Funding social care

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group has published True costs: why we cannot ignore the failure in social care funding.  This report sets out the pressures facing voluntary sector organisations supporting disabled people.  It identifies the three key challenges as an increasing demand for services; rising costs of providing services and workforce recruitment and retention problems.

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A systems approach to health and care design

A more holistic or ‘joined-up’  systems approach to health and social care provision could help  transform the way these essential services are delivered and address the needs of a changing patient population | Royal College of Physicians

The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians have published Engineering better care: a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement.

This report explores how an engineering approach could be applied in health and social care to develop systems that meet the needs of patients, carers and NHS staff.  It presents a framework to support ongoing work in service design and improvement in health and care.  It found that more widespread application of a rigorous systems approach to health and care improvement, has the potential to have a transformative effect on health and care.

Full document: Engineering better care: a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement.

 

The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017

The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017 presents findings from the Care Quality Commission’s comprehensive programme of adult social care inspections.

The CQC has published its The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017 report, which is the first time that such focused analysis on a national scale has been possible following the formal introduction of the CQC’s new regulatory regime for adult social care in 2014.

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Image source: http://www.cqc.org.uk

The report found that more than three-quarters of adult social care services were currently rated as ‘good’ (77%) and 2% were currently rated as ‘outstanding’.

However, there was considerable variation with nearly a fifth (19%) of services being rated as ‘requires improvement’ and 2% as ‘inadequate’ on ensuring residents are safe.

Age UK says these figures reveal a ‘Russian roulette’ for care and has urged the Government to make a much greater investment into care services.

The full report can be downloaded here

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Winter warning: managing risk in health and care this winter

Leaders of NHS trusts in England are deeply concerned about the NHS’s ability to respond to mounting pressures next winter, according to a new report published today by NHS Providers.

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Winter Warning highlights the worries of many NHS trusts that extra funding for social care, partly allocated to ease winter pressure on the health service, is not consistently getting through to the NHS.

The report sets out in detail how the NHS responded earlier this year to what many consider to be the toughest winter on record. Despite extraordinary efforts from staff, the health and care systems struggled to cope under sustained pressure.

A key factor was the sharp rise in delayed transfers of care (DTOCs), for patients who were ready to be discharged, often because of difficulties in lining up suitable social care.

The government’s response in the spring budget was to use the £1 billion of extra social care funding for the current financial year to try to reduce social care-related NHS DTOCs, and so ease pressure on trusts.

The clear message in Winter Warning is that, in many places, this is not happening.

  • Overview
  • Report

£1bn bedblocking fund not being spent properly, say 40% of hospitals

Hospital bosses say local councils are failing to properly boost social care provision so that more patients can be discharged | The Guardian

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More than 40% of British hospitals say they cannot guarantee patients will receive safe care next winter because a sum of £1bn earmarked to reduce “bedblocking” is not being spent properly. Hospital bosses claim that many local councils are failing to put the emergency funding into schemes to help patients get home quicker by improving social care support for them. As a result, the NHS is likely to come even closer to falling over than it did in 2016-17, according to a new report from NHS Providers, the trade association that represents most NHS trusts in England.

Government plans that the £1bn will free up 2,000-3,000 hospital beds are not being realised, it claims. Serious problems last winter saw record numbers of hospitals temporarily unable to cope with the sheer number of patients needing treatment and unprecedented numbers of patients forced to wait – in ambulances outside A&E units and on trolleys in corridors – for a bed before they could be admitted.

Read the full news story here

Social care: Government reviews and policy proposals for paying for care since 1997

This House of Commons Library briefing considers the policy proposals of successive Governments since 1997 for how individuals should pay for their social care.

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Image source: frkasb – Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Unlike health services through the NHS, social care is not universally free at the point of delivery – local authority support is means-tested, and those that receive funding such support are still expected to contribute their income towards the cost.

While the issue of paying for social care has been considered in depth – by the Royal Commission in 1999, the independent King’s Fund in 2005 (which the Government subsequently acknowledged), and the “Dilnot Commission” in 2011 – and some important changes have been made, the key features of the means-test remain broadly unchanged since 1997 while the issue of very high lifetime social care bills remains unresolved.

Election analysis: health and care

The NHS Confederation has published Election analysis: what does the new government mean for health and care?  

This briefing is an initial assessment of the main takeaways for the NHS and the wider health and care system. It identifies areas of alignment and disagreement between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party in Norther Ireland, and the NHS Confederation’s priorities for the new government.