Category Archives: Working Together

Minister invited 44 ‘leaders’ to care summit, but not one disabled people’s organisation – Disability News Service

Am I surprised at this, well the answer is no, for, really, I feel this Government does not care about persons with disabilities and just going through the motions of showing they do care and not even doing a good job of that.

But is it that they don;t really care or is it that the despise them, for the actions of governments, this one and those previously appear to do so and when looked at it is a reasonable conclusion to come to.

Just look at the history, created a welfare system that is not easy to obtain benefits from, unless you are criminally minded, the reason the Government states to make it difficult. But criminals always find a way, while those that deserve the benefits will more than likely not. For criminals are unscrupulous and real benefit claimants are not.

Not only are the benefit claim forms confusing, but the assessment process is weighed against claimants, with a fair number of benefit assessors purposely misrepresenting claimants and is some instances putting total untruths in the assessments.

Then we have the funding, which is totally inappropriate and is greatly less than required. But not only that as successive Governments have refused to do anything to make Social Care any better and when they do it is wholly insufficient, ‘way too little and way too late’.

When the banks were in crisis the Government came forward, but then they were benefiting their own, where with Social Care they are not, as the persons in the Government either do not need Social Care or if they do, can afford to pay for the care themselves, which the majority of the UK population can not.

 

Source: Minister invited 44 ‘leaders’ to care summit, but not one disabled people’s organisation – Disability News Service

US company in takeover of network of GP practices – The Lowdown

Privatisation within the UK health service is nothing new for it was there before  the NHS was created in 1948 and was allowed to be there after the NHS was created in 1948.

How come, well before 1948 all GP services and Dental practices were all private organisations and they did not wish to lose this when joining the NHS, So with the BMA, (British Medical Association), doctors and dentists voted to not join the NHS. By this it would have meant creating the NHS would have been difficult and may not have been possible and therefore everyone would continue to pay their GP distectly for all health treatments. In fact hospitals  were run by GPs, so in effect all hospital treatments, would, most likely have to be paid for directly by the patients.

Not what the Labour Government and the Beveridge Report 1942 

wanted, so a compromise was found, which allowed GPs and Hospitals consultants to retain their private practices , while signing contracts to work for the NHS, thereby the private practices were allowed to continue, which to this day they continue to do so.

It was, of course, envisaged that the private practices would stay with the GPs and Dentists partners, who ever they were at a particular time.

But, over time large organisations have been allowed to take over some of these practices, which is now allowing American companies to gain more of a ‘foothold’ in the NHS.

But, as the article states each acquisition has to be approved by the local CCG, (Clinical Commission Group), who, currently, hold the health funding and distribute it to all areas within the health services within the area administered by the local CCGs. However, CCGs, themselves could be taken over, as stated in the new White Paper, Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all

The new ICSs, (Integrated Care Services) will replace the CCGs, so instead of 135 CCGs there will be 42 IGSs throughout England. The ICSs have been around since 2018, but should the ‘White Paper’ be formed into an Act and then becomes law, then the ICSs will gain more powers.

 

 

Source: US company in takeover of network of GP practices – The Lowdown

NHS shake-up will leave ministers with no one to blame but themselves | Society | The Guardian

On the face of it this reorganisation of Health and Social Care is good,  but we have yet to see the ‘fine print’, which could hold further dangers.

Another could be the regain of central held control for will one in an isolated London, know what is required ‘North of Watford Gap’, for that is a massive area for London held control to manage.

Yes, it appears that some control will be handed over to the 42 Integrated Care System (ICSs) areas, which are much less than the 135 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England. A much larger area for ICSs to administer, when, even CCGs did not get it all right.

Will the bureaucracy really be reduced or just remain the same in a much larger administration area.

The apparent move away from having to tender services when there was nothing wrong with the services, should be welcomed, thereby allowing the services to plan more ahead. But will the larger administration areas mean a slower system for change and a change in one area of a ICS may be good for some parts of that area but not for other parts of the same larger area.

A big if, will it mean funding is better spent and channeled to where it is most needed and will it be better for additional funding, especially in respect of Social Care.

There are so many, ifs and why will this be better than all the other Government meddling in Health and Social Care.

 

Source: NHS shake-up will leave ministers with no one to blame but themselves | Society | The Guardian

Coronavirus: AstraZeneca defends EU vaccine rollout plan – BBC News

The EU did not think this through or if they did took the wrong line.

Unfortunately the EU is a well known over bureaucratic organisation, perhaps too big for its own good, and more likely used to having its own way, pleasing itself, rather than understanding others.

It took way too long to approve any vaccines and delayed ordering vaccines to, perhaps, just before the last minute and then expected everyone to ‘jump to attention’.

The the EU does not control the whole world and now, not even the UK, it should abide by international law, not only when it agrees with

it, but especially when not so.

When the UK was threatening to include clauses into the Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU, they were ‘up in arms’ about it and perhaps with justification.

But then within a short time they did, or tried to do something similar and pleased no one.

One of the good points, is they did a ‘U-turn’, which has mitigated some of the outcomes, but the thought they did it once, will not go away.

This does leave a ‘door ajar’, for, perhaps others to do so as well.

What it readily shows is the the EU can’t be trusted, which many in the UK have believed for sometime, whether correctly or not.

The UK, appear to not wish to make, much capital from the EUs actions, for which the UK should be applauded for, and it goes some way so as not to sour relations between the UK and EU, but any similar actions by the EU will not go down well, not only the UK, but many of the countries within the EU.

To some extent this appears to justify the UKs Brexit actions and could, in time, lead other countries to think about their own membership of the EU.

But, all that been said, lets put all this behind us and work better together, if in many respects separately. For it has been shown that the more working together is beneficial for all concerned, for this the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to vaccines development has been a great example.

Lets dwell on the positives and endeavour to discount the negatives.

Related article: EU vaccine export row: Bloc backtracks on controls for NI

Source: Coronavirus: AstraZeneca defends EU vaccine rollout plan – BBC News

Differences between key workers – Institute For Fiscal Studies- IFS

I welcome this work done by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in so far as it goes, but I do feel further work is required, especially now that we are no longer in the EU, so a range could be UK, EU, non-UK/EU.

Further, a more in depth look at Social Care, as does it include non-care workers, of these non-care workers, a split between Social Workers, others in Local Authority departments, and a more defined split of actual care workers, with regards to workers in care homes, home care workers, respite, supported living, hospices, etc and also split between children and adult care workers.

Also a more in depth split in health into the various health sectors, Doctors, Consultants, nurses, catering, technicians, domestics, administration, etc.

Possible in depth in other areas also.

For this would show the deplorable situations within Social Care and other areas.

Much is said about qualifications, but in Social Care, while qualifications  are important, the knowledge about how to care is of even greater importance and this is the qualification of life.

For in care it is not just about turning up, and for some they do not turn up, but how you care when you do. As in care you are not there to care how you yourself feel, but how the person you are caring for feels, show them respect and respect their property.

However, these skills are not taken into account in the rate of pay for caring, when they should be, thereby making the pay rates to be far too low for the responsibilities undertaken by care workers.

Then there is the Government , public and media attention to the respect for care workers and this needs to change. For care workers are there to help those in need of care to live a life of their own choosing and not chosen by Government, the public, media and in some instances care workers.

For this to have any reasonable chance of being achieved the Government needs to reimburse LAs for all the austerity cuts put on them by previous Tory Governments and the additional costs relating to COVID-19.

However, this would only bring the finance situation to that of 2010, which at that time was very much insufficient, for when you look at Social Care it has never been sufficiently funded and this is down to all Government, be they Labour or Conservative and maybe others, if we go back far enough.

There have been many promises, by many Governments to sort out funding and many other aspects relating to Social Care, but none have do so, thereby creating many aspects of crisis in Social Care over the years.

This can’t be allowed to continue and to bring the matter to the attention of everyone, I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

I ask you all to, please sign this petition and then share within your own networks.

Some more information can be found here, should it be required.

 

Source: Differences between key workers – Institute For Fiscal Studies – IFS

‘Before, there were peaks and troughs – with Covid, it’s relentless’: social work eight months into the pandemic | Community Care

Social Workers have always worked under extreme pressure, both from management and service users, the latter just expressing their own feelings and wishing support. While the former, put more pressure on top of the extreme pressure already there and if support is given it is the exception, not the ‘norm’.

As someone with an adult 50 year old daughter with severe Learning disabilities and autism, who, luckily still lives with myself and while we have an excellent 24/7 care package, this does not stop problems and concerns from occurring.

So, unfortunately I am one of those persons contacting our already extremely overworked social worker and wishing results, as while I understand, to some extent, the social workers stresses, my first priority has to be my own family.

I also hear of concerns from other families as I also facilitate a learning disabilities/autism carers support group, but regretfully we have not been able to meet this year due to COVID-19, except for email contact.

Social Care is in an extreme crisis for those who are employed in a social work capacity and also for paid carers and the Individuals they provide care for together with their families.

While, to a large extent, this crisis is down to the complete lack of sufficient funding for social care, which as always been the case, but this has been exacerbated by 10 long years of austerity cuts to Local Authorities from Government and many additional costs from COVID-19, which are not being completely covered by this Government, but all the problems related to in this article.

The future for Social Care does not bode well for the future, unless, this Government provides what as been required and promised for many years, but will they, who knows, for previous Governments have not dealt with this when they should have done.

To cover some of the finance problems , with regards to actual care delivery, I did create the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care.

I appreciate this will not solve all the crisis problems, but it would show some commitment to do something from this Government, which has been sadly lacking for many considerable years.

 

Source: ‘Before, there were peaks and troughs – with Covid, it’s relentless’: social work eight months into the pandemic | Community Care

Rough sleeping crisis ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ of poverty and destitution, warn Labour

This is indeed a very serious crisis, yet another that this Governments policies and many previous Governments policies, be they be Labour or Conservative, have created and done little or nothing to solve.

Instead of playing Party politics all in Government and Parliament should be working together to manage and reduce this situation, so that both short and long-term solutions can be formed.

Improving Social Housing, in quality, quantity, costs and more would be one solution, but there are many more.

A more substantial and creative welfare benefits system would be another, one that is there to help and not punish.

Another would be to improve the legal entity, where all authorities are there to help, rather than see the problem as a reason to arrest or move persons on, so that it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Another would be for the authorities to talk to the ‘homeless’ and find out from them, ‘first hand’ what could be done to solve the homelessness for each individual, as there will be many reasons for them to be homeless and be seen to be both reactive and more importantly proactive by providing what homeless people are looking for, rather than just create what authorities believe would be solutions, for the solutions will be many and there could well be a mixture of solutions.

Perhaps a more difficult one to solve would be to improve the public opinion to the homeless situation, but first the Government opinion needs to be improved considerably.

These are just some of the possible solutions, but there will be many more and the solutions will need to be ‘fluid’ so that changes, which will occur from time to time, can be accommodated quickly and responsibly.

 

Source: Rough sleeping crisis ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ of poverty and destitution, warn Labour

Emmerdale Star Chris Bisson Reveals Personal Connection To Laurel And Jai’s Emotional Story

This is an extremely emotive issue, whichever way the storyline goes and I do hope Emmerdale deal with it in a sensitive way. The story will generate distress, as they will have to go through the process of deciding whether to terminate or proceed with the birth, which will create many views and opinions through the script and with the viewers, as well as with the cast.

Same Difference

Emmerdale star Chris Bisson has opened up about his personal connection to Jai Sharma’s upcoming storyline.

Jai will face a big decision with his partner Laurel in upcoming episodes after discovering that they’re expecting a baby together.

When the couple learn that their child will be born with Down’s syndrome, they ultimately make the decision that Laurel will have a termination – after some very difficult and intense conversations.

Speaking on Digital Spy’s Soap Scoop podcast, Chris – who plays Jai – explained:It’s a difficult story for me, I’ll be quite straight about that.

“I have a cousin who has Down’s syndrome, and he has been the centre of our family. I’ve had to have difficult conversations with both charities and with family as well.

“I had to speak to my auntie because my cousin is a massive Emmerdale fan, and I wanted her to know that…

View original post 147 more words

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

The simple answer is ‘it should not be’, but in reality it is, but is it.

I use home care on a 24/7 basis to care for my daughter, who lives with me in our own home. My daughter will be 53 on 19 December 2020 and has multiple physical and severe learning disabilities and also autism.

As we are in a Tier 3 area she is not able to go out for lunch and has not been since February/March 2020, which she did 3 times per week. In addition she lost her mother and my wife on 26 September 2020, from non-COVID-19 conditions.

Although we have tried to explain why and that she will not see her mother again, we are not sure how much she understands and it is a considerable loss to her routine.

While she can communicate verbally, to some extent, she mainly decides not to do so, be this because she has decided so, or is unable to comprehend how to, we do not really know and will self-harm, lash out to harm others, etc, but to her this is another form of communication. If we put reasons forward, such as do you miss, Zoe, her Mum, or not going out, she will say yes, because she does and will say what she feels we want to hear, but it may not be correct, mixture of reasons or something new.

However, we have a very excellent team of carers, who understand that she does not mean to act in this way and do all they can to calm the situation, which generally does not last for long and afterwards she appears to be OK, but is she really?

The carers are also missing Zoe and I certainly am and we understand the situation, but we have difficulties managing our feelings and if we do not it is generally expected that we are trying to cope.

So, why do some people not extend this to people with disabilities, for that is the problem, not persons with disabilities, for they are just trying to live their lives the best they can.

Rather, than concentrating on why people with disabilities react in certain way, sure we should be concentrating on why some carers are not working in ways that they should.

Is it because, they put themselves first, do not care, a lack of understanding, a person who should not be in the caring profession, a really bad person, etc.

So, we look at those who do care and do show understanding to be the exception when it should be those who do not.

Caring is not understood by many and some of these are in the caring profession.

But it is not just the care workers, for some in management are also not working correctly, as they,

  • do not manage quality and in doing so allow bad quality care to be done
  • are also there for themselves instead of the persons in need of care and their care workers
  • have a ‘cavalier’ attitude to working practices
  • and others

But the monitoring of care is also falling well below the standard required by both the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Local Authorities, who, I feel concentrate far too much on record keeping, rather than actual care delivery.

Yes, good quality records do need to be maintained, but in reality anything can be written down, for who is to say that the written record is correct and even then some organisations can not even keep good quality records.

More needs to be done and the poor and bad organisations and the similar care workers should be ‘weeded’ out of the profession.

But due to years of major underfunding of Social Care, by this current Government and many previously, there is, I feel, a misplaced view, perhaps by some Local Authorities, that they wish to maintain the current amount of Care organisations, rather than to remove some. For in my own area of the UK I am aware of some organisations who should not be there, but, in some respects, the proof is not easy to find, as you can not go on ‘here say’.

While, I myself will speak out about practices I feel are bad, there are many persons in need of care and also their families who are reluctant to for many reasons

  • have complained before and not been listened to
  • have complained before and told by the care organisation, that the care being given is there to stay and if not accepted then care will be withdrawn. You could say, well so be it, but to have bad care from one organisation or a number of organisations, then there is a feeling that the next one could be even worse or even no organisations will come forward
  • have no confidence in the complaints procedure of both the care organisation and in some respects, the Local Authorities
  • time lapse from dispensing of care from one organisation and the take up of another
  • lack of care workers in the profession, let alone good quality care workers

In saying all of the above, it is stating a depressing view of care within the UK, but, I do feel it is not as bad as stated, but even one instance is bad and should not occur.

While saying, people are reluctant to complain, there is even a further reluctance or more likely ‘not top of the actions’ for people to praise good quality care for it is expected that good quality care should be there all the time, so mentioning bad quality is more common than expressing about good quality care. If this is correct, then it is creating a false impression of care in the UK and could well demoralise those who are producing good quality care.

For the absence of good quality care comments is not the only absence for the lack of funding in Social Care is allowing

  • care workers to be in receipt of an abysmal rate of pay for the responsibilities they are taking on, many on just the National Living Wage or below, rather than the Real Living Wage as put forward by the Living Living Wage Foundation.
  • working conditions are far from good
  • no staff sick pay scheme, especially in the current COVID-19 climate
  • unsocial working hours, including working all Bank Holidays, yes, including Christmas and New Year for care workers, are essential workers and in many instances are not recognised as such. In the recent ‘clapping for carers’, how many of us clapping, if asked would say NHS Workers, or just Doctors and nurses, when everyone in care, be they be, NHS, private, public, etc, they were and should have been included.
  • and others

But again, the Government are not recognising this, for they appear to be making an exception for Doctors and Nurses in the coming pay freeze, whereas care workers are also essential workers, as are teachers, refuse workers, ambulance staff and many others. But many care workers are only on the National Living Wage, or below, rather than on the Real Living Wage as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.

Government funding, that is sufficient Government funding for Social Care for all the years of insufficient funding, going back to 1970 and before, let alone the 10 years of austerity cuts and the additional costs of COVID-19.

Yes, this Government has given some funding, especially with regards to COVID-19, bit it falls, substantially, short of what is, actually required, even the for the costs relating to COVID-19.

There are many reasons for  failure in social care and funding could go somewhere is solving some of these reasons.

I feel so strongly, on this subject, that I created the petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

Yes, there are many reasons, so if some further information is required, please find it here, where some of these reasons are mentioned.

But, to go back to the article and the start of this post, none of these scandals and bad care should be occurring and it requires all of us to be observant and report every occasion of abuse and bad care, have a zero tolerance, for then most, if not all, bad care could be eradicated and basic decency while will still be remarkable, it will be more common place than it is now.

I wish to thank all in care who are providing good quality care and implore those who do not to follow the actions of those that do.

We all have a ‘Duty of Care’, be we work in care, manage care, have relatives in need of care, people in need of care, etc

I offer no apologises for the length of this post, for there is much to be said and to then be acted upon.

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

(WASHINGTON) JUST IN: The Taliban has hailed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw some 2,000 US troops from Afghanistan as a good step in helping bring about an end to bitter fighting in the country since US deployment there in 2001 #AceNewsDesk report | Ace News Services

This I would expect the Taliban to support as it removes a barrier which is stopping them gaining full control of Afghanistan.

 

They are saying it is ‘within the best interests’ of Afghanistan and the US.

Well, it is certainly within someones best interest, but is it, really the people of Afghanistan, or just the Taliban and their supporters, for many will not agree with Taliban principles, but will not have any means to counter them.

For the Taliban is far from a democratic organisation, unless you compare it with Trump and his administration.

In some respects it may be in the best interests of the US, especially, if the Biden administration continues with an America ‘First’ policy.

But, in reality would it be, for I do not see the Taliban being friends or even friendly with America, just the reverse. For it could well mean another avenue for terrorism both within and outwith America, when we all wish to see an end of all terrorism.

For America with a Biden administration, could well see internal terrorism from Trump supporting groups, especially with Trump uttering his corrosive comments through Twitter and other medias.

With time we shall see, but I feel the worst, after this 4 year term of the Trump administration.

The Trump supporters were militant before Trump lost the Presidential Election and now their hatred for anyone who does or did not support Trump sees no bounds.

This being at a time when the inactivity of Trump and his administration to deal with COVID-19 will cause it many problems to deal with.

A very troubling time ahead and with America in trouble will this be a boost for violent activities in many other parts of the World?

 

 

Source: (WASHINGTON) JUST IN: The Taliban has hailed the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw some 2,000 US troops from Afghanistan as a good step in helping bring about an end to bitter fighting in the country since US deployment there in 2001 #AceNewsDesk report | Ace News Services