With a conservative victory in the 2019 General Election, what impact will Brexit have on the UK’s care industry and its diverse workforce?

The impact of Brexit on key employment legislation

The impact of a conservative victory and the UK’s imminent exit from the EU could have major implications for health and social care industry. Care organisations are diverse employers. The care industry in the UK employs around 1.35 million people, and 7% of those are from EU countries. While only 1% of UK nationals employed in care have university degrees, 15% of EU care workers are degree qualified.

Continue reading “With a conservative victory in the 2019 General Election, what impact will Brexit have on the UK’s care industry and its diverse workforce?”

Election results – Conservative Party gain majority

With one constituency left to declare, the Conservative Party has won 364 seats in the General Election with a working majority of 86.

In an article written in November, the Health and Social Care Secretary confirmed the Party’s pledge of £1 billion in funding per year for the next five years to assist local authorities in meeting the demands of social care.  The plans also include an intention to work with other political parties to reach long term solutions.  In echoing the sentiments from the Prime Minister in July, the Health Secretary categorically stated that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for their social care.

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Council owned care home fined by the CQC following death of resident

The BBC has reported that Derbyshire County Council has been fined £500,000 following the death of an 80 year old care home resident.

Audrey Allen had dementia and was a resident of The Grange in Eckington.  She suffered a fall in March 2016 and died a month later.  The fall caused 12 rib fractures and injuries to her lung.

Chesterfield Magistrate’s Court was told that the Council didn’t have an up to date falls policy and there was no assessment of the deceased’s needs by the home.  The home also had staff shortages.

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Amazon given free access to NHS healthcare information

Back in July a partnership was announced between the NHS and Amazon that would allow Alexa devices to offer health advice, and it was highlighted that this would be of particular use for persons with accessibility needs who would have trouble using a computer or mobile device to access NHS information.  But, The Sunday Times and Guardian newspapers this weekend revealed via Freedom of Information requests that this agreement allows Amazon access to information such as symptoms, causes and definitions of conditions.  Under the agreement, the information can be shared with third parties worldwide.

The NHS and Amazon were quick however to deny that this information included private data regarding individual patients, and any patient data would be anonymized.  Amazon said that it could not build profiles of customers according to their health needs.

In a previous blog we reported on the use of digital devices to assist dementia sufferers and the Tory party manifesto includes a promise to “invest in health data system.”  Certainly, the Alexa device and other similar devices would be useful for people with memory problems, as well as persons with disabilities and access problems, but it’s concerning that this information can be used and shared by private corporations.

Further information can be found here.


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Written by Jennifer Johnston at BLM

jennifer.johnston@blmlaw.com

Elderly generation of the population set to double over next quarter century  

The Office of National Statistics yesterday released a report on the potential future population size of the UK based on 2018 data.

Of note to the care sector is that the report highlights there will be an increasing numbers of older people in the future.   The proportion of the population aged 85 years and over is projected to nearly double in the next 25 years – in 2018 there were 1.6 million people aged 85 years and over, but by mid 2043, this is expected to reach nearly 3 million.  The report also considers growth in the different sectors of the population as divided between children/ working age people/pensioners, and predicts  that by 2043 the numbers of people at pensionable age will have grown the most.

The data from this report is for use in planning and policy in areas such as pensions and healthcare.  If the elderly population is set to double in the next quarter century, this inevitably will place further pressure on the care sector.  We have talked in previous blogs about the lack of consensus about how the care system is to be funded and organised going forward.  One can only hope that the government will take this report on board and consider the need for a robust and modern social care system.

A full copy of the report can be found here.


jb-85 Written by Jennifer Johnston

Care providers urged to ensure they are ready for Brexit

The Government and other bodies such as the Care Providers Alliance are urging health and social care providers to ensure they have done everything they can to prepare for a potential No Deal Brexit on 31 October.

The National Audit Office published a report at the end of September noting that whilst the Department of Health and Social Care had undertaken a lot of work since June 2016 to prepare the sector for leaving the EU, there was still a lot of work to be done before 31 October in respect of the social care sector. For example the report notes that whilst the NHS has taken steps to stockpile medication for immediate use across the healthcare sector,  care homes often rely upon non NHS suppliers for supplies of items such as rubber gloves. The Department did not originally advise the social care sector to stockpile such items, but rather advised that care providers should be simply “ready to deal with any disruption”.

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