Regular News – 2nd August 2021

                                                                                       Lucy Nichol
                                                                                       Monday 2nd August 2021



Hello again! 

Self isolation measures seem to be a bit of a recurring theme in this week’s sector update. The stories below cover the current status of the Government’s social care reform plans (spoiler – there is no update! See article to explain why), why social care staff exemptions from self isolation could be risky to vulnerable people, and how the North East is responding to social inequalities relating to children in care. 

There’s also an interesting piece from Wired on how start-ups are seeking solutions for social care and a little ‘did you know’ to finish on!


Social care reform

A comment piece in The Times argues that mental health must be at the heart of social care reform. The author, Andrew Lewer, also says that social care for working age adults is given very little airtime and that, coupled with the mental health issues we face as a consequence of lockdown demonstrates a real need to priories mental health.

However, it looks like we’ll be waiting longer to see how the Government plans to reform social care with the debate around the proposed so-called ‘social care’ levy now being delayed until the autumn. What would your argument be in this debate? Should taxpayers fork out extra through NI contributions to support the social care system? Is there another way?

Talking of how to fund the social care system, there’s an interesting comment piece in the Express that argues that the super-rich should pay to fix the UK’s social care system. Food for thought?


Social inequalities

The BBC has reported that 12 North East councils have submitted a report to government stating that children’s social care is failing. There is a shocking disparity between the rate of children in care in the North East, which is up 77% since 2009, and the national average which has seen an increase of 24%. What could be behind this significant increase and why might North East children be hardest hit?


Social care and COVID

Community Care is arguing that the self-isolation exemption for double-jabbed social care staff is risky for vulnerable people in care. This is about ensuring that social care services are able to maintain staffing levels when staff are ‘pinged’ by track and trace to isolate.

Meanwhile, if you want an update on vaccination rates for those in social care settings, the government published their statistics earlier in the month.



This is an interesting piece in Wired on how tech start ups are scrambling to fix the social care system. It talks about how we need to respond to an ageing society and how the currently social care system isn’t fit for purpose. This is an interesting read with talk about AI, remote health monitoring and wearable tech.


Recruitment and Skills

A report in BBC News states that social care workers are losing out on £7,000 in pay each year. The figure comes from comparisons being made to individuals in roles with similar skill sets, such as teaching assistants and police community support workers. The research was undertaken by Community Integrated Care.


And finally….

Did you know that Newcastle is home to the UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing? Part of the Newcastle Helix scheme, the centre is home to some really interesting projects and research. Here’s a link to a particular article on their website about design innovation for older people, linking nicely to the Wired article above.


We hope you enjoyed this week’s round-up and that it’s given you inspiration for your own blogs, vlogs or articles. We’ll be back in touch in a fortnight’s time with more news and views from the world of social care.

Let us know if you have something that you'd like to share at [email protected]  This is YOUR network, after all!

We’ll be back in touch in a fortnight’s time with more news and views from the world of social care.