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This blog post was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New proposals to improve care for vulnerable older people

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The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt announced on 5 July that he is seeking views on a set of proposals to radically improve care for vulnerable older people.

The proposals set out improvements in primary care and urgent and emergency care. They look at establishing ways for NHS and social care services to work together more effectively for the benefit of patients, both in and out of hospital.

Jeremy Hunt said that radical improvements need to be made to make sure the most vulnerable and elderly have the support they need to keep them in better health and out of hospital.

Comments are being sought from NHS, social care and public health staff, carers and patients. People can discuss and comment on the proposals through the better health and care site.


Information supplied by: Susannah Cannon, Policy Communications.

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  1. Comment by steve moore posted on

    And round and round we go! I have worked in health and social care for over 30 years as a registered nurse and nurse manager, I have worked in hospitals and private sector care homes and now commission care home services for a local authority. My experiences have been confirmed by my current doctoral research that clearly shows the issue that leads to poor care and abuse is, amongst other factors, rooted in the values held by people who provide care, particularly care staff. The important issue to accept is that values cannot be imposed upon people. For example, you might value older people, I might value older people, but the care staff charged with their basic, often intimate care, that usually takes place behind a closed door (bathroom, toilet, screened off bed, bedroom) might not value older people and consequently provide third rate, no care, or actually abuse them. As soon as we all accept that no amount of policy statements, procedures, care plans, training, wall charts or badges proclaiming 'dignity in care' will make much difference the better. We must prepare staff, the right staff, for a 'career' looking after people who need it and reward them appropriately. Otherwise we will continue to go around in pointless circles; never mind the ageing enterprise keeps us all in a job!

  2. Comment by Julie Clarkson posted on

    Care assistants working in the community must have better employment terms and conditions, they only get paid for the time they are at someones house, and a lot of carers are on foot carers (my daughter being one of them) and so doesnt get paid for sometimes walking 45 minutes from one house to another, as yet, she has never earned more than £800 pounds a month for working a 40 hour week. You will never get quality care until this is resolved. Carers are given ridiculous time scales to get someone up washed dressed etc, 15-30 minutes, the carers have a lot of responsibilty and becasue the way they are paid dont get minimum wage. The whole system needs addressing,

    • Replies to Julie Clarkson>

      Comment by Charley Grocott posted on

      I wish you luck!

  3. Comment by Lishant Tennagashaw posted on

    NHS and social care staff working closely and in partnership is benefiting patients in and out of hospital. It is a better and comprehensive approach, as it helps prevent patient being admitted to hospital or A&E frequently, minimising risk of crisis to patients and their family carers.

  4. Comment by Hasu Mehta Esq MBE posted on

    I understand that Social Care Minister Norman Lamb has said that Neighbourhood Watch Group could help with elderly care.
    In my opinion Neighbourhood Watch members can provide Companionship and Welfare for pensioners living alone.
    I am a member of Crawley Neighbourhood Watch for many years with good understanding of Health and Social Care issue locally.
    Kind regards
    H. Mehta MBE

    • Replies to Hasu Mehta Esq MBE>

      Comment by George Flaherty posted on

      There's much talk about the care of older people. Yet the prime funders of care in the UK (the Government of the day) and the prime care providers (private businesses) are philosophically opposed. Most of the people involved in the commissioning of care seem to expect no one to profit from providing care in the same vain as the care provided within the NHS. However private care providers are businesses and like any other, if margins are continuously cut in real terms so are levels of service. in this case, care.

      An old saying comes to mind. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If social care is to improve we need to start paying a realistic price for a realistic service. Just as we would with any other purchase in life. There's a need to strike a balance between the quality we want and the price we'are prepared to pay.

      At the moment I'm working with SMEs in the care sector. My advice to them is simple. Work out what the break even is on your beds. If the local council are trying to get a bed for less than that, and they often are. Tell them to go else where. Work out your break even and don't bid for a bed below that. Others will and in the short to medium term they will provide poor under funded care and eventually put themselves out of business. You can't run at a loss forever, even if you are providing care.

  5. Comment by Charley Grocott posted on

    Talk about closing the stable after the horse has bolted! Save money by getting rid of the wardens and contracting out to agencys who coin it in and pay the employees peanuts.
    Close wards, then wonder why the NHS is not working. The influx of immigrants are swamping this country and then the elderly are blamed for living too long! Are any of our MPs in this mess? I think not!