Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tying to analyse the NHS

The question I ask myself is WHY have Dr Foster and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) appear to have drawn rather different conclusions about the state of the NHS ?

The two organisation do different things.

The CQC is the government's NHS inspectorate, which carries out a comprehensive monitoring programme of all NHS trusts.

Its rating system is based on a wide range of criteria, which includes patient safety and mortality rates, but also factors such as patient experience, access to services, efforts to improve public health and financial management.

Dr Foster is a company which works with the NHS Information Centre in public-private joint venture to study the sole issue of patient safety.
Both use comparable data on death rates - a measure known as hospital standardised mortality ratios , based on whether the death rate at a trust is above what could reasonably be expected, taking into account the mix of patients' ages and severity of disease .

In truth, the NHS is such a vast and complex monolith that no single monitoring body could ever hope to get a completely accurate picture of everything that goes on.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Care of dementia patients in hospital

Hospitals run on information and on a chain of command that an irrefutable statement of fact and before we all throw our hands in and scream cries of execration over the care of dementia patients in hospital ' it would be wise to consider this point

Problem can arise when the person lives in their own home: they arrive in hospital unaccompanied, disoriented and afraid , who do the hospital contact ?

Of course staff need to respect and care for these patients and to have the training to enable them to do so. But looking after demented patients in what, to them, is an alien environment is hugely demanding of time and patience and can be virtually impossible in a busy acute medical ward: on many occasions

When it comes to discharging people whose health is less than perfect it isn't true that "NHS staff don't understand that people live their lives with dementia, and that this is as well as they are ever going to be"; I think they understand this only too well. I firmly believe that those who don't understand are community care managers who demand all sorts of assessments and who have absolutely no sense of urgency about facilitating patients' discharge, such that delays of two or three weeks are not unusual.

Every neglected patient in hospital is one patient too many. However, hospital care for dementia patients is much more complicated that it may seem.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Social Care Bill

Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary has said that millions of pounds would be ?reprioritised? from health research and development to pay the costs of the Social Care Bill, published today.
Money will be diverted from public health campaigns such as swine flu, sexually transmitted diseases and obesity.
The Bill,which is a key plank of Gordon Brown?s pre-election legislative agenda, has been condemned by Labour peers, scientists and health campaigners.
It would guarantee free care at home or other support for up to 400,000 elderly and disabled people from next October, at a cost of £670 million a year.Mr Burnham, disclosing for the first time how he planned to pay for the proposal, said that £60 million would be diverted from the health service?s research and development (R&D) budget and £50 million from public health promotions. Cutting spending on management consultants in the NHS would provide £60 million.

Well its a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul
Mike Bradbury

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Divorcing couples to be offered counselling on the NHS

YES I KNOW it sounds like madness 'Divorcing couples to be offered counselling on the NHS' , a total waste of tax payers money BUT stop read this article from the Observer it dose make sense .

Divorcing couples to be offered counselling on the NHS

Extended 'talking therapies' programme aims to tackle anxiety, mental illness and depression
Denis Campbell and Tracy McVeigh
The Observer, Sunday 22 November 2009
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The government is to announce that divorcing couples will be offered counselling on the National Health Service for the first time in an effort to tackle growing rates of depression.

The move will be unveiled by health secretary Andy Burnham this week. From April, couples' counselling programmes will be launched across England in an extension of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme of "talking therapies", which has targets to tackle "sick-note Britain".

Troubled relationships are thought to be among the key factors affecting rates of mental health and anxiety. Research consistently suggests that men in particular who are in successful relationships are more protected from depression and anxiety than those who are single, divorced or separated.

"Trouble at home can lead to depression and anxiety. Sometimes even children can be caught up in the fallout," said Burnham. "When couples hit a rocky patch, a bit of help and support can stop it spiralling out of control. Professional support can help people rebuild relationships or separate amicably."

The plan is part of the wider flagship IAPT strategy to train an army of therapists to help get the country off expensive antidepressants. There is a target for the £186m programme to get 25,000 people suffering from anxiety and depression off sick pay and benefits by 2010 and treat some 900,000 people in total.

But, as the Observer reported last month, there are concerns about whether these aims can be met after the IAPT expert reference group, which oversees the implementation of the programme, was told in September that so far only 400 out of the 3,600 therapists needed to run it are fully trained.

The programme's supporters believe it offers an important alternative to the tens of millions of antidepressants prescribed by doctors in the UK every year, at a cost of some £12bn. Around a million people are off work and claiming benefits because of mental-health problems.

"Six million people in the UK suffer from depression and anxiety. By 2011, 900,000 people with mental illness and depression will be able to access therapy. Whoever needs specialist couples' therapy as part of that will be able to get it," said a spokesman for the Department of Health. "A relatively small step can prevent more tragic consequences such as severe mental illness, depression, or long-term unemployment. The cost of this additional therapy is minimal, as it uses existing resources more flexibly.

"This extension of the range of therapies available will be achieved by providing additional training to existing therapists and ensuring that they work in a more joined-up way with the new therapists. As a result, the additional cost of this development will be marginal."

It comes after the head of counselling service Relate called for Labour to become more comfortable with talking about relationships. At a meeting last month, Claire Tyler said a wish not to stigmatise single parents had meant the centre left of politics "until fairly recently has been pretty uncomfortable talking about relationships". But she added: "We recognise that quite a lot has been done in the last 12 months to recognise this and rectify that."

Some 80% of couples who turn to Relate for relationship counselling say that it helped them. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Carers Assessments -a simple guide

Numerous people have asked me if there is a definitive simple guide to carers assessments , the answer is NO !

But here is my quick guide to the subject .

A simple guide to a carers assessment

What is a Carer's Assessment?
A Carer's Assessment is a chance for you to talk openly about your needs so you can get the right sort of help. You may not feel that you need help now but would like to plan for the future.
Having a Carer's assessment does not mean that you have failed or are losing control; it gives you the opportunity to:
• describe the help you are giving
• talk about how caring affects your life, for example, your health, your relationships with others, finances, employment, training, education and leisure time
• discuss any difficulties you have
• talk about the needs of the person you care for and the services they have or you feel they should have, for example, equipment and adaptations, home care, day services
• be given information, advice and other help, for example, what would happen in an emergency, how to get a break, other services such as direct payments.
Can I have a Carer's Assessment?
You have the absolute legal right to a Carer's Assessment if you are providing regular and substantive care for someone for whom social services provide, or could provide, services or who is on the Care Programme Approach because of their mental health problems.
You can have a Carer's Assessment even if the person you care for refuses a social services assessment or services for themselves.
What happens at a Carer's Assessment?
A social worker, Careers support worker or other social care or health professional will arrange to visit you and listen to what you have to say, ask what you want to happen, and list the needs they can help with.
You will be given a written plan of the support you will have, and a daytime and emergency contact number.
You will be told when your needs as a Carer will be looked at again - this review should be within 12 months if the person you are caring for is receiving services.
What difference will the Assessment make?
You should receive the help that has been agreed with your worker so that you are able to continue caring if this is what you want to do

Friday, November 20, 2009

Social Care personal budgets

More than 80% of health and social care services users have little or no understanding of personal budgets, the new radical funding system for social care that is to be introduced over the next year, this in my humble view is going to lead to a chaotic transition period.

Local authorities face a huge task to prepare users for the shift to the system, which will see individuals given their own cash pot to spend on the services they need as they see fit, rather than having their needs assessed and decided upon by others.

By 2011, at least one third of all care users will be managing personal budgets.

In the past five years, more than 20,000 people in England have moved on to personal budgets, and within the next 12 months all new social care clients should be offered an individual budget at the outset.

Local authorities will need to ready themselves for a massive demand for personal assistants, education and leisure services, according to the research, which found that more than half of respondents would like to change the care they currently get.

There was also a strong demand for existing services such as day centres. And while personal budgets mean service users, and their families or representatives, can be responsible for sourcing and purchasing their own care placements and packages directly from the provider, local authorities were also warned to prepare for a potentially large number of people who do not want to manage their own budgets.

The transition to personal budgets will revolutionise health and social care, but local authorities do have their work cut out.

The BIG question for services user's and carers in Wiltshire must be IS WILTSHIRE COUNCIL READY for this leap into the brave new world ?

Money money money !

So the new CEO of Wiltshire Council is to paid around about £ 175 k p/a , while carers are expected to work God only knows now many hours a week and SURVIVE on a carers allowance of £3k p/a ITS A DAM INSULT !

Monday, November 9, 2009

Local Government Association

An interesting article -

David Rogers, spokesman on social care for the Local Government Association, urged ministers to carry out an immediate review.

Caring He said: "The Government has pledged to end carer poverty by 2018, but that is too late.

"Ministers need to get their skates on now to help Britain's carers.

"Many find themselves having to give up work and ultimately their pension rights to help somebody in need. Others try to juggle their jobs with their care responsibilities. So why does the current benefits system fail the very people saving the country billions of pounds a year?"

Mr Rogers added: "Ensuring that carers are financially secure is crucial and every one of them deserves an income that reflects the valuable contribution they provide. No carer should find themselves struggling alone, particularly as a large number of them are older people."

All this while the NHS/PCT,s are with holding money earmarked for carers !

Maybe it's time to square the circle ?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Modern times

One of the greatest challenges facing the third sector is embracing the use of modern technology .

Charities dealing with carers in the health and social care field need to consider that over the next ten years the demographic age group they will be providing services for will become increasingly more computer literate and therefore need to focus their network operations accordingly .

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 6, 2009

Social Housing

Why do so called SOCIAL housing groups so heavy handed with the mentally ill ?

What if any controls are in place to ensure these organizations monitor their actions when dealing with the ill and vulnerable sections of society ?

I have recently had to act on behalf of a person who it is fair to say was subjected to a disgraceful mental assault by their social landlords , who when confronted back right down !

We are suppose to have ' Care in the Community ' well HOUSING SOCIETIES start to care PLEASE

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NHS 'failing to support carers'

The National Health Service in England is failing to invest in sorely needed services for carers.

Data uncovered by two charities suggested just £10m of the extra £50m earmarked for support services was being spent this year , what dare we ask has happened to the other £40m ?

The money was promised by the government to help fund services such as respite care and counselling.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care said the results of the poll of 130 NHS trusts were alarming.

There are 6m carers in the country, 1.5m of whom spend more than 50 hours a week looking after relatives.

This is typical of the way health trust treat carers , its a total disgrace !

Inter linked social care and health

Interlinked social care and health in Wiltshire seams to have suffered a few set backs in the last few years .

Since the creation of a single PCT we seam to have lost the will to achieve the great combined working that we enjoyed .

I am convinced that it's all down to fiscal issues and that the only solution is for the new unitary authority and the PCT to form a joint funding pool .

YES a radical propossal I know !

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Welcome to my new blog in which I will vent my anger re Social health and Mental Health Issues .