Swift action following Francis report and epic changes to care laws.
People will be treated more compassionately in hospital, see their care better joined up and be reassured that they will not have to pay astronomical care costs if they need to go into a care home in their old age, thanks to measures set out in the Care Bill, published today in Parliament.
The Care Bill will help drive up quality of care following the findings of the Francis Inquiry into events at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. It will also include improvements to the care system following an extensive consultation with people and organisations right across the health and care system – from users of services to providers of care. The Bill will create a single modern law that replaces more than a dozen pieces of legislation dating back to the post-war period.
Through the Care Bill, the Government is introducing laws that will:
- Help people get compassionate care in hospital, in a care home or in the community, by introducing Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals and care homes, making quality as important as finance and strengthening training for staff.
- Join up care by enshrining in law that everyone should have a personal care plan, access to a personal budget and that carers, for the first time, will have a right to get support themselves if they are found to have eligible needs. There will also be a national minimum eligibility threshold across the country.
- Reform the funding of care so no one will have to sell their home in their lifetime, or lose everything they’ve worked for, to pay for the costs of living in a care home. And a cap on care costs and financial support for more people will protect people from catastrophic costs and provide important peace of mind.
Details in full HERE
New online information profiles that will help people to choose, compare and comment on care homes and other care services is launched today.
New online information profiles that will help people to choose, compare and comment on care homes and other care services is being launched today by the Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb.
The new profiles, part of the NHS Choices website, will create the most definitive online source of information on care services, including:
- essential information from every registered care provider, including detail on services provided
- official reports from Care Quality Commission inspections
- comments from the public on their experience of care and services, including links to existing comment sites
- from next month the ability for the public to give services star ratings
- Ofsted-style ratings for care services as they are developed.
Thousands of organisations who provide care services have started adding information to the website, such as details of what specialised services they provide, staff details, photos of their care homes or menu information; and many more are expected to do so over the coming months.
When fully populated with information from providers and comments from the public, this powerful online resource will give people the ability to search for good quality care that best meets their specific needs and preferences, by letting them compare each provider.
NHS Choices will also feature revamped information that explains the ‘essentials’ of care, such as what people’s entitlements are, how to organise an assessment for care needs, where to go for independent advice, how to go about getting and planning care, and how to pay for it.
CECOPS CEO, Brian Donnelly, says,
This is an excellent idea as it allows users and families to have all the necessary information in one place. We have been asked if organisations can use their CECOPS Registered and Accredited User status to display on this website; we agree this would be good, as it assures users that their provider complies with all their equipment related obligations.
Details in full HERE
Are Third Sector organisations and Social Enterprises setting the standard and leading the way in the delivery of Community Equipment Services?
The first community equipment provider in the UK to become CECOPS accredited is Croydon Equipment Solutions – serving 3 London Boroughs (Croydon, Merton and Sutton). Feedback from their assessments by DNV Healthcare was very positive.
Three other Providers (Third Sector and Social Enterprises) have come forward to be CECOPS Accredited. The feedback from DNV Healthcare is that there is real energy and commitment from these organisations to demonstrate that they can deliver the highest quality and standard of service anywhere in the UK.
Is this commitment to demonstrating quality shown by Third Sector organisations and Social Enterprises a challenge to the mainstream Provider Models?
Glenn Bartlett, Head of Operations, Croydon Equipment Solutions and London Chair, National Association of Equipment Providers, commented:
“We have wholeheartedly embraced CECOPS and aim to utilise all its component parts e.g. training, self-regulation software and accreditation. We believe entirely in its merits; it’s a standard we are committed to uphold and which our service users deserve!”
The values of the NHS are precious to all of us, but in future those values will only be reflected in practice if NHS and social care services are “re-imagined” according to a cross-party group of MPs on the Health Committee.
The care provided by the health and social care system will break down if quicker progress is not made to develop more integrated health and social care services which focus on meeting the needs of individual patients, warns the Health Committee.
Launching the report about public expenditure on health and social care services, the Chair of the Health Committee, Stephen Dorrell MP, said: “It’s unlikely that public expenditure on health and social care services will increase significantly in the foreseeable future. This means that the only way to sustain or improve present service levels in the NHS will be to focus on a transformation of care through genuine and sustained service integration.
“Services should be designed to treat people rather than conditions. They need to respond to individuals rather than expecting individuals to find their way round a bewildering range of specialist departments.
“To make this ambition a reality, we need to develop a much more joined up approach to commissioning health and care services; we propose that responsibility for this process in a given area should be vested in the Health and Wellbeing Board.
“Joined up commissioning would ensure that resources are no longer treated as ‘belonging’ to a particular part of the system, but become shared resources to use more efficiently to develop and deliver a more flexible and responsive local health and care services.
“Moving to this approach must not however result in less overall funding for care services. We therefore propose that the Government’s commitment to protect real-terms funding for health care should be extended to cover local authority social care services and that these funds should be ring fenced at current levels in real-terms.
Measures currently being used to respond to the Nicholson Challenge too often represent short-term fixes rather than the sustainable long-term service transformations.
Changes in tariff payments within the NHS do not constitute ‘efficiency savings’ – they are simply internal transfers that only result in efficiency gain for the NHS if the NHS Provider changes the way care is delivered.
Under-spending against budget of money allocated to the NHS has attracted adverse comment. The MPs call for a general review of the operation of Treasury rules; in particular, they recommend that the rules on the use of reserves by NHS Providers should be abolished to encourage investment by Providers in necessary service change.
The NHS will not be able to rely on the present rate of paybill savings once the present restraints on public sector pay are relaxed in April 2013. Furthermore, although pay restraint is undoubtedly key in the short term, the Committee does not accept this can be regarded as a sustainable form of ‘efficiency gain’.
The Committee says that “It is neither prudent nor just to plan for sustainable efficiency on the basis that NHS pay will continue to fall relative to pay elsewhere in the economy”. Report available HERE
CECOPS CEO, Brian Donnelly, welcomed the announcement by Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, that an extra £40m will be added to the Disabled Facilities Grant to help people remain independent in their own homes for longer.
Speaking today at the Housing Learning and Improvement Network Conference 2012, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:
“For people with disabilities and older people, even the simplest things such as walking, getting up the stairs and climbing in and out of the bathtub can become difficult.
“We know that most people want to remain independent and be supported in their own home as far as possible. This funding will help people make the necessary practical changes to help them remain in their own home and prevent or even postpone the development of health and care needs.
“An adaptation can make a huge difference to the life of an older person by helping them access all facilities and all parts of their home safely and independently. Research shows that for every £1,000 spent through the Disabled Facilities Grant, the quality of life gains are estimated at £1,723 per year.”
This extra funding will enable more older people and adults with disabilities to have better quality of life and also help them remain independent and in their own home for longer.