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Issue:- Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 1.

Care Act has made little difference: Local charity agrees with Carers Trust study

REVITALISE FOI requests reveal disabled people and carers actually worse off since the launch of the 'Care Act.' National charity Revitalise; which runs the Sandpipers respite break centre in Southport; has responded to a new study on the first anniversary of the 'Care Act', has published by Carers Trust.

In its own study, Revitalise found that, 1 year on from its launch, the long awaited 'Care Act', billed as the most significant reform of social care law in over 60 years and promising to safeguard the well being of disabled people and carers, had failed to live up to expectations in its first year.

The Revitalise research found that 55% of England’s local authorities had spent less overall on services for disabled people and carers since the 'Care Act' came into being than in the year before; to the tune of an incredible £397 million; and 42% had reduced their spending on respite provision by an average of nearly £900,000 each.

A central pillar of the 'Care Act' was the legal entitlement of all disabled people and carers to an assessment of their support needs. However, the Revitalise study, based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, found that local authorities gave fewer 'Needs Assessments' for disabled people during the 1st year of the 'Care Act't than in the year before it, and 48% had carried out an average of 22% fewer Carer Assessments during the same period.

A parallel survey of disabled people and carers mirrored the FOI findings. 53% of the disabled people and carers surveyed by Revitalise said the funding they received had been reduced or not kept pace with inflation over the past year. As a consequence, 66% said they felt more isolated and had been forced to reduce their time spent taking valuable respite, and 44% said they were now struggling to make ends meet.

Despite prominent support from central government, the failure of the 'Care Act' was amply demonstrated by Revitalise’s research. 69% of disabled people and carers told the charity they were unaware of any changes to their entitlements as a result of the 'Care Act' and 49% said the services they received had got worse since the 'Care Act's' introduction.

The 'Care Act', part of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s:- “Revolution in the health and social care sector”, came into force on 1 April 2015 and was 1 year old', in April 2016.

Revitalise’s study, based on FOI requests and its own research, looked at the impact of the 1st year of the 'Care Act' compared with the preceding year.

In light of the study’s findings, Revitalise is calling for an overhaul of the 'Care Act' to ensure that all the disabled people and carers within local authority jurisdictions are approached and offered Carer or Needs Assessments, and more funding from central government to enable local authorities to fulfil all the pledges contained within the 'Care Act'. The charity is also reiterating its call for sufficient funding for respite breaks to be a fundamental element of all social care provision.

Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:- “It has become abundantly clear from our own research and the new Carers Trust study; that the Care Act has failed to make any meaningful impact on the quality of life of the people it sets out to support, and in many respects their situation appears to have got worse. The similarities between our research and that of Carers Trust are astonishing; they paint a sobering picture of a missed opportunity to make a material difference to the lives of disabled people and carers across the country.  Central government and local authorities must both shoulder their share of the blame for this failure. There is a massive and growing shortfall in adult social care budgets, which is expected to be around £4.3 billon by 2020, so it is hardly surprising that local authorities are struggling to implement the Care Act properly. However, we also urge local authorities to improve their rather lukewarm implementation of the Care Act and get squarely behind this ground breaking new piece of legislation. As a respite provider, the importance of regular time off; for carer and cared for alike; is well known to us, so it is very disheartening to find out that adequate funding for respite is one of the services that has diminished under the Care Act. Despite its very laudable intentions, our fear is that until all those agencies with a stake in the Care Act really invest in its success, disabled people and carers will continue to struggle to achieve even the most basic quality of life.”

Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers. Revitalise provides short breaks, with 24 hour nurse led care on call and personal support, at Sandpipers and 2 other accessible centres in Chigwell and Southampton. Each centre offers a wide range of accessible activities and excursions in a holiday environment.

Cannabis recovered and arrests made in Bootle

MERSEYSIDE Police arrested 2 men and recovered what is thought to be cannabis, on Thursday, 6 July 2016, following the execution of 2 warrants, in Bootle, on 6 July 2016. The 1st address was located on Monfa Road, Bootle and the 2nd was also on the same road. At the 1st property, a 22 year old, male, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis. We are told that officers found boxes containing around £300 worth of cannabis, scales and other drug supply paraphernalia that have been seized. He was then taken into custody for questioning. The other property searched lead to after the recovery of a bag of cannabis. We are told that a 31 year old male was then interviewed under caution, on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug.

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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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