Tag Archives: health

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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Shipley-based Carers’ Resource director says more still needs to be done

Fight for carers’ rights

Carers’ Resource director Chris Whiley

Kathie Griffiths, T&A Reporter /

THE boss of a Shipley charity says there still needs to be a greater understanding and recognition of carers, one year after the Government brought in an Act to boost their rights.

Chris Whiley, director of Carers’ Resource, the integrated carers’ service for Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, said the findings of a one-year-on review of the 2015 Care Act should now be used as a tool to further promote and fight for carers’ rights.

She was speaking after Carers Trust, the UK’s national charity for unpaid carers, asked carers if the introduction of the Care Act had impacted on support they received. In some instances, the review revealed carers who were unaware of the act and its implications on them.

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NHS mental health funding is still lagging behind, says report

Only 55% of mental health trusts have reported increases to budgets since 2012 when ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health was promised

Government pledges to put more money into mental health are being broken because the NHS is not passing the money on to the NHS trusts that treat patients, a new report has revealed.

Care for people who need psychological help will suffer unless a chasm is bridged between ministerial promises and cash reaching the frontline, campaigners warn.

The disparity also threatens to undermine the historic change in 2012 that compelled the NHS in England to give physical and mental health equal priority or “parity of esteem”. Although mental ill-health accounts for 28% of the total burden of disease, it gets just 13% of the NHS’s budget.

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