Category Archives: Carers

Government admits to ‘limited’ understanding of home-based care abuse | Disability News Service

The government has admitted it has a “limited” understanding of the abuse of disabled people at the hands of their carers and care workers in their own homes.

The government review calls for a “stronger” response to protect disabled and older people from the people who provide them with support at home.

The 86-page Safe Care at Home Review, which was published quietly this week, more than two years after ministers were pushed into carrying out the work by disabled peers, examines the gaps in the protection of adults who risk abuse in their own homes from paid and unpaid carers and care workers.

Source: Government admits to ‘limited’ understanding of home-based care abuse – Disability News Service

My fellow carers: check now to find out if you could qualify for the cost-of-living payment

This doesn’t affect me, despite being a carer, because I don’t qualify for other benefits and live in a household with someone who’ll get the cost-of-living payment anyway.

But if you are a carer and are not currently thought to be eligible for the payment, the advice is: use an online calculator to see if you qualify for a means-tested benefit, because then you might get the cost-of-living payment too.

Here’s the important stuff:

In May last year there were 936,766 people receiving weekly payments of £69.70 for Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance will rise in line with inflation next month and increase from £69.70 per week to £76.75, however, claimants will not be eligible for the new £900 cost of living payment unless they are also in receipt of a qualifying, means-tested benefit. The £900 payment will be delivered in three lump sums of £301, £300 and £299, with the first payment due between April 25 and May 17, 2023.

Statistically… 60 per cent of unpaid carers are living in a household where someone is in receipt of a qualifying means-tested benefit.

DWP Minister Tom Pursglove, urged unpaid carers to check their eligibility for means-tested benefits to make sure they are not missing out on additional support – which could then make them eligible for the £900 cost of living payment.

“Depending on personal circumstances, carers may be eligible for means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit and Pension Credit. Means-tested benefits can be paid to carers at a higher rate than those without caring responsibilities through the Carer Element in Universal Credit and the additional amounts for carers in other benefits respectively.

“We would encourage anyone who is providing unpaid care, and who is not already in receipt of a means-tested benefit, to check on GOV.UK to confirm whether there are other benefits they may be entitled to.”

So, carers: what are you waiting for?

Source: People claiming Carer’s Allowance might not qualify directly for new £301 cost of living payment due in April – Daily Record


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Sunak’s callousness: carer left without a lightbulb and he talks nonsense about investment

Rishi Sunak: his policies left a carer in darkness because she could not afford a lightbulb for her kitchen; meanwhile he has had the National Grid upgraded in his local area so he can heat his private swimming pool.

After a carer was left without enough money to buy a lightbulb for her kitchen, Rishi Sunak – prime minister and richest man in the UK – tried to say he was putting more money into social care, as if that was going to help her:

His claim – that the best thing he can do for Nicky and others like her is to reduce inflation – is pure bunkum bafflegab.

Cutting inflation isn’t cutting prices! They’ll keep climbing but at a slower rate. And he’s absolutely, dig-his-heels-in-the-ground adamant that he isn’t giving carers any more in wages. That money is for billionaires!

Oh – and the amount he’s putting into social care?

He’s halved it (allegedly) before even starting to hand it out:

It’s clear that we can’t trust these politicians to give us the facts.

Every interview like this should be followed by a fact check report, explaining whether the claims made by the politician concerned are correct – or if that person is lying through their teeth.


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Are these the facts about Matt Hancock’s Covid 19 care homes blunder?

Matt Hancock: Blunderman strikes again.

The cache of 100,000 WhatsApp messages by Matt Hancock about Covid-19, from 2020, in which he discussed delaying or failing to test people going into care homes from the community, got a thorough airing on the BBC’s Politics Live and in Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions.

PMQs focused mostly on the fact that information about the government’s behaviour during the Covid crisis is starting to drip out piecemeal, meaning it is now a matter of urgency that the independent inquiry into the response to the pandemic be concluded and report in good time.

The discussion on the talk show was more about the content of the messages – and did, in fact, touch on the fact that these messages all came long after the big decisions about testing for Covid-19 in care homes had already been made.

Hancock had known since February that year that people from the community, coming into homes, were infecting the people living there, and since March that people there were dying of Covid-19.

He chose to do nothing about it until April – and then, as the messages indicate, he didn’t do enough.

So, is this a storm in a teacup?

Judge for yourself:


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Matt Hancock WhatsApp leak rewrites history – but not the way you’re being told

Matt Hancock: the current WhatsApp controversy makes it seem he only considered testing people in care homes from April 14, 2020 – but existing information shows he had been ruling it out for around two months (since February) despite mounting deaths.

No wonder Isabel Oakeshott was so liverish on Politics Live – she was about to become the centre of a new Covid-19 controversy.

Ms Oakeshott is the person who leaked 100,000 Matt Hancock WhatsApp messages that seem to suggest he has not been altogether truthful about government plans for Covid-19 testing in care homes during 2020. She had access to them while “helping” him write his memoir.

Spokespeople for Hancock have said the messages have been doctored to present a false impression.

But my recollection is that the controversy at the time had little to do with what these messages say. I made my point on Twitter as follows:

You can read the relevant background information in these Vox Political articles from 2020:

Coronavirus deaths: ‘sorry’ is the hardest word for Hancock (April 29, 2020)

Is Johnson guilty of human rights abuses over coronavirus care home deaths? Could be! (May 3, 2020)

Care home deaths cover-up suggests Johnson and Hancock are guilty as sin (May 15, 2020)

If Tories really regret not testing for Covid-19 in care homes – is it because they were caught? (May 20, 2020)

Why didn’t Matt Hancock send vulnerable Covid-19 sufferers to Nightingale hospitals rather than care homes? (May 22, 2020)

Hancock denies claim about Covid-testing care home residents. What DID he mean, then? (June 6, 2020)

Hancock’s excuse for care home deaths changes with the wind – but doesn’t change the fact that HE LIED TO US (June 10, 2020)

Doctor launches court case against Tories over Covid-19 care home death of her dad (June 14, 2020)

Is Matt Hancock denying care homes Covid-19 tests to deliberately harm residents? (August 30, 2020)

So there you have it. Despite advice from SAGE in February 2020 that Covid-19 was already being transmitted between people in the community, Hancock put out official guidance saying there was no such transmission and nobody in a care home was likely to be infected.

Care home staff who moved from one home to another were also not tested, meaning they were able to catch the disease from patients at one home and transmit it to those at any others they visited.

This remained official advice until March 12, 2020, despite the fact that care homes had been recording deaths related to Covid-19 from March 2 onwards – 10 days previously.

The UK only went into lockdown on March 23.

Care homes did not start testing for the disease until April 15 (of people leaving hospital), and regular tests of all staff and residents did not start until July.

Now check this against the current story (I’ll use the BBC version as the Telegraph, which broke this story, is behind a paywall):

WhatsApp messages leaked to the Daily Telegraph newspaper suggest Mr Hancock was told in April 2020 there should be “testing of all going into care homes”.

Government guidance later mandated tests only for those leaving hospital.

In one message, dated 14 April, Mr Hancock reportedly told aides that Prof Sir Chris Whitty, the chief medial officer for England, had conducted an “evidence review” and recommended “testing of all going into care homes, and segregation whilst awaiting result”.

The message came a day before the publication of Covid-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care, a government document setting out plans to keep the care system functioning during the pandemic.

Mr Hancock said the advice represented a “good positive step” and that “we must put into the doc”, to which an aide responded that he had sent the request “to action”.

But later the same day, Mr Hancock messaged again saying he would rather “leave out” a commitment to test everyone entering care homes from the community and “just commit to test & isolate ALL going into care from hospital”.

“I do not think the community commitment adds anything and it muddies the waters,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said this followed an operational meeting, where he was advised it was not possible to test everyone entering care homes.

When the care plan was published on 15 April, it said the government would “institute a policy of testing all residents prior to admission to care homes”, but that that would “begin with all those being discharged from hospital”.

It said only that it would “move to” a policy of testing everyone entering care homes from the community.

From March 2020 to January 2022, there were 43,256 deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes in England, according to the Office for National Statistics.

There’s a big discrepancy, isn’t there?

The WhatsApp messages have it that Hancock was only advised to start testing everybody going into care homes on April 14.

But in fact, SAGE had warned him in February – two months previously – that Covid-19 was already being transmitted in the community, and it is clear that community transmission was considered likely to cause infections within care homes from the government advice that was published on February 25.

And death figures from care homes clearly showed that Covid-19 had caused deaths there from March 2 onwards, so Hancock had no reason to believe that these homes were unaffected.

But he waited nearly two months before doing anything.

The lack of testing kits in sufficient numbers has been blamed for the failure to test everybody who needed it – but this is not an acceptable response. The government had known of the threat since late 2019 but had not bothered to take timely action, and this is the reason too few testing kits were available.

And more than 43,000 people died.


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Care workers are treated like dirt by the Tories. No wonder they’re quitting

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

Here‘s another crisis the Conservative government has created for itself:

Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.

Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.

Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.

The vacancy rate in care homes has steadily grown to reach 10.2% as of September – meaning in a year’s time one in 10 care home staff will not be in that job, the CQC said.

And what’s the Conservative government’s response? Make those who are left work harder.

It’s shocking – and ridiculous at the same time. Watch Peter Stefanovic’s video to grasp the full meaning of what Tory minister Gillian Keegan was backed into saying:

For fairness, here’s more of that interview, without interruptions:

I wouldn’t be surprised if every care worker who saw those clips – or the full interview when it was screened – quit their job at once.

It is clear that they aren’t valued and will simply be worked until they drop – and then blamed for the holes in the care system they leave behind.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Carers are being pushed further into exhaustion, poverty and despair by government neglect, survey says

I once stated that we thought this window-writing was by a child in care, but it could also have been drawn by an adult recipient of care – or it might have been by a carer instead.

Government neglect is pushing unpaid family carers into poverty and leaving many exhausted and fearful of the future, according to a survey from the Carers Trust.

The charity found that the majority of unpaid carers feel they are not getting enough support from the social care system, with only 12 per cent saying the support they receive is adequate to meet their needs:

Almost two thirds of unpaid carers taking part in the survey (64%) said they do not receive enough support. A further 24% responded that they weren’t sure whether they got enough support. Only 12% of respondents agreed that they were getting enough support from the social care system.

The survey also points at Government cuts to local authority funding as one of the main reasons as to why unpaid cares aren’t receiving enough help and support. According to the survey, almost two thirds of unpaid carers (64%) are now spending 50 hours or more per week caring for a family relative.

Carers Trust says this suggests that in just nine years the proportion of unpaid carers providing 50 hours’ care or more per week has almost tripled since the 2011 Census (23%).

This Writer was an unpaid carer for years, until This Site started to offer me a better living.

It is work that takes up as much time as a person can devote to it – and is often thankless, as the person who needs the care often has their own pain to accommodate and may be inconsiderate as a result.

This can lead to difficult decisions between earning and caring – and in many cases to mental illness as the pressures affect carers.

How typical of Tories that they are worsening these pressures.

Source: Government ‘neglect’ pushing unpaid carers into poverty, exhaustion and total despair

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New lockdown guidance for care home visits is likened to ‘prison systems’

Worse than a prison visit: new guidance for visiting relatives in care homes could put them behind glass, in order to conform with social distancing rules.

What was This Writer saying yesterday about the current UK government’s similarity to the fascist state in V for Vendetta – providing “security but not freedom”?

Here’s proof of it:

New guidance for visits to care homes demands the following:

  • Residents should each be limited to only a “single constant visitor” or an absolute maximum of two, with appropriate PPE used at all times.
  • Care homes should designate “visiting pods” – rooms directly accessible from outdoors, so that visits can take place at windows. It seems the idea is to have the visitors outside the building and the residents within. A bit chilly in the winter!
  • Worse still, the guidance says visits should happen in the open air – outdoors – whenever possible, possibly under an awning, gazebo, open-sided marquee. It recognises that this will not be appropriate for many residents and visitors in the winter.
  • Social distancing rules must be followed at all times.
  • Spaces designated for visits may be used by only one visiting family member and one resident at any time.
  • All visits must be booked in advance.

In the event of an outbreak at a residence, all visits must be stopped until infection is brought under control – except in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life visits.

The guidelines have been condemned by charities and care home providers.

Erica Lockhart, the CEO of Surrey Care Association, said

The guidance, which outlines measures likened to prison visitation systems, suggests floor to ceiling screens, and whilst I can understand the government’s suggestion they haven’t fully understood the impact this will have on residents and loved ones.

Kate Lee, the chief executive officer at Alzheimer’s Society, expanded on this:

Some of the suggested options… have the potential to cause distress to people with dementia, particularly those in the later stages.

During the four months of the first lockdown, we saw an unexpected rise in dementia deaths in care homes that were not coronavirus related – we believe these 5,000 additional deaths could be as a result of disruptions to a threadbare social care system, and prolonged social isolation, causing dementia symptoms to rapidly deteriorate.

Source: Coronavirus: New lockdown care home visit guidance in England likened to ‘prison systems’ | The Independent

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Arrogant Dorries rejects cross-party talks to help mental health of NHS & care staff – EIGHT TIMES

Nadine Dorries: Wrong again.

The health minister who is so stupid she said the November lockdown in England could only have been predicted with a crystal ball has struck again.

There’s a reason we call Nadine Dorries “Mad Nad”.

Over the weekend, the woman widely considered to be the stupidist Tory MP – against stiff competition! – admitted that she did not understand the information being received and used by her own department of government; SAGE had demanded a lockdown in September.

Now she has demonstrated that she does not understand that her government’s failure to get to grips with the Covid crisis in any meaningful way over a period of nearly a year is having a devastating effect on the mental health of people working in the NHS and in the care sector.

Labour MP Doctor Rosena Allin-Khan does – and appealed to Dorries no fewer than eight times to join with her in devising a mental health package that has cross-party support. Dorries rejected it in a manner that belittled not only herself but her entire miserable government:

Condemnation has rained down on Dorries from all sides:

It won’t have any effect, though.

I say that not because the Johnson government has a huge Parliamentary majority – granted to it by a population that was desperate to resolve the Brexit crisis that the Tories had created and gulled by rabidly right-wing mass media into thinking the Tories were the only party that could provide a solution (which is lunacy, if you think about it for just one moment).

The reason condemnation won’t work on Tories like Dorries can be summed up in a simple, well-known saying:

No sense, no feeling.

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#LevellingUp or #ToryCorruption ? Serco-employed test and trace managers take £1.5m per year

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he refers to it constantly as “NHS test and trace” in the hope that people will blame the nationalised health service that has nothing to do with it.

The Serco Test and Trace scandal gets worse and worse; it has just been revealed that some employees receive £7,360 per day to pretend to find people with Covid-19 and trace their contacts.

That’s the equivalent of £1.5 million a year. These are people from companies with strong connections to the Conservative government, that won their contracts via an emergency system which avoids the normal tendering process.

And it has already been established that most contact tracing personnel spend their time playing computer games because they are not being given work to do.

City AM says,

Sky, citing leaked documents, reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has paid BCG around £10m. That was for a team of 40 consultants to work for four months on test and trace.

BCG’s “day rates” for public sector work – which determine the cost of its service – range from £2,400 to £7,360 for its most senior employees.

The report said BCG is giving the government a 10 to 15 per cent discount. Although this would still equate to day rates equivalent to around £1.5m a year.

BCG declined to comment.

Sky also said that 165 more consultants had been hired to work on test and trace. They include 84 from Deloitte, 31 from EY and 50 from KPMG.

So much for Boris Johnson’s claim that he was “levelling up” the UK. Tory friends are being paid millions in public money while those who desperately need it are being starved.

While ministerial salaries are being frozen, all MPs are getting a pay rise of £3,300 per year – equivalent to around two-thirds of the current annual rate of Universal Credit for an adult aged over 25.

The lowest MP salary will be £85,291 per year. Compare that with nurses on £24,000. Who does the more important job?

What about care workers, who receive an excruciatingly-low £18,553 per year. Who does the more important job?

The Durham-based family of Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings have been excused from paying £30,000 in backdated council tax on houses they built without planning permission 18 years ago – while child poverty in the Durham North constituency has rocketed by nine per cent – to total one-third of all children living there – in the last four years… after housing costs were taken into account,

The social media are seething with discontent:

I think the following three tweets put the current situation in a nutshell, using the current northern lockdown as an example of Tory corruption at its worst. First, let’s set the scene:

Now we can go into details with this excellent speech by Labour MP Dan Carden:

Lastly, let’s remember that there was an alternative – but people were steered away from it by liars in the mainstream media who shilled for the corrupt Tories instead. Now what, do you think, encouraged them to do that?

Source: Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary : CityAM

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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