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|28 Jun 2016|
Dundee Stronger Together
In January, the Minister for Health, Wellbeing and Sport announced a £6 million cash injection to raise the amount that older and disabled people were able to keep before paying care charges to the same level as that in England. For about 15 years, disabled people under 65 in other parts of the UK have
been significantly better off than those in Scotland, on average getting to keep £132 per week as well as income needed to meet any other Disability Related Expenditure.
However it would seem that the Scottish Government cannot just tell local councils what to do. In a number of areas, councils have decided to ignore this. Angus, for example, decided to increase the threshold for over 60s but to freeze it for those under 60 (Report 66/16 5(c)).
BUT even worse some areas have decided to use this as an excuse to increase their incomes. Instead of levelling up of care charges, two areas Highland HSCP (3/3/16 (7.4)) and Dumfries & Galloway Council (29/2/16 Template 11) have cut the income that they allowed people to keep by £22 - 25 per week. In both areas all new social care clients will start paying the new rate from April 1st while in Dumfries & Galloway all existing clients will start to paying after their next assessment. Highland may raise an extra £1 million over the next year, D & G about £500,000.
Other councils across Scotland are joining in with measures designed to get more money from disabled people to pay for their social care.
Helping Disabled People Get Jobs by investing an additional £20 million on top of funding that is transferred from Westminster to ensure that those who most need support get it. Due to start in 2018.
Helping Social Care Staff by implementing the Living Wage of £8.20 per hour from October 2016 for all social care workers.
A Disability Action Plan to improve lives.
Helping unpaid carers by increasing Carers Allowance to the same level as JSA with further adjustments for those caring for more than one disabled child.
Establishing a Disability Benefits Assessment Commission to look at PIP such as how often assessments for PIP should be, what long term conditions should be given an automatic or lifetime awards, and what the eligibility rules about who should get PIP are.
We are aware of an increasing number of problems that people with learning disabilities are experiencing in the welfare benefit system. Some of this is linked to the use of targets by the Department of Work and Pensions. Other problems are linked to the complexities of letters and forms sent to people to fill in.
Some support staff are no longer filling in forms because the consequences of getting this wrong can be very difficult and worrying for the people we support. Our advice for everyone is involved is to get good advice if you are not sure what to do.
You can use our new map of welfare right advice centres to track down your local advice shop. Take your letters and forms along and get the right help.
Regular website visitors will be aware of the long term campaign for guidelines on the use of restraint for disabled childrem.
Now Beth Morrison has been awarded Special Award for Outstanding Achievement at BILD PBS Leadership Awards
Health And Social Care Integration is struggling in England. Increasing financial constraints on councils and NHS bodies are making it harder to achieve integrated health and social care, government-funded research has warned. The study also found that engaging frontline staff in initiatives to integrate care was proving challenging in a climate where they were “firefighting” to keep existing services running.
Health and social care were beset by an “integration paradox” in which the financial environment made it ever more important to integrate care but, at the same time, made it more difficult to make progress in doing so.
The findings came from an early evaluation of the integrated care and support pioneers programme, a Department of Health initiative set up in late 2013 to test new ways of integrating care for people who needed the support of multiple care services. The study, by the Policy Innovation Research Unit, assessed the initial 14 pilots from January 2014 to July 2015 and was largely based on interviews with 140 council, clinical commissioning group (CCG), NHS trust and voluntary sector staff involved in pioneers.
The pioneers started with ambitious visions to transform care in their areas for people with multiple long-conditions and frail older people by shifting services out of hospitals, reduce costs and improve people’s experiences of care. They had plans to use a wide range of initiatives to meet these objectives including multi-disciplinary teams, improved access to services, rapid response teams to reduce avoidable admissions, telecare and telehealth, increasing the use of community resilience and personal health budgets.
But the researchers found that over time their ambitions appeared to have become more limited and focused on “short-term, financially driven goals”, mainly around containing hospital admission and discharge costs. Also, the range of initiatives used had narrowed to setting up multi-disciplinary teams, improving care planning, creating a single point of access for services and using care navigators to provide people with information and advice on accessing care.
Interviewees identified a number of barriers to and enablers of integration. Most of the enablers were local factors. These included the relative simplicity of organisational structures, with the best arrangement perceived to be when a pioneer involved just one council, CCG and NHS trust with similar boundaries. The most important of the enablers was perceived to be staff involvement in integration initiatives and the extent to which they felt ownership over them.