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

Homecare survey online debate

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Guest author, News


Right now we are getting ready for an online homecare panel debate taking place Tuesday 5 November 12.30 - 14.30 (GMT) – hosted by the Guardian and attended by the Minister for Care and Support, Norman Lamb.

He’ll be joined by a range of people with an interest in homecare to discuss the findings of the homecare survey conducted over the summer by the Guardian Social Care Network on behalf of the Department of Health. In response to the survey we received  1,443 responses from Guardian readers, including a number of suggestions about how we could improve homecare by doing things differently. The Guardian have reported on the findings here, and the full findings can be accessed here.

For those of us working in policy, what has been really interesting is the range of solutions suggested by people. These have been as varied as using an online grocery shopping model to help schedule and book home visits, to promoting homecare as a vocational career choice in schools and colleges, to making sure council commissioning practices don’t discourage smaller providers. Looking across these ideas, and also across the range of panelists attending tomorrow, what is clear is just how many different people and types of organisations have a part to play and how many people can get involved in making homecare better.

One of the reasons for setting up the Homecare Hub and conducting the survey was the desire to approach this kind of care a bit differently – to find a way to break down some of the barriers between people working across homecare and speak to everyone involved, not just the people who we usually speak to. It’s been great to hear from such a wide range of people and to gather such varied ideas. After the online panel, we will be working with you to find ways to implement these innovative suggestions.

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  1. Comment by Myfanwy Scrivener posted on

    My mother died recently - in her own home, surrounded by those she loved. But we had to fight for that right. One of the GPs in her practice told her bluntly that if she couldn't manage her own diabetes then she should go into a nursing home - something she dreaded. If we don't educate our GPs, how can we hope to support our elderly population to make the choices that suit them best?
    Fortunately for Mother, the other GPs in the practice were supportive, as were we, her family. Not all elderly people are so fortunate.

  2. Comment by Lynn Dobson posted on

    The profession as a whole is not well enough repected from Government, LA's it is the cinderella service and yet working with the most vulnerable citizens. Within the public there is very little recognition or knowledge unless you are somehow indivolved via work, carer, customer of services, etc. The knowledge of all sectors need to be joined up, good work and specialist knowledge is being wasted at a price. At a recent Contracts and Commissioning event, all authorities were struggling with the same issues. This has got to be so expensive to the public purse. All got several highly paid officers departments all doing the same thing, crazy. Does not happen in education.

  3. Comment by Phill Firmin posted on

    My wife and I cared for her mother for 16 years, but she went into a care home in 2012 because we could no longer provide the level of care she needed, she is almost 106 years old - we were able to do this without benefits or government funding, by building an extension to our home, with funds realised from the sale of her house, the remaining funds were invested in bank savings bonds etc. The family is important in any realm of care, but resources and needs differ somewhat, which is where the reality check needs to happen. Good planning based on these family circumstances, including their ability to provide support, are vital to any care strategy. If more joined up thinking went on prior to a situation getting much worse, then families and care patients would no doubt feel supported and be able to co-operate and help to improve services all round to those who really need it. Such assessments can easily be carried out on-line initially and then subject to assessment or even home visits where appropriate, this way the essential services would not be so over-stretched and good quality care can be agreed with the care patient and family representatives.

  4. Comment by Pamela Holmes posted on

    Is it possible to access the discussion now that it's taken place? Thanks Pamela

    • Replies to Pamela Holmes>

      Comment by Mark Osterloh posted on

      Hi Pamela
      As this was a Guardian hosted event I'd suggest emailing - we're not currently aware of any transcripts or summaries at present.
      All the best