CQC Sandwich Generation Survey

I covered this story briefly earlier in the month when it was featured on BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours.
It’s a really useful piece of work though, so I thought I would cover it in further depth.

CQC commissioned Mumsnet and Gransnet to carry out a survey of the users of their sites. They were in particular looking for those that are described as the Sandwich Generation.

These are people who described as juggling caring for children and older relatives.

Eight out of ten people surveyed identified choosing care as major source of stress. Going as far as describing it as more stressful than divorce, separation, choosing a school, getting married or buying a house!

I have always described the process of finding good quality care as minefield. This survey clearly re enforces this.

Whilst I take no satisfaction in the fact that finding good care is so hard, clearly all care should be good! It is refreshing to see the CQC tasking steps to gain views and improve the information they provide. The infographic they provide shows what people want to now about care providers. All of which are included in one of my reports.

www.scotting.org/services.html

If you need some help and advice call my freephone line 0800 0016694 always happy to help .

sandwich-generation-survey-infographic-011014

Heres a link to the report on CQC website.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/sandwich-generation-carers-say-choosing-care-one-lifes-most-stressful-events

 

 

 

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Local Government Ombudsman finds council top up fee policy to be illegal

The subject of third party top up fees is one I’m often asked about.
More often than not the people involved in working out who owes what to who, do not have enough information and experience to work it out correctly.
This story shows how one council got it wrong, by effectively requiring a lady to top up her own fees, which is against the law. (National Assistance Act 1948)
Underpinning the argument here is the basis of funding for health and social care. Health care-Free at the point of delivery. Social care-Means tested. This political hot potato is one that the political parties have been juggling at their conferences in recent months.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/10/03/ombudsman-criticises-council-forcing-resident-pay-unlawful-care-home-top/ For the full story

http://www.scotting.org for more on paying for care

No Kidding Sherlock!

http://www.lep.co.uk/news/care-homes-the-truth-care-home-staff-feel-undervalued-union-1-6672816

This is a great article, but does state the what’s been obvious to those of us in the business for many years.

Reduced funding from whatever source, has brought margins crashing down. Managers and shareholders aren’t going to let their earnings fall, so its the people who actually provide the care who bare the brunt.

Training in particular has been hit. Yes e-learning has its uses, but as a trained educationalist and nurse mentor, I can only recommend thorough training, with professional trainers in a classroom as the best way to ensure a skilled and motivated workforce.

With regards to pay and other rewards, it’s been clear for some time that the standard of candidates applying for care work has changed. When the terms and conditions working on supermarket tills are better than providing care, what can we expect?

What’s the solution?

If I was commissioning care services, I would ensure the contract contained terms that limited profits for the company and pay for staff who do not provide direct care.

And of course make sure more money went into the system.

You pay peanuts you get monkeys.

 

The News at Ten

Actually it was eleven when I started typing, but i thought the title might get your attention.

I was just updating my news stories, when it occurred to me that there are a limited amount of subjects that are reported on, when it comes to care.

I monitor the news on a daily basis for stories about care, that will inform my work, and help to advise people looking for good care.

Stories tend to fall into a few categories-

1-Care scandals, these are the ones that make national news, and usually involve criminal behaviour. Orchid View being the lastest example.

2-Failing care service. Usually reported in local papers with the a headline like-“Care Watchdog slams poor care” These are the stories about CQC inspections of services.

3-Stories promoting services. Again usually promoted in local press, but occasionally national when there is a special event on, such as National Care Home Open Day. Local stories tend to be of the Garden party/100th birthday variety.

4-Good care stories. These are the hens teeth ones, and are so few and far between that it’s not possible to spot a trend.

5- Finally there are the Government Policy type stories, such as the recent Care Act/Care cost Cap.

So what can we conclude from this?

Is the lack of good news stories a result of media bias, or a drought of good news in care?

I would like to think it’s media bias, but sadly I think the Bad news stories outweigh the Good.

There is clearly a need for the providers of care to pull their fingers out and focus on care quality and promoting the benefits of good care.

Listening to The Archers last night, I wonder if part of Peggy’s current unhappiness isn’t the worry about going into a care home.

Many people in later life that I speak to worry about care. Part of this worry is well founded, but part is also due to the media delight in reporting bad care.

As always I would say get some sound advice before buying any care service.

www.scotting.org/free_advice.html

Care costs cap not all it is made out to be

There have been rumblings for a few months hinting that the cap on care costs may not be allot has been promised to be. This report highlights some of those issues. I have also read that people will be disadvantaged by local authorities having different ideas about when they bleed to start paying for care.

To read more:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27363896