After another week of health and social care issues highlighted in the news the importance of a systematic review of health and social care for the elderly is greater than ever.
Home Instead Senior Care welcomes the publication of the open letter in Tuesday's Telegraph to David Cameron from 60 industry commentators. Co-founder Trevor Brocklebank said, "we launched Home Instead in 2005 based on personal experiences of poor quality care and since then have lobbied consistently that the care system is broken, the wider recognition of this in the run up to the Government's white paper on Care is heartening."
Despite Monday’s announcement of an additional £150m of government funding to provide care in the Home, the leading Home Care provider for older people, feels that the combination of this week's news points to the need for a root and branch review of the integration of Health and Social Care provision. "The focus of the letter was on funding and revisited the results of the Dilnot Commission's review, we agree with this sentiment but the government needs to look much deeper into the quality and type of care that is provided and the crossover between the Health and Social Care Systems." Said Brocklebank. “We were pleased to see the advantages of care in the home being recognised with additional funding and look forward to the government’s White Paper in the spring, but I would urge politicians of all parties to remember that care starts with people not with the cost of providing it.”
Today Prime Minister David Cameron announced caring for people should be placed ahead of everything else. He was speaking specifically with regard to hospital care provided by nurses and he was joined by Howard Catton of the Royal College of Nursing who called for better staffing to allow this to happen. “One of the issues in the current care system is the time available for those providing the care to do just that. We believe that our standard of quality care cannot be provided in anything less than one hour and have arrived at this by putting the interests of our clients first, put simply it is what people want. I feel it is important that the Government consider this when consulting for the white paper.”
Also today the Alzheimer’s society published the results of a ten year study into the effects of ageing on brain function. 7000 civil servants were tested with the results showing that a decline was shown earlier than expected. Prof Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer’s society said, “the research could indicate the first signs of what could go on to be Alzheimer’s”
As a snapshot of the level of concern over the provision of social care for the elderly this week covers many of the key areas in conclusion Trevor Brocklebank said, “the scale of the challenges facing the government is becoming more widely understood and reported which can only help to encourage a full review of the current system. I hope that our politicians are brave enough to address the full extent of the current shortcomings in the public funded system. Our business has used learning from 17 countries around the world to provide a distinctly different – person centred approach to care, we would be happy to work with ministers in consultation before the white paper is written.”