State of Care | Care Quality Commission

At long last the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is speaking out about the state of care in the UK and especially the crisis in Social Care, which justifies the need for the petition I created, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

By signing and sharing the petition it will add more weight to the CQC report.

I have also put together further information, should you wish to see it, being Solve the crisis in Social Care more information







Source: State of Care | Care Quality Commission

Solving the crisis in Social Care

Social Care is just as important as Health Care, but does not receive the support is should do.

With this in mind please could I mention that the forthcoming Budget is an important opportunity to address the crucial issue of funding for Social Care, but will it.

Boris has promised, but will he keep his promise and even if money is made available will it be sufficient.

Boris has now mentioned it will take 5 years to get the funding, Social Care can not wait that long.

Boris needs to be told this is not good enough, so it is essential we keep the pressure on Boris and my petition ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care could be the means.

Please see below

We now have the New Year 2020.

However, if the ‘Crisis in Social Care’ is not Solved soon there will not be many more New Years for the care, required for persons in need of care, to be provided by Local Authorities due to their lack of funding. This will then have a much greater impact on health care provision, which is itself in crisis.

I have therefore created my latest petition, please follow the link

For more information please follow the link

This Petition needs You, please sign to show your support for you will not know when you or someone in your family will need social care.

Social Care in Crisis

Due to years of austerity cuts to Local Authorities, these authorities are having to spread more thinly, each year the amount of money they have all over the many areas of their responsibilities and Social Care is one of those areas.

But each year with an aging population and more persons with disabilities living longer, the people needing Social Care is increasing while the money available to help care for these needs is reducing.

In addition there is an increasing need for employed carers to provide the care the people with these needs require. But there is a shortage of people wishing to come into care and why is this?

The rate of pay within the care industry is abysmal for most employed carers receive a wage based on the *National Living Wage, currently £7.83, which will increase to £8.21 on the first of April 2019.

While the Living Wage is £9.00.

Being an employed carer is more than, cleansing, washing, dressing and meal preparation, as they are, in many instances, one of the few people that the people with care needs see.

Also there could be instances where the employed carer needs to deal with financial responsibilities, provide emotional support, manage prescriptions and administer medication, monitor Safeguarding and many more areas of responsibility and paying just the National Living Wage is not sufficient to cover all these responsibilities.

It is therefore, that the Living Wage would be more near a level to pay, but Local Authorities do not have the finance to pay this, currently and therefore this current Government needs to take this on board and increase the funding to Local Authorities.

With this in mind, FLASh (Families Lobbying and Advising Sheffield) have created an EPetition, Pay All Employed Carers the Living Wage.

Please see the following

flash logo.jpg 2


FLASh (Families Lobbying & Advising Sheffield) are concerned about the continuance of Social Care within the UK.

The Care Industry is in a state of crisis as there is insufficient funding from Local Authorities to Care Service Providers to pay the carers they employ a wage of sufficient amount for the work these carers are required to provide which matches the responsibilities they have to undertake to the persons to whom they are providing care to.

These Local Authorities have, for many years, under this current Tory Government, been subjected to austerity cuts to the funding they receive from this Government, which impacts on the money these authorities have available to provide this funding.

Therefore, FLASh have created an EPetition ‘Pay all employed Carers the Living Wage.

Please view this EPetition and seriously consider signing the EPetition and then verify your signature though the link provided in the email you will receive. Until your signature is verified your signature will not be activated.

The EPetition ‘Pay all employed Carers the Living Wage’ can be accessed here.

Should you be unable to view the EPetition, please copy and paste the following; into your browser.

Once you have verified your signature please could you share this EPetition with your colleagues, friends and any other connections.

Please also forward to your MP and your Local Councillors.

Thank you for your support.


If you wish to know more about FLASh a link to their website is here. If you are a family carer in Sheffield for someone with a Learning Disability or Autism and you wish to become a member of FLASh and/or attend the monthly meetings please advise your email address to

Chris Sterry, Vice-chair of FLASh issues his own Newsletter, on at least a monthly basis. To receive this Newsletter on a regular basis please email Chris on and a copy of the Newsletter can be accessed here.




* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

How Carer Voice was Started

3 Family Carers of relatives with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism (Chris Sterry, Judith Gwynn and Kate Chapman) started working together with a PHd student (Rachael A Black) at the University of Sheffield (Department of Human Communication Sciences) using the framework of Co-production. This was initially to provide research for Rachael’s thesis required for her PHd, but also to have a meaningful outcome for LD Carers within Sheffield, UK

At the start of this co-production Rachael enquired through Sheffield Mencap & Gateway for carers of persons with Learning Disabilities to work with her on her PHd project. During the last 18 months we have had regular meetings at the University of Sheffield on how we would proceed with this project and what our initial outcomes would be. Initially through general discussions, which Rachael was recording, it became clear that the recurring situations was around carers communications with the range of Service Providers. Within the context of Service Providers it included Sheffield Adult Social Care through Sheffield City Council, various health providers ( being GPs, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Community Health, and many other health areas) together with the independent Care Providers including charities, voluntary and private independent providers.

So that we were not restricted around our own views we decided to create 2 surveys, 1 to be completed by LD carers reflecting on their interactions with Service Providers and the other survey to be completed by Service Providers reflecting on their interactions with LD Carers. The surveys were created on Survey Monkey and during their creation we had a number of meeting to discuss how these were to be formed, the number of questions to be included and the specific questions. When we were all satisfied with both surveys they went live on Survey Monkey and electronic links were disseminated through our various range of contacts within Sheffield, UK.

We also discussed how we wished to to use the information from these surveys in addition to the original outcome for Rachael’s thesis. and decided we would wish to do this in a form of a presentation. We looked at possible dates and venues and obtained costings and also viewed each venue and then using co-production decided which venue to book and how we would advertise the event and provide a means for LD Carers and Service Providers to book to attend the event, which we did through Eventbrite and agreed on a format for a flyer and a website (Carer Voice) and the event title being Carer Voice Working Together.

Working Together Event Presentation 2017


Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, The Presenters from left to right, Chris Sterry, Judith Gwynn, Rachael A Black and Kate Chapman
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, Presenter Rachael A Black Stating the Principles of Co-production
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Carers and Service Providers working together
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Presenter Judith Gwynn answering questions at the end of the Presentation
Carer Voice ‘Working Together’ Presenter Kate Chapman answering questions

Carer Voice Final Notes

Thank you for coming today and now you have seen the presentation and been involved in the workshops in which carers and service providers have worked together. This is how it should be for we are all here for the same reason, to ensure vulnerable persons, be they be our relatives or not, have provision to ensure their needs are met and they can then led their own lives.

Communication is but one key, but an extremely important key and without it all that is there can fail.

With this in mind I facilitate a support group LD Carers Butty Group, also known as Central group or Butty Group, where there is also a website LD Carers Butty Group and a mailing/distribution list. There are other support groups and details of these can be obtained from the Carers Centre and from Cathy and Kirsty from Sheffield Mencap & Gateway (Sharing Caring Project).

If you wish to be included in the mailing/distribution list please advise your email address. While this was produced with carers in mind, it does not mean that service providers cannot be included. Information sent will include areas relating to disability both local and national as well as notes for the support meetings.

Lunch is now ready and there are some leaflets from a selection of providers please view and take away and continue to network throughout lunch.

Do not forget to put on a post it the message you are taking away from this event and an evaluation form will be emailed to you, please return with your comments.

Our thanks to

University of Sheffield, Department of Human Communication Sciences for funding the event

Sheffield Central Fire Station for the room

Healthwatch Sheffield for the pens

Carer Voice ‘Working Together’, Chris Sterry giving the closing statement


After the Carer Voice : Working Together event we sent the following email to everyone who attended the event and also to those persons who could not attend but did express an interest in the event.

“We just wanted to get in touch to give you an update on the work we are doing following the Working Together Event in October.

 As a group we have met once to go through the feedback and will be meeting again in December. Where we will start drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of service based on the information you gave us.  

 In early 2018 we will email these to you for your feedback. If you would not like to receive these emails then please do let me know and I will remove your name form the mailing list.

 We are also planning to pull together a small working group in the New Year to ensure the standards are accessible and practical. If you would be interested in being in this group, please do let us know. It will consist of 2 to 3 meetings at the University of Sheffield.

 Please also find attached some information about care workers in the independent and charity sector and the flu vaccine which we hope will be of use to you.

If you would be interested in receiving a copy of the presentation we gave on the day please do get in touch and I will send this to you.

Many thanks

Rachael and Carer Voice”

Flu Vaccine for Care Workers

Supporting People with Learning Disabilities get Flu Injection


We have now met in December and have started drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of services based on the information given to us during the Carer Voice : Working Together event.

The draft documents were produced.

So we could enage with service providers we held 3 meetings.

Intialy we met with  representatives of Sheffield Adult Social Carer and Sheffield City Council Commissioning who viewed the documents and made some comments regarding some minor alterations.

The second meeting was with some service care providers who also made some contructive comments.

The final meeting was with representatives of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, who also welcomed the documents and wished to use these in conjunction the their ‘For Pete’s Sake’ campaign’ and offered us a 15 minute presentation slot in the Assistive Technology event on the 28 June 2018.

Chris gave the presentation at the event and it was very appreciated by the atendees.

The presentation can be viewed  here



Coronavirus: Sick kids’ parents asked to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders if they get bug – Mirror Online

EXCLUSIVE: Shocked parents are asking if their kids’ lives are thought not worth saving as most vulnerable are asked to sign don’t resuscitate forms amid coronavirus crisis


This very disgraceful and disgusting, but I do feel that this Government does wish everyone with learning disabilities to die before their time, be they children or adults.

When you look at all this Government does or more correctly does not do, this can be the only conclusion.


Source: Coronavirus: Sick kids’ parents asked to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders if they get bug – Mirror Online

NHS drafted plans to ‘deny care to elderly and offer end of life pathways’ in a pandemic – Mirror Online

This is disgraceful and disgusting, but it is what I would expect from this Government, in fact any Government.

I don’t trust any politicians, no matter what colour Party they come from.

Yes, Labour say they would be against this now, but, if they were in power would they do as they say. We will never know until it is too late.

For it is Government policy to govern for the whole and not the few and as there are more who are under 70 and don’t have learning disabilities and/or autism I can see it being policy.

Even, if there is a law against it the Government of the day only need to declare a ‘National emergency’ and usual parliament debate will not take place.

We would have to rely on the honesty and integrity of the NHS and Care staff to see that right came through.


Source: NHS drafted plans to ‘deny care to elderly and offer end of life pathways’ in a pandemic – Mirror Online

After scandals like Winterbourne View, why is basic decency still remarkable? | Sara Ryan | The Guardian

It is a continual shame on our Society that these abuses for persons with learning (Intellectual) disabilities and/or Autism are still occurring, not just occasion ally, but with regularity.

What ‘have we learned’, or should it be ‘why have we not learned’ for the immortal phrase ‘Lessons will be Learned’, which is always stated but never accomplished or is it even, never started.

For to learn there has to be a wish to do so, not just for a few but all.

It should be that everyone receives good quality care, but they do not. Some put forward the lack of a reasonable pay structure, but would increasing pay for carers really make any difference, for good quality and consistent care should be there no matter how much a person earns.

Not to say that carers should not be receiving a reasonable salary for the work that they do, for they should and the starting point should be the Real Living Wage and not the National Living Wage or even less if the carer is below age 23.

Unfortunately it is not just the Care and Treatment Centres that abuses occur for they could occur in any care setting, be it care homes, home care, supported living, respite, etc.

Is CQC, (Care Quality Commission) up to checking on the quality of care, well that is the question, for they should be, but I feel so much time is spent checking on records and insufficient on actual care delivery. I say this for anything can be written in a record, but actual care delivery is there for all to see.

It is so true that care is nowhere sufficiently funded and the total blame can’t be placed on Local Authorities for they are funded by the Government to a large extent and this and previous Governments have failed completely to fund Social Care anywhere near sufficiently.

Again it is true that the Government do not directly fund Social Care, but forward a grant to local authorities (LAs) for their complete areas of responsibilities and  LAS then split the grant over all their responsibilities, but it is the Grants that woefully insufficient. Not only tat but for 10 years LAs were subjected to Austerity Cuts in order to make savings, where savings could not realistically be made, so cuts were the order of the day.

Not only that, but then there have been the additional costs due to COVID, which the Government promised to cover, which they have to some extent, but not all.

So how do I view Government promises, well with great speculation and never believe that the promises will ever be fulfilled and to some extent never even kept at all.

So will care ever be good and consistent, well I always hope so, but then we all need to keep our eyes and ears open and report without any delays when we see and/or hear that they are not being.

Safeguarding is the responsibility for everyone of us and any concerns or alerts always need to be reported.

Source: After scandals like Winterbourne View, why is basic decency still remarkable? | Sara Ryan | The Guardian

Five reasons the UK Disability Strategy may not improve disabled people’s lives – Mirror Online

As soon as disability is mentioned the disability haters come forth, is it sour grapes that these haters feel persons on disabilities are getting something for nothing, or they feel they should enjoy the benefits that some disabled people receive.

Would these haters wish to have a disability, instead of the mental incapacity they have to really understand the world of disability.

Some persons are born with their disabilities, which could well become worse as they age, while others have acquired disabilities through accidents and injuries or now through Long COVID.

It is a fallacy to assume that it is easy to obtain disability benefits for it is not, except for the real fraudsters who know the system inside out. For persons with real disabilities it is a constant worry that their benefits will be withdrawn and without them they will be unable to lead a reasonable life. Yes, a reasonable life, one which many, if not all these haters would feel is not a good life. For many it means that they are able to have a life which is or just above one where life exists.

For it is far from cheap to live with a disability, many have to pay extra just to get what someone without a disability would expect to have with no problems. Homes could need many adaptations and many of these adaptations are not cheap and need substantial maintenance, all at a huge cost. Then there is the cost of care, for while carers are far from well paid, the cost of care is not cheap and there is no guarantee that if you receive care that it will be good quality and consistent.

I challenge these disability haters to live the life of a person with disabilities, not forever or even a week, but just one hour and I know they will not wish for it to be longer. But forever is the life of disability.


Source: Five reasons the UK Disability Strategy may not improve disabled people’s lives – Mirror Online

Homes not hospitals – Social work with adults

Hospitals will never be homes and should never be classes being, for hospitals are there to care for people and do all they can to ensure people recover from what ailments they have.

However, persons with learning disabilities and /or autism have conditions from which there is no recovery and therefore should never be admitted to any institution that is there under the impression that they will offer a cure.

Persons with learning disabilities and/or autism are not ill so there is never to be a recovery, what is required is for people to understand them and treat them with the respect and dignity to which they are all entitled.

Medication to keep them quite or in a composed state is never the answer, and should be illegal, but by listening to them, be calm with them and give then reassurance and more is what is required.

Giving medication is this manner is never the answer and is a misuse of medication Known as STOMP (Stopping over medication of people)

What is the answer is building of suitable accommodations in the community, either with care being provided or not. That is assuming that the care being provided is of good and sufficient quality and quantity.

But the authorities feel the easy answer is to imprison persons with learning disabilities and/or autism in these so called hospitals, but effectively they are prisons, for once a person is in one of these institutions it is very difficult to be discharged. This is because the conditions and treatments in these institutions are geared to make persons worse, if they do, so called, actions, which the institutions do not care for they will be given medication and also be in seclusion.

The actions that are shown are usually because the person has not been listened to and the action is another form of communication. If the persons caring for them had understood and done what was required, it would be more than likely that the actions to which the carers are objecting to would never have occurred.

A greater understanding of learning disability and autism is required by everyone in an authoritative organisation and medication and seclusion should never be required.


Source: Homes not hospitals – Social work with adults

Care Act relaxations removed from statute books four months after decision to do so | Community Care

Yes, finally the temporary easements on the Care Act 2014 have been removed, easements that should never have been introduced in the first place. As they were there to safeguard Councils irrespective of the lack of care needs people in need of care would require. While it should always be that people in need of care should be respected, but again this Government showed a complete disregard for the people most in need, as they and previous Governments have always done so, even the last Labour Government, so in all respects the colour of the Government does not make much difference.

So, we are now back to the original Care Act 2014, which, while it was a welcome improvement, it did not go anywhere near far enough, but that is another story.


Source: Care Act relaxations removed from statute books four months after decision to do so | Community Care

People with learning disabilities in England ‘have eight times Covid death rate’ | Learning disability | The Guardian

Yes, it is true that persons with disabilities due have a greater degree of dying than someone without a disability and that this is generally 20 times more as been proved by research from Bristol University on the LeDeR Programme, which has been in force since 2016.

Then COVID is showing there is also a 8 times greater degree, but although the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) new about the 20 times, through the research of the LeDeR programme which reports to DHSC, they did not immediately include adults with disabilities as a priority on the Vaccine programme and when they did it was only for persons with Downs Syndrome.

Is this proof that this Government does not view persons with disabilities as of any importance, but to just ignore them, as though by ignoring them they will go away. One would hope not, but the vaccine programme is only one instance others being, include the Benefits System, the inaction on Social Care and many others.

But, the media has also some blame on this for they usually only depict disabled people with negativity and the general view of the UK population is also similar, with many viewing disabled people as ‘scroungers’, of which they are not. They just need a little more to be treated equally and then they only live a ‘reasonable’, whatever, that may be.


Source: People with learning disabilities in England ‘have eight times Covid death rate’ | Learning disability | The Guardian

Disabled councillors blocked from accessibility vote — because they are disabled

Yet again People who are disabled are discriminated against and this should never be so, especially after years of legislation, being the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005 and then Equality Act 2010.

But, unfortunately these acts did not go far enough, for there ways to get round the acts requirements, sometimes due to finance to make the required adjustments or alterations, which should never have been allowed.

But here it is not finance, but pure discrimination, by either not understanding the legislation or not willing to do.

In many instances there could always be some reasons to mention there is a ‘conflict of interest’ but never done so because the possible reason is not known, but here it was disability, which was there to be seen. But just because someone is disabled it should never be used as a reason to discriminate whether there be legislation or not.

Then to mention that they were being  allowed to vote on this occasion only, went to make the action even more despicable.

Here, we have persons with experience, which should be viewed as being advantageous to the debate, rather than being treated as a conflict of interest. It looks as though York City Council have a lot to learn, especially on areas of disability and maybe many other areas. Or did the person or persons who mentioned the alleged conflict of interest have their own conflicts of interest.

Disability legislation needs to be altered, Urgently, to make it all consuming and leave no areas where there omissions or areas of doubt can be found.

Only then will people with disabilities be treated equally.

Source: Disabled councillors blocked from accessibility vote — because they are disabled

As Sheffield opens up, for some of us, our world shrinks | Now Then Sheffield

This is so true, for access means so many different aspects for many people, but I feel that access is not fully understood by planners, developers and many organisations.

Yes, pedestrianisation is good for many, but for those with limited mobility, sensory disabilities and other aspects of disability it may not be. Not all persons with mobility issues have wheelchairs, so may not be able to travel even small distances. Even a small step up or down could cause no access facility, the width of doorways could also be a problem, let alone placement of toilets and will there be a disabled toilet and if so is it being used as a store room or even large enough to accommodated a wheelchair and maybe one or even 2 carers.

Ideally not only would there be more than one disabled toilet that is fully accessible, at least 2, or would a Changing Places toilet be too much to ask for.

Disabled parking is also a problem, for is there a sufficiency and are they were they are most needed and is the waiting period time limited, for with limited mobility comes a time component to manage to go between A and B, let alone going to C. Leaving one disabled parking place to another more near, will there be one and will it be available.

Then lets look at public transport, well most buses and trains should have at least one wheelchair space, and if lucky maybe even two, but will they be there for wheelchairs, some in some instances pushchairs are taking the space or spaces. I have heard some people say you can get the next bus to a person in a wheelchair because the wheelchair places are taken, but why should a person in a wheelchair have to wait for another bus.   Why is there not more flexibility on wheelchair spaces, for the priority should be for wheelchair and not prams, for in many instances prams could be folded which is not possible for wheelchairs.

When you come to trains, it is not just the availability of spaces for wheelchairs, but also toilets, for is there a disabled toilet in each carriage and is there one at both ends of each carriage. Then for persons who require a Changing Places toilet, are there any carriages which have these?

These are only some of the problems persons with disabilities can come across for there will be many others, so opening for most is far away from opening for many persons with disabilities.


Source: As Sheffield opens up, for some of us, our world shrinks | Now Then Sheffield

A ‘national shame’: MPs demand an end to some autistic people being detained for years | UK News | Sky News

I do not usually agree with MPS, but in this instance I agree wholeheartedly with them for hospitals ate supposed to be there to cure persons with illnesses and autism and learning disabilities (LD) are not illnesses, but conditions and there is no cure. To give the impression there is should be made illegal and not, as currently incorporated into Law. Hospitals are not supposed to be prisons for you always have a right to leave an hospital, even if it is not recommended, unless it is deemed you do not have the capacity to do so. In which case, a ‘Best Interest Advisor is appointed, under the terms of DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) in the Mental Health Act 1983 as amended in Mental Capacity Act 2005.

It is totally wrong to place persons with autism and also learning disabilities in any form of captivity as not only is this restricting their freedom, but the whole act of restriction makes their condition worse, and it is this worsening, which is usually used to justify their continued admission.

They are not being helped, but are in effect being kept out of Society by misguided intentions and making them have a worsening quality of life, so I agree the Institutions need to be closed.

But by the reliance on these institutions nothing is being done to create much more suitable accommodations, where their freedoms are respected with appropriate care being offered.

This will require a whole new process, much more funding and employment and training of staff. Also a re-education of many Health, Justice, Social Care and Legal staff and organisations. In fact, in reality the Care and Treatment facilities and not that much different to the Mental health institutions they were meant to replace. In these many of the persons with Mental health issues have been discharged into the community but not that many LD and autism have.

It is a disgrace and should be illegal that the required funding for improvements are not being funded. But, to some extent this is all connected with the complete in ability to fund Social Care and not fully fund health and mental health, due to political motives.

All these areas of health and care have to be fully funded, completely sufficient training be made available and for staffing levels to be filled 100%, if not we can’t say the UK is provided first class care to everyone.

If a realignment of capital spending is required then so be it for only then could we say the UK is working to provide good quality life for all of its population and not just a stated few.

: A ‘national shame’: MPs demand an end to some autistic people being detained for years | UK News | Sky News