State may shoulder cost of caring for the elderly and disabled

By Mithran Samuel, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

State may shoulder cost of caring for the elderly and disabled

The government has suggested it is considering proposals for all care users to receive a minimum entitlement to care which they can top up with state assistance, as suggested in Derek Wanless’ report for the King’s Fund last year.

Ministers announced on Tuesday that the government would produce a green paper on the future funding and delivery of adult social care, which would propose a finance system with “both universal and progressive elements”.

This has led to suggestions that the government is considering adopting the Wanless model, though chancellor Alistair Darling refused to rule anything out or in an interview with BBC Radio Four’s Today programme yesterday.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 11 October 2007 page 5

NHS to recruit 3,600 mental health therapists

Almost one million people suffering from depression and anxiety are to benefit from a £170 million expansion of talking therapies announced by health secretary Alan Johnson yesterday.

The scheme, which will roll out existing pilot projects, would involve the recruitment of an additional 3,600 trained therapists and lead to all GP practices having access to talking treatments.

The move was welcomed by mental health charities.

Source:- The Times Thursday 11 October 2007 page 30

Efficiency gains data ‘uncertain’

Up to three-quarters of the £13.3 billion efficiency gains the government claims to have made may be based on unreliable and inaccurate estimates, the Commons public accounts committee said yesterday.

It said that just £3.5 billion of the reported gains represent efficiencies but the remainder are uncertain.

In his pre-budget report on Tuesday, chancellor Alistair Darling said that the government planned to make £30 billion in efficiency gains by 2010-11.

Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 11 October 2007 page 3

Blair hails new freedom for councils

Communities and local government secretary Hazel Blears has admitted that the comprehensive spending review announced this week has provided a “tough” settlement for local authorities.

However, she said that measures to remove £5 billion in grants from ring-fencing and slash the total number of central targets from 1,200 to 198 heralded a new era of freedom for councils.

Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 11 October 2007 page 4

Scottish news

Call to end child refugee detention

The Scottish Government is pressing Westminster for an end to the detention of families with children at Dungavel.

Fiona Hyslop, the education secretary, will set out the SNP administration’s position on asylum, including opposition to dawn raids, in a meeting with Liam Byrne, the Minister of State, at the Home Office.

Ms Hyslop will push for alternatives to family detention, currently being piloted in England, to be used in Scotland.

Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 11 October

Cash row threatens to worsen growing bed-blocking crisis

A row has erupted between NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Council amid concerns over the city’s growing bed-blocking problem.

New figures for August show the number of patients stuck in Lothian hospitals with nowhere to go has increased again, up from 89 in April to 156 in August.

Council chiefs believe NHS Lothian owes them money after the local authority spent £700,000 to hit April’s figure, but health managers have laid the blame for the growing number of delays on councils.

Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 11 October

Male nurse ‘taunted disabled patient over nappy’

A senior nurse threw a Down’s syndrome patient on to a hospital bed and threatened to make him wear a nappy, a tribunal has heard.

Scott Armstrong, who had been a registered nurse for ten years, faces four charges, including rough treatment of the disabled patient and stealing money from under another patient’s mattress. Mr Armstrong denies the charges.

The hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee in Edinburgh heard Armstrong, of Falkirk, was working as a staff nurse at Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, at the time of the alleged incidents.

Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 11 October

Welsh news

Volunteers honoured

A voluntary organisation which works with refugees at a drop-in centre in Cardiff has won a diversity award.

Supporting Others Through Volunteer Action Cymru Wales has received the Black Voluntary Sector Network Wales award for its work.

Source:- South Wales Echo, Thursday, 11 October 2007

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