In light of the government’s promise to publish a Green Paper on social care, the Institute of Public Policy Research has proposed in a new report a 2p tax rise in order to fund free help for elderly. This would include help with basic tasks such as getting up and eating, as well as funding full time care for complex needs such as dementia.
What the BBC and the CQC tell us about abuse of vulnerable patients
An undercover investigation by BBC Panorama (‘Undercover Hospital Abuse Scandal’ – 22 May 2019) revealed abuse of vulnerable patients at Whorlton Hall, an independent hospital for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs/autism. Whorlton Hall was was previously part of the Castlebeck Group (which also ran Winterbourne View) and the Danshell Group. In 2017 it received a ‘Good’ rating from its regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), despite previous complaints.
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.
A recent study commissioned by Age UK has revealed that more than one million people over the age of 65 live in areas – dubbed “care deserts” – where there are no residential care or nursing homes. Despite the 2014 Care Act introducing a national system of eligibility, it is still a postcode lottery leaving many older people without any support.
An online campaign survey has revealed huge support for an overhaul of the current procurement requirements within the NHS and to free the NHS from overly rigid procurement requirements.
A survey run by 38 Degrees asked “to what extent do you agree that the law should be changed so that contracts to run NHS services no longer have to be put up for auction?” In response to this, 89% expressed that they strongly agreed.
The CQC has recently made changes to the statutory notification forms used by registered providers when notifying the CQC about incidents concerning the following:
- Serious injury
- Allegations of abuse
Social care funding has been a longstanding political issue with reports repeatedly highlighting that funding has declined in recent years despite the increasing demand for care services.
Publication of the Green Paper on social care for adults is awaited and is now expected “in due course”. The Paper is intended to explore how social care is funded and a number of potential policies have been reportedly under consideration for inclusion in the Paper, including a more generous means test, an insurance and contribution model and tax-free withdrawals from pension pots.