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All the news from around the association and the WMCA Blog

Blog of Debbie Le Quesne
Chief Executive of West Midlands Care Association
She has worked in the Care Industry for over 20 years and before that was involved in fund raising and supporting several Care Homes for the Elderly and Learning Disability
Currently she is the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Care Association and the Co Chair of the Care Association Alliance

 "I work with Care Homes, Supported Living and Homes Care Agencies. We all admire the work they do and we want them to feel that they are not alone in trying to provide quality care in a ridiculously complex market in such trying times.

Homes are not assets to be passed on to children, says minister

Labour says Jackie Doyle-Price resurrected €˜dementia tax€™ by saying taxpayer should not €˜prop up€™ people with care needs

How social impact bonds are funding long-term care projects

Annual budgets make it difficult for councils to do meaningful work. Is third-party funding the answer?

The Tories are ignoring the worsening crises in social care, health and welfare

Iain Malcolm says the government has missed countless opportunities to improve social care; Nick Finer says the health minister is either complacent or in denial about the NHS€™s troubles; David Etherington and Martin Jones say authorities have ignored the evidence on universal credit; and John Evers wonders about the obsession with Brexit amid a sea of domestic troubles

After the Conservative election disaster, is the party policy on care still the same?

The Tory party conference was overshadowed by Mrs May’s cough, her questionable ability to hold on to the leadership and the political infighting.

Social care central to easing NHS pressure as flu looms large

Following the worst outbreak of flu in Australia and New Zealand for years, the NHS is issuing a grim warning that it’s a pointer to what could happen in the UK.

The secret to recruiting and retaining care staff? Rewarding them

Staff stick with €˜inadequate€™ authority thanks to £15k bonus €“ but too few councils can find that kind of money

Home first' model aims to stop patients being stranded on hospital wards

The quicker older people get out of hospital, the less likely they€™ll end up in residential homes or back on a ward

Brexit could ensure social care gets the reform it badly needs

Theresa May had planned to move the political focus this autumn from Brexit to domestic priorities. That was always a tall order when the next round of negotiations and this month€™s EU council are looming, but it€™s particularly difficult given the Prime Minister managed to lose, not gain, authority with her conference speech. It€™s also made harder given that her statement in the Commons yesterday seems to have enraged Brexiteer MPs, who were willing her on before the conference speech fiasco.

Why wont ministers acknowledge social care's growing emergency

The warnings are getting ever bleaker for an over-burdened system

UN loosing its UK voice despite great cause for the elderly

This post is about a United Nations event, with aims that impact every day on our older people, but first some thoughts from my previous career in marketing

Tories ditch plan to cap care home fees by 2020: Scandal of bills eating into inheritance to continue as policy is officially abandoned

David Cameron promised to bring £75,000 limit on amount people must pay

But Government source said cap will not be introduced until into next decade

This means scandal of enormous care bills mounting for people will continue

Sky Views: Grow up and talk about social care

Paul Kelso, Health Correspondent

In the next decade there will be one million more people in Britain aged over 75.

By 2040 one in seven of us will be over 70, and life expectancy at birth will be 85 for men and women.

Without a clear strategy, adult social care will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis

The government€™s promised consultation offers an opportunity to draw up a system fit for our complex 21st-century society

Winter is coming and the situation in the NHS is desperate

Riven with conflict and overwhelmed by Brexit, the government is trying to keep the parlous state of the NHS in the shadows of political debate

What are asset-based approaches to care and support?

Tapping into service users€™ skills and experience can be hugely beneficial to them, to their community €“ and to the care system as a whole

Nine in ten councils will run out of care homes places within five years because they are not doing enough to cope with the ageing population

87 per cent of town halls will not have enough places to meet demand by 2022

Devon will have largest shortage in number of beds, with a projected 1,921

In the worst-hit area €“ Bracknell Forest in Berkshire €“ there will be 161 fewer places than needed, a shortfall of 53 per cent

Hike taxes to pay for billions of pounds more spending on social care, urges Tory grandee Oliver Letwin

Letwin said a failure to spend enough was putting extra strain on the NHS

He called on the Government to increase spending via new and higher taxes

Letwin's claim came after Philip Hammond did not rule out higher taxation

Retirees unwilling to sacrifice their home to cover social care costs

As the government prepares to consult the cost of social care, new research from Aegon reveals that most retirees are unwilling to sacrifice their home to cover social care costs.

48m pound retirement home opens its doors

A new 48m pound retirement village has officially opened in Birmingham marking a milestone for the residents and the city.

Longbridge Retirement Village is on the site of the former Austin Rover car factory where some of the residents used to work.

NHS not fit for the 21st century, says chief inspector of hospitals

Half of beds now taken up by people who do not need to be there, professor says, claiming chance to modernise was missed

Sleep-in payments are becoming a nightmare

The government should accept responsibility for meeting the substantial costs of backdating sleep-in costs up until the date of the announcement on 26 July, says Professor Martin Green of Care England

Tips on preventing falls in care homes

When an older person has a fall, the effects can be huge, both emotionally and physically.

UN Older Persons Day

The theme of the 2017 International Day of Older Persons is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons€™ basic rights, needs and preferences.

This year€™s theme underscores the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which is currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process.

NHS cuts will result in 'catastrophic' winter, council bosses warn

A catastrophic winter crisis is looming for social care with 150 million of vital funding under threat, warn council chiefs.

Webinar - Introducing Skills for Care's support to new managers

Are you a new manager in adult social care? Would you like to know more about how Skills for Care can help you?

Join our live webinar to find out about the resources Skills for Care has to help new and aspiring managers, from initial induction through to delivering good and outstanding care.

Webinar - Introducing Skills for Care's support to new care services

Are you a new adult social care service or are you considering opening one?

Join our live webinar to find out about the resources Skills for Care has to help new services to understand how they can develop their managers and workforce to deliver good and outstanding care.

Hospital to home: people's needs must be central to transfers of care

When moving people between care, small details make a big difference and staff must be involved at every stage

Andy Burnham wants Greater Manchester to be first place in country to axe social care charges

The Greater Manchester mayor wants ministers to trial a completely new model of social care in the region, which he says would provide fully free care at the point of use for all of your life

Care home for military veterans rated outstanding for LGBT support

A care home in Solihull for ex-service men and women has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, which found the home to be inclusive and supportive of LGBT residents, where people matter.

Dreaded winter flu, but how can social care help?

Flu epidemics have a history of stretching resources in the NHS and social care.

Dr Kailash Chand OBE is the former deputy chair of the BMA council and honorary vice president of the BMA, is warning that another is on the way.

NCF Managers Conference

The National Care Forum managers conferences is held in November for Registered managers in social care who come from all over the UK to attend this essential 24 hours to share best practice, voice concerns and learn first-hand about changes in regulation and quality ratings.

Case study: How community social care can save on health budgets

Meetings . . . more meetings . . . the way ahead . . . and the thorny issues of funding.

These are the constants in my role heading up the West Midlands Care Association and for many of the problems presented to me I confess to not having a ready answer.

Integrated care a first for toddlers and the elderly

Every now and then I stumble on some news that cheers me. In a care sector that lets face it is embattled so terribly, its nice to find light relief.

And here it is: Can you imagine a care home opening its doors to play host to a baby and toddler group? At Nightingale House, London, its happening and reports say the concept is going down a storm

The alternative AGM thats guaranteed to grab attention

Annual general meetings are an essential for any organisation, but are often greeted with predictable yawns, grumbles and a less than enthusiastic welcome.

Perhaps we should be doing something different which is guaranteed to focus attention.

Bed blocking fines are not helping

The heralds of winter have been apparent of late with temperatures plummeting to a chilly 8 degrees C.

Inevitably we will see more pressure placed on our NHS, more stress coming the way of our care home providers to find step-down beds and the prospect of health levying fines on local authorities which cannot find suitable placements to free up ward space.

Pigeons coming home to roost as social care availability shrinks

In some parts of the country care home places are scarce. The problem, created by market pressures and not least unrealistic fees paid to providers by local authorities, can come at a price none would wish to pay.

Recently, Lincolnshire County Council were strongly criticised by the Ombudsman for allowing the woman to be placed in the dementia unit, even though she did not have the condition. Further more the local authority failed to revise her care and support plan when circumstances changed.

Why We Need Social Care To Be Strong And Sustainable

Within the next decade - by 2025 - there will be 11.7 million disabled people in England, according to government figures.

99% of advanced dementia sufferers not getting specialist care, finds study

Lack of palliative care services in community means GPs and emergency services being forced to provide most of dementia patients€™ healthcare

Four in five will need social care at a cost of £30k a year

Britons are more realistic now about the true cost of social care with many planning for their old age, financial experts say.

The NHS should see care homes as partners, not problems

Care homes provide the majority of long-term healthcare to older people but provision is uneven. Our study shows how services can work together better

Social care redundancies will leave service on brink of collapse warns union

£4 million cuts to city's home care service include 150 care workers jobs

How can we encourage more men to choose a career in social care?

With staff shortages set to put the care sector in crisis, now is the time to eradicate stereotypes, boost gender diversity and engage more male applicants

Capable, confident staff are the bedrock of good quality social care

Great social care has the power to transform people€™s lives positively but inadequate, unreliable care is devastating and casts a dark shadow over the rest of the sector, undermining public trust.

Despite the vast majority of adult social care services registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) providing good quality care overall, we know this is not always the case.

University of Derby launches online Integrative Health and Social Care HE Diploma

The University of Derby has launched a new course aimed at supporting health and social care workers into higher education while they continue to work and earn.

The Diploma of Higher Education in Health and Social Care has been developed by academics at University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL) to offer care workers online access to a Level 4 and Level 5 integrative health and social care course that they can study while working and earning.

What care homes can do to improve life for their residents

Person-centred care means offering people choice, control and respect €“ something smaller services specialise in. Here€™s how others can do it

Social care system 'not fit for purpose' - nine out of 10 MPs

A survey of 101 English MPs found that only 10% believe the current social care system is suitable for the UK's ageing population

Knowing the facts (but not all) on the fees info

To the unsuspecting British public the cost of social care is a mystery: Heads buried in sand it’s the bill that no-one really wants to consider saving for.

The elephant in the room, many only care to get the facts when a crisis occurs. So I was not in the least surprised to read in the Independent that the majority of elderly people in social care have no idea how much it costs.

Salvaging home care: An essential conference

We’ve beaten the drum long and loud that the future of the care sector must see a much more cohesive approach to meeting the needs of society’s most vulnerable.

Britain facing social care crisis, charities warn

Britain facing social care crisis, charities warn

UK pensioners will be given Amazon Echo speakers to remind them to take medication in a world first for social care

Pensioners in adult social care will be given Amazon Echos in their homes so the devices can remind them when to take their medication.

The voice-activated gadgets, which are to be handed out to 50 clients, will also remind users when their carer is due to arrive in an apparent world first for social care.

Hampshire County Council are the first local authority to try out the scheme using the £150 ($194) devices, which work with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.


The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating amid concerns that the social care system could have competition and consumer protection problems

Cash-strapped councils told to meet undeliverable bed-blocking targets or have social care funding slashed

Councils ordered to reduce number of delayed transfers by up to 70 per cent before winter months or face losing social care funds next year

Reimaging the future of social care: Ideals need action

Social care . . . what will become of it? I often muse on the future and what will emerge when my watch with West Midlands Care Association is over.

The Croft - simply 'Outstanding' and a great antidote to the gloom

I have some excellent news that proves good care is still happening and it's right on our doorstep! And it's a timely snub to those who bleat that there should be more excellence in the care sector.

BBC beds shortage report: West Midlands bucks trend and still has capacity

As youre probably now aware, nationally we are facing what as been described as a huge shortfall of beds in residential care.

Social care cash to go on health, LGA chair warns

The Independent announced funding intended to improve social care is being used to bail out the NHS.

We all knew this was on the cards, but seeing it in print brings home the stark reality of the financial problems the sector faces.

Still wating to grasp the nettle of social care

Writing for Driven by Health with Care, Debbie Le Quesne review the social care landscape and offers some timely advice to struggling care providers

The political landscape is a complex one where uncertainty reigns. Theresa May did not emerge as the force to be reckoned with as many had predicted and the snap election has left social care and many other things in limbo.

Another financial time bomb ticks away

The Guardian newspaper has posed an age-old question: Who looks after the carers? Unexpectedly it concluded the taxman, but the answer is true even though it may not be the whole truth.

Safety first in Pimp Your Zimmer contest

West Midland Care Associations Pimp Your Zimmer completion is still creating interest as providers discover its creative approach to helping residents say safe.

Good care still out there as WMCA members scoop clutch of awards

Im not one for self-congratulation (well, maybe a little bit) but only when there are exceptional circumstances to validate praise.

So please will you indulge me as I applaud the membership of WMCA which did so well in Birminghams recent glittering Care Awards 2017 event.

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