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Adult social care - individuals and carers web forum

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee

  • What works and what doesn't work about the current system?
  • Have you seen services in your area change?
  • How could services be improved?
  • As a carer, what do you think are the challenges facing the sector?
  • As a carer, are you getting the support you need, financially and in terms of your health and well-being?

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83 Contributions (since 11 August 2016)
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Total results 83 (page 1 of 9)

Bubs

02 September 2016 at 13:19

The service needs to be divided into different services. Young adults with severe and profound needs are assessed alongside much older people. As soon as they turn 18 they find that their care package is cut, not because needs have changed but because they are now included in adult social care. Age cuts offs do not work, as young person can now get an Education Health and Care Plan to 25, and post 16 in a sixth form to 19. Decisions not made early enough for 17 year old as children services do not want to take responsibility for funding when young person going to adult social care at 18. Personal budgets are imposed post 18. Employment, contracts, choosing carer passed to families, given minimum support to understand and manage this responsibility. I have concern about how these carers are supported, trained and monitored. Often asked to care for the most vulnerable members of our society. But aim seems to be to find the cheapest provider, who care do care in minimum amount of time. State no longer accountable as family has to find own carer. [Edited to remove abbreviation]

Mark

01 September 2016 at 12:00

As a care provider, I wholly agree with others comments that Social Care is now broken. We are all told that central government has massively cut funding and so I do appreciate restrictions placed upon Local Authority however, they must find ways of changing if care in the home is to continue. Care in the home is shameful and now almost a production line. There is no companionship, no dignity, care staff are rushed and given no time whatsoever to provide person centred care. Most care provided to service users in their own home is now expected to be completed in 30 minutes. Care staff are expected to read through a care plan, acknowledge notes left by previous care staff, check and administer and record medication, assist people with mobility concerns in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, prepare a meal, assist the service user to eat their meal, tidy the home and write a full report prior to leaving. Just a microwave meal can take up to 8 minutes to cook, then 4 /5 minutes to stand and cool and then fed to the service user as quickly as possible. Many service users require hoisting and this is also being rushed. Service Users deserve more. Social Care is failing to provide adequate person centred care assessments of individual service users needs and requirements. Moving and handling equipment is rarely in place when care commences. Safeguarding boards are only there to raise concerns against providers and rarely recognise failings of commissioning teams within the local Authority. The Care Quality Commission should hang their heads in shame. They are more interested in failing a provider for requiring staff undergo 3 monthly supervisions and not 6 monthly. They don’t recognise that providers are supervising and speaking with their care staff daily, often wiping their tears away when they report service users living in squalor with no food in their home. We now require a large team of administration staff that spend all day on the phone trying to resolve serious concerns with Social Care Teams that are unable to resolve due financial restraint. Thats if a Social Worker can even be found or bothers to return a call. Most concerns could be avoided if Social Care Teams had better care experience. Care at home will not change until Central Government recognise the need to stop cutting costs. Our own Local Authority is now recommending that providers reduce their charge by paying care staff less than the minimum wage. They refer to a ‘combined minimum wage’ based on those under 25 and those over 25. Care staff should be paid twice the current minimum pay. I witness Social Care Teams at work in their office daily. I wouldn’t swap one of my care staff for 10 of them. Start cutting costs there. Useless is an understatement. No care experience, No understanding of working under pressure and No idea. Many service users remain without care due to providers not having sufficient staffing levels. Care Workers are walking away from care every week. Last one out, turn off the lights

Dominique Kent

31 August 2016 at 17:15

I am a provider of live-in care services to people across England. We work with older people, many of whom have a diagnosis of dementia, some of whom have very complex needs. The current system is not consistent, and therefore when supporting families with any help that may be required from the health or social care system perspective, what may be achieved in one area may not even be an option elsewhere. The handling of applications for funding is variable, at best very well managed, at worst appalling. The one deficit that I do see is in the support of family carers who are often at their wits end in trying to navigate the system and find out what they are and are not entitled to. There is much work to do, and providers can help!

Mary Wilding

31 August 2016 at 11:28

Very little seems to work in the current system and although I don’t want to sound like 'all the rest' the main problem is lack of funds. I'm not at all convinced that bothering to respond to this is worth my time and energy but I believe so strongly that people’s lives could be improved for the better that I have to do so.... The system will fall down if unpaid carers (like me with my mum and many of my friends with their parents and partners) do no continue with the 'relentless' work of supporting their loved ones. And they are loved! No-one sets off wanting any outside interference but as time passes and conditions get worse (my mum has dementia) outside help is absolutely essential. My mum cannot get the support she needs and I have had to bring mum to live with me. This is causing lots of problems with my home life and there is not enough money in the social care budget to properly help support us as a family. Money is not everything in itself but as a society we need to pay care workers enough to keep them in the job. It's ludicrous that people can earn more working in a supermarket! But it’s true when care workers do not get paid for all the time they are out at work - by this of course I mean that they do not get paid for travelling between jobs out in the community and so their full working day is not all paid time. What other jobs don’t pay people for travelling once a person has 'clocked on'? None I'd say. It's a national disgrace! I'd say the country deserves the hole we've dug for ourselves by starving social care off funds - and outsourcing everything so they the only people who benefit are the shareholders! - but the people who suffer on a personal level do not deserve this. Stop pretending that 'efficiencies' will solve all our problems. How can you be more 'efficient' than to have only 30 minutes to help someone get out of bed, get washed and dressed, support them to use the loo etc, and then give them their breakfast and tablets etc? This is not efficiency it's cruel and unusual punishment for getting old or ill. More money is needed, and not for more managers or consultants - for more care staff who should be paid fairly for the wonderful work they do. [edited to remove company name]

Janet Varvel

30 August 2016 at 18:04

Carers Allowance is a joke. This is supposed to be "pay" for an unpaid carer to care for relatives and all family members . However many unpaid carers who claim this are thought to be and maybe have been told they are benefit scroungers. The majority in the UK have no idea what caring for someone 24/7 means. For many it means being on call day and night with no break . For those who are fortunate enough to get a break this can vary on the caree's personal budget .... if they can get one. Many services are again being cut to the bare minimum, with money ploughed into other services . If any paid Care worker or paid Care giver is asked would they be able to survive and pay their own mortgages, or rent and living expenses on what unpaid carers receive as an allowance, £62.10 per week, the answer is always no. If all unpaid carers downed tools and walked the country would not survive. Trying to obtain work while caring for any family member is next to impossible. Many employers expect everyone to be available at the drop of a hat . If you are caring for someone you cannot leave until replacement care is in place and paid for .... this cannot be done on Carers Allowance alone. Employers need to be really flexible in order to employ an unpaid carer ... even if this means providing work which can be done from home. This applies to every employer in the UK regardless of the industry they are from Come on UK ....surely you can do better for those who save this country millions .... and up the Carers Allowance to a decent liveable level ...

Elaine Maries

30 August 2016 at 11:49

I feel adult social care fails many with in society, after working in the care profession for over 20+ years I have seen the social and psychological effects of lack of support and understanding from local councils,it has had detrimental effects on individuals in desperate need, including some people choosing to take their own lives. Following losing my own sight in 2012, it took a fight of two years to obtain my Certificate of Vision Impairment form, then finally due to lack of support from Access to Work I had to leave employment in October 2015, and was informed I was not entitled to claim benefits. Again after a fight I finally claimed ESA Contribution which ends in September and I am now in a fight to get transfer over to ESA Income related benefit. Even though I was placed in the work related group, I have had no support from the job center and in fact when i had to go for an interview at the job center I was informed I was not allowed in with my guide dog. As my last job came with accommodation and I had to leave I approached the local council for support in finding accommodation only to be turned away because I am a single person living alone and even though I am visually impaired and almost blind they informed me I could not be classed as a vulnerable adult. A Joke, it was not until I was robbed, mugged and stabbed outside my front door that the local police helped me to find more suitable accommodation. I was totally let down by the local authority and it scares me as I get older as an individual living alone with no support how I will cope. This is my story and there are still many out there who are worse off, than me, it appears if your face fits you will be ok, if you have worked for over 20 years and paid tax's, lost your job because you have lost your sight you get nothing [Edited to remove abbreviation]

Alastair McGregor

29 August 2016 at 22:35

My wife has dementia and is unable to communicate in any manner. She also has limited mobility. I am her main carer 24/7. My local authority was requested to carry out a needs assessment for my wife in Dec 2015 and has yet to provide one. I completed and submitted Carers assessment in March 2016 and had no response. Clearly assessment does not get treated with any urgency . My wife has received only limited self funded support. I have received none as a carer. [Edited to remove local authority name]

C G

29 August 2016 at 18:17

Long wait for assessment, longer wait for help with recruiting new Personal Assistant, no choice of PA (one of three turned up for interview; one had apparently got alternative employment, the other sent no apology or explanation). There must be more than 3 people locally looking for a few hours work, but the company the council use could only find three & seemed to have little idea about conducting interviews. They have offered no assistance with gaining references, Disclosure and Barring Service check or accessing further training for PA. My sister had to support me through the reassessment & recruitment, but now I have a PA she has naturally gone back to mainly looking out for her own husband, children & grandchildren as well as her own often fragile health - she shouldn't have to be looking out for a sibling who is 50 years old. New PA clearly hasn't read the contract (confidentiality, etc.), has little understanding of the impact of my mostly invisible disabilities and thinks it's OK to "just pop in" to shops I don't want if we are shopping for my needs (during paid working time) or to talk FOR me unasked. I hope she will be able to learn appropriate limits & understand more about how I am and am not affected, otherwise I might need to start the whole process again. Last time I was without a PA for quite a while (ready meals only, no ironed clothes, days without food, home filthy, me exhausted) as previous one left to take up a job with more hours, more support & better training opportunities; I'm very pleased she's in a better job but wish it didn't take months to gain support after such a positive move by a PA. Local authority offer no training for PAs/ paid carers working in people's homes, as they used to, and I don't know of any other local training available even for basics such as food hygiene certificates or health & safety (don't know how much I'd have to pay for training if it were available or what happens if I can't pay). PAs/ carers are underpaid, offered little or no training and just sent to clients' homes with no support; those working for agencies are no better off, as far as I can ascertain, and the local authority no longer employ any home-care assistants at all (which also mean they don't offer any training now). [Edited to remove abbreviation]

Denize O'Leary

29 August 2016 at 16:04

I have a direct payment care package from Adult social care support. Every year they do a re-assessment in an attempt to decrease my hours, and every year I have to fight like mad to keep them, with the help of a Law Centre. As soon as the assessment visit is over and they find out that I am entitled to keep all my hours, and that I actually need MORE, the social worker assigned to me for that particular year drops my re-assessment and it never gets completed or the paperwork finished or sent to me. Despite being requested, I never end up with a formal record of what is agreed, even when requested by the Law Centre. I so far have managed to keep my hours, but then again, have never managed to get any extra that I clearly need...... But then a year later I receive a letter saying I need an assessment and it all starts again. Because the previous year's report was never completed they always have the perfect reason why I have to have another full assessment. This is so stressful for me, and makes me very poorly through the worry of having the risk of losing my support. Two years ago the wheelchair service withdrew my electric wheelchair. Their excuse was that, because I had to stand to access my kitchen (because my wheelchair will not fit through the gap into my kitchen and Social Services refused a grant to make it accessible for me) I therefore can 'walk' enough to exclude me from the criteria for my powerchair. Although they had already supplied me with my powerchair, or electric wheelchair, which I used constantly for the previous 7 or 8 years, it didn't matter that they could withdraw it with no notice whatsoever. And now they were saying, that because THEY would not help me to get my chair into the kitchen, then THEY would take my chair away. This left me housebound. The chair would not go to another person, they said. It would be scrapped as it was an old, outdated chair. Very useful huh? The suggestion they made was that I approached various charities to beg for a powerchair. Obviously this would still not solve the problem of kitchen access...... As regards the care packages themselves - there needs to be more clear definition as to what personal budgets or care packages can or cannot be used for. Over the years the rules seem to change backwards and forwards and nobody tells the service users what the guidelines are! 15 years ago we could have somebody doing the housework, ironing, changing beds, accompanying us to a coffee morning, taking us out to the shops, as well as washing and dressing us. Two years ago I was told that it was strictly only personal care, and absolutely nothing else. Yet on the assessment form it was asking how often I would like someone to help me to go swimming or church! Am I to sleep in a stinky bed forever? What about meals? I cannot cook..... Do I starve now? Why is there no communication whatsoever? What are we allowed to use our PA for? Please could someone decide and stick to it? We need someone with common sense making the decisions. If someone like myself can't lift a spoon then surely they need their PA to feed them. If you can't clean the bath then your PA needs to do that too. There is no difference when there is nobody else to do it. Assistance dogs. They do not take the place of human carers but are very much a useful addition. They still need to be paid for, so need to be added in to personal budgets, as they will undress their partner late at night when a human PA is not paid to visit. They will save money by fetching, picking things up off the floor and covering up their partner in the night. Yet many Adult Social Services departments are refusing to pay for assistance dogs' expenses (usually around £120 per month) when they are a lifeline to their partners and save the government so much more in 999 callouts, overnight stays, etc. Carers never get enough reward, financially, or support wise. They are often pushed by social workers to do more to save Social Services more and more money when they just cannot manage any more. Often carers work, or, as in my case, attend school full time. They are never able to live a full, normal life. They should have access to more counselling, holistic therapies and financial help than they have now. Most of all they should be treated a million times better by social workers instead of interrogated and belittled. After all, they know the disabled person better than anyone, and they are the person who can communicate with them best. If anyone is going to persuade them to do something it's not going to be Mrs/Mr Social Worker, but their carer, who they love dearly. As regards the Direct Payments system, there also needs to be much more communication. I have been receiving direct payments since 2006 and during that time the rates to pay our PA's have changed several times. I have never been told even once when, or what the new rate of pay is! [Edited to remove name]

Janet spence

29 August 2016 at 15:47

Very good MPs are aware of the problems faced by some one who tries to get Continuing Healthcare.My husband is now in care and I have cashed in nearly all his savings.I was told to have a financial assessment which has now been completed .After reading on the web it said this should not be done before the CHC assessment.I applied about March for his health but I keep phoning but get told that they are waiting for the home and when I phone the home I get the same response.My husband has dementia and his mobility is very poor and he has lost capacity.I feel that I cannot go forward as If I could get CHC what a inference this would be.

Total results 83 (page 1 of 9)