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Blog of Debbie Le Quesne
Chief Executive of West Midlands Care Association
She has worked in the Care Industry for over 20 years and before that was involved in fund raising and supporting several Care Homes for the Elderly and Learning Disability
Currently she is the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Care Association and the Co Chair of the Care Association Alliance

 "I work with Care Homes, Supported Living and Homes Care Agencies. We all admire the work they do and we want them to feel that they are not alone in trying to provide quality care in a ridiculously complex market in such trying times.

Will a rebranded Department of Health change anything?

In another week of extreme pressure across the NHS, with senior hospital doctors telling the prime minister that the situation is intolerable, the Department of Health has been rebranded. But will it make any difference?

We need a new care deal to tackle the challenges of an ageing population

Our campaign will explore social isolation, the care workforce, community responses to health and care needs, and what future provision could look like

How spending on adult social care has gone down - despite council tax hikes

New analysis shows that Walsall and Solihull councils are in a national €œtop 20€ of councils that have seen spending on adult care fall

What Jeremy Hunt Must Do To Fix The Social Care Crisis

Before we get too carried away with the addition of social care to Jeremy Hunts job title, its important to remind ourselves of two things.

First, the social care system has been in the grips of a deepening crisis since well before the start of his tenure.

Jeremy Hunt keeps Heath Secretary with added social care brief despite overseeing NHS winter crisis

Mr Hunt had been tipped for a sideways to a different department, after becoming hugely unpopular with many patients and health staff

We need to talk about doing social care differently

Of course the money matters. But the debate about social care should be about meaning and purpose as well as who pays

A brave and bold new world: my vision for social care

The green paper should put care at the heart of communities and invest in the people and innovations that will deliver it

The big issue: healthcare is too important to be left to the politicians

Restructuring of the NHS is essential, but the task needs to be taken out of the political arena and placed with a royal commission of experts

Leading social care figures and chiefs receive New Year's honours

Several leading figures in adult and children€™s social care have been recognised in the New Year€™s honours list.

Social care in 2018 time to think about the future workforce

With 90,000 vacancies, recruitment and retention is social care€™s most pressing issue. We are calling for a national campaign to find the right people for the job

Winter social care pressures Crisis was here before the snow, and is still here after it

As one of the coldest recent Decembers drew to a close, experts share their views on the state of adult care services

Set Brexit aside here are the political issues you must not lose sight of in 2018

With unprecedented government cuts, hard times lie ahead for millions affected by poverty, homelessness, disability, universal credit and the social care crisis

Why it's difficult to attract younger people into the social care sector

Staff shortages are set to cause a crisis. That€™s why organisations are reaching out to young people to show how rewarding a career in care can be

More than 2.3 million elderly people are missing out on vital social care, says Labour

Older people in the most deprived areas are more likely to miss out on much-needed help with everyday tasks

Tory MP calls for social care to be centrally funded along lines of NHS

A Tory MP has urged ministers to consider centralised funding of social care in a similar system to the NHS.

How Do We Navigate The Black Hole Of Dementia Care Research?

Every year we invest millions of pounds in academic research, but how are these learnings applied in health and social care practice?

Human stories will convince the public that social care is worth investing in

Green paper must create a clear and compelling picture of living well with disability and in older age

PHE Advice on Flu in Care Homes

Public Health England have issued guidance on the management of outbreaks of influenza like illness (ILI) in care homes

Meeting With CQC

Blog Post 18 Dec 2017

The Association was represented at a National meeting with CQC by Debbie Le Quesne. Debbie is also the Co-chair of the Care Association Alliance which represents the Care Associations across the Country.

Slashing queues, helping new mothers: NHS explores apps for care in a digital age

Doctors, tech experts and scientists tested new ideas at a health €˜hackathon€™ €“ now a fund aims to back the best with cash

Social care postcode gap widens for older people

Council funding cuts have reduced help for the old in deprived areas, study shows

Richard Humphries: Could social care finally become truly local?

Had T S Eliot been thinking of social care when he wrote The Wasteland, November not April would have been the cruellest month.

Ofsted: Deprived councils face biggest social care challenge

Councils in areas of lower deprivation, and those with a higher spend on children€™s social care, are more likely to receive a higher inspection rating from Ofsted, the regulator€™s annual report has found.

More than 1,400 NHS dementia patients well enough to go home at Christmas will be stranded in hospital, warns charity

Lack of social care funding €˜turning wards into waiting rooms€™ as figures shows dementia patients are delayed up to 10 times longer than hospital patients without the condition

Consultation begins on social care info for NHS.UK

Initial focus to be on how future website for health service can support social care of senior citizens

NHS Digital has begun a consultation on what social care information, notably for people aged over 65, should be included on the future NHS.UK website.

The state of social care shames us all

Care homes are unfairly relying on better-off residents to subsidise others care. The government urgently needs to increase funding to the sector

Urgent talks over future of Four Seasons care homes in UK

Creditor H 2 makes concessions amid crisis at health firm caring for 17,000 elderly and vulnerable people

5 Ways to Sustain High-Quality Social Care

So youve developed your company€™s first dedicated social customer service team€”congrats Now how do you keep it going

Plans for cap on social care costs in 2020 pulled by government

Consultation on social care reform will include proposals for a limit on individual spend on care, but 72000 cap will not be introduced in three years

Enter summary here...

NHS wards becoming long stay institutions amid lack of social care

Hospitals are being turned into long-stay institutions, amid a crisis in social care, with more than 17,000 people now stuck on hospital wards for at least three weeks, official figures show.

There is no silver bullet for social care, but ministers must not dodge the issue

With services under severe strain, the government must catalyse a culture shift that puts prevention at the heart of care

Enhancing health in care homes: system leadership in action

Effective leadership in complex systems is not solely an attribute of top bosses, but is better understood as a shared process of many small (and great) leaders working together

NHS bosses sound alarm over hospitals already running at 99% capacity

Bed shortages prompting concern for patient safety even before onset of winter weather and anticipated major flu outbreak

Disabled People Are Not For Sale

The UK has had a policy of competitive tendering for public services since the 1980s. There is no evidence to support this policy - but plenty of evidence that it has a severe negative impact on social care and human rights.

We need a massive expansion of volunteers in public services

More people would get involved in voluntary work if we threw open the doors of our hospitals and care homes and made it easier for them

Care home provider under threat as Labour attacks profit-first firms

Four Seasons Health Care, which looks after 17,000 residents, could go into administration after talks are derailed

David Cameron admits we didnt solve problem of funding for Britain's ageing population

David Cameron has expressed regret he was unable to do more to deal with the huge challenge funding social care for Britains ageing population.

Social care green paper can deliver if it sees the bigger picture

The autumn budget failed to tackle social care funding, but Damian Greens comments on reform are loaded with promise

1bn funding shortfall may force UK care homes to close, says watchdog

Fees paid by cash-strapped councils fail to meet costs of caring for residents, according to Competition and Markets Authority

Budget lament is getting louder

Blog Post 30 Nov 2017

The chorus of complaint about Philip Hammond’s approach to our national finances is growing.

Small changes can make a big difference to the quality of care

It takes bravery and humility for those on the receiving end of complaints to listen and act

Virtual reality and the fight against dementia

Blog Post 3 December 2017

In the midst of all the issues of politics and money, misery and gloom, you can always guarantee there will be a ray of sunshine shining somewhere in the care industry.

Reality Government panto is no laughing matter

Blog Post 29 November 2017

Well, it didnt take long before the Governments own MPs were creating waves over Philip Hammonds Budget you know, the one that bypassed social care.

Senior Tories in budget backlash over NHS and social care cash

Two former health secretaries and chair of select committee call for end to short-term thinking as crisis grows

Councils forced to use emergency cash to pay for social care as funding shortfall grows

More than half of local authorities due to overspend on social care this year with most set to make up shortfall through reserves

Have there been two decades of failure to reform social care

A politically-charged Budget has passed with no mention of social care, despite a growing sense in recent years that the system of support for older people and younger disabled adults is on the point of crisis.

Budget 2017: Furious Jeremy Corbyn lashes out at Tories jeering him as he calls for urgent social care funds

Labour leader rebukes members of Government for displaying uncaring and uncouth attitudes towards care for desperate elderly people after Chancellor fails to mention issue in speech

Knight Frank is pleased to introduce the sixth annual review of trading performance in the UK care home sector.

Supported by data kindly provided by leading care home operators, the

Care Home Trading Performance Index (CHTPI) provides industry-leading

benchmarks on occupancy rates, mix of funding type, average weekly fees

(AWF), costs such as staff and agency outlays, and profitability.

The report is availble to download from this website

Councils acting positively on social care complaints

Councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people who complained to the local government ombudsman last year.

Ombudsman upholding two-thirds of adult social care complaints, annual review reveals

Watchdog hails learning culture in independent care sector but admits rise in safeguarding complaints is very worrying

Ofsted announces new director for social care

Ofsted has appointed a London borough director of children€™s services as its new national director of social care.

Yvette Stanley will join the regulator in April from Merton LBC where she is currently director for children, schools and families. She wil replace Eleanor Schooling, who has agreed to extend her time with Ofsted until 31 March next year.

Government accused of dragging their feet on social care funding shake-up

Ministers delay publication of social care green paper until summer 2018, prompting claims they are kicking the can down the road

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths

The Conservatives have been accused of €œeconomic murder€ for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

HMRC is taking a punitive approach to care worker back-pay issue

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group says there is a lack of clarity with the scheme to make care charities give sleep-in staff back pay within 15 months

A charity representing more than 80 voluntary sector and not-for-profit disability and care organisations has accused the government and the taxman of taking a punitive approach to charities over the back-pay issue for sleep-in care workers.

Care home fees jump to 33,000 pounds per year - pushing the average stay to over 80,000 pounds

Average care fees have risen above 33,000 pounds this year, meaning the last 12 months saw costs rise at the fastest rate on record.

The 9.6pc increase between 2016 and 2017 was nearly double the previous year's rise and, assuming a two-and-a-half year stay in a home, takes the average total cost of care to 84,760 pounds

We can't fix social care if we think it's just for older people

Disabled people aged 18-64 make up a third of all social care users, yet they are not getting the support they need

Were running out of money message to Chancellor

Blog Post 15 November 2017

For a long time I have concluded that the way we care as a nation is a fiscal choice.

If we require good care, we must be prepared to spend money. Exactly how that funding is raised is still currently with the cross-party committee.

Answers overseas Not really . . .

Blog Post 15 November 2017

The rich, opulent West would learn lessons in dealing with the ageing crisis from poorer countries, according to an article I read online in The Guardian.

Brums drive to defeat loneliness in elderly now bid for cash

Blog Post 14 November 2017

By 2020, almost 57,000 people aged 65 plus will be living alone in Birmingham37 per cent of the age group.

This rises to almost 81,000 almost 53 per cent of the age group when those with a limiting long-term illness are included.

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