Tag Archives: social care

Lamb and Williams warn on care cap delay

As Care Minister, Norman Lamb (and his Liberal Democrat predecessor) were pivotal in ensuring that the cap for care costs was introduced. The Conservatives have now delayed its implementation by 4 long years. Norman described this as an “outrageous betrayal of people at their most weak and most frail. He said:

This an extraordinary and devastating u-turn from the Tories and an outrageous betrayal of people at their most weak and most frail with conditions like dementia.

Crippling care costs need addressing urgently. In coalition we designed a solution that would help and was affordable. Local authorities have spent millions already preparing for the introduction of the cap, yet we now hear the Tories are turning their back on it. This delay is a total waste of public money.

The distress and heartbreak that people feel when a loved one is in care, is being exacerbated by the fear of how to pay for it. We must not allow this to continue.

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LibLink: Paul Burstow on leaving the elderly at death’s door

Paul BurstowIn the Telegraph today, Paul Burstow expresses his concerns for social care under the Conservative Government. He writes:

Ninety per cent of NHS leaders now believe that social care cuts are directly affecting patient care, while social care leaders report that over half of the providers they work with are facing financial difficulties. This is not sustainable.

Social care has always been the poor relation of the NHS, but in the last Government, Norman Lamb and I made the reform of social care a priority, and, we made more progress in five years than the previous government did in thirteen. We secured an extra £7.2 billion, reformed social care law putting well-being and prevention centre stage, limited individual exposure to care costs and made sure no one should ever again have to sell their home to pay for care. And we laid the groundwork for bringing the NHS and social care together with one budget.

But he sees all that being placed at risk.

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Paul Burstow writes…Care Act shows how Lib Dems in Government make society fairer

Knowing that you will receive the best care possible means the world to everyone who finds themselves or their loved ones in need of social care.

That is why I made it my first priority as Care Minister, and together with Norman Lamb – our current Care Minister – and other Lib Dem colleagues we have worked hard to reform our badly out of date care system and drag it into the twenty first century.

Today, that work reaches a major milestone with the Care Act coming into effect. As the independent health charity the Kings Fund put it, on social care “the coalition has made more progress in five years than the previous government did in thirteen”.

The Care Act creates new rights and protections for people who need care and new rights for the friends and family who selflessly care for them. It puts in place for the first time a national rules to determine when a person is eligible for care ending the unfair postcode lottery that existed in the past. This means that  people with the same level of care needs will now be treated in the same way wherever they live. It also puts people’s wellbeing at the heart of all care decisions, and creates new responsibilities for local authorities to make sure that support is available to stop people developing care needs in the first place.

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Annette Brooke MP writes…Choice at the end of life is vital – free social care can make that happen

Annette BrookeThere are no dress rehearsals when it comes to where we are and who we are with when we die – so it’s crucial that people have as much choice and control over the situation as possible.  This is important not only to the person who is at the end of their life, but also those close to them. A person’s last days will stay with family and friends forever, so it is important that they should be left with a lasting, positive memory of their loved one receiving good quality care in a place of their choice.

What is not acceptable is for someone to end their days against their wishes in an expensive hospital bed, purely because they did not have the right support to die at home. Sadly, we know far too many people currently do not die in a place of their choosing. Macmillan Cancer Support found that 36,000 people with cancer who wanted to die at home died in hospital in England in 2012. In fact, 73 per cent of people living with cancer would prefer to die at home, but figures show only 30 per cent are currently able to do so. We cannot continue to have final experiences and enduring memories shaped by the absence of choice for people at the end of life.

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Clegg says Lib Dems would spend extra £8bn on NHS

nhs sign lrgNick Clegg has set out how the Liberal Democrats would invest in the NHS in government for the next five years.

From the Guardian:

Fleshing out the figure released by the deputy prime minister at a press conference, the Lib Dems said they would increase the NHS’s funding by £8bn a year by 2020-21 in three stages. They would make permanent the coalition government’s extra £2bn a year – which was announced in the autumn statement – by 2015-16.

In addition, Clegg said the party would find another £1bn a year in real terms in 2016-17 by capping pension tax relief for the wealthiest (which the Lib Dems said would save £500m), aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 (saving £400m) and scrapping the shares for rights scheme, which allows employees to forfeit certain employment rights in return for company shares (saving £100m).

Once it had reduced the deficit in 2017-18, Clegg said that the party would increase health spending in line with growth in the economy. He said: “It’s a combination of change plus more money and the reason we can do that, and no other party will be able to do that, is firstly, as we explained at our party conference, is we are going to introduce some tax changes which only affect the very wealthiest, to put in an extra billion pounds into the NHS, and next year and the year after that.”

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Paul Burstow MP writes…We need urgent action on home care

Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red CrossThe extra £2 billion for health care services announced in the Autumn Statement last week is fantastic news. It is testament to Norman Lamb’s effective and high profile campaigning for urgent funding for the NHS, as well as the hard work behind the scenes by many colleagues making the case.

But in reality these additional funds will not be enough to put the NHS on a sustainable footing. As many of us know only too well, social care is in crisis, and with an ageing population, the existing strain can only become greater. If we don’t address this issue urgently, we risk creating a wholly avoidable additional burden on the NHS which would put its stability entirely out of reach.

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Opinion: We can’t afford not to pay for social care

I had a visitor the other day – a resident who was her husband’s carer. Neither was elderly and she was coping remarkably well. I am honestly not sure I could perform her role. I suspect many of us couldn’t.

She had no complaint to make but instead wanted me to understand – for the purposes of local and national policy – what caring looked like in terms of costs. The simple point is that the care she provides comes cheap. She does most of the work so the local authority delivers only respite care at some thousands a year. But were she older, frailer or even simply smaller in stature this would not be possible. And then the cost of care would escalate as it fell to the state to provide it. Ultimately it would reach a six figure sum. Per annum.

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Opinion: Liberal Democrats : the party of social work and social care?

Stay Well At Home Service, Evesham, BritainFirstly, I must admit that I have an interest in this subject; not only as Lead Member for Adult Social Care, and as Chair of our local Health & Wellbeing Board, but as a registered, practising social worker. This week NHS England set out an ambitious vision for the NHS over the coming five years. A vision which breaks down the barriers between GP’s and hospital care, which moves more healthcare back into the communities which desperately need it and places public health front and centre in a bid to create a Health Service fit for the 21st century.

Local government is mentioned numerous times in this visionary document. Our recently returned responsibility for Public Health will become even more significant over the next 5 years. The roles and responsibilities of Health and Wellbeing Boards are discussed as possible conduits for local commissioning and decision making. All welcome and in line with our Liberal Democratic view of the world. In this field of policy we as a party have made huge strides in the Department of Health through Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb; integrating budgets, mental health waiting times, carers’ rights and, fundamentally, the Care Act.

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Norman Lamb MP writes: I am determined everyone should be able to get good quality care

James Terry Court, Croydon - License Some rights reserved by sjr60If you watched Panorama last week, you will have been as horrified as I was by some of the footage.  The treatment portrayed was disgraceful and a very clear illustration of the need for the changes that we are currently introducing in the health and care sector. As Liberal Democrat Care Minister, I am determined that everyone should be able to get good quality care, and to be treated with dignity.

As minister, I want to make sure that we are able to …

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Norman Lamb MP, Baroness Liz Barker and Paul Burstow write…Care Bill builds better, stronger, more liberal care system

Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red CrossLast week, historic legislation on social care was debated for the final time in the Commons. It has been an exhaustive – and at times exhausting – process, and one of the most inclusive and consultative pieces of legislation ever. We worked with people across the political spectrum to get this right – as ever, a true Lib Dem hallmark.

Starting back in 2010 when Paul Burstow in the Department of Health published a new vision for social care, we have at every stage worked to engage, reach out, and listen to as many stakeholders as possible.

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Paul Burstow MP writes…My two suggestions to improve the Care Bill

Knowing that you will receive the best care available is of critical importance to everyone who finds themselves needing support from social care services. This is why when I was Care Minister, I was passionate about making that a reality – and I still am. As Minister I published the Care Bill, overhauling decades of complex, arcane and out of date legislation to set out a social care system fit for the twenty first century.

The Care Bill, which I subsequently scrutinised as Chair of the Joint Committee on the Bill, is a piece of legislation I – and Liberal Democrats …

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Norman Lamb writes… A once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our health and care system

In 1997 Tony Blair told the Labour Party conference “I don’t want brought up in a country where the only way pensioners can get long-term care is by selling their home.” And yet speaking to the Health Select Committee in 2010, in Labour’s final months in office, Andy Burnham said, “every member of the Cabinet believed social care to be an area that had not been properly reformed and was one of great unfairness”. In thirteen years of talk, and promises, Labour did nothing to fix our dysfunctional, and profoundly unfair, system of funding social care.

In …

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Norman Lamb writes … The start of a revolution in joined-up care

Back in May, I wrote on Lib Dem Voice, about the launch of a programme of “Integration Pioneers” to drive forward the revolution in joined-up care that is desperately needed across the NHS and social care.

On Friday, I announced the final outcome of a rigorous process to select the very best leaders in integrated care. A panel of experts, including some of the global leaders in integrated care, scrutinised the bids. Now, 14 Pioneers spread across England covering rural and urban areas will lead a movement of change joining up a horribly fragmented system which too often let’s …

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Norman Lamb is surely right: pensioners who own their own homes and have more than £23,000 savings are ‘quite wealthy’

“If someone as well as their home has substantial other assets, money in the bank, shares or whatever, should they be expected to use those assets to pay for care? Or should we say, we will always defer the costs of selling their home? If you’ve got a vast amount of money in the bank, you’re quite wealthy, it’s desirable that we protect that money but the scheme has to be affordable. If together with owning your own home, you have more than £23,000-odd in the bank, the question is should you be expected to use that money. You are

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Norman Lamb MP writes: Ensuring transparency and accountability in the Health Service

In recent months we have seen some shocking examples of failures of care within the health service. Tragic events such as those which occurred at the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital and the Winterbourne View Hospital have demonstrated a desperate need to ensure that people are held to account when awful things happen across the NHS and care services.

It is clear that we need to restore trust in health and care services. When a serious failing occurs it is simply unacceptable for patients and their families to be left in the dark or to feel that those responsible have not had to face …

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LibLink…Norman Lamb: What can we do to improve care in the home?

We’ve seen some awful stories in the media over the last few weeks about poor standards of home care. Norman Lamb has been writing in the Guardian about what the Government can do to ensure that everyone has good quality care.

First he outlines the problems:

One of the most common complaints I come across is where care is carried out by the clock. Carers will come to the house and have a time slot of around 15 minutes to get everything done and be off to the next appointment. But 15 minutes may not be enough to do what is needed.

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Danny Alexander MP writes… Spending where it matters

Our number one priority in Government has been to fix the economic mess we inherited from Labour. Today, we set out a Spending Round that delivers Liberal Democrat priorities on investment and improving our public services while making responsible choices to deal with the financial problems Labour left us. It demonstrates that the Liberal Democrats will remain firm in our commitment to tackling the deficit, but fair in the way we go about it.

When we entered Government in May 2010, we inherited from Labour an economy that was on the brink. We set out a plan to get our economy …

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Baroness Judith Jolly writes: new Social Care Bill focuses on people not systems

The Care Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the social care system. Currently there is a morass of legislation, confusing to those who work in the system and almost impenetrable to those in need of care, or their carers. It is leaving behind those who fund themselves to work it out as they go along. These are the most vulnerable in our society – the elderly and those of working age who are disabled and need care. The Bill focuses on people, not systems, and has received plaudits from all quarters.

Today I will stand up …

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LDVIdeo: Nick Clegg on pensions and carers’ reforms

From the Guardian, video of Nick Clegg talking about Liberal Democrat inspired pensions reforms and help for the elderly and their carers.

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Paul Burstow writes: Greater focus on funding, prevention and integration essential to improve the social care in England

The law governing social care in England is a dog’s breakfast. The product of 60 years of piecemeal legislating it is complex, confusing and sometime contradictory patchwork that is out of date and hard to understand. The government have recognised the need to change this and last year published the draft Care and Support Bill, Caring for our future: reforming care and support, to overhaul the legal framework.

As the Minister at the time I led drafting the Bill drawing on the recommendations of a Law Commission Review.  My aim throughout has been to secure a modern legal framework that is …

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Norman Lamb MP writes… Ending unlimited care costs: an historic step

This Coalition is at its best when it is tackling the country’s long-term structural problems. That, after all, is why we came together with the Conservatives to form a Coalition Government and deal with the record deficit that we inherited from the last Labour government. Nowhere is this more evident than in today’s historic announcement to protect people, for the first time ever, from the threat of unlimited care costs. That is why I have been pushing relentlessly for this reform since my first day in the job in September.

For anyone doubting whether this is a truly “historic” announcement, …

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Jeremy Hunt announces Social Care reform

Jeremey Hunt has just announced the heavily pre-trailed social care reforms in the Commons. Here is Andrew Sparrow’s digest of his speech from the Guardian’s Live Blog:

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, says none of us know what care needs we will face when we get older.

Many older people face paying “limitless, often ruinous” care costs.

The current system is “desperately unfair”. More than 30,000 people a year have their savings wiped out.

This discourages people from saving, he says.

Today he is announcing the government’s proposals.

A cap will be introduced for the maximum amount that an individual might have to pay, and

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Opinion: The other care crisis

Wheelchair signs - Some rights reserved by Leo ReynoldsOver the course of this Parliament, social care reform could become the most distinctive area of Liberal Democrat influence in the Coalition.

The Party has the strongest foothold in an issue that is permeated by talk of ‘cross party consensus’ (although, to date, the rhetoric has led to precious little real agreement), with both Ministers for Social Care under the Coalition – and probably the biggest voices – being Lib Dems, in Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb.

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Here comes the Mid-Term Review (Slimmed Down edition)

Nick Clegg and David CameronRight, time to set the alarm clock extra early for tomorrow morning to do a Radio 5 Live interview as it’s the week of the Mid-Term Review.

Not the original Mid-Term Review, as was planned back in the early days of the Parliament, that is – but the Slimmed Down Super Light edition, which will contain a fair amount of ‘look how we’re doing better than Labour’ and then a clutch of new policy announcements for the second half of this Parliament.

How well or badly the former is …

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Norman Lamb writes… Lessons from Winterbourne View

On Friday last week, eleven former members of staff at Winterbourne View private hospital were sentenced for the shocking neglect and abuse of their former patients. Six have been jailed, and five others given suspended sentences. I hope that these sentences will send a clear message that such criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and that there will be real consequences for the perpetrators. It was abuse of power of the worst sort.

The case should reinforce to everyone, from frontline workers, to regulators, service commissioners, managers and board members, that they have a shared responsibility in preventing abuse of people …

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Opinion: We must make the Care and Support Bill a reality

Much of the talk at the Autumn Conference in Brighton has rightly centred on the economy and we, in my opinion, are rightly sticking to Plan A and not being deviated towards Plan B or Plan V.

However, we as Liberal Democrats in government and on the ground have another area of policy in which we can make a significant and lasting change in this parliament. Social Care is not a sexy subject, it is not often at the forefront of people’s minds nor does it command a full chamber in parliament but it is vital to a liberal, fair and …

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LibLink: Paul Burstow – Why is the Coalition failing to tackle our broken care system?

Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow, until the reshuffle the Lib Dem health minister, has written an article in today’s Telegraph with a plea for the Coalition to ‘be bold and take the decisions needed to fix our broken social care system’. Here are a couple of excerpts, first looking at why Paul fears the reforms he pushed in government might not go anywhere:

The Coalition understood the “urgent need for reform”, and has been wrestling with these issues since May 2010. In July the White Paper I drafted was published. It tackles much that is wrong with care. Widely welcomed, it

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Paul Burstow MP writes… Radically reforming social care

Most of you will have a friend or family member who needs some kind of care and support to help them get through the day.

In fact, more than 80% of us will need some form of care once we turn 65 – which is why getting social care right is so important.

It’s important because it touches upon some of the most essential things in life, like being healthy, happy and independent.

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How to fund care and support for the elderly

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has published a detailed paper on how the proposals of the Dilnot Commission on care and support for the elderly can be funded:

The Dilnot Commission proposed changes which would involve a degree of co-payment between individuals and the state, and a much less harsh meanstest on assets than in the current system. The

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Care – dilemmas for us all

When my grandfather was in his last week of life I was sitting by his bedside in the local community hospital as he dozed peacefully in a morphine assisted haze.

Suddenly, all hell broke loose next door. I stormed into the other room to see a small group of care assistants throwing pillows from one to another and loudly humming the theme tune from Star Trek.

“Do you mind?” I said: “there’s a man dying in there”.  An instant spokeswoman apologised unreservedly but went on to point out gently: “It’s hard for us too and we have to have a bit of …

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