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’?”
At Age UK we will be listening very carefully to the Queen’s Speech to see if social care is mentioned and, if it is, what precisely is said. We sincerely hope that an intention to bring forward proposals for consultation will be stated, signifying that this new Government intends to press on with the Green Paper that was already underway before the General Election campaign began.
Continue reading “The Queen’s Speech – will social care be included?”
There are 6.5 million people in the UK providing unpaid care for sick, older or disabled relatives or friends and each day 6,000 people in the UK take on new caring responsibilities. Without the huge contribution of unpaid carers, our already beleaguered health and social care system would grind to a halt.
Sadly, a large majority of carers are let down when it comes to receiving sufficient help and support when they most need it. In April this year, Carers UK surveyed the public and found that a staggering 74% of those polled felt that carers were undervalued. Continue reading “Next week is Carers Week”
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”
As a Surrey resident working for Age UK, I felt quite confused and conflicted about how to vote in the prospective local referendum on a 15% council tax rise. On one hand, I really wasn’t happy about a huge hike in my bills but on the other hand through my work I am acutely aware of the enormous funding gap that has opened up in recent years between social care budgets and the growing number of people needing care and support. I felt grudgingly supportive of the leader of Surrey Council, David Hodge’s radical stance but not desperately keen on his solution.
Continue reading “Finally a focus on social care…?”
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”
This week we have a guest blog from The Pensions Regulator which highlights that all employers, including the smallest employers such as those that employ personal care assistants, should check if they need to provide a workplace pension.
As the Pensions Regulator our job is to ensure that pension schemes are adequately funded and run in the best interests of retirement savers – and that employers meet their obligations by enrolling eligible staff into a pension scheme and making contributions. Continue reading “Guest blog – Employing a personal care assistant”