Tag Archives: social care

Social care is running on empty – but technology can make a difference

There is no single solution to the challenges facing the sector, but technology enabled care can save cash-strapped councils money

It would be easy, but misleading, to say that social care is in crisis. Somehow in many parts of England the system staggers on, using devolution to its advantage. A number of councils have adopted improved ways of working.

However, the sustainability of the system is increasingly being called into question. Whether it’s the Adass budget survey, research by the King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust, or my report for the Carers Trust on the Care Act, the message is broadly the same: the system is running on empty, and people are suffering the consequences.

Why has this not exploded into a major political issue? Most MPs acknowledge that social care is unfinished business, but this has not translated into sufficient political pressure. At a basic level, this is because most people make no distinction between social care, care and support and what the NHS does. It still comes as a shock to many families that social care is not free. Most people make no care plans because they have discounted the chances of ever needing it.

Today the most visible advocate for social care funding is the NHS England boss, Simon Stevens. He told the NHS Confederation conference earlier this year that social care, rather than the NHS, should be at the front of the queue for financial aid. Of course there is a healthy dose of self-interest in this. Health and social care are two sides of the same coin – underinvest in one and you undermine the other.

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New scheme to benefit hundreds of unpaid carers in Norwich and South Norfolk

Hundreds of unpaid carers are to benefit from a pilot scheme that aims to provide them with individual support in their own homes.

Community care coaches, Bev Bond (left) and Carolyn Allen (right).

It will see carers in Norwich and South Norfolk receive one-to-one coaching in order to give them more confidence to look after an older person.

The free programme, which is being delivered by the Carers Agency Partnership (CAP), is available to people who care for someone over the age of 65 in their own home.

And people are now being invited to register with the scheme.

Kevin Vaughan, CAP manager, said: “Carers often tell us that they feel thrown in the deep end when it comes to looking after an elderly relative or friend at home.

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Unpaid carers for the elderly ‘much more likely’ to suffer distress than professionals

FAMILY or friends who act as unpaid carers for elderly people are much more likely to suffer emotional, physical and financial distress than professionals, according to new research.

The study suggests such volunteers are three times more likely to be less productive at work due to distraction and fatigue.

Researchers say this is a significant and often unrecognised cost borne by employers.

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