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News reports located on this page = 3.

Why Are We Stuck In Hospital?

CARE England, the largest and most diverse representative body of independent providers of adult social care, today welcomes the new research from the University of Birmingham and the rights based organisation Changing Our Lives, 'Why are we stuck in Hospital?,' which explores the barriers people with a learning disability and autistic people face when trying to leave long stay Hospitals in England.

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "Over 6 years on from the publication of the NHS:- 'Transforming Care Programme' and more than 2 years since the CQC 'Out of Sight - Who Cares?' there are still 2,000 people in inappropriate settings. Throughout the country, there are many providers of high quality person centred care who have demonstrated the improved outcomes that can be achieved when people are supported closer to home, and with better access to the communities in which they live. The development of high-quality residential services would allow for individuals located in inappropriate Hospital settings to be discharged into a setting which is able to support their needs appropriately. The system must work towards the satisfaction of the goals set out in the Transforming Care publication. The system must be transformed so services are commissioned and delivered to stop people from being placed in Hospital inappropriately, provide the right model of care, and drive up the quality of care and support for all people with challenging behaviour."

The research by the University of Birmingham and Changing Our Lives shows a complex system where people are subject to labels and overcomplicated care as a result of a miss managed and unorganised system that struggles to plan, coordinate, and deliver effective, person centred care for those that need it. This can lead to mistreatment, and patients falling through the cracks without the proper support.

The research is based on three case study sites across the country, trying to understand barriers and success factors from the point of view of people in:- Hospital, families and health and social care staff.

Key lessons are summarised in a new policy guide which will be sent to every health and social care leader in the country, based on:- '10 top tips' from people in hospital, families and staff.

Martin Green continues:- "A Government commitment to fix social care, backed by appropriate levels of funding and true collaboration between all relevant stakeholders, is needed. Social care providers have shown many times examples of people being supported 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 in Hospitals, and then with effective holistic, respectful support in capable environments, they can reduce that gradually over time. There needs to be a greater level of trust and support for care providers through joint partnership working between health and care professionals, and the provision of appropriate services within the community. It is well established that Hospitals represent an inappropriate care setting, with models of care that are reactive and fail to meet the complex needs of these individuals, and it should not take another national scandal for the Government to react accordingly. The development of high quality residential services would allow for individuals located in inappropriate Hospital settings to be discharged into a setting which can support their needs and at a pace that is sensible and person centred in approach."

Letter to the Editor:- "The State Pension is NOT a benefit, it is a right!"

"WE are Wake Up Britain!, a caring social media Facebook group. We have a Petition (number 630163), to:- 'Increase State Pensions to:- £416.80 per week and lower Retirement Age to:- 60 for All.' What follows is our justification for the group's long running campaign/petitions. The State Pension is NOT a benefit, it is a right! In the Victorian era, retirement was only an option for those who had accrued wealth, either through the means of, inheritance or by saving or sale of their assets when they reached an age where they could no longer work. Those back then, were deemed as the lucky ones, many others had to resort to the Poor Law. This did not necessarily mean that they were forced into work houses, some did get a limited amount of welfare assistance, while being able to live in their own homes. Are we regressing back to these times? Laissez faire; Laissez faire is the notion that there should be little to no state intervention, in the belief that wealth will always trickle down to all individuals from above. This was championed recently by the short lived Truss Government, that bestowed benefits to the rich, which would supposedly lead to better well paid jobs for working people, however it has been proven on multiple occasions to be unsuccessful, with cash flow more likely to trickle up rather than down. Meanwhile the gap increases in our society, between those who have and those who have not. There has been a notable fall in disposable income, and the Office of National Statistics reported that there were 16 million people cutting back on essentials, such as food. These figures included, very vulnerable members of our society, such as the elderly, the disabled, and families on low income. Why the elderly are financially vulnerable; The Marie Curie organisation, estimates that 90,000 people die of poverty each year, this clearly indicates that the benefit system is not working and is unfit for purpose. They are calling for lowering of the State Pension entitlement age, along with making those who are terminally ill, entitled immediately. The Guardian has found that 1 in 5 pensioners are living in relative poverty in the UK, and that the inequalities for the older generation are at the most extreme. The wealth of the richest has increased by 20%, while the income of the poorest fell by 30%. In a YouGov.poll, more than 80% of interviewees believed that the Government were failing the elderly in ensuring that they were allowed to live a decent life. Peter Matejic, the Deputy Director of Evidence And Impact at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said pensioner poverty was a:- 'political choice' made by the Government despite its stated ambition to reduce inequalities and increase healthy life expectancy by 5 years. These people have paid into the system through taxes, rearing children or by working, they should be entitled to a decent State Pension and a comfortable lifestyle. The Government should have a responsibility for the aged population. The means tested:- 'Pensions Credit,' should not exist, this sticking plaster benefit would not be necessary should a decent enough State Pension exist universally without question, for all over the age of sixty. The miserly means testing works as follows:- 'If you have £10,000 or less in savings and investments this will not affect your Pension Credit. If you have more than £10,000, every £500 over £10,000 counts as £1 income a week. For example, if you have £11,000 in savings, this counts as £2 income a week.' This basically erodes away lowly savings, money otherwise set aside for a:- 'rainy day' or some emergency that could arise, when it is harder to save once you have reached old age because you are no longer working. The proportion of elderly people within the population is increasing rapidly, currently it is at 19% of the population and predicted to grow to 22% in ten year's time. The gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor is approximately 17 years. This clearly indicates that there is an inequality of class, shows up who has access to better care and pensions. Old age happens to most of us and it needs to be considered by all. Dr Carole Easton, the Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, said:- 'Ageing is not exclusive to older people. We are all ageing, all of the time. We all have that in common. But what is not shared is how we'll age, and where we'll end up in our older age.' With the rising cost of living, reflected in the prices of food, energy bills and so on, many of the elderly are facing cutting down on essentials, which in turn has a negative impact on their lives. Research has shown that the death rates among the elderly, increases during the winter months, which shows that the elderly need to be able to keep their homes warm during this time, however the cost of living crisis has most likely put many of this group into fuel poverty, thus leading to more deaths. What needs to be done; UK's Government's attitude towards pensioners is appalling, it appears that once an individual is no longer useful to the economy, their wants and even needs, do not matter. The cries for help seem to hit deaf ears. It is included in the Human Rights Declaration: Article 25, we all have the right to enough food, clothing, housing and healthcare for ourselves and our families. We should have access to support if we are out of work, ill, elderly, disabled, widowed, or can't earn a living for reasons outside of our control. Due to fuel poverty and the low State Pension rate, the elderly cannot afford enough of the above, this shows the Government could be guilty of a breach of this declaration. More needs to be done to support pensioners, to make opportunities to allow them access to a higher quality of life with better lifestyles. Workers can take industrial action when they are on low wages, pensioners cannot strike, however they need to be heard and acknowledged, action must be taken. This issue needs to be addressed by the Government, by petition, demonstration and by raising public awareness. So readers please step forward to sign and share our Petition widely, make it gain as close to a million signatures as possible. We must make certain that our petition is seriously debated in Parliament in the face of Government opposition. We must ensure the petition is forced into statute, some time in this New Year." Wakeup Britain! - Angela Templeton, Karen Burns, Dave Fabian, Denver Johnson and Michael Thompson.

Letter to Editor:- "Ending veterans' homelessness now more important than ever"

"LOCAL Councils work hard to prevent people from facing homelessness, so it's worrying to see the latest figures which show a 26% rise in rough sleeping in England. Over 3,000 people are rough sleeping, and some will be former Armed Forces personnel. Most people leaving the Forces make a smooth transition to civilian life, but sadly some fall through the net. We know there are veterans who end up sofa surfing, in unsuitable hostels or even living on the street. Every local authority in England has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise to people who've served in the Armed Forces that they'll never be disadvantaged when accessing public services. As the cost of living crisis impacts on local communities, Council homelessness teams have experienced increased demand for their services. Despite these pressures, Councils are already doing great work to ensure veterans and their families get the support they need, and they will continue to work hard to make their offer for the veteran community even more comprehensive. Councils play a key role in ensuring those who have served the nation have somewhere to live and ultimately get back on their feet. It can be challenging for Councils to identify and support veterans. That's why the No Homeless Veterans campaign was set up. It provides Councils and housing associations with toolkits and training, packed with practical advice and best practice examples (NoHomelessVeterans.Org.UK). Our Armed Forces offer a dedicated service to us and our country. It's our duty to support them as they become our neighbours and an important part of our local communities." - Cllr David Fothergill, Chair of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board and Air Vice Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chair of Stoll Housing which runs the No Homeless Veterans campaign

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