Regular News

                                                                                       Lucy Nichol
                                                                                       Monday 13th September 2021

  
 

Hello and welcome to a new week.

It’s been a hugely busy time for the sector, with the funding proposals being discussed on all news channels and lots of debate around it on social media as well. So this week’s update will focus mostly on the different takes we have seen relating to this topic.

With MPs voting in favour of the social care levy, what does this mean in practice? Who will benefit? Who will be negatively affected by the rise in NI? As with any headline, there are many ways to slice and dice the news when you deep-dive into it. So, this week, we’re sharing many different views and analyses on this important topic so you can make up your own minds as to whether this is the right approach, and whether it will be enough to make a difference.

 

Have a read of just a small selection below…

Social care funding and reform

Firstly, let’s look at how the Government has communicated its plans. Interestingly, the headlines on the Government website are quite different to the headlines that the media outlets have led with. The gov.uk site headline talks of ‘a record £36 billion investment to reform NHS and Social Care’. One key factor to consider here is that not all of the money will be coming into social care.

 Read the full story here

 

Moving into health sector press, here’s what the BMJ had to say about it (please note – full article under paywall)

 Read the full story here

 

Meanwhile the BBC leads with how the investment will be taxed, stating that Boris Johnson has outlined a ‘new 1.25% health and social care tax to pay for reforms.’ It’s also interesting to read the analysis from Nick Triggle further down in the article about where the money will be spent.

 Read the full story here

 

Nick Triggle’s BBC analysis is also explored in more depth in another article, where he discusses what is included in the cap (the cap on the costs people face if they need social care), who will qualify and what will count towards the cap (e.g. daily living costs in a care home associated with food, energy bills, etc do not count towards the cap).

 Read the full analysis here

 

Meanwhile, the Guardian has focused on social care waiting lists, and how, if these are not tackled, people’s conditions will deteriorate as they wait, ultimately costing more when they do access care and support. This piece also illustrates how those working in care on national living wage will be impacted. It argues that they will be in effect paying more to do their jobs – while simultaneously losing some of the support that lower paid workers are subject to through Universal Credit changes.

 Read the full story here

 

Social care and COVID

Regarding the continued controversy around mandatory vaccinations for those working in care, Helen Whately, the minister for care, has said that the Government is looking into redeployment options for those who refuse the vaccine. This approach suggests that redeployment could help people remain in social care in back office roles.

 Read the full story in the Guardian here

 

Recruitment

This is less a comment on recruitment in the sector, and more a comment on recruitment in small businesses more generally in relation to the proposed NI hike for social care. In the FT, The Federation of Small Businesses argues that the increase in NI payments that employers will be liable for will disproportionately hit small business owners, resulting in less jobs.

 Read the full story here

 

Tech

Here’s an interesting story from the BBC. It talks about a smart tech pilot being rolled out to monitor usage of appliances/facilities in the homes of potentially vulnerable people. Really interesting debate as part of this around how invasive this might be, and how it could lead to increased loneliness if it’s going to replace care visits. Conversely, however, it should increase people’s independence for longer. A great topic to explore and debate further.

 Read the full story here

 

Also in tech, Digital Health reports that NHS Digital’s social care programme is expected to lead to £127m of benefits.

 Read the full story here

 

And finally….

All of these articles talk of facts and figures but what does the change mean to frontline workers? What will they see? ITV News spoke to 98 year old Lily and care worker Kate about the proposals.

 Read the full story here and watch the video here

 

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