Category Archives: Employment

Police spending ‘almost third of time on non-police work’ | The Independent

So, ‘Police spending ‘almost third of time on non-police work’’, and a fair proportion of that time, could well be on transporting patients to hospital. Really, Police should be there for what they are employed for and that is dealing with crime.  Well what is occurring to the NHS is a crime, but not of a police definition, but a crime committed by the Government in allowing by insufficient funding and at many times interfering in the operations of the NHS doing what it knows best to do and that is caring for patients, when the Government has no idea of caring in any situation.

The Government expertise is meddling in areas where they have no knowledge, thereby causing many more problems.

Like creating targets, which have no possibility of being achieved, such as the 4 hour A&E wait times. What with the crisis with ambulances waiting at hospitals to transfer their patients, the state of Primary Care at GP surgeries, an abundance of patient with a severe insufficiency of GPs, so patients are bypassing GP surgeries and attending A&E instead.

The government need to get their act together and fully fund all aspects of the NHS, more funding for the Police so they can combat all crimes.

But it is not just the NHS and Police, but a defunct education system, let alone the serious crisis in social care. This not only put vulnerable people at risk through lack of social care, but this lack also severely impacts the NHS. Lack of social care progresses conditions that with sufficient social care would not progress or not to the degree they are doing. But also patients due to be discharged from hospital are not being due to the lack of social care, hence no beds being vacated, thereby patients in A&E can’t be progressed to wards, leading to ambulances queuing at hospitals, leading to Police to transfer patients which should have been by ambulances, thereby insufficient Police to deal with crime.

All this being caused by a Government not governing adequately, who appear to be saying what crisis, well their complete lack of attention to leads to that conclusion.

 

Source: Police spending ‘almost third of time on non-police work’ | The Independent

Adult care bereft of cash for current pressures and long-term reforms, warn MPs – Community Care

At long last there is action in Parliament, albeit, reports from Select Committees, it is a start from a less than zero base, one that has been around for many years, maybe from when Social Care became evident, even pre 1948. No Government has bothered to look at Social Care and it has been left to meander its course for far too long. For without a fully functioning Social Care there is no hope for the NHS, for they are, forever, interrelated. So any crisis in Social care only adds to the crisis in the NHS, while not providing reasonable care for those in need of Social Care, so they are left to suffer causing vast declines in health, not only for the individuals concerned but also their families.

Whie the NHS was created in 1948, so should social care have been incorporated fully in the service and not been left outside to fail.

Fail it did not only because of the workers within social care, but they and social care have been left without adequate funding and recognition, hence the forever increasing crisis in social care. Made much worse by 10 years of austerity cuts to Local Authorities, (LAs)  and then massive costs for going on another 2-3 years due to COVID. During this time those in need of social care have been ever increasing numbers and not only that, much increase in complexities for care required.

Many Safeguarding concerns have arisen, but blame has only been made to in dividual social workers and their respective councils and not where it should have been, on this and all previous Governments. Thus causing unnecessary pain  and suffering and at times, deaths to both children and adults.

But the Government and government funding has been the ‘elephant’ in the room, which has never to be mentioned.

This completely wrong and should never have been left to arise.

even when some funding has been made available, it has always been so far short of what is really required and never sustainable. Addition responsibilities have been place on LAs by Governments and never been, seriously funded, if funded at all.

The Select Committees are saying additional funding of £5-7 billion is required now and not the miserly amount offered by this government, but even that is way sort as it has to be, at least £12 billion now, but even that would only bring funding to 2010 levels, which was way short then.

Government and Government Ministers need to take the crisis in social care seriously and give it the extreme priority in needs and deserves.

Source: Adult care bereft of cash for current pressures and long-term reforms, warn MPs – 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

‘Desk-based social work that can be done from anywhere’: Ofsted issues warning over remote working – Community Care

Yet another issue affecting Social workers on top of all the others.

Yes, remote working could be a major issue, as if other measures are not implemented for supervision then this could be problematic for all social workers be they experienced or not. Then would supervision be done remotely also.

But, surely ‘hot desking’ was just as problematic, but maybe for other reasons.

No matter what none of this solves the burdens of work, for social workers are still very seriously over worked, which lack of supervision could easily add more problems to.

Supervision is essential for it is an opportunity for social workers to raise any issues they have, but then will they be listened to, especially in the current climate of lack of finance for social care.

The working loads, the work pressures, lack of supervision and maybe more so, lack of consulting their peers and others all adds to the stresses of social work and could well affect the quality. That in turn would cause problems for those who the social workers have in their caseload, so problems for everyone all round, with a Government not listening, the ‘elephant’ in the room, whom no one wishes to mention, but are behind the finance problems.

For someone who is a carer of someone in a social workers caseload, many problems do occur, of which communication is a major issue. As, with working from home there is no central point to find answers on a social workers availability, so if phone calls and emails don’t produce communications when needed that creates another failure of the system.

A system which is seriously underfunded, serious lack of social workers availability due to insufficiencies of social workers and over work burdens, causing ‘burnout’ leading to essential time off, thereby either increasing workload for the social workers left, or issues not being dealt with, or maybe now being temporarily being looked after an agency social worker, who needs not only to understand the system the local authority uses but getting to know person requiring a social worker, when sufficient time may not be available, leading to disconnect and maybe errors creating even more problems.

The problems with Social Care are not resting in isolation, for these problems could well cause increases in safeguarding concerns causing more to an overburdened workload and more calls on finance. But, not only that for insufficiencies in Social care cause health problems both mentally and other conditions, hence increasing problems and workloads for the NHS in many areas, including mental health which is another insufficiently funded and resourced area in addition to all the others. Not even mentioning community and public health.

The ‘elephant’ needs to be dealt with, but when Government is not listening the problems get worse, which is why there are these serious problems today, due to not only this Government not listening, but every previous government. But, the blame is never placed at the Government, but on the social worker and maybe, eventually the Local Authority.

So, everyone suffers, except the Government who should be made to shoulder the blame.

 

Source: ‘Desk-based social work that can be done from anywhere’: Ofsted issues warning over remote working – Community Care

Adult social care vacancies up 52% over past year – Community Care

As it has been said, vacancies and recruitment have been problems for some many years, but it has become much worse recently.

However, pay is not the only reason as Brexit and UK immigration policy have also had their impact. but there are also others being

1. travel including travel expenses, fuel is a major problem, certainly with its current high costs, but travel expenses for care workers are not generally available, except that mileage may be paid as expenses, but not always but travel time should also be paid.

2. unsocial hours should also be a factor in pay

3. as should working Bank Holidays while, as well as being given back the day worked, extra pay should be paid for doing so

4. sick pay is also an issue as there should be a recognised sick pay scheme for care workers, as with the low pay rates, being sick and having to rely on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is not realistic, especially when the first 3 days are not paid at all when on SSP

5. as to the pay rate £15.00 would be more realistic than the current National Living Wage of £9.50 or even the Real Living Wage of £9.90,  or even the £12.77 quoted in the article

6. Care work needs to be recognised as a profession and its public perception greatly improved, as is the case for social care in general

But for any or all of the above to be achieved the Government needs to take onboard the crisis in social care and not ignore it as has been so for all previous Governments.

Yes, this Government did promise a fraction of the £5.1 billion, supposed to be funded by the NI surcharge, but none of this is guaranteed, which it has to be and much more, to £12 billion. But that would only bring the funding back to 2010 levels which, then, was totally inadequate.

Social care needs to be adequately funded, which it has never been and until it is persons in need of care will be left to suffer or much worse, even death and this lack of recognition and funding is seriously adding to the NHS crisis.

Some will say bring all social care back to Local Authorities, but it was not a real success when it was and it would remove choice from the system completely, which has to be maintained for the choices of persons in need of care should always be respected. So all the above 1-6 and more needs to be done and done urgently so that people in need of care and their families are safeguarded.

While Local Authorities have to be made accountable, even more so should the Government be and be blamed for all that is occurring though years of inactions and ignoring the problems.

Source: Adult social care vacancies up 52% over past year – Community Care

NHS / Worst staffing crisis in history putting patients at serious risk, MPs warn | The Guardian

Yes, there is a staffing crisis in the NHS and it could well be the worst in history, but that is not the whole story.

Over the years the NHS has had to overcome many problems and maybe not overcome them completely for one is ‘Successive Governments’ interference for virtually every Government there has been since 1948 has interfered in the NHS to some extent, reorganisations here and there, in many instances with no or relative communications with the NHS, but interference for political motives.

Then there is fund of the lack of it or the right funding. As currently there is an issue of pay in virtually every sector of the NHS, but when Hospitals or Foundation Trusts form their budgets they will write in a pay percentage increase, but this will be well before the actual pay percentage has been agreed and in many instances really thought of. So a pay percentage increase is eventually agreed, but the budgets will only have included a fraction of the actual percentage. While the pay increase is directed by the Government, they will not, in most instances provide further money to increase the original budgets, so the balance of the [ay increase will have to be found from other areas in the budget, so some areas will not receive the amount of funding they expected and will have to provide the forecasted service with much less money available. This is not the fault of the NHS or the hospitals, but the hospitals will still receive the blame, when the blame should firmly rest with the Government.

Then we have targets created by the Government, which in many instances are not met and meeting these targets, could, in some instances release slightly more funding. So, the targets tend not to be realistic for many reasons, some mentioned above. What is the point in having unrealistic targets in fact, why have targets at all. Well targets are used as a measuring tool to define quality and quantity care

Another problem is the pricing of equipment and other resources from associated organisations, many of whom will be the central NHS recognised suppliers, but are these suppliers still competitive or have they over the years increased their pricing more than they needed, so in effect imposed a NHS Surcharge because they know they will get it.

But another major factor is the state of Social Care, which has been in crisis for as long as the NHS and maybe even longer, and while the NHS has been regularly funding, albeit, not to the required levels, social care has not been, in fact over the last 12 years or more as had its funding drastically reduced as social care is funded by local authorities. (LAs) who receive most of their funding from Government for all the services they provide and over these last 12 years have been subjected to extreme austerity cuts. This has required that the quantity of social care has had to be reduced and in doing so some of the quality has also been reduced. You also need to be aware that social care is not just for the elderly in care and nursing homes, for it includes home care, supported living, respite for all children and adults.

So, when patients are due to be discharged, bit are not sufficiently able to look after themselves at home and will require some social care input, due to the lack of social care available this required input may not be available, hence the patient can’t be discharged. This means beds in hospitals which should be available for new patients are not available so this causes problems in A&E and thereby they become overcrowded and eventually can’t admit more persons into A&E.

This causes problems for to be patients to be admitted to A&E and they are retained on ambulances, thereby causing ambulances to be waiting outside A&E and so are not available to attend new patients. This in turn affects the set targets for ambulances, who are then blamed for not meeting their targets.

There is also a lack of suitable social housing and in fact good quality social housing, which in turn creates more health issues, which could well add to the problems for the NHS. Now social hosing is either the responsibility of LAs or Housing Associations, who may well be funded by LAs, which brings us back to the extreme underfunding of LAs by Governments.

In all of this the respective organisations are blamed, while the Government escapes all or most of the blame, when in many instances they are totally to blame. But Governments and especially Government Ministers are not held accountable, when they should be. Unfortunately politics has much to be blamed for and in many respects the Treasury is behind the lack of funding policies, so the responsibility and accountability should be placed not only on the respective department ministers, but also the Prime Minister and certainly the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The current policy to not fund social care and for many previous years is such a major factor in the current crisis in the NHS. But Social care is not on the Government agenda and if it is mentioned it is not to sufficient degree and urgency.

Yes, there was or is, to some extent the £5.1 billion to be funded by the 1.25% increase in NI contributions, but this falls way short when looking at Social Care. It was also and still is, if the NI contribution was the best way to fund it, when there would be other means available, the surcharge on Energy companies, no pay rises for MPs and Ministers and other means.

Until Social Care becomes the major priority for this or any Government, then funding for the NHS will never be sufficient. The NHS and Social Care have to work together, for one can’t exist without the other and this Government and others need to take this on board and do it urgently.

Source: NHS / Worst staffing crisis in history putting patients at serious risk, MPs warn | The Guardian

Covid-19: High prevalence and lack of hospital beds putting “intense pressure” on ambulances | The BMJ

All 11 ambulance services in England are working under extreme pressure because of rising rates of covid-19 and a lack of available hospital beds, and leaders are now asking the public to take extra precautions in the hot weather to avoid adding to the already overwhelming workload. In a statement issued on 12 July, Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said that the NHS ambulance sector was “under intense pressure” and was now operating at the highest level of their local resource escalation action plans, which is normally reserved for “major incidents or short term periods of unusual demand.” In their Resource Escalation Action Plan there are four levels used to describe the pressure that ambulance services are under, with level 1 being “steady state” and level …

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Well, COVID-19 and the heatwave are not only causing pressures on the Ambulance services and also hospitals, but so is the lack of sustainable social care.

For, if, there was sufficient social care, then this would create more bed space as patients ready for discharge could be discharged into care homes on a temporary basis or direct to their own homes with suitable social care input. But, there is a lack of social care due to the insufficiency of persons being able to work in care. In many respects this is down to the abysmal rates of pay in social care and this is due to the extreme lack of finance in social care. This is caused by Government policy over many years and even more so since 2010 due to the austerity cuts then imposed on Local Authorities, thus not allowing them the funds to make the extremely long awaited financial input, thereby allowing care providers the ability to increase the rates of pay for care workers. This also includes, Individual Employers who employ Personal Care Assistants to undertake their care needs and is funded through Local Authorities by Direct Payments.

So to provide the required help to the NHS, firstly this Government needs to solve the financial crisis in social care, otherwise any funding into health will not solve the issues. This Government needs to do this and will be the first Government to act on Social Care, as every previous Government as done all they can and more to fully ignore Social Care.

 

Source: Covid-19: High prevalence and lack of hospital beds putting “intense pressure” on ambulances | The BMJ

Regulate or ban social work agencies to tackle ‘profiteering’, urges ADCS president – Community Care

The ‘Elephant’ in the room is of course the Government, who are really responsible for low pay and not just of Social Workers, this they do by restricting the grants they pay to Local Authorities, (LAs) so, therefore LAs are unable to pay any workers, including Social Workers their real worth.

It is no wonder that Social Workers are looking to leave LA employment and join agencies so that they can receive their real worth and LAs have to comply, that is, if they want workers to do the work. It is ‘supply and demand’, the agencies have the workers to fill the demand of LAs.

If, the Government reversed all and every austerity cut, then the supply of workers would diminish and workers would be willing to work for LAs directly.

After all MPs and Ministers do receive pay increases, but they have their independent pay review body, surely for equality LA workers should also have their independent pay review body and then they too could have their pay increases.

 

 

Source: Regulate or ban social work agencies to tackle ‘profiteering’, urges ADCS president – Community Care

Unions seek 10.8% pay rise for Cafcass workers amid staffing crisis

Unfortunately, many in the UK are well underpaid, some much more than others and this has been caused by lack of Government management over many years and not only from one political party.

This and many previous Governments keep saying that The UK economy can’t afford this and that, but, is it not surprising that money can always be found for ‘so called’ Government pet projects.

Money was found in 2008 for the Banking Crisis, for many instances of MPs pay, ‘fat cats’ of industry and Chief Executives, COVID pandemic, helping Ukraine in this offensive war by Russia on Ukraine and more.

Not that some of the above was necessary for in many ways it was, but that does not help in the means of living for the many in the UK.

Benefits for the vulnerable have not kept pace with the costs of living, so as the salaries for many in the public sector and also many in the private sectors.

For years much of the UK work force have been receiving less than inflation pay rises or no pay rises at all, while work demands have been increasing, so in effect most of us have been working and doing more for much less monetary reward.

While it goes without saying that substantial pay rises are required, also required is a reevaluation of the gap in pay from the lowest paid to the highest paid in the UK as a whole, but also in many different companies and organisations. In this there should be some factor that the highest paid are not paid more than a stated percentage above that of the lowest paid, tax treatments that reflect on the means to live, so much less on the lower paid and slightly more on the higher paid.

The Inland Revenue also have a part to play, in that when looking at unpaid tax or tax avoidance that they don’t solely concentrate on those easiest to monitor, but also much more on the hardest to monitor, be they be individuals or multi national organisations. Tax treatments need to be much more equalised than currently they are in all aspects of tax calculation and collection.

But most of all the most underpaid should be a priority and while most in the UK are well underpaid, some are more so than others and have been for much more than I care to remember.

Here the article is looking at social care in the public sector and I agree that pay is not what it should be and also the excessive workloads due to lack of staff, increases in concerns arising from lack of social care in the UK population due mainly to inactions of all previous Governments.

In my view Social care within the community has, not only been underfunded for years, but has never been, really, sufficiently funded since, at least 1948, when the NHS was formed. A grave mistake was made in 1948, in that, social care was not, anywhere near fully associated with health care. For way too long as there been much duplication in work, insufficient working together and too much active confrontations, especially in who finances what.

In addition is the pay for care workers and their status in the realms of working. They are deemed to be unskilled workers, when to provide good quality care they need to be well skilled, for it is not just doing the bare minimum without considering the individual to whom care is being given. We are all individuals no matter what age we are and we all have individual needs and most of all should have choices which should be considered. For way too long the concept of ‘one fits all’ as been the way forward, for that does not, in anyway, follow the concept of choice, just the opposite. For years, not only has social care been seriously underfunded, but also seriously understaffed, of which pay is only one consideration for there are many others. These to include, working conditions, sick pay, travel expenses, holiday entitlement, unsocial hours payments, and much more

This and previously Governments have done little or more correctly nothing to rectify this and in many instances have made it much worse by not viewing the problems, or not wishing to understand the problems, after all they are caring for the elderly, children and adults with disabilities, the poor and those with ill-health who many, if not all Governments have viewed as being an inconvenience and not to be really bothered with. This is until there are safeguarding concerns and even then these are viewed in isolation by the Government and regretfully much of the UK population. The years of Government inactions are not considered, but the lack of ‘Duty of Care’ of Social Work departments and Social Workers are, when in many respects the departments and social workers are doing the best they can with the meagre resources available, but to years of Government underfunding for Local Authorities, then on top the 10 years of austerity cuts and followed by, at least, 2 years of additional COVID expenditure.

No wonder mistakes are made, when there are insufficiencies of social workers, extremely excessive workloads, maybe lack of sufficient management and supervision, as LAs try to save money and too much pressures being brought on from above.

So, I don’t begrudge the current salary demands, but in doing so, do consider your fellow workers, for it is not their faults and they maybe in a much worse financial position as you are.

Striking, is not really the best option, as this only affects or much more affects the persons who are there is care for. It is Government you need to go for and go for directly and not indirectly as will be by striking.

What there needs be is compulsory arbitration by a fully independent body of Government control and be binding on all parties. Ideally also a Government who is prepared to listen and then take the appropriate actions, nit for the Government but for the parties who are raising their grievances.

We should all be working together.

 

Source: Unions seek 10.8% pay rise for Cafcass workers amid staffing crisis

Time for action on disability employment – PBA

Disability discrimination is nothing new, but in this day and age, when there is so much enlightenment, or should be, just what will be needed for everyone to ensure there is no discrimination.

Lets hope that the new Australian Government carryout their promises and stop disability discrimination once and for all.

But it should not be down, totally, for the Government and employers to stop this discrimination, for it should be up to everyone and where discrimination is seen or known about then this needs to be reported so that the appropriate actions can be taken against those responsible for the discrimination and those actively discriminating.

Source: Time for action on disability employment – PBA