Monthly Archives: April 2012

Crisis in care of elderly as £1bn cuts bite

Hundreds of thousands face reduction in their support

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Hundreds of thousands of elderly and disabled people face cuts to their support and assistance this year as councils struggle to find new savings of £1bn from social-care budgets, an investigation by The Independent has established.

As town halls cut spending on help for the vulnerable by up to 10 per cent, care homes are being shut, social workers made redundant and charges for day care increased.

There are also warnings that the measures could be counterproductive, as they will increase the strain on hospitals required to care for people not well enough to live at home without support. The economies are being forced through as the cumulative effects of austerity measures announced by the Chancellor mount.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) calculates that budgets dropped in England by £1bn last year and forecasts another £1bn in cuts over the next two years.

Council chiefs are wielding the axe at a time when demographic pressures are growing, with the number of people aged over 85 increasing by more than 250,000 in the last six years.

How un-fare: Sheffield OAP angry at bus pass swap

Pensioner angry at bus pass swap

Pat Molloy, of Heeley, with his now old mobility pass, and his carer Rachel Berresford.
Published on Tuesday 17 April 2012 11:23

A PENSIONER has hit out at an ‘anomaly’ which means disabled people in Sheffield lose an automatic right to free travel for their carer once they reach retirement age.

Sheffield Homes tenant board member Pat Molloy, of Heeley, has had his mobility pass replaced with a pensioners’ travel pass.

Who will take responsibility for rolling out ‘telecare’?

Despite the government’s enthusiasm for telecare, many GPs will be too busy trying to commission to learn how to do it


Telecare: the future of the NHS? Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Last week, I expressed my disappointment with the King’s Fund’s International Telehealth and Telecare Conference. I am so upset that I am returning to the subject again.

For starters, I was amazed that there were only three GPs present. I found this strange, as telecare is likely to change the way GPs treat patients for ever. Or do GPs consider telehealth as just another irritating technology, like electronic patient records and email, which will go away if you ignore them long enough?

One speaker involved in the project said that GPs were divided between those who were interested, those who were not sure and those who didn’t want to know. One GP claimed that telecare increased patient anxiety and workload for GPs.