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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Inquests – Social Care – Investigations by The Coroner’s Office

Working in social care with the elderly is likely to mean that there will be occasions when you will be  required to assist the coroner. Deaths will inevitably occur whilst providing care in residential and nursing homes and in domiciliary care in circumstances where the Coroner may need to investigate.

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NHS pays firms £181m to care for patients with serious mental illnesses

Due to a severe shortage of NHS mental health beds in England, the NHS has been left with no option but to pay private institutions such as the Priory increased sums to provide residential rehabilitation each year.

“The NHS is paying private firms an “eye-watering” £181m a year to look after people with serious mental health problems in units often hundreds of miles from their homes.” – The Guardian.

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Celebrating work in the care sector as minister reports on delayed Green Paper

A very enjoyable evening yesterday at the National Care Association Summer Reception hosted by Howdens Insurance brokers. We hear a lot of negativity around care services, so it was lovely to spend an evening celebrating all the incredible work that is performed in the care sector.

We heard an interesting address by Caroline Dineage, Minister of State for Health, including a mention of the long-delayed Green Paper on social care – which isn’t going to be published any time soon. The Green Paper is intended to explore the issue of how social care is funded by recipients and consider a range of proposals including a more generous means test, a cap on lifetime care charges and tac-free withdrawals from pension pots. When it is finally published, it will simply set out a range of recommendations for further consultation so any reforms to the current system will be even further down the line.  During her address, the Minister also repeated her previous words of caution that, when published, the Green Paper will not solve all the challenges of social care.

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Australian elderly care under scrutiny

A Royal Commission is currently underway in Australia to examine “Aged Care Quality and Safety”.  The Commission began in October 2018, and aims to complete a final report by April 2020.  It has wide reaching aims to examine the quality and safety for the elderly living in residential care as well as living at home.  This will include examining whether care is substandard, whether there are any systemic failures and how best to deliver care using technology, investment in the sector/workforce and innovative models of care.

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