Panorama: Crisis in Care was informative and gave people a really good and true insight into the real state of social care in England. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are slightly different but face the same growing problems. The programme focused on Somerset but other counties such as Dorset are struggling to: https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/17678217.bcp-council-to-focus-on-care-at-home-to-beat-funding-crisis/
My partner Frank is the best thing since sliced bread in my eyes and the gentleman who was caring for his wife, as featured in the programme, reminded me of Frank, and his views were similar to ours. The social services coffers are going to run dry, and papering over the cracks is not going to help things.
I myself with my Secondary Progressive MS have been turned down for continuing health care twice in the past when I was assessed prior to being discharged from hospital, as it was felt my needs were not medical in nature in their criteria, so I get no support from the NHS. However Social Services provide no day to day support at the moment, it is left to me and Frank to pay for any care we get, so I can fully relate to the issues and problems experienced by the people and families featured on Panorama.
I was astounded by the unfairness of a situation where because Social Services do not pay enough to meet the care needs of state-funded clients in a care home, many care homes then charge even more for self funded residents to make up the short-fall. In the article in the Echo newspaper referred to above it was stated that the local authority decided for themselves how much things cost and therefore how much they will pay for care from a care home, but if that cost really is greater than what is being paid for by the local authority then the home is out of pocket. Surely there should be some way of arbitrating what a care home says it needs to charge and what a local authority should pay them.
It seems to me counter productive that the agencies try to pass the buck between each other, like a round of tennis, batting the costs over the net to the other each time. For example, if your needs are deemed medical you don’t need to sell your house, but if they are deemed social then you do, so families, often with social workers, are trying to paint medical pictures to avoid the house being sold, while the NHS try to make a persons issues look more social so they don’t have to find large sums of money.
Finally, Panorama spoke to a new kind of care provider called a “micro-provider”. In principle this is a good idea because an individual care provider can be more flexible in the care that is given, rather than through large care agencies.
Many thanks to you all for reading my blog on this complex and contentious issue.