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



CCTV in care homes could save NHS £370m a year, campaigners say : Care Home Professional

Andrew Geach, owner of Shedfield Lodge in Southampton, told the Daily Express he had saved the NHS £50,000 this year by installing CCTV, which had avoided the need for a 999 call on all but three of 119 occasions. The Express said if the savings were repeated in all of the UK’s 11,300 care homes it would save the NHS more than a £1m a day.

“It’s a mind-blowing figure but it’s real money which could be ploughed back into social care,” Andrew said.


Source: CCTV in care homes could save NHS £370m a year, campaigners say : Care Home Professional

Mental health resources provided for people with a learning disability : Care Home Professional

Skills for Care is providing new resources to ensure staff are able to offer mental health support to people living with a learning disability.

The resources, which are being launched as part of Learning Disability Week (June 17-23), include a video sharing top tips for talking about mental health, two posters about what makes people anxious and happy, and a wellbeing journal.

The support, which is designed to prompt and facilitate conversations about mental health, was created following five sessions with people with learning disabilities and staff run by Skills for Care in partnership with CHANGE and the Judith Trust.


Source: Mental health resources provided for people with a learning disability : Care Home Professional

HC-One home ends nursing care due to staff shortage : Care Home Professional

The home, which can accommodate up to 48 people and is rated ‘requires improvement’, will now focus on residential or residential dementia care.

An HC-One spokesperson said: “Despite a very significant investment of time and resources, we have been unable to recruit and retain the right numbers of permanent nurses due to the severe national shortage of nurses and strong competition from local NHS services.


Source: HC-One home ends nursing care due to staff shortage : Care Home Professional

‘Why didn’t you f*cking restrain me’: when physical restraint can meet a child’s need : Community Care

There are probably few more emotive topics in children’s care settings than the use of physical intervention, or restraint. Understandably so, because, as we have seen from various journalists’ investigations and public enquiries, it can be used abusively and, in some cases, children have died.

It can be traumatic for children and, sometimes, distressing for carers too.

It appears to be a statement of uncontroversial truth to say that children should only be restrained when absolutely necessary.  In children’s homes this is, essentially, when a child is likely to harm themselves or someone else and not to ensure a child complies with adult instructions (the guidelines are different in schools, where it can be used to remove a disruptive pupil from a classroom, and there are different rules again in secure homes, secure training centres and so on).

The use of physical intervention to stop children hurting themselves or someone else should, in my view, be entirely unquestionable. If I witnessed a toddler about to put his hand in a fire or walk out into the road, no one would bat an eyelid if I pulled them back or picked them up and moved them to somewhere safe. In fact, I imagine most people would agree it would be neglectful for me not to do this.

I am sure too that most responsible parents would intervene if they believed their older children were about to hurt themselves or someone else.

Want to be restrained

Of course, to reduce the need for physical intervention is not just about “de-escalation techniques” during the incident itself, but all that we do to look after a young person which helps them feel safe, regulated and contained. Over time this should, hopefully, mean there are less of the unsafe behaviours which might require a restraint to stop.


Source: ‘Why didn’t you f*cking restrain me’: when physical restraint can meet a child’s need : Community Care

Sure Start cuts leave vulnerable children at risk of abuse and neglect : Welfare Weekly

Years of funding cuts to children’s centres mean some of the poorest and most vulnerable families in Britain have nowehere to turn for help and support, a leading charity has warned.

A daming new report by UK charity Action for Children reveals that between 2014/15 and 2017/18 average spending by councils on children’s centres, including ‘Sure Start Centres, fell from £532 to just £412 per child.

As council funding was reduced the number of children and families supported by children’s centre’s plummeted by almost a fifth (18%).

Worryingly, the number of children from the most deprived areas of the country using children’s centre’s has fallen by a shocking 22%.


Source: Sure Start cuts leave vulnerable children at risk of abuse and neglect : Welfare Weekly

Embattled Sheffield health body at centre of bullying row appoints new interim chief officer | The Star

Lesley Smith, the current accountable officer at Barnsley clinical commissioning group (CCG), has been appointed as interim accountable officer at Sheffield CCG, but will continue in both roles, the organisation said.

Sheffield CCG’s senior leadership team has been embattled since the Star revealed in February medical director Dr Zak McMurray has been on special leave on full pay for more than a year.


Source: Embattled Sheffield health body at centre of bullying row appoints new interim chief officer | The Star

Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t : The Conversation

If you had to choose, which would you rather have: a healthy father or a good father?

Studies suggest men often choose being a good father over being healthy.

Becoming a father is a major milestone in the life of a man, often shifting the way he thinks from being “me focused” to “we focused.” But fatherhood can also shift how men perceive their health. Our research has found that fathers can view health not in terms of going to the doctor or eating vegetables but how they hold a job, provide for their family, protect and teach their children, and belong to a community or social network.

As founder and director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University and as a postdoctoral fellow from Meharry Medical College, we study why men live shorter lives than women, male attitudes about fatherhood, how to help men engage in healthier behavior – as well as what can be done to reduce men’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Work, sex and health

Working with men to try to get them to be more physically active, eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight, we found that for many, their own physical and mental health is not high on their list of priorities. Men, we found, treat their bodies as tools to do a job. Health is not always important or something they pay much attention to until poor health gets in the way of their ability to go to work, have sex or do something else important to them. These roles and responsibilities are often the ways they define themselves as men and how others in their lives define their worth.


Source: Fathers need to care for themselves as well as their kids – but often don’t : The Conversation

Vulnerable children removed from foster carers who wanted to adopt them : Welfare Weekly

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has asked East Riding of Yorkshire Council to apologise to a foster couple after it removed two vulnerable children, they hoped to adopt, from their care.

The couple took on the children after their birth parents were unable to look after them. When they were removed from their parents’ care, the children were described by the judge as ‘to a considerable degree unmanageable’.

The children needed significant therapy and support, but after two years, the couple decided they wanted to adopt the children. They told the council they would need ongoing support with the children to help them progress.


Source: Vulnerable children removed from foster carers who wanted to adopt them : Welfare Weekly

TV personality Richard Madeley backs home care company’s efforts to raise dementia awareness | Care Industry News

TV personality Richard Madeley has backed a home care company’s efforts raising awareness of dementia.

During Dementia Action Week 2019, Home Instead Senior Care celebrated a milestone of creating 22,000 Dementia Friends across the UK.
The Dementia Friends initiative by Alzheimer’s Society aims to give people a better understanding of dementia and its Champions run awareness sessions to create ‘Dementia Friends’.

The home care business has been working closely with Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness of the importance of dementia care and last week was one of the main sponsors of its annual conference which saw more than 400 attendees.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard, who chaired the annual conference, said: “As an Alzheimer’s Society supporter and Dementia Friend, it’s fantastic to see Home Instead Senior Care reach this milestone. Raising awareness of dementia is so important so that we can improve the quality of life of people living with it. It is good to see that more people are openly talking about dementia now so we can look to a future where it is something you can live well with.”

Home Instead runs its own dedicated dementia training for its CAREGivers who look after older people at home. In the last year, more than 1,100 Home Instead CAREGivers have been trained in City & Guilds accredited dementia awareness.


Source: TV personality Richard Madeley backs home care company’s efforts to raise dementia awareness | Care Industry News

Nottingham City Hospital thanks carer for being a star! | Care Industry News

A CARE home worker received a surprise note while accompanying a resident to an appointment at Nottingham City Hospital.

Helen Squire, a care assistant at Longmoor Lodge Care Home, in Sandiacre, was chaperoning resident Frank Teate, who was at the hospital to see a cardiologist.

While waiting with Frank, cardiology department manager Jackie Richardson approached Helen and presented her with a postcard emblazoned with “Thank You – You’re a Star”.

On the other side, Jackie had written: “For being kind, which I consider one of the greatest attributes for any human being and expect in my staff.

“And for caring. You clearly enjoy your work and this is a pleasure to see.”


Source: Nottingham City Hospital thanks carer for being a star! | Care Industry News