What should we think about ‘the Four Seasons story’?

Like lots of people with an interest in social care I have been following the travails of Four Seasons over the last few days. For anyone not up to speed, Four Seasons is a major care home provider in this country, with some 17,000 predominantly older residents and 25,000 staff. Four Seasons is now reportedly in financial difficulty and the regulator of the social care sector, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has called for its biggest creditor to confirm that it will stand behind the company and not allow it to collapse. [Although it has since won a reprieve  until April 2018, the uncertainty over its longer-term future continues]. 

Continue reading “What should we think about ‘the Four Seasons story’?”

Not an ‘either/or’: Health and Care both urgently need investment in the Budget

Today Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, is reported to be making a call for more funding from the forthcoming Budget, warning that without it the quality of healthcare available to us all is sure to suffer.

His is a call that Age UK supports. The numbers speak for themselves: the NHS is experiencing a degree of sustained belt-tightening that is unprecedented in modern times – this while an ageing population is inevitably increasing the demand for services.

From an Age UK perspective we worry a lot about the impact of this stress in the system on older people, for whom the ability to get the right treatment and support quickly is hugely important – whether it is to help them sustain good health and wellbeing or because they have health and care problems that need to be addressed.  Continue reading “Not an ‘either/or’: Health and Care both urgently need investment in the Budget”

The next Government must resolve the crisis that is engulfing social care, once and for all

Last week, Age UK launched its General Election campaign – Dignity in Older Age – which aims to tackle some of the key issues that millions of older people continue to face. Things like difficulties accessing the care and support they so desperately need, living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet, and facing a later life of loneliness.

Throughout the campaign we’ll be covering some of the issues in depth, this week we are focusing on the crisis in social care. In this article, Caroline Abrahams discusses how many older people in their 80s and above are currently being abandoned by the care system. Continue reading “The next Government must resolve the crisis that is engulfing social care, once and for all”

Social Care and Budget 2017

So the mood music in advance of the Budget was roughly correct: we have an emergency injection of funds to keep the social care show on the road plus a longer term Government review, in the form of a Green Paper, to develop a new sustainable funding approach. Whether the rescue package will turn out to be enough to persuade providers who are wobbling to stay in the market, or allow councils to do a better job at meeting rising demand over the next couple of years than they have over the last few remains however to be seen. Continue reading “Social Care and Budget 2017”

It is wrong and unfair to denigrate older people because of the EU Referendum result

The conclusion of the EU referendum, with its relatively slender majority for Leave, has been warmly welcomed by those who campaigned for a ‘Brexit’ but generated shock and dismay on the part of many fervent Remainers and in some instances real anger too. Such emotions are  understandable, given the huge potential ramifications of the decision to leave the EU, about which we will no doubt be hearing a lot more in the days and weeks to come.

Continue reading “It is wrong and unfair to denigrate older people because of the EU Referendum result”

Barker Commission ‘lights the blue touch paper’ over paying for better health and care

Older woman with carerYesterday the Barker Commission published its report on the future of the NHS and social care. Established by the Kings Fund, the Commission was led by Dame Kate Barker, a renowned economist.

Continue reading “Barker Commission ‘lights the blue touch paper’ over paying for better health and care”

Why are so many older people with a social care need being abandoned?

An older man looking out of the windowA few days ago Age UK published new research showing that nearly 900,000 older people aged 65-89 in England with a social care need are now going without any support.

Continue reading “Why are so many older people with a social care need being abandoned?”