Age UK’s response to the High Court decision on discharges into care homes

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, has written a blog on the recent High Court ruling concerning the Government’s decision to discharge older people from hospitals into care homes in spring 2020.

Issued on 27 April, the recent High Court ruling concerning the Government’s decision to discharge older people from hospitals into care homes in spring 2020 was an important moment, says Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK. But what did it signify and what must happen next? You can read the full blog from Caroline here.

Upcoming Live Longer Better Event – 8th June 2022

All Age UKs are invited to attend the next Live Longer Better Thought Leadership National Event on Wednesday 8th June from 10:00-11:30.

All Age UKs are invited to join the next Live Longer Better Thought Leadership Event which will focus on the Health and Care Bill. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 8th June from 10:00 – 11:30. Read on to find out more, or click here to book your place.

The NHS was set up as a single organisation in 1948 – numerous bureaucracies, but one organisation, one family. From 1990, collaboration was stopped and competition began.

We now have an Act of Parliament, the Health and Care Bill which has received Royal Assent, enacting the most significant health legislation in a decade into law. Integrated systems were deemed essential, with their four purposes outlined:

  1. Improving population health and healthcare;
  2. Tackling unequal outcomes and access;
  3. Enhancing productivity and value for money; and
  4. Helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development.

This marks a milestone in the recovery and reform of how health and care services work together. The Live Longer Better programme was designed on these principles, recognising that activity: physical, cognitive and emotional, is an essential part of population health management and MUST be integral to improving community health and longevity.

This Live Longer Better National Event takes a consultative approach with National Clinical Directors.

Register for this event to find out their barriers and hurdles, understand how physical activity can help them quantify the benefits of overcoming these problems and support delivery on their key objectives.

Our LLB National Events have proved extremely popular – over 2,000 delegates have attended our last 7 events with cross sector representation. Delegates confirmed that the events “fully met their expectations”.

This Live Longer Better collaboration between Sir Muir Gray, Optimal Ageing Associates and Active Partnerships provides a unique combination of skills and resources, bringing together the cultures of coaching and health. We look forward to sharing some excellent presentations and speakers around the Live Longer Better work.

Carers Week 2022 – Partner Pack

With Carers Week approaching, Age UK’s Campaigns Team have put together a list of ways that local Age UKs can get involved.

This year, Carers Week will take place from 6th – 12th June and will focus on ensuring that carers are Visible, Valued and Supported. To support your participation in the week’s festivities, we have detailed some ways local Age UKs can get involved below, including some infographics and template wording for social media and a template letter to local media.

As you know, Carers Week is an annual celebration of the role unpaid carers have in providing thousands of hours of care to friends family and loved ones and also a chance to focus on how they could be better supported.

The theme for this year’s awareness week is ensuring carers are Visible, Valued and Supported. As well as highlighting the important work of unpaid carers, the coalition of charities delivering Carers Week will call on the Government to implement a proper plan to provide respite and recovery for unpaid carers who rarely, if ever, get a break.

To support your participation in the week’s festivities, we have detailed below some ways local Age UKs can get involved. Don’t forget to promote the services and incredible work you do to support carers!

If you have 5 minutes…

Add Carers Week activities to the website

Are you running an activity during Carers Week? Add it to the Carers Week website.

Whether your activity is online, or you are running a face-to-face event, make sure everyone knows how to get involved.

If you have 10 minutes…

Promote Carers Week online

Use Carers Week 2022 as an opportunity to share the experiences of older carers and to promote your services and events for carers.

Use these graphics featuring statistics about older carers to highlight the experience of older carers in the UK.

Use your social media accounts to highlight your carers services and to promote any events you might be delivering during the week. You can also find template Facebook and Twitter posts, focusing on older carers and to promote your services, here.

You can also find official Carers Week graphics and resources for download here.

If you have longer…

Send a letter to editor

Use this template letter to editor to write to your local newspaper and highlight the experiences of carers and the need for a proper recovery and respite plan to ensure they get the breaks they need.

Your local newspaper may have a long lead-in time, so try and submit the letter as soon as possible, but be clear the letter is for publication during Carers Week (6th – 12th June). The letter is embargoed until 00:01 on 6th June.

Storytellers

Do you know any carers or older people who are supported by an unpaid carer who would be willing to share their story? Please let us know if you know any possible storytellers and if they would be willing to provide a quote for your Carers Week promotion.

Get in touch!

We will have more materials to share with you once the Carers Week report is ready to be published. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Engage Britain seek ideas to improve conditions for those working in social care

Engage Britain are seeking ideas to make things better for those who work in care. Find out how you can share your ideas below.

Engage Britain, an independent charity, is bringing people together to help improve social care for all. They’re asking for people with experience of social care – whether through working in it, drawing on it, or running services – to share their thoughts on what could be done to make things better for those who work in care. Do you want to help make things better for people who work in social care? Share your Ideas for Change here.

Engage Britain want to make sure as many people as possible with experience and expertise in social care have the chance to get involved and have their say on solutions.

Click here to share your Ideas for Change, as well as provide feedback on what other people have said. The platform is live until 22nd May.

DHSC 10-Year Cancer Plan: Call for Evidence

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking the views of individuals, professionals and organisations to understand how they can improve how cancer is diagnosed and treated.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published in 2019, set an ambition to save thousands more lives each year by dramatically improving how cancer is diagnosed and treated. The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking the views of individuals, professionals and organisations to understand whether and how they can do more to make progress against this ambition, and to build on lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. If you would like to contribute to their consultation, the online survey is open until 23:45 on Friday 8th April.

Older People’s Health and Care Survey – Spring 2022

Age UK’s Health Influencing Team are conducting the Spring 2022 edition of the “Older People’s Health and Care Survey” and would be grateful if you could share the survey across your networks.

Last Autumn, we undertook Wave 3 of our research about older people’s experiences of the pandemic. The response was incredible, with over 17,000 people completing the survey. We received over 75,000 free text responses and we read every one of them. Thank you for taking the time to promote the survey so we could hear older people’s experiences and views. Wave 4 of our “Older People’s Health and Care Survey” is now live and we would be really grateful if you could again complete and share the survey with your clients, colleagues and supporters. Full details can be found below, thank you all for your help.

Following Wave 3 of this research last Autumn, we have been able to use what respondents told us to apply pressure on the Government and NHS England to ensure the right support is in place for older people. We have shared the research findings with local partners across the Age UK Network, as well as NHS organisations, Government departments, other charities and voluntary sector organisations, and with hundreds of people working with and for older people. We’ve had terrific feedback from you and other organisations, telling us just how valuable it’s been to hear about older people’s experiences.

As the country begins to live with Covid, following the Government’s plans, it’s essential that older people are not left behind. That’s why we are launching Wave 4 of the research, so older people can tell us how they are coping now that restrictions have been lifted.

The survey, which can be found here, should take around 15 minutes (potentially more, depending on how much respondents want to tell us) and our colleagues will be using the results to continue to apply pressure on the Government and NHS to support older people to get back on their feet after two years of incredible challenges. 

You can also promote the survey online here.

Thank you for supporting our research! We look forward to sharing the findings with you later in the year.

Urgent action on social care: Stop changes to the cap on care costs

The Health & Care Bill will be returning to the House of Commons next week and we anticipate the government will make changes that will water down the cap on social care costs. Find out how you can help to stop these changes.

The Health & Care Bill will be returning to the House of Commons next week, after being debated in the House of Lords. The Government had tabled amendments to the cap on social care costs, which would have watered down the cap and left it beyond the reach of many older people. The House of Lords voted to remove this amendment, therefore preserving the cap and ensuring it serves everyone and not just the wealthiest. We anticipate the Government will bring back a similar amendment when the bill is debated again by MPs. Find out how you can help to stop changes to the cap on care costs below.

Age UK’s analysis shows that the Government’s planned changes would result in:

  • more than 4 in 5 older people seeing no benefit of the cap at all
  • poorer older people being much more likely to die before they reach the cap than someone who is better off with the same care needs.

Age UK believes the cap should benefit everyone accessing care services and that this shouldn’t be denied to those with few or modest assets or those who live in poorer regions of the country. We need MPs to understand why these changes are unfair and regressive and to vote against them if they are proposed again.

Please use this template letter to write to your MP asking them to oppose these changes to the cap. You can also include this general briefing on amendments to the bill and this briefing specifically on the changes to the cap. The bill could be debated again as early as Wednesday 30th March, so if you could send this letter to your MPs as soon as possible, we should be able to build opposition to these changes.

For further details or support with engaging your MPs, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Thank you as always for your support.

New guidance document: “Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning”

Age UK are pleased to be one of the 28 named organisations who have supported the development of, and contributed towards, a new guidance document “Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning”.

A new guidance document ‘The Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning’ has been jointly published by a coalition of 28 partner organisations, in response to the Care Quality Commission report ‘Protect, Connect, Respect – decisions about living and dying well’. Age UK are pleased to be one of the 28 named organisations who have supported the development of, and contributed towards, this publication.

This document is for the person, those important to them, practitioners and organisations involved in supporting advance care planning conversations and honouring their outcomes. It sets out six high-level principles for advance care planning in England.

For further information please click here.

New Integrated Care Systems Hub Launched!

Age UK has created a new Integrated Care Systems Hub to help partners to find information on ICSs quickly and easily.

The introduction of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) is changing the way health and care is commissioned and delivered, but what does this mean for Age UKs delivering services at a local level? There’s a lot of information out there and navigating your way through it can be very time consuming and confusing. To help, Age UK has created a new Integrated Care Systems Hub so you can find information quickly and easily.

There you will also find resources which have been specially produced for local Age UKs to help keep you informed about how you might best respond to the challenges and opportunities these new structures could bring in your local area.

We will let you know of any updates to this ICS Hub via Signpost, so please ask any local Age UK colleagues that you think would be interested in this topic to sign up for Signpost here, or to keep an eye on the Hub via the link below.

Click the link below to start exploring what ICSs might mean for your organisation. We will keep the ICS Hub under regular review so if there’s anything you’d like to see included (or if anything isn’t working as it should) then please contact healthinfluencing@ageuk.org.uk.

Upcoming Live Longer Better Thought Leadership Event – 23rd March 2022

All Age UKs are invited to attend the next Live Longer Better Thought Leadership National Event on Wednesday 23rd March from 10:00-11:30.

All Age UKs are invited to join the next Live Longer Better Thought Leadership Event which is titled “The Longevity Revolution”. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 23rd March from 10:00 – 11:30. Read on to find out more, or click here to book your place.

The number of older people is increasing, both in absolute terms and relative to the numbers of young people. This is often portrayed as a major problem but our understanding of the science of what is happening to us as we live longer is getting clearer, and the evidence about what can be done to prevent, delay, slow or even reverse conditions such as frailty, dementia and dependence is getting stronger.

Live Longer Better aim to:

  • Refocus the lens on population ageing to healthy longevity
  • Focus on reconditioning rather than deconditioning
  • Prescribe activity with, and sometimes instead of, drug prescriptions
  • Recognise that physical activity professionals are agents of change as catalysts for action within complex systems.

Expert Speakers confirmed to date include:

  • Sir Muir Gray                               
  • Jamie Blackshaw (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities)
  • Anant Jani (University of Oxford)
  • Dr Jenni Jones (National University of Ireland)
  • Dr Marlize de Vivo (Active Medicine)
  • Lisa Wood (Active Partnership – Wesport)

We look forward to sharing some excellent presentations from speakers around the Live Longer Better work, inspired by Sir Muir Gray in collaboration with Active Partnerships.

The LLB National Events have proved extremely popular – over 1,800 delegates have attended our last five events with cross sector representation including local authorities, Age UK, NHS, Care Homes, Leisure Trusts and various voluntary and community sector partners.  Feedback given by delegates confirmed that the events fully met their expectations. Register for this event now to secure your place!

Further programme details will be circulated nearer the event.

This Live Longer Better collaboration between Sir Muir Gray, Optimal Ageing Associates and Active Partnerships provides a unique combination of skills and resources, bringing together the cultures of coaching and health. We look forward to sharing some excellent presentations and speakers around the Live Longer Better work.