Most months I write about Social Care and the funding crisis facing local authorities. Whilst sympathetic local authority commissioners do their best to stretch budgets and manage the market, the evidence that it is about money is strong. I see requests for a home care service repeated six, seven or eight times via the council’s brokerage system. Hourly rates are low, pay is low and recruitment is getting more difficult.
I also hear stories from friends. Us 60 something’s have 80/90 year old parents and as most of my friends do not work in Health & Social Care, I get the occasional e-mail asking for advice from ‘someone in the business’. My starting point is to advise looking at the CQC website for a list of local agencies and use the CQC report to build a short list, and then visit if it is a care home.
On a very small sample here are some of the things I hear:
“The hospital said they could only delay mum’s discharge by a week” and I needed to find a care home. All the good ones had a waiting list.”
“I picked an agency for home care that had a good rating, but a different carer turned up every day and my mum got confused.”
“My mum has diabetes and when she was discharged from hospital no one had explained to her how to manage her condition. She was gratefully accepting cakes from kind neighbours.”
Shortage of services and poor communication between health and social care seem to be recurring themes. My friends are the generation who quote The Who lyrics from my generation: ‘Hope I die before I get old’ when we think of what the future has in store for us.
Talking of music, I am going to see the world’s greatest bass guitar player tonight, Marcus Miller, so maybe I will review in my next blog and stop the flow of crisis in Social Care blogs to give readers a rest from all this gloom and doom.
I continue to remain optimistic about Headway thanks to our wonderful staff and dedicated volunteers and considerate expenses. We are always looking for new income sources to support our work and our latest venture – a charity shop in St.Swithin’s Street has made a great start …So good we need more donations of good quality clothes and other saleable items.