Tag Archives: Austerity

Wheelchair User Says Life Has Become A Battle | Same Difference

Problems are everywhere for many people don’t care for they believe that they come first and no thought for others.

Our towns and cities were not built to accommodate everyone and most are way outdated, but endeavour to accommodate the 21st century with 18th centuries structures.

Even modern structures are no that disabled friendly.

Yes, equality legislation have been brought in to use, but in its drafting there are so many get out clauses for business, especially those in old buildings were if the costs to change are too great then they are aloud to continue as they were or adapt using inferior structures, such as portable ramps rather than a permanent structure.

These Governments past and present ‘talk the talk’ but never the ‘walk’, the legislation they produce is just playing at equality.

As to street furniture and illegal parking there are insufficient persons looking out for such offences. This is mainly due to years of austerity cuts, where costs are the priority together with cuts, rather than quality and quantity.

We see this everywhere, health, social care, police, etc. you name it numbers have been reduced until efficiency and effectiveness are there to fail. Currently it is passports, DVLA, airports, etc

We are on a downward spiral, with no reverse gear.


Source: Wheelchair User Says Life Has Become A Battle | Same Difference

Adult social care needs £6.1bn funding boost to end ‘low cost low value, low outcome’ approach – Community Care

Adult social care needs in England £6.1bn of additional funding to overhaul a ‘low cost, low value, low outcome’ approach and realise its full potential, a study has found.



Adult social Care certainly does need £6.1 billion and I would say more, maybe even to £10 billion and in doing so no one should forget Children’s Social Care which is also well underfunded.

The lack of Government funding in Social Care is a disgrace and no one should accept it.

Austerity cuts have caused many problems, with many if not all still to be rectified and Local Authorities are still being asked to make savings.

But, there are no savings to be made, only reducing services which are already severely reduced and thereby quality is suffering.

It could be said that when austerity came in there were insufficient areas in which cuts could be made, but the Government were demanding cuts and look where these cuts have left us, as shown through the COVID pandemic and is still doing so.

The government needs to live in the real world and see the suffering being caused to the most vulnerable in English Society.

But I feel this Government does not care about the vulnerable as this has been borne out in the policies that have been introduced.

By not sufficiently investing in Social Care by this and previous Governments this is causing even more drain on NHS resources, when they are already stretched thinly.

So, I call on the Government, for once to show that they do care and make all the required investments in Social Care, not in 3 or more years time, but immediately, as time is not on the side of Social Care.


Source: Adult social care needs £6.1bn funding boost to end ‘low cost low value, low outcome’ approach – Community Care

ADASS president: social care can’t go back to austerity post-Covid crisis : Community Care

Social care cannot go back to a ‘savings agenda’ of the like seen in the 2010s if it is to secure the invest it needs to flourish post-Covid-19, the incoming Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) president has said.

Instead it needs an industrial strategy of the kind seen in sectors such as oil and agriculture that underlines its importance to society and the economy, attracts investment and enables it to grow, said James Bullion.

In an interview with Community Care, Bullion said that social care had proven its value during the pandemic, particularly in helping the NHS clear thousands of hospital beds to create capacity in March, but that it would face potentially bigger challenges as the country came out of lockdown that had to be met by investment and a comprehensive government strategy.

However, with the government deficit ballooning as tax receipts tumble and spending rockets to protect the economy, concerns have been raised that the public sector – including local government – faces another era of cuts like that which followed the 2010 election.


Source : ADASS president: social care can’t go back to austerity post-Covid crisis : Community Care



Nick Rushton: Councils’ funding gap must be faced by the new Prime Minister – or we risk suffering at the ballot box. | Conservative Home

Cllr Nick Rushton is the County Councils Network finance spokesman and the Leader of Leicestershire County Council

Uncertainty is the only certainty at the moment in Westminster: it is unclear who will be the new Prime Minister, and it is unclear who will make up a new government and what its domestic priorities will be.

It is also glaring that not one of the 10 candidates for the top job in the land has mentioned local government. That must change.

That uncertainty is projected onto us in local government. The current upheaval means that it is unlikely we will see a Spending Review this year, or the planned reforms to local government finance implemented next year.


Source: Nick Rushton: Councils’ funding gap must be faced by the new Prime Minister – or we risk suffering at the ballot box. | Conservative Home

Care is in Crisis

In the UK and even the World there are many crisis, some Global as is Climate Change and some local of which there are many varieties and variations, some major and some not so major. While all crisis need to be dealt with urgently some are more urgent than others. This urgency could or most likely is being directed by local factors.

I am not a knowledgeable expert is all of these, but have detailed knowledge of some, so may be an expert in these, but there may be other qualified experts.

I am a Family carer, mainly for my adult daughter, who has severe Learning disabilities, multiple physical disabilities and Autism, but there are other many conditions. She lives at home with myself and my wife, my self approaching 70 years and my wife nearer to 80 years and neither of us can be said to be in good health, far from it, but we are extremely lucky to have 24/7 care for our daughter. So a ‘Crisis in Care’ is an extreme worry for myself and my family.

Many of you would query why am I not happy, for there will be many in much worse situations, but everyone has a right to live and live a reasonable life. For this to occur we need a sustainable, good quality and effective Care Profession, or as some say the Care Industry.

I favour the word ‘profession’ other than ‘industry’, for to be what is required, a ‘Carer’, you need to undertake many responsibilities as well as care, for there is safeguarding, be respectful, understanding, a good listener, work within a dignified manner, accept informed choice of the person for whom you are caring and members of their family, especially if there could be ‘lack of Capacity‘ in some situations.

However, in the UK, the country has come to a virtual standstill, due to Brexit, so they say. But is that true? For we only have politicians word for that and can you really trust any politician, no matter what colour of their Party. A generalisation, but mainly true, if the Press can be believed. but then again that is another story.

The UK has or should have a Welfare system, but it is currently in a state of crisis due to major under funding. For some years, going on some 8 years we have been subjected to Austerity cuts, well the various service organisations have been, be they private, public or the voluntary/charity sector.

It was said, by the one David Cameron, when he was the UK Prime Minister, some years ago, that we are ‘all in it together’, but, of course, that is not correct. Did he believe it at the time, we will never know, but could have a good idea.

For austerity is hitting the most vulnerable within the UK Society, those that can, not least afford it, on a monetary basis, but also not on a living basis. The likes of Cameron and his cronies in Industry and many, if not all the political parties and many other areas, can and do have the means to mitigate these cuts to their own lives, as they have the finance to do so.

In effect the majority of other persons within the UK cannot, especially those who are more likely to be vulnerable, the long-term sick, the persons with disabilities, people on low pay, etc.do not.

Where people are either on,  long-term sick,  a person with disabilities, person on low pay, etc or more likely even a mixture of two or more this will be even more so. But are the authorities putting in measures to remedy this, well they are putting in measure, but they are not remedying these situations, for where you come to the new Welfare Benefits these are, in many instances making it even worse, when one would not expect that it could get worse.

  1. Why do these people in Authority not produce the right measure?
  2. Well, for one do they really care?
  3. Are they in a position to know what is occurring outside their own circles in Society?
  4. Do they have a clue what to do?

Well many persons will generally go for 2. and possibly 4., but is it really 3. or a mixture.

I, for one do not know but do they?

But you say many of these persons are MPs so should they not know from their constituency members of their party or more so from their actual constituents.

Whatever it is it needs to be brought out into the open for open discussion, but then we come down to trust, for do we really trust any people in a position of power and authority?

Many questions, some leading to other questions, but are there any answers and if there are, are they the right answers? Well, another question requiring an answer. For myself, are we not going round in circles and never producing answers and if we do , do we believe the answers?

Would anyone wish to provide some answers?

Over to you.

The title of this article is ‘Care is in Crisis‘, which I and many others also believe. It has been in crisis for many years and nothing has been done to change this. therefore the crisis has continued to grow and grow and the austerity cuts from Central Government have been one issue making this crisis worse.

Earlier in this article I touched on this crisis and especially it reference to the Care Profession. This profession is extremely short of qualified care staff and pay is one of the main factors. With this in mind I have, with my colleagues in FLASh (Families Lobbying & Advising Sheffield) created a Petition – Pay all employed carers the Living Wage and information on this can be accessed here.

Please consider supporting this petition by signing it and then, where possible sharing it as far and wide as you can the petition link is https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151

Thank you

Chris Sterry





CCG accused of using ‘flawed’ test to cut spending on elderly | News | Health Service Journal

  • Ward nurses concerned West Norfolk CCG’s screening process blocks eligible patients from receiving funding
  • CCG’s “5Q test” sprung out of pilot project supported by NHS England
  • Other CCGs have scrapped plans to introduce the test, with one advised to do so by NHS Improvement officials

A clinical commissioning group has been accused of blocking potentially eligible patients from receiving continuing healthcare funding under a programme supported by NHS England.

West Norfolk CCG has been using a locally-devised screening process, called the “5Qs test”, which effectively means a higher proportion of patients do not receive an official assessment for NHS funded continuing healthcare.

By law, patients with complex long term conditions are entitled to free social care funded by the NHS, so long as they are assessed as having a primary medical care need under the official CHC process.

An expert in CHC cases told HSJ that West Norfolk’s test is “significantly flawed”, because it screens out some patients who should be eligible for an official assessment.

Dan Harbour, managing director of Beacon, a company which specialises in CHC cases, said ward nurses have raised concerns to his organisation.

The CHC process involves two steps. Patients are initially screened using an official Department of Health and Social Care checklist to identify those who may be eligible. Patients who pass through this screening receive CHC funding until their full assessment decides if this funding should continue.

National guidance published by the DHSC says the initial screening checklist “is the only screening tool that can be used” to identify patients who should receive a full assessment.

West Norfolk’s 5Qs test takes place before either of those steps and decides if a person needs nursing care or social care. If it’s the latter, they are referred to means-tested local authority services and not offered a CHC checklist unless the individual requests one or their case is “subsequently triggered”.

If more patients are discharged straight to social care without an initial CHC screening, there is a saving to the CCG.

The 5Q test was first devised in 2016 as part of a pilot project supported by NHS England (see box below). The CCG has said it does not replace the CHC process.

An internal review of the project, published in December 2016, said the test was introduced to determine which patients should be screened under the CHC checklist. DHSC guidance does not dictate how a local system should decide who should be assessed, but says “where there may be a need for NHS CHC, a checklist should normally be completed”.

Mr Harbour said: “The great innovation purported to have been achieved by the 5Q test is to identify whether somebody primarily has health needs or social needs. By law, the only way of determining that question is through the CHC assessment process.”

Meanwhile, HSJ has learned several other CCGs that were considering using the 5Q test have now dropped their plans.

The four CCGs in Greater Nottingham – Nottingham City, Nottingham North and East, Nottingham West and Rushcliffe – said they were “advised by the [NHS Improvement] emergency care improvement programme not to proceed and have reverted to following the national guidance”.

Sheffield, and Ipswich and East Suffolk CCGs have also dropped the test, but would not explain why.


Read more about Sheffield CCG

Revealed: Crisis at top CCG amid claims of bullying and ‘toxic’ culture | News|Health Service Journal

NHS England was warned about ‘unrelenting bullying’ at top CCG | News|Health Service Journal

Troubled CCG asks director to spearhead improvement plan| News|Health Service Journal

Trust saves £2m after taking on commissioning powers| News|Health Service Journal

Exclusive: Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield say no to NHS devolution| News|Health Service Journal

Commissioners reveal plans to tackle variation in children’s surgery| News|Health Service Journal





Source: CCG accused of using ‘flawed’ test to cut spending on elderly | News | Health Service Journal

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; https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151 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 flashld575@gmail.com

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 ldcarersbuttygroup@gmail.com and a copy of the Newsletter can be accessed here.




* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.