The NHS is planning to relieve strain on hospitals by offering a visit within two hours.
New teams will include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and social care staff.
The “urgent community response” teams will operate 365 days a year and will help older people and those with complex care needs try to avoid ending up in hospital.
The teams are a key element of the NHS’s plan to provide increasing amounts of care in people’s homes.
The NHS and councils in seven areas of England will start putting the teams together and hiring staff from April 2020, with at least three starting to offer the service before next winter. Cheshire is one of the 7 areas.
Age UK estimates that there are almost 500,000 older people in England who are living at home and have multiple health and care needs.
About Deckchair Care
Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.
There has been growing concern over the cost of providing care for older and disabled adults. Spending on social care in English councils has shrunk by £7bn since 2010.
Research suggests there is going to be an explosion in social care requirements for Britain’s ageing population.
A recent study has concluded that health and social care services must adapt to the unprecedented needs of an older population with complex care needs, and warned the state should not rely on family carers as a sustainable solution to the problem.
“In the next 20 years, the English population aged 65 years or over will see increases in the number of individuals who are independent but also in those with complex care needs. This increase is due to more individuals reaching 85 years or older who have higher levels of dependency, dementia, and comorbidity. Health and social care services must adapt to the complex care needs of an increasing older population.”
Those who have dementia and at least two other major health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, will double over the next two decades, it estimated, suggesting an extra 500,000 people will need complex forms of care.
The government has promised a green paper on social care funding will be published in the autumn.
Social Care Trends
The study also highlighted different trends for men and women, with the latter likely to experience higher levels of care dependency than their male counterparts by 2035, and fewer years of later life spent free of care needs.
Prof Carol Jagger of Newcastle university’s Institute for Ageing, and a co-author of the Lancet paper, said the gender differences highlighted the importance of focusing on disabling long-term conditions such as arthritis that were more common in women than men.
Simon Bottery, a senior fellow in social care at the King’s Fund thinktank, said: “This study is further evidence of the scale of pressure building up on social care services from an ageing population, which is compounded by growing demand from working age adults with disabilities.”
Writing in the Guardian, Sonia Sodha’s article outlines how the NHS and Social care need to be joined up to save both.
“The founding principles of the health service must be extended to social care. Otherwise, the NHS will be run into the ground”
“.. the NHS embodies not just the principle that the affluent pay more than the poor through their taxes, but that the sick don’t pay more than the healthy”
“.. while it may be alive and well in the NHS, it’s glaringly absent from social care. If you’re unlucky enough to get cancer, you are covered by the NHS. Get dementia, however, and those with modest assets are on their own until they have spent much of their savings; even then, cuts to local authority budgets, out of which social care is paid, mean it’s increasingly hard to get state help.”
“We shouldn’t be expecting baby boomers to meet costs individually, but asking more affluent retirees to pay for the social care system through progressive taxation”
A survey carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA), has found that the vast majority of local authorities in England say taxation is the only viable solution to the funding crisis.
There have been growing concerns after another delay to government proposals on resolving the crisis and complaints that funding for care has been diverted to the NHS.
“Properly funding social care and prevention services not only helps councils with overstretched budgets to protect care services for the benefit of those requiring them, it also helps to prevent further crises in the NHS and saves the health service a fortune by keeping people safe and well in their own homes, reducing the number of hospital admissions.”
A report from the Housing, Communities and Local Government and Health and Social Care Committees calls for a “social care premium” for England, to address social care costs which will soon become “unsustainable”.
A recent article in the Guardian outlines the social care funding crisis and how it is impacting on NHS resources.
“Almost 1.2 million people aged over 65 do not receive the support they need with essential daily tasks such as getting washed and dressed or preparing meals, according to Age UK. The perilous state of the domiciliary care sector, which provides support in people’s own homes, is one of the main reasons for this, the charity says.”
One of the major problems currently experienced by care agencies is highlighted in the article:
“Colin Angel, the UKHCA policy and campaigns director, says the £18 per hour is “based on the absolute minimum price, assuming you can recruit enough workers on the minimum or living wage. Typically we’re seeing wages that are often below local labour market expectations, which means you’ll have difficulty recruiting workers. You’ll find providers have less money left over for things like back-office staff”
Deckchair Care pay their carers 33% more than the minimum wage and guarantee contracted hours, yet recruiting excellent reliable carers is still a challenge – but something we do not compromise on.