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A total of 29,374 beds were blocked in UK hospitals last year, with a high proportion due to a lack of capacity in nursing homes or residential care homes, according to a new study.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made by Cera Care to NHS Trusts revealed 3,339 of these incidents were due to the wait for nursing home placements and 2,158 for care home placements.

The highest amount of bed-blocking incidents (delayed discharges) were due to waiting for further non-acute NHS care, with 8,227 cases.

Overall figures showed there were 565 delayed discharges in UK hospitals every week.

In a statement, Cera Care said: “One of the key reasons that many beds are blocked in hospital is down to a lack of capacity in nursing homes or residential care homes. Often it is also done at the family’s request as they might not have the resources to look after their loved one at home.

“A solution to both of these issues would be home care. This enables that person to continue living at home and retain as much of their independence as possible.

“The care that they receive will be provided by a highly-professional carer and will be tailored to their specific care needs and requirements therefore, it will only assist in the areas that they need help.”

However, the FOI request demonstrated there were also 3,204 bed-blocking incidents cited due to the wait for care packages at home.

The ongoing wait for the social care green paper, which has been delayed numerous times and is now expected in April, is putting even further strain on adult social care and care at home provision.

Earlier this month, Age UK revealed 54,025 older people will have died whilst waiting for a care package – this is since Philip Hammond announced the government’s original intention for a social care green paper in the Spring Budget in 2017. This equates to 77 people dying per day.

Such high rates of delayed discharges are also costing the NHS financially. The cost per day of a delayed discharge/ or bed blocking, according to the FOI data, varies depending on location, but the average is around £325.

The following represents a snapshot of the picture across the UK:

• Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust – £425.64 per day

• Cwm Taf University Health Board – £327.15

• Kent Community Health – £350

• Liverpool Women’s Hospital – £565

• Midland’s Partnership Foundation Trust – £378.73

• NHS Grampian – £727

• North Bristol NHS Trust – £308

• Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust – £180

• Royal Cornwall Hospitals – £345

• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust – £200

The overall data revealed the biggest problem with delayed discharges was more prevalent in Plymouth, Leeds, Walsall, Bury and Stockton-on-Tees.

 #LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare




Published in LMT


Almost 7 million people, who are patients or family carers, have expressed concerns about care given in the last five years but have never complained. The majority (58 per cent) regret staying silent. The most common reason for not raising concerns was the belief that nothing would change as a result (37 per cent).

Some feared being seen as a 'trouble maker'

Some 33 per cent did not speak out because they did not want to be seen as a ‘troublemaker’. Some 33 per cent did not know who to raise their complaint with and 28 per cent worried about not being taken seriously. A fifth (20 per cent) did not know how to raise a complaint.

In response to the research, Care minister Caroline Dinenage said: “I encourage anyone who has concerns over their care, or the care of loved ones, to share their experiences with the Care Quality Commission - so they can continue their vital work of protecting patients and improving the excellent care we see across the health service.”

'Declare You Care'

The CQC is now calling for people to speak up about their experiences of care, following its poll (conducted from November to December last year). The care regulator has launched its ‘Declare Your Care’ campaign to encourage people to share their experiences of care with the care regulator.

The watchdog said it does not have legal powers to resolve individual complaints but is encouraging all who experience or know about poor care to inform the CQC

According to the CQC, those who did complain said they saw care improvements.

The CQC has said that when people did raise a complaint, the majority (66 per cent) found their issue was resolved quickly, improved the care and left them happy with the outcome.

The main reasons for raising a concern were delays to receiving care, lack of information and poor patient care. Over a fifth of people said they wanted to raise concerns about a lack of communication between health and care services.

Ian Trenholm, chief executive at the CQC, said: “We know that when people raise a concern they have a genuine desire to improve the service for themselves and others. We also know that the majority of services really appreciate this feedback and make positive changes, as this new research shows. “Hearing from people about their experiences of care is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to driving improvements in standards of care.

“Everyone can play a part in improving care by directly giving feedback to services, or by sharing information and experiences with us so that we can take action when we find poor care.”

The CQC advises four steps to report poor care:

1. Speak to staff to resolve it informally

2. If issues persist, ask your care provider to see the complaints procedure. This will tell you what to do.

3. If you are not happy about how they respond to your complaint, you can contact:

a. Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for private or adult social care services)

b. Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (for NHS services)

4. Share your experience (on behalf of yourself or someone else) with CQC at cqc.org.uk/share-your-experience


 #LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare


Published in LMT


Care providers have revealed low pay to be the biggest barrier to recruiting care workers, on the same day the Government launched its national recruitment campaign to show how rewarding it is to work in care.

The research by Hft, a charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, found 80 per cent of providers blame low pay for why they struggle to recruit and retain care workers.

Their research comes as care minister Caroline Dinenage revealed the long awaited green paper for social care is finished and will ‘definitely’ be published before 29 March. The green paper, which aims to offer a sustainable funding model for social care, has been repeatedly delayed and was originally meant to be published last July.

Billy Davis, public affairs and policy manager for Hft said: “The underfunding of social care is a national crisis that requires a national solution. With the green paper on social care now long overdue, we call on the government to urgently address the issues facing the sector, before it affects some of the most vulnerable adults in our society.”

In its annual Sector Pulse Check report, care providers said increases in the national living wage have become the largest pressure on organisations’ wage bills, with 63 per cent of care providers saying this has a significant impact on their costs – up from 56 per cent the previous year.

Pablo Shah, economist at Cebr, which carried out the research for Hft said: "Recruitment remains an ongoing challenge for the social care sector, as care providers are struggling to meet their employees’ wage expectations given increasing funding pressures."

'Every Day is Different'

The government hopes its ‘Every Day Is Different’ campaign, which care minister, Caroline Dinenage launched today, will help alleviate the recruitment crisis facing care providers.

The campaign aims to show how rewarding working in care can be and highlight the opportunities for progression and professional development. Over 1.45m people work in the sector at the moment. It is predicted an additional 650,000 workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising numbers of people aged 65 and over.

The campaign will run during February and March through social media, digital and local radio advertising, outdoor posters and events across England. Ms Dinenage said: “Adult social care is too often seen as the ‘Cinderella service’ to our NHS. I’m determined to change this perception, starting with our hardworking social care workforce.

“There is huge demand for more care professionals who work incredibly hard to look after the most vulnerable people in our society. We must spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile. Care is a vocation where you can transform people’s lives and every day is different to the next.”

Care worker recruitment campaign is not 'a silver bullet'

George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said “It’s encouraging to see the government demonstrating an awareness of the crisis in the social care workforce” but warned “this should not be seen as a silver bullet”.

He added: “The number of vacancies is only half the story: the social care sector’s turnover rate is twice the national average, with almost 1,000 workers quitting their job every day.

“Workers are leaving due to low wages, little job progression, lack of training and perceived lower status compared to similar healthcare roles. Many of these issues should have already been addressed but haven’t because of delays to the social care green paper. Solely focussing on recruitment, without also addressing staff retention, will severely limit the impact of the campaign.”

source: https://www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1605659/low-pay-care-worker-recruitment-crisis

 #LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare


Published in LMT
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 18:04

Help at home from a carer

Having a carer come to visit you in your home can make a huge difference to your life, especially if you have difficulty walking or getting around. It can help you stay living independently in your own home.

This type of care is known as homecare or domiciliary care or sometimes home help.

Help at home from a paid carer costs around £20 an hour, but it varies according to where you live. Sometimes, the council will contribute to the cost.

Homecare is very flexible. You might need a carer for only an hour a week or for several hours a day. You might need a live-in carer.

It can be temporary – for example for a few weeks while you recover from an illness. Or it can be long term.

You might also consider home adaptations or household gadgets or equipment to make life easier.

When should I consider help at home from a paid carer?

You might want to consider care at home if:

How can homecare help me?

A carer can visit you at home to help you with all kinds of things including:

Home help

This is slightly different to homecare and means day-to-day domestic tasks that you may need a helping hand with such as:

You might want some home help instead of or as well as homecare.

Most councils don’t provide home help. Contact a charity such as the Royal Voluntary Service, the British Red Cross or your local Age UK to see whether they can help (they may not be free).

How to get help at home from a paid carer

How your council can help

If you want the council to help with homecare for you, start by asking them for a needs assessment.

Your needs assessment will help the council to decide whether you qualify for care.

If you qualify, the council may recommend help at home from a paid carer. They will arrange the homecare for you.

If you don’t qualify for care, the council must still give you free advice about where you can get help in your community.

Even if you’re intending to make arrangements yourself with an agency or private carer, it’s still a good idea to have a needs assessment as it will help you to explain to the agency or carer what kind of help you need.

Apply for a needs assessment

Paying for homecare

Depending on your circumstances, your local council may contribute to the cost of homecare or you may have to pay for it yourself.

If your needs assessment recommends home care, you may get help with the cost from the council.

What you will contribute depends on your income and savings. The council will work this out in a financial assessment.

If the council is paying for some or all of your homecare, they must give you a care and support plan.

This sets out what your needs are, how they will be met and your personal budget (the amount the council thinks your care should cost).

You can choose to receive your personal budget as a direct payment each month. This gives you the control to employ someone you know to care for you at home rather than using a homecare agency, though you’ll then have responsibilities as an employer.

If you don’t qualify for the council to contribute to your homecare costs, you will have to pay for it yourself.

Read more about when the council might pay for your care.

Benefits that can help you with homecare

Check if you’re eligible for benefits. Some, such as Attendance Allowance and Personal Independence Payments, aren’t means tested and they can help you meet the costs of homecare.

Find out how to apply for:

How to choose a paid carer

If you're arranging your own homecare, there are 2 main ways to do this:

Homecare agencies

Homecare agencies employ trained carers and arrange for them to visit you in your home. You may not always have the same carer visiting your home, though the agency will try to match you with someone suitable.

How much do they cost?

It costs around £20 an hour for a carer to come to your home, but this will vary depending on where you live.

If you’re paying for yourself, the agency should be able to give you a clear price list. They’ll send you a monthly bill for your homecare.

How to find a local agency

There are 4 main ways to do this:

Questions to ask the agency

Here are some questions you may want to ask an agency before employing them:

  • what charges, if any, will I be expected to pay
  • what services are charged as extras?
  • have your carers looked after someone with similar needs to mine?
  • how will you choose the most suitable carer for me?
  • what sort of training do your carers get?
  • if I’m paying for my own care, do you have a standard contract I can read before signing my own?
  • if the council is contributing to my care can I see a copy of the contract they’ve signed with the agency?
  • how can I contact your agency during the day, in an emergency or outside office hours?

What to expect from agency carers

Homecare agency carers should treat you in a respectful and dignified way. For example, they should always:

  • knock and ring the front door bell and announce their arrival before coming into your home
  • bring an identity card
  • know where your keys are kept if they’re not in your home
  • keep any entry codes to your house confidential
  • know what to do if they can’t get into your home
  • know what to do if you’ve had an accident

Employing your own carer

Instead of using an agency, you can hire your own carer, sometimes called a private carer or personal assistant.

If you employ a carer, you have the legal responsibility of an employer. This includes arranging cover for their illness and holidays.

Which? Elderly Care has advice on employing a private carer.

How to complain about homecare

You have the right to complain if you’re not happy about the help at home you’re receiving. This might be because carers:

  • arrive late and leave early
  • don’t give your medicines to you properly
  • leave your home untidy after visits
  • give you poor care like dressing you wrongly

First complain to your local council or, if you’re paying for yourself, the agency. The council or agency should have a formal complaints procedure on their website. Try to be specific about what happened and include staff names and dates if you can.

If you’re not happy with the way the council or agency handles your complaint, ask the local government and social care ombudsman to investigate further. An ombudsman is an independent person who’s been appointed to look into complaints about organisations.

You can also tell the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which checks social care services in England.

Your local council must provide you with an independent advocate (someone to speak up for you) to help you make a complaint.

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/care-services-equipment-and-care-homes/homecare/

 #LMT #Nottingham #Manchester #Northampton #Telford #Care #ElderlyCare #Healthcare #HomeCare


Published in LMT
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27 May 2019