

We were able to look at the recent CQC changes and what the revisions to the KLoEs will mean in practice. It was a great shame that Sue Burn from CQC was unable to join us on the day, but C&SW's Mik Alban was able to run through Sue's slides and Nicola Cutler, associate at Royds Withy King outlined in more detail the ramifications for care providers. Nicola talked about the the new PIC, replacing the PIR. Nicola's slides can be found here.

CQC have changed the website to make it easier for people to navigate, here is a link to the REVISED KLoEs

From Bristol City Council, Lucia Dorrington, strategic commissioner and Lynn Collingbourne, contracts and quality manager, talked about the Commissioning and Procurement cycle, emphasising the supportive role of the council and their need for council and care providers to work in partnership. Their slides can be found here.

Barbara Harris
"The Issues We Face": a new report from Care and Support West
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Care & support West have published this comprehensive report on the the state of care in 2017, seen from the care providers' perspective. The author, Mik Alban, Development Director at Care & Support West said that he felt that it was important that care providers had a voice too.

"..this is a very accurate and true picture of the current market. Well done to whoever produced and created the report. We need to make sure it gets circulated as far as possible!! " Sam Notaro from Notaro Care

"I think this is a very good document and reflects what providers have been saying well.  Good Job!" Deian Glynn from Manor Communities

You can read the Executive Summary below and download the full report here.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.  Care and Support West engaged with a broad selection of members, all providers of adult social care services, over a one-year period to mid-2016. The key issues that arose were the challenges of staff recruitment and retention which were descried as ‘dire’ and ‘as bad as it has ever been’. This is consistent with the national picture where Skills for Care estimate that there are around 84,000 staff vacancies in adult social care in England at any one time. Managers reported having to dedicate far more time and effort to staff recruitment and yet they were still struggling to attract both the numbers and the calibre of staff they require.

2.  The post-Brexit uncertainty for non-British workers has had a further adverse impact on sector recruitment and retention, deepening the crisis of Registered Nurse recruitment. This, together with the ageing workforce and regular negative press only worsen the recruitment challenge. The recruitment pressures in turn place additional burdens on those who are dedicated to delivering quality support; sadly, it is still seen as an industry not a profession and, being so heavily regulated, is often subsumed under the weight of paperwork.

3.  For the adult social care sector to remain viable, pay rates for front line staff are going to need to remain ahead of increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW). This seems to be an intellectual leap too far for central government and local authorities and yet until recently many providers were paying more than the NMW. If that pay advantage is not re-established the sector will increasingly haemorrhage staff to other areas of the economy.

4.  A significant proportion of the current social care workforce in the UK are non UK nationals and the need for social care staff is growing. The reality for the social care sector is clear; we need significant numbers of workers from overseas to keep the sector operating. These routes need to remain open for overseas nurses and care staff otherwise the social care system will collapse.

5.  To place the status of social care on a similar footing to social work, nursing or other healthcare professions, there should be a recognised social care degree. Like social work and nursing there should be bursaries available to encourage people to achieve this qualification. Given the fact that the cost of getting a degree is becoming increasingly prohibitive for many, offering a highly subsidised  route would help attract people into the sector and offer higher status career progression to those working within it. This would both acknowledge the increasing professionalisation of the sector and serve to develop the leadership of tomorrow.

6.  Oversight by CQC and other stakeholders is an essential part of the work of social care; it is however performed by too many bodies all of whom seek similar information but often in different formats. All of this unnecessary duplication adds to the workload and provides no benefits to the service. In addition, inspections need to be more consistent, fair and accurate, not least owing to their potential impact on lives and business. We would recommend a more supportive and integrated regulatory approach involving the key stakeholders.

7.  The relationship between providers and commissioners is often an uneasy one. Much is said about working in partnership, but the two parties are working to very different financial agendas. Providers understand that local authorities have been placed in an impossible position by central government but they currently do not feel they are being treated fairly by commissioners and social workers.

8.  We make a series of recommendations within this report, the majority of which are designed to recognise the actual issues faced by providers and to address these head on. There are costs associated with some of these, but the reality is that it is the dramatic underfunding of social care which is resulting in the looming crisis.  The issues facing the sector will not go away or be addressed by being ignored. In fact, the longer they are ignored, the worse the situation will become.

9.  The sector needs to see the additional funding that is being made available both via increases to council tax and the £2billion over three years announced in the Spring 2017 budget making its way through to providers as enhanced rates payable for existing services rather than being used to fill holes in Social Service’s budgets or to pay for more services at the same inadequate rates.

10. Our recommendations are designed to support the continuation of a viable social care sector in line with society’s increasing requirements. They are deliberately designed to take a longer-term view of care and support delivery and move away from the dominant short-termism implicit in current cost-saving measures.

11. We explore the ideological slant towards Supported Living as a means of acquiring care and support and consider that there needs to be more objective  view of what residential care can provide in the round for people. We concluded that too many commissioners look to Supported Living as a cost-saving opportunity rather than a genuine option for specific individuals. The separation of housing and support is not the strong argument it is purported to be and has proved damaging in many cases and we would argue is serving as a barrier to the development of more individualised housing and support options that people could really benefit from.

12. Overall we have shown that the relationship between commissioners and providers would benefit from an element of truth and reconciliation with a mutual recognition of the drivers for each element of the partnership. In many areas an impasse exists, from which the future of social care will not flourish if it is not urgently addressed.

13. There is a significant degree of frustration amongst providers with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). CQC know the extent and nature of the problems and yet all they have really said publicly is that the sector is at a ‘tipping point’ or it is ‘straining at the seams’. Providers feel that CQC are not sufficiently vocal in relation to the problems facing the sector and are actually adding to these with their ever increasing regulatory expectations.

14. Those in power must step up to this challenge or the sector is going to go beyond the tipping point highlighted by CQC and it will increasingly collapse in upon itself and the country will find itself in a position where there is less and less available provision required by more and more people. It is difficult to see quite how it will recover from there. As a strategy, starving the sector of money until such time that central government has to provide some money for it is a dangerous game to play. There is a very real risk that intervention will come too late or that the cost of resurrecting the sector will be far greater than if the sector was simply being adequately funded.

Care Provider Alliance Report.
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Encouraging engagement between Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and the adult social care sector

Download the full report here

Read the Key Recommendations below:

Our recommendations to support this aim are as follows:

1.    For the leaders of all sectors to recognise and promote the interdependence and equal status of the health and adult social sectors, and for adult social care to be at the table as an equal partner.

2.    For STPs that don’t have established arrangements for engagement with the adult social care sector to:

Ø  Complete or commission a quick overview of the adult social care sector in their area, looking at the scale of provision and identifying any provider forums or associations.

Ø  Consider the options for engagement suggested in this report.

3.    For STPs that do have established arrangements for engagement with the adult social care sector, to review them in discussion with their partners in the light of the points raised by this report.

4.    For all STPs, to hold a discussion at an STP Board meeting about engagement with the adult social care sector; and, by March 2018, to share information on their website or otherwise about how they are taking engagement with the sector forward.

5.    For adult social care providers and organisations:

Ø  If not already aware of and informed about STPs, to start by visiting www.england.nhs.uk/stps.

Ø  To take time to understand how the way the NHS works is changing and, in particular, the role of STPs.

Ø  To have a look the STP plan for their area, and at who leads it.

Ø  To be willing to engage positively, constructively and openly on behalf of the sector.

 

General NewsBarbara Harris
Property Ownership: Tax Advice from Hazlewoods

If you own the property that is used in your healthcare business, it may be time to consider whether this structure is ideal from a tax perspective.

 The diagram below is a common structure of a care business – A and B (often husband and wife, although it doesn’t have to be) own the property or properties from which the business trades, and rent it/them to the trading company, which is also owned by A and B. This structure often arose upon incorporation from a traditional partnership with a view to avoiding a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) charge.  After all, why pay SDLT again, when you paid it on the original purchase of the property or properties?

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We have met many operators who are in the above or similar position and although not widely realised, there are a number of potential tax disadvantages of this structure:-

1)  Inheritance tax (IHT). Upon death, it is likely that 50% of the property value would fall into the owner’s estate i.e. be subject to tax, whereas if the property was owned by the company, the entire value of the shares could qualify for Business

Property Relief (BPR) and therefore not be subject to IHT.

2) Capital gains tax (CGT). Upon sale of the company, and assuming all conditions are met, the shares may be eligible for Entrepreneurs Relief, resulting in a tax liability of 10% on the disposal. If the property is owned privately, the tax liability is likely to be a mix of 10% and 20%. Overall, it is likely to be higher though.

3) Income tax (IT). In many cases operators will need to charge rent to the trading company to cover their personal bank loan repayments in relation to the property, incurring significant personal tax liabilities.  This often means that the monies they take out of the company (e.g. dividends or salaries) are taxed at the higher rate or additional rates of personal tax.

An alternative is to consider transferring the property into the trading company. Each case would need to be carefully analysed. Considerations include:-

1) SDLT. If the property is owned as a partnership it may be possible to transfer it

into the trading company, with no SDLT liability.

2) CGT. Upon ultimate disposal of the business, it is likely that the CGT position will

be improved by a transfer of the property into the trading company. There may or may not be CGT to pay upon transfer of the property into the limited company,

depending on a number of factors – this area would need to be looked at in detail to get the right solution for you.

3) IHT. It is possible that by transferring the business property into the company the IHT position, upon the owner’s death, may be improved. The maximum saving being, to avoid 100% of the property value falling into the owner’s estate.

4) Income tax. Provided that the associated bank debt is also transferred into the company, there may no longer be any requirement to charge rent, which could improve the personal tax position.      

As with any tax planning, a transfer of property from private ownership to company ownership will not be suitable for all.

It may be that the current banking arrangement is favourable (and you don’t want to give your lender an opportunity to vary the terms!), or that there is a minority shareholder and by transferring additional value into the company (the property) you would be increasing the value of their shareholding.

If you would like to discuss the above please contact Andrew Brookes or Rachael Anstee, we believe that for many with this structure we could suggest a better structure.

Further Evidence of Crisis with Sleep In Arrangements

Government sleepwalked into sleep-in crisis. 

Yesterday MENCAP announced that they may have to withdraw from providing support for more than 2000 adults with learning disabilities unless the row over back pay is settled.  The debate around funding the future of social care often focuses on older adults and their associated medical needs, especially when we face a growing ageing population, but a large chunk of the social care spend – estimated at £8bn by the National Audit Office - goes on supporting adults with learning disabilities to live independently. This could be in the form of 24-hour care with large staff team in their own homes or it could be several hours a day with shared support at night for adults living in shared accommodation or flats. Either way, this support usually includes a night time element and this is where MENCAP - and many other smaller providers - are having a problem.

Centre for Policy Studies

General NewsBarbara Harris
MP Karin Smyth Visits Ablecare's Hengrove Lodge

AbleCare Homes Hengrove Lodge were very pleased to welcome their local MP, Karin Smyth, in September for a visit to the home.  The visit was part of the MP's programme of getting out and about in her constituency to meet people from all walks of life. 

The MP was interested to hear about the care home market in Bristol and specific issues faced by residents in a care home. Sam Hawker, Company Director, said ‘It was so positive for Karin to take this initiative.   It is very easy for the voices of older people in residential care to be over-looked. 

After a tour of the home with the Registered Manager, Teresa Silverthorne, Karin met with residents and their families.  Karin spend time talking to the residents and taking an interest in their lives.’ 

Filming Karin's visit, Made in Bristol TV also came along.  Yaz Cooke from topical news programme, The Crunch,  spoke with residents and undertook an interview with residents Dot and Barbara.  Dot said it had been her lifelong wish to be on TV, this visit enabled her to fulfill that dream! 

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Social care crisis: series of newspaper comments

David Smallacombe recently shared the articles below, compiled by Care England, all highlighting the plight of the social care sector. David's message to members is:

"The only way you can be sure your voice will be heard is to constantly push, cajole and persuade your local Councillors and Members of Parliament (MP’s) to make significant changes in the care sector. Go to the Town Hall to lobby elected members during the public meetings of the Scrutiny Committee, get a meeting with your local Director of Adult Social Services, attend the MP’s regular surgery’s, write to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbin and other party leaders. Tell them what trying to run a care business is like on a day to day basis, explain to them (you know they don’t know) that unless they act urgently to fill the funding gap (put up income or other taxes for e.g.) local and central government will find itself having to provide and/or develop care settings for vulnerable people to live in because they have lost their homes as a result of the Care Business they once lived in has collapsed. Make yourself a “nice” and reasoned nuisance --- educate those who have influence to do what they know they will have to ---- but get them to do it sooner!!"

Why won’t ministers acknowledge social care's growing emergency?
How close to the brink is the social care system? In the severest warning yet that it is fast becoming unsustainable, council leaders will on Wednesday warn that their ability to support older and disabled people is “veering steadily towards the impossible”. The picture in children’s services is no better. The body representing directors of those services reports that their ability to make any impact at all on the lives of 4 million children living below the poverty line is increasingly constrained by relentless funding cuts. As leaders of both children’s and adult services in England meet this week in Bournemouth for their annual joint conference, they will reflect ruefully on the deafening silence from last week’s Conservative party gathering in terms of any relevant policy or funding initiative. Most alarming for the adult sector was the complete absence from the prime minister’s ill-fated conference address of any reference to the system reform that had been flagged in the party’s general election manifesto, promising “dignity and protection in old age”.
The Guardian
 
Social care crisis consultation postponed by government
The government is rumoured to have put on hold its consultation on social care funding until next summer, and the previous Tory government’s pledge to introduce a cap on care home fees by 2020 has been abandoned.  A social care funding crisis looms large as the population of the UK is ageing: By 2040, nearly one in four people in the UK will be aged over 65, according to a recent Age UK report. But the country has little money set aside for elderly care, at either the state or the individual level.  While the next 18 months may be full of Brexit-related matters, retirement experts say that the government should not delay consulting on the crucially important matter of social care funding, which will impact families for decades to come.  Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, says: ‘Social care for the elderly and how it should be paid for will touch every family across the UK. The government promised in its manifesto to consult on social care funding, including introducing an overall cap on how much any individual would be expected to pay. 
Money Observer
 
ADASS president: ‘Adult social care reform must be a national priority’
With an eventful – but ultimately disappointing – Conservative Party conference out of the way, all eyes now rest on the chancellor’s autumn budget and the consultation on the future of adult social care that the government has promised. We hoped that Theresa May would use her key speech at the conference to announce further measures to help alleviate the significant and continuing pressures on adult social care, building on the welcome but short-term £2 billion of extra money announced in the spring. However, with apparently no new plans forthcoming, the sector will continue to highlight existing and emerging challenges it faces at the National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCASC) in Bournemouth this week (11-13 October). While councils continue to wait for – and call to bring forward – the government’s promised consultation on the future funding of adult social care, important issues based on efficiency, best practice and innovation will be discussed at NCASC as local authorities lead the way in self-improvement to help older and disabled people and their families in need of good quality, reliable and personal care. These include: creating carer-friendly communities; managing the impact of children’s services pressures on adult care services; the employment of people with care and support needs; tackling mental health, loneliness and modern slavery; prevention and safeguarding work; integrated commissioning to support the sustainability of the care market; transforming care through technology; and housing, health and care integration.
Community Care
 

Additional evidence from Care England can be found below:

Elderly care is 'close to crisis point' say council

The head of one of the North West’s biggest social services departments says he struggles to sleep at night because of cuts he's had to make to care for elderly people. Liverpool city council say they've had their adult social care budget cut by £50 million in the past 3 years. They say services are close to crisis point. Local authorities across the region now have an average of just £2.75 an hour to spend on care.

Councils ‘leveling down’ care packages after ILF closure

Report reveals more than half of local authorities in London have cut care packages since the closure of the Independent Living Fund in June last year. More than half of local authorities in London have cut service users’ care packages following the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), according to a report by Inclusion London. Four councils have reduced support for more than half of former ILF recipients, a finding the charity described as “suggestive of a systematic approach to ‘levelling down’ packages”. The findings come from a Freedom of Information request, which received responses from all 33 councils in London. The charity said the cuts affected 185 former ILF recipients across the capital – around one in six.
General NewsBarbara Harris