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



Calls for the Budget to help care sector 

Unfortunately, the plight of Social Care is falling on deaf ears within this Government, in fact, do they really care about Social Care, from their inactions it would appear that they do not care.

Again, the Budget has come and gone without any mention or actions for Social Care.

So, support for the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, is very much required, so please do support the petition,

Source: Calls for the Budget to help care sector | #site_titleCalls for the Budget to help care sector

Covid: People With Learning Disabilities ‘Left Behind’ By Needle Vaccine

My own daughter who has a Learning Disability and autism is also needle averse, so will not be able to have the vaccination.

There are 2 courses of action

to have needle aversion therapy, which, may enable her to overcome her needle aversion

but the best option would be the authorisation of a nasal spray of which, I believe, 2 are currently being researched in the UK.

Until then I am relying on shielding.

I pray that all will be OK.

Same Difference

People with learning disabilities have been “left behind” while the Covid-19 vaccine can only be delivered by injection, their families say.

One parent said their son, who is clinically extremely vulnerable, would “flip completely” if approached by someone with a needle.

A government-funded trial for an inhaled vaccine is not expected to be completed until August.

Families say it means loved ones remain at high-risk of dying from Covid.

People with learning disabilities are up to six times more likely to die from Covid-19, a report from Public Health England (PHE) shows.

Everyone on the GP learning disability register will be invited for vaccination as part of priority group six, PHE confirmed.

But some parents say the jab remains an unviable option for their children.

Sue Keegan, from Chudleigh Knighton in Devon, is a single carer for her 30-year-old son Sam.

He has Down’s Syndrome and autism, and an…

View original post 599 more words

Flintshire County Council’s Decision On Care Home Fees- A kick in the teeth! 

This is disgraceful and furthers the continuation of low pay in the Social Care sector, which has been low for far too long and in no way recognises the skills of care workers.

For to be a good care worker you do have to have skills for in care it is not just about feeding and providing forms of Personal Care, such as, toileting, washing, etc., as there are many other skills needed.

Such as, emotional support, providing care as each individual person wishes, (Person-centred Care),.

Unfortunately Social Care has never been sufficiently funded, which as led to many aspects of poor quality care being provided, as the times allowed to perform the various tasks have never been sufficient.

While sufficient funding is a major consideration, it is not the only one, for the whole aspect of social care needs to be looked at, so that it is based on person-centred care and not systems.

For a person should not have to fit a system, but the system be flexible enough to fit the person. As what is right for one person, will, most likely, not be for the next.

The whole model of social care needs to be drastically reorganised, but with the attitude of Councils, such as, Flintshire Council, this will be difficult to achieve, but a way to achieve has to be found, for then and only then, will the quality of all social care being improved.

Also the checking processes of both the Care Quality Commission, (CQC) and Local Authorities have also to be improved, so that there is more checking on actual care delivery, rather than currently, record keeping. For while record keeping is important, anything can be recorded and who guarantees this is an accurate record, especially with regards to actual care delivery.

People have a right to receive, at least, good quality care, whether they have capacity to understand what is happening to them or not.

But one of the first areas is for the Government and Local Authorities to taken on board the aspect of sufficient funding to ensure good quality care is being provided.

This is why I support the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,


Source: Flintshire County Council’s Decision On Care Home Fees- A kick in the teeth! | #site_titleFlintshire County Council’s Decision On Care Home Fees- A kick in the teeth!

Nasal Sprays Are Part Of The Fight Against Covid-19. Here’s How | HuffPost UK Life

For children and those who are averse to needles nasal sprays may be the only or best way to provide some protection against COVID-19, but are they really effective.

Taffix has been on the market for sometime and if it is effective why is it not being authorised and used as an alternative to the injection. Have any the claims been substantiated by any recognised medical authority. The claim ‘authorised for marketing’ is not a medical based authorisation. So are the claims medically based.

I do not know, but do wish to be advised.

Others, such as, SaNOtize is currently being researched at the Ashford and St Peters NHS Foundation Trust and the possible outcomes look to be promising.

I would welcome a fully medically authorised nasal spray, especially for my own adult daughter who is needle averse and has severe learning disabilities and autism.


Source: Nasal Sprays Are Part Of The Fight Against Covid-19. Here’s How | HuffPost UK Life

Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders For Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’

Yet again persons with learning disabilities, (LD), are, apparently, going unnoticed by the UK Authorities, especially in Wales. This is in spite of a report in November 2020 from Public Health England,  which showed that people with learning disabilities were three to six times more likely to die from covid-19 than the general population during the pandemic’s first wave

This is when, before COVID-19, the risk of persons with LD dying earlier than persons without LD is well known and the reason the LeDeR programme with the University of Bristol, is being researched, which started on 1 July 2016 and is funded by NHS England.

So, why with all the above are persons with LD being ignored and even worse, if they went into hospital could well have a DNR (Do not resuscitate), placed on their record.

It would appear all is against persons with LD, but why?

Do these authorities feel the right to life of persons with LD should be ignored, if this is correct, then this is a very dangerous and very worrying premise, for to believe, this is how exterminations start, just look at Germany in the 1930/40s.

This needs to be stopped forthwith for persons with LD have as much right to life as anyone


Source: Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders For Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’

Vast majority of Sheffield over 70s have had their first Covid-19 jab | The Star

This is a great result and hopefully it will be maintained or even better throughout the rest of the COVID vaccination programme.

However, it will not be easy due to anti-vaxxers proprogander, but should the percentage become lower, then this could affect to return to ‘normality’, whatever normality is. For normality is a perception, for each persons normal is down to each persons own perceptions.

In fact, ‘normal‘ is what is viewed to be, roughly, on what the majority feel, or what ‘Society’ feels, which may be different. In fact, when it comes to the UK or any country or area, Society is the main factor and this is generally, pushed by the media.

Normal is generally for the good, but not always, for in some countries ‘normal’ is what the Government wishes it to be, such as China, North Korea and others.

But, back to the UK, will normal be ever what it was before COVID, well, possibly in time, but, certainly, not in the short-term, for COVID will be with us for some, long, time to come and this time will be extended if the vaccine programme take up rate is reduced by peoples reluctance to have the vaccine.

For some, the anti-vaxxers, you will never be able to change their opinions and they would not have the vaccine, even if it was to become mandatory. However, there are those who are currently unsure and, if their fears of having the vaccine are overcome, then they would, more than likely, have the vaccine.

In the UK, it will not become mandatory by direction of the Government, but could, in some respects, by other areas.

Holidays out of the UK could be one, if many countries decided it to be one of their requirements to enter their country.

Another could be various businesses in the UK who could demand it to be a requirement to enter their premises, but that could be, possibly, challenged in the Courts, However, certain establishments, such as, pubs do have a right to refuse entry to whom they decide.

I hope that those who do decide to not have the vaccine are very few, as they could well be a risk to others, especially those who can not have the vaccines for medical reasons. Hopefully, the medical reasons will be minimised, by looking at the various approved vaccines, for while one may not be suitable another could be.

Also, with more research, children could be eligible to have the vaccine injections, or more likely, a nasal spray and i believe at least 2 nasal sprays are being researched in the UK. When nasal sprays are available, this would mean persons with Learning Disabilities, who are needle averse could have the nasal spray as they do with the flu vaccination programme, but may be others who are needle averse.


Source: Vast majority of Sheffield over 70s have had their first Covid-19 jab | The Star

‘Short-termist’ government funding for children’s services ‘destabilising’ councils’ ability to sustain provision | Community Care

This Government and many previous Governments appear to have no knowledge about sustainable Social Care, in this respect with regards to children, but there are also many examples regarding adults.

All aspects of care, certainly need sufficient funding at the outset, but sustainability is also essential.

It would be bad enough if Local Authorities had sufficient funding to start with, but 10 years of Tory austerity cuts, then the additional costs relating to COVID and the continual Government requests to find saving. These saving have long gone and were they even there to start with, for technically there were no savings to be effectively made. If there were savings these should have been used to build reserves to be used in times of unplanned events.

COVID being one, but many do occur and have done so over the years. But Governments are only, it appears, prepared to entertain short-term outlooks and some even feel even short-term is not a consideration.

If resources are pared to the minimum and even below, then this is, at times, not sufficient for everyday occurrences, let alone the unplanned.

Cuts to services are not good for anyone, let alone those in real need and this explains the situations, over the years, which have left those in need in many safeguarding situations.

How many times do we hear the dreaded phrase, ‘lessons will be learnt’, but they are not ever, for there is never the finance for lessons to be learnt, let alone the time.

Authorities just move from one crisis to another, without really solving the current and many past.

Our Government needs to learn that Local Authorities, be they social or health need to be sufficiently funded and stop requiring savings.

The UK population is increasing with people living longer and it should not need an ‘Einstein’ to understand that increasing populations, living longer and new innovations will require more funding, not less.

It was wrong to start austerity cuts and all these need to be reversed immediately. It will be said the UK can not afford to do so, to which I say, can it afford not to do so.


Source: ‘Short-termist’ government funding for children’s services ‘destabilising’ councils’ ability to sustain provision | Community Care

Unpaid caregivers need more support|LinkedIn

From this linkedin post it would appear that this situation is not restricted to any given country, for here in the UK family carers, our way of expressing caregivers, are also not supported to any degree.

However, those family carers who are below retirement age could be eligible for Carers Allowance, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Many family carers are unable to maintain other forms of employment, so the £67.25 could be their only weekly earned income and it is a taxable benefit, but you may be eligible for other welfare benefits.

With Carers Allowance you would be receiving the equivalent to £1.92 based on the minimum qualifying hours of 35 hours.

When this is compared to our minimum wage, the National Living Wage, (NLW).

£1.92 per week is no real comparison to the NLW of £8.72 per week the minimum a person is expected to live on in the UK.

The UKs, Job Seekers Allowance, £74.35 for persons 25 and over, slightly more than Carers Allowance, but need to be seeking work, which a family carer may not be able to do.

Currently, family carers save £132 billion per year to the costs of Social Care within the UK

Well done family carers, you deserve it, but you should be recognised more. There is the Care Act 2014, but it should have provided much more and at the start of COVID-19 the UK Government created the Coronavirus Act 2020, which provided temporary easements for adults under the Care Act 2014, which are still available to English Local Authorities to apply to use, However, similar easements for children were withdrawn in September 2020, why are adults being treated differently to children, is this not disability discrimination?


Source: Unpaid caregivers need more support|LinkedIn

Government ‘seriously considering’ allowing care homes to insist staff get Covid-19 vaccine | Community Care

I feel it is a shame that some persons working with vulnerable people are so thoughtless and have little feeling for those who they care for.

These vaccines have been proved to be effective and provided enough people do get vaccinated, this could well eradicate COVID-19 to an extent that it will not mutate. Anyone refusing to have the vaccine could well be responsible for allowing future mutations to occur.

Within any care setting the persons working within that setting are not only responsible for themselves, but also for those to whom they provide care and in not having the vaccine they are not being responsible to those who they care for.

If they do not wish to have the vaccine then they should not be working to provide care.


Source: Government ‘seriously considering’ allowing care homes to insist staff get Covid-19 vaccine | Community Care

‘They are making people worse’: The scandal of imprisoning patients with autism

Imprisoning children and adults with Autism should be illegal, but unfortunately it is not.

The institutions in which they are placed are referred to as hospitals, but in hospitals people are treated to recover, so they can be discharged, but there is no medical treatment for autism is a condition and not an illness.

Autism was first mentioned some 78 years ago ‘when Leo Kanner, an Austrian-American psychiatrist and physician, first described autism in 1943′

But it was around for many years before and now many more people are receiving Autism diagnoses, but that does not mean it is fully understood. For as was with the father of Beth, when he contacted the authorities for help, he and Beth did not receive help, but Beth was taken away and imprisoned, rather than the provision of help being given so she could still reside in her community.

This was also the same for Ryan who after his Mum, Sharon contacted the crisis team, Ryan voluntarily entered a mental health unit after intervention from the crisis team.

Unfortunately the above is not unusual for it occurs extremely often, when if sufficient help was within communities, then many would not have to be taken away, or if they were, not for long.

Being cared for in a person’s own home is , in most situations, the best way to provide the right care as this can be personalised, instead of institutionally provided. This was envisaged on 9th March 1961 when Enoch Powell, the Minister of Health, addressed the annual conference of the National Association of Mental Health.

Now, while Autism is not a mental health condition, community care is the best way to provide the care required. This was provided for in the Community Care Act 1990, well in theory it was, for as usual sufficient funding was not proved and this is not new for Social Care has never been sufficiently funded, not even in 1970 when, The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, established a single social services department in each local authority,
Now we have the new White Paper,  Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, which appears to be solving many of the problems, but is it when it is looked at in detail.

Again, will it be sufficiently funded, well on previous practice, then , no, if at all.

Many are saying that the Local Authorities, should be providing all aspects of social care, but again should they, for it would restrict choice and also the provision to obtain, person-centred care.

As mentioned before all this needs to be sufficiently funded, on which this Government has been quiet, but action needs to be taken and an initial action could be supporting the petition, ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care‘, for until the funding is sorted in full, then any other actions will be doomed to failure.

Source: ‘They are making people worse’: The scandal of imprisoning patients with autism