Category Archives: Care Providers

Care workers’ lack of power at work behind tolerance of poor pay and conditions, finds report – Community Care

In many instances I do agree with this report, especially of the low pay of care workers and the lack of effective travel pay to cover all expenses as while distance could be covered, time may not be. In some instances the timing between caring for one person and the time needed to get to another, is virtually impossible to do, especially where traffic conditions are far from good.

Yes, some care providers could do much more for the care workers they employ, but as their funding comes mainly from Local Authorities (LAs) and a fair proportion of LAs funding comes through the Government grants to LAs, which has been considerably reducing in real terms since 2010 due to the Tory imposed Austerity Cuts. But, in effect was social care really correctly funded before 2010, I feel not as social care has never been sufficiently funded.

A great mistake was not to include social care within the NHS in 1948 and with hindsight this should have occurred, then there wouldn’t have been to ‘toing and froing’ between LAs and  Continuing Health Care  (CHC) as to who should fund what and the duplicity of some work would also have been mitigated. This would also have dealt with the discrimination in which conditions are health and which are social care and the ways they are looked at, especially how funded. i.e. will a person be contributing or not.

Not saying that the funding would have improved greatly as the NHS has also been seriously underfunded to some extent over the years.

What does need to be done is to greatly improve the pay rate for all care workers and I would say at least £15 per hour as this would encourage more to enter the care profession. But also allow more immigration so many non-UK persons can come to the UK to also enter the care profession. In doing so also improve the travel expenses and other working terms and conditions, such as recognised holiday pay, sick pay and others.

All are needed as for some times many persons in need of social care have not been receiving any or if some, nowhere near the required amounts. Demand for social care is forever increasing while in real terms the funding has been reducing. Much of this lack of social care has been taken on by family carers well past when their own health has deteriorated, in which case this again increases the demand and need for social care and eventually much more care within the NHS.

This Government and all future Government have to listen and take this on board as no Government has done previously, if at all, for not to do so will not just be the demise of Social Care, but also the NHS.

The start of this has been happening for years, but now it is much more evident, but still this Government is not listening, is it because they are failing to see the problem or, more likely no wish to see the problem.

 

Source: Care workers’ lack of power at work behind tolerance of poor pay and conditions, finds report – Community Care

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Social care staff worst hit by long Covid, figures reveal – Community Care

This comes as no surprise to me as social care workers tend to have much closer relationships to the people they care for and more often to. Also, as fatigue is a constant condition in Long COVID it is not possible for them to do any proportion of any work within a social care workers role.

It is therefore so much urgent for the crisis in social care to be solved, once and for all as no ‘sticking plaster’ will solve any aspect, if it ever does in any working profession.

So Government piecemeal funding, which is that which is being proposed and it is greatly insignificant in the amount being offered. For sufficient funding has to be provided to significantly increase the rate of pay for social care workers to come into the profession and for the increased levels of pay to be sustained, then the other aspects of improvements to the employment of social care workers have to be looked at and needs improvements urgently implemented.

To have any degree of success the pay rate has to be increased to around £14/15 per hour, with appropriate increases to the rates offered to care providers to enable them to pay these rates to their carers

This will be a substantial investment by the Government into Local Authorities so they are able to pay the increased rates to Social Care providers. This investment will have to be £billions at least £12 billion in the first years and substantial increases for all years to come.

Without this social care will be doomed to fail and in doing so, so will the NHS and then complete failure to all in the UK.

Source: Social care staff worst hit by long Covid, figures reveal – Community Care

Government seeks overseas care staff to fill mounting shortages – Community Care

There are many factors here and some are being looked in isolation.

The problems are that care work is viewed by many as being unskilled, when to provide good quality care it is far from it as many skills are required for care work is not all about care.

Some of the areas are

emotional support
ability to manage a persons finances
understanding moving and handling
technical support for a cared for persons equipment
understanding medication and its dispensing
with many others

So with many care workers being on just the National Living Wage hourly rate of £9.50, even the Real Living Wage of £9.90 is no where near the rates for skilled workers, which care workers should be classed as.

Also we need to get away from the idea that all care workers work in care homes for many don’t, for many work for home care providers and also many are employed direct by persons in need of care and everybody is paid a meagre salary.

As to PA care rates, well in 2010 they were far in excess of rates paid to care workers employed by care providers and if the real living Wage had been in existence it was well above what it would have been.

So what is the significance of 2010, well that was when austerity cuts were placed on Local Authorities by the then Tory/ Lib Dems collation government and the cuts went on for at least 10 more years and then there was and is COVID. So, as austerity cuts made any significance to the salary differentials for PA rates and Agency provider rates, well I believe it has and maybe to some extent is one of the reason care workers are so low paid.

But maybe not so, as care workers have aways been very low paid and social care as never been funded as sufficiently as it should have been.

While all this occurring safeguarding concerns are increasing and so is abuse of vulnerable persons, be they adults or children. Some even get as for as criminal proceedings, but again it is viewed that the problems stem from inefficient LAs and unreliable social workers, who are so over worked is it really not believable that mistakes are made, but the Government and Government inactions are never considered and blamed, they are never held accountable, when they should be.

So why are we all fighting each other and even LAs, when all this should be firmly placed at the Door of the Health and Social Care Secretary and the resulting Prime Ministers, who have done little and in reality nothing for social care, as there are even major shortage of Social Workers.

Lets all of us agree that Social Care is in a very grave and deep crisis and that is resulting in making the crisis in the NHS even worse, with bed blocking long ambulance waits, A&Es not meeting targets due to the crisis in Primary Care with GP Practices.

All this is interrelated and it affects us all, but we are so intent of blaming each other, when all the blame should be heaped on the Government. Even to the extent that until now this Government has done all it can to stop non-UK persons coming to the UK to help care worker recruitment. It is not non-UK persons who are stopping care worker salaries increasing, but the total lack of concern by this Tory Government and all previous Governments, from whichever Party they came from.

 

 

Source: Government seeks overseas care staff to fill mounting shortages – Community Care

Huge rise in GP expenses could make some practices unviable within two years | The BMJ

It is well-known that the NHS is in crisis and little is being done to remedy it, lack of staff, abundance of patients, lack of funding and a major crisis in Social Care for similar reasons, but the Social Care crisis could be much more serious than that in the NHS. However, while the Government and all previous Government have been prepared to look at the NHS, but by doing so, they have in some respects added to the crisis, the Social care crisis is totally with the Governments due their  considerable inactions and apparent indifference to Social Care.

But, while Social Care is a major factor in the NHS, lets just look at Primary Care and GP practices.

I should mention that Dentistry is also a problem and could well be as bad, if not more so than GP practices for trying to find a NHS Dentist is like ‘looking for a needle in a Haystack’, which could well be so for GP practices if the problems can’t be sorted.

There is a major shortage of GPs and newly qualified doctors are reluctant to become GPs, in fact many, while qualifying in the UK, leave the UK when qualified. This is due to the finance of GP salaries and GP surgeries and the stresses caused within practices.

Trying to obtain GP appointment even virtually by telephone, let alone face to face are very difficult and this is causing a massing of patients for GPs attending A&E instead, causing even more lengthy delays in A&Es making it impossible to meet ‘targets’, especially the 4 hour wait and thereby creating problems for ambulances having to wait outside hospitals as they are unable to transfer their patients into A&E.

But GPs in short supply in GP practices are not the only problems as obtaining other staff are also problems, as there are insufficient receptionists, practice nurses and others. So major stresses for all concerned.

Then with practice expenses increasing, not only staff salaries, but there are also energy price increases and price increases for products used in the surgery, such as cleaning and PPE and others.

In fact, instead of stating the problems, it could be easier to state what is going right or not a problem.

Well, just the NHS, as with all the problems the NHS is still better than health services in other countries, especially as it is, mostly free at the point of delivery, with the exceptions of Dentists, Opticians and prescriptions, but they are still heavily subsidised.

The NHS was and still is a great concept and one that we need to maintain and have much less privatisation, which is creeping into the NHS.

But the Government, when we eventually have one, needs to sort out the finances, before the NHS and also Social Care disintegrates into nothing.

Source: Huge rise in GP expenses could make some practices unviable within two years | The BMJ

Adult social care vacancy rate hits 10% – Community Care

There appears to be some misconception both in the article and in some of the comments.

In the article. ‘the 1.25 percentage point rise in national insurance contributions and dividend taxes introduced this month’ is being split between the NHS and Social Care over 3 years, with, initially the bulk of the money going to the NHS. Even if £500 million is being promised for Social Care is is way below the amounts that are required which is more like, £12 billion, which will only bring funding back to 2010 levels, which then was wholly insufficient.

Then is the social care funding for council run Adult Social Care or for care workers in care homes, home care, respite care, supported living, hospices, etc or both.

The rate of pay for care workers is also wholly insufficient now a minimum, the National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour and not the £10.10 being offered to non-UK workers, while it should be a minimum of the Real Living Wage of £9.90. But, workers can get £14/15 per hour at Supermarkets for much less responsibilities. Care staff have the life of the persons needing care in their hands, not just providing personal care of washing, dressing and toileting, but dispensing medication, meal preparation, emotional support, managing finances, ensuring safeguarding and much more.

It is not just that care is in the private sector, for some councils also have care workers, maybe not employed directly, but through agencies with a long-arm connection, where care rates may be slightly higher but not by much. If done correctly it is a very demanding profession, not the misconception of many that it is unskilled for it does take great skills to provide care consistently of good quality. The workers, if providing good quality care should be respecting their choices and dignity of those to whom they provide care to and not just provide care how they wish for care should be person-centred.

But there are unsocial hours too much travel time and not fully funded, if at all, training should be first class and relevant and much more.

Social care has always been the very poor relation of the NHS, when it should be held in equal esteem by both Government and the UK population and has never been sufficiently funded and even more so over the last 12 years or so.

If more is not done for social care and done urgently, then the quality and quantity of care will be severely diminished to where it is not really available. This will create even more pressures on a currently over-burdened NHS.

You may not, currently require Social Care, but when you do or a family member does then you may find it is not there and it is not just social care for the elderly but for any age starting at times from birth and |COVID| is increasing demand on Social Care as well as the NHS.

Don’t be fooled by the very ignorant and discriminative Government. who are just following many other Governments before them of any Party.

 

Source: Adult social care vacancy rate hits 10% – Community Care

Whistleblowing: nephrologist who reported colleagues to GMC was unfairly dismissed | The BMJ

Whistleblowers are in many ways doing what the NHS was created to do, which is looking after the interests of patients, by dismissing them it implies the these NHS establishments are not looking after the interests of patients, but more intent for their own survival and patients don’t matter.

Rather than looking at whistleblowers and others who complain as causing problems, they are, in fact, just commenting on service delivery so that the delivery can improve, which should be beneficial to all of us.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

The establishments are not number 1 as the patients are, as without them the establishments would not be.

In all aspects everyone should be aiming to improve and not just stay as is or even get worse, as that leads to anarchy.

 

 

Source: Whistleblowing: nephrologist who reported colleagues to GMC was unfairly dismissed | The BMJ

Family of autistic man plan legal challenge over care conditions | Social care | The Guardian

Campaigners are calling for greater efforts to provide care in the community for people with severe learning disabilities. Photograph: AA Pix/Alamy

I have for years been saying that funding for social care is extremely important, but until recently I feel no one has been listening. That is certainly true about this Government for even now they are not listening and when it comes down to the facts, it is because, in reality, they do not even care.

I therefore support this legal challenge in every aspect.

To remedy the funding situation this Government needs to immediately refund to all Local Authorities (LAs) all the money withheld by Austerity Cuts and fully refund all the COVID costs LAs have had to encounter.

Only then will there be any chance that social care could be improved and in doing so relieve some of the burden the lack of social care has been causing to the NHS and the resulting effects on health care.

But there are also other measures this Government could do, one of which to immediately allow more non-UK citizens the enter the UK so they can be employed in social care for this would go a long way to ensure more persons would be available to work in social care. But also to ensure funding is sufficient to LAs so that care providers can be able to pay their care workers a more reasonable salary, to the extent of at least £14 per hour rather that the current National Living wage of £8.91or even the Real Living wage of £ 9.90 out of London (£11.05 within London).

But others need to be improves which includes

realistic sick pay rates

travel rates

unsocial hours rates

working conditions

and more

Social care is just as important as the NHS as both are inter-reliable on each other.

Source: Family of autistic man plan legal challenge over care conditions | Social care | The Guardian

£300m boost for adult social care workforce through winter – Community Care

True there are some care providers who do cream off money but they are few and far between.

I am a family carer, those who provides care and are unpaid, but with advancing years and deteriorating health I now can’t provide the care required. So I applied to our Local Authority for a Direct Payment so I could employ carers myself and when we did in 1988 the rate allowed by our Local Authority was very good, but since 2010 when it was £7.20 per hour the value of the rate continued to deteriorate.

From 2011 to 2015 I was allowed only one rate uplift, which brought the rate to £8.00 per hour and in 2016 requested another and that was granted in 2019 to £9.00 per hour.

During 2020 no uplifts were allowed for anyone using Direct Payments, but a good uplift was granted in 2021 being £9.50 per hour.

However, while it was a good rate in care those care workers could have earned around £14 per hour in a supermarket or Amazon, with much less experience and responsibility required.

So, the rate for care work is in no way sufficient and no I am not creaming off any money for the LA only pays sufficient for the rate in question. Care workers in providers are getting similar.

By saying what you do you are degrading care workers and the whole care profession.

Hardly anyone wishes to come into care to receive abysmal rewards. For to do care work to a good recognised standard considerable training, dedication and the will to provide good quality care is required.

The miserly £300million goes nowhere near far enough, as it is well short of the required £1.5 billion requested. Even that falls far short of what is required to bring pay levels back to 2010, which would require at least £12 billion.

But, even that falls far short of what should be coming from this Government, for it is not just pay rates that need to be improved.

There needs to be a

recognised sick pay arrangement

alterations to the UK Immigration regulations to allow more persons wishing to do care work from outside the UK

sufficient travel expenses

allowances for unsocial hours working

and much more.

Care work is in very grave danger of being ‘run into the ground’ causing even more problems for persons requiring care, leading to calamitous deteriorations of persons in need of care and also their families, which will greatly increase the demand for care from the NHS.

We are quickly sliding into Victorian conditions, when care for the poor and vulnerable was non-existent.

 

Source: £300m boost for adult social care workforce through winter – Community Care

Labour Members Vote In Favour Of £15 Minimum Wage | HuffPost UK

On the face of it this appears to be good news, provided Labour get in and do not renege on their promises, for nothing is ever certain.

I was campaigning for at least  £14, but £15 is even better, but is it?

Many organisations will be able to comply, without much bother but what about those organisations that are on restrictive incomes or uncertain incomes, for here I am relating to charities who have to bid for much of their income from ever reducing sources.

it could be that to pay £15 they would have to reduce the hours worked, so in effect the individuals would not be better or even worse if those reduced hours brought their reduced hours to be low the hours required to be eligible for certain tax credits.

Then we have the care profession, and yes, the good care workers should be on £15 or even much more, but for providers to pay that then their rates they charge for care would also have to be considerably increased and their is no mention of that. For Government controls what is paid to Local Authorities who in turn pay the care providers so they in turn pay their care workers.

For this to be achievable the total withdrawn under austerity cuts would have to be returned to Local Authorities and much much. For if the austerity cuts were to be reversed today this would only bring local authorities funding to 2010 levels, which due to the passage of time would have to be uplifted to account for inflation.

But 2010 levels even uplifted for inflation are way too insufficient to account for payments into social care, for in my view social care has never been sufficiently funded  by having an underfunded social care this has a bearing on the NHS, which in itself is also underfunded, but not to the enormous scale of the underfunding of social care.

The crisis in social care is very dire and not all is down to funding, for much is also down to the lack of persons willing to enter the care profession, and this could be partly remedied by allowing persons from outside the UK to enter so they could become employed in social care, but the current Government immigration policy does not allow for this. But it appears there are to be some temporary lifting for lorry drivers and some others, but no mention of social care.

Social Care has to be part of increased funding, substantial increases of funding as well as substantial permanent changes to the immigration policy and then look at working conditions, guaranteed travel pay and sickness and holiday pay as well as unsocial hours payments.

If not social care will not survive which means neither will the NHS.

 

 

Source: Labour Members Vote In Favour Of £15 Minimum Wage | HuffPost UK

Vulnerable patient’s death at private hospital is a ‘scandal’, says mother | Hospitals | The Guardian

Yet another scandal regarding to persons with learning Disabilities, so why are these situations allowed to happen and why are there no prosecutions on the persons who allowed the scandals to occur, where is the accountability.

Where is the public outcry?

Where is the Government action?

What are the Legal Authorities doing?

What are the authorities doing about the supervision and monitoring of all the various areas which are involved in the caring of persons with Learning Disabilities?

So many What’s and Where’s, but are any being answered, I fear not and if not why.

Is Learning Disability and/or Autism really at the forefront of Safeguarding and if not why not?

Is this Government doing all it can to safeguard persons with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism and as any previous Governments done so? On all counts I regret the answer is no.

In the UK there are approximately 1.5 million people with a Learning Disability (2019), with approximately 1% of the UK population has autism

More information regarding Learning Disability in Yorkshire and Humber (2012)

In 2020 the Population of the UK was around 67 million

There is a NHS Learning Disability Register, please if you have a learning Disability or you have a relative with a Learning disability please ensure you or they are recorded on the Register

In Sheffield there is a local Sheffield Learning Disability Register please ensure if you are in Sheffield with a Learning Disability you are also on this register, you can register by using this form.

 

Source: Vulnerable patient’s death at private hospital is a ‘scandal’, says mother | Hospitals | The Guardian