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.

Age UK’s Briefing and Statement Following the Queen’s Speech

Following the Queen’s Speech, Age UK’s Influencing Team sent a briefing and statement to MPs yesterday. You can view both the briefing and statement below.

In response to the Queen’s Speech, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:

“We were pleased that the Government committed to bringing forward legislation on mental health, rental reform and the energy price cap, but disappointed that a Bill to enact the Government’s promise to give unpaid carers the right to five days unpaid leave each year was absent.

We are also worried that an unintended consequence of the Government’s proposed Bill of Rights will be a weakening of the protections available to older people when their human rights are breached, for example, in a care home. The pandemic demonstrated a pressing need to extend and strengthen older people’s rights, especially if they are in vulnerable situations, so we will be urging Ministers to take this fully into account as they develop their reforms.

We would have liked the Government to have said more in the Speech about how they intend to help older people on low fixed incomes cope with soaring prices. This, together with long NHS waiting lists and problems accessing their GP, is the topic that older people tell us is worrying them the most.

That said, confirmation that the energy price cap will be extended beyond 2023 and a new law will be introduced to protect access to cash – both measures that we’ve been calling for – are very welcome.”  

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

You can read the full briefing sent to MPs below:

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.

New physical activity resource packs for people living with long term health conditions

The Richmond Group have developed a series of Physical Activity and Long Term Health Conditions Resource Packs aimed at the sport and physical activity sector, health and care organisations and the health and care workforce.

The Richmond Group of Charities (which includes Age UK) has released a new series of Resource Packs to support those living with long term health conditions to take part in physical activity. These resource packs are aimed at the sport and physical activity sector, health and care organisations and the health and care workforce. Click here to view the resources packs and click here to read the accompanying press release for further details.

NICE seeks applications for falls prevention guidance committee

NICE are looking for people with experience of falls in older people to join their new committee to update guidance on assessing risk and prevention for falls.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are seeking applications to join their new committee to update guidance on assessing risk and prevention for falls. They’re looking for people with experience of falls in older people, including patients, people who use services, or members of the public and their advocates. Read on for more details, or click here to view the recruitment page.

NICE would welcome an application from those who have recent experience or knowledge of this topic and are able to reflect the views, experiences and needs of the public to ensure they are included in the development of these guidelines.

In particular, NICE are seeking people with the following experience and understanding of falls:

  • through personal experience you have of treatment and care provided for you by the NHS
  • as a relative or unpaid carer of someone who has used relevant health services
  • as an advocate, volunteer, or officer of a relevant voluntary organisation or support group.

If you know of someone at your organisation or within your networks that would be interested in joining this committee, please see and share the recruitment advert which contains full details, including how to apply. Recruitment is open until 5pm on 12/05/2022.

If you consider it appropriate, NICE would be happy for you to promote this vacancy through social media or other communication channels at your disposal. You can follow NICE on Twitter @NICEGetInvolved and they would be grateful if you could retweet their recent tweet about this recruitment.

Access e-learning through Age UK!

A reminder of the e-learning options available from Age UK, including how you can access them, as well as our plans to provide some additional e-learning platforms soon.

For a number of years, Age UK has provided a range of e-learning options to support Partners’ delivery of training online to your staff and volunteers. This is a reminder of the e-learning options available from Age UK, including how you can access them, as well as our plans to provide some additional e-learning courses soon.

What e-learning does Age UK currently provide?

For a number of years, Age UK has provided a range of e-learning options to support Partners’ delivery of training online to your staff and volunteers. This includes the Age UK e-learning Platform and Grey Matter Learning – find out all about both training platforms below.

The Age UK e-learning platform

A collection of courses developed by Age UK specifically for the network, covering mainly I&A topics.

Courses include:

  • The first five minutes
  • Welfare Benefits e-learning
  • Health and social care e-learning
  • I&A Adviser Induction
  • An introduction to Age UK for Volunteers
  • Dementia Awareness Training
  • Hosting of the recordings from I&A training provided by the TASO team
  • Charity Log training
  • Training on how to use the new features in the e-learning site

If you already have an account, you can log-in here.

If you do not have an account, you can register for one here.

Grey Matter Learning

A large collection of courses developed by Grey Matter Learning are available to support service delivery broadly across the social care sector, including for those offering registered care services.

Course topics include:

  • Awareness for many health conditions including: dementia, autism, bipolar disorder, Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, MND, Parkinson’s
  • Care Certificate Courses
  • Leadership, coaching and mentoring

This training is provided to help partners access content that will help them work within the Age UK Network Quality Assurance Framework.

If you already have an account, you can access Grey Matter Learning here.

If you don’t have an account yet, please contact: support@greymatterlearning.co.uk.

What e-learning is being added?

We plan to continue to expand the e-learning platform in the future and are currently working on provision of a wide range of external courses for use by the network. Age UK has partnered with course provider SAP/Litmos and will, in April and May 2022, be uploading a suite of their e-learning courses to our e-learning platform. Partners will be able to allocate up to 5 users per Age UK to this suite of courses.

Courses will be on offer under the following categories:

  • Communication
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Finance Skills
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Human resources
  • Leadership & Management
  • Project management

If the trial of 5 users per partner proves successful, we hope to expand access to these courses for those partners that are interested so they can include all their staff and volunteers, although there may be a charge for this expansion.

What if I already have e-learning provision I am happy with?

If you already have e-learning provision that you are happy with, you can continue to use the Age UK e-learning site or Grey Matter Learning as you do now and there is no requirement to access the new training nor to take us up on the offer of free licences for the upcoming SAP/Litmos content. You can continue to use your existing provider.

We are offering these e-learning platforms as we have heard that some partners are paying up to £45 per person for licences to training that we are able to offer for around £10 per head through the economies of scale of a larger contract and use of the Age UK e-learning platform. We are also aware of partners who are not currently able to provide an e-learning offer to their teams due to the cost involved, and we want to support any Age UKs that currently have a gap in their e-learning provision.

What other courses might be available in the future?

We are developing additional training to be hosted on the Age UK e-learning platform which will be rolled out over the course of this year.

The courses we are working on include:

  • Safeguarding training for Staff, Managers, and Volunteers.
  • Attendance Allowance: An overview course and training to complete claims forms
  • I&A Triage: Training to support the triaging of I&A clients to support delivering to those most in need
  • Welcome to Age UK: A course all about Age UK aimed at all staff and volunteers both locally and nationally to better understand the organisation
  • Working with older people: a course to support all staff and volunteers on working with older people

We would love to hear what you think of our plans to develop new courses – you can let us know via this short survey

How do I find out more?

If you have any questions about any of this information or if you want to find out more about our e-learning offer, please email chloe.longmore@ageuk.org.uk.

Reminder – “The Role of the Local Authority” Safeguarding Knowledge Share 1pm Today

A reminder that the third of our lunchtime drop-in sessions on safeguarding will take place this afternoon (Wednesday 6th April) from 1-2pm. Find out how to join later today.

This is a quick reminder that the third of our Safeguarding Knowledge Share Events “The role of the Local Authority” will take place today (Wednesday 6th April) from 13:00-14:00. You can find out full details below, or click here to join the event later today. This event will be recorded and we will share the link afterwards for those who can’t make it on the day. If you missed the first session on “Safeguarding Language”, you can view the recording here and you can view a recording of the second session “Domestic Abuse Myths and Stereotypes” here.


13:00-14:00 | Wednesday 6th April | The role of the Local Authority

Are you confident in contacting a local authority and be able to speak with the team you need to?

Accessing social care teams can be tricky. If you’ve tried before, you’ll probably have already experienced being put through from a contact centre to a duty worker and then on to a case worker.

In this session we’ll help you to understand who does what and who to speak with to help you get the advice and action you need.

Click below to join the event on the day


13:00-14:00 | Wednesday 8th June | Understanding Mental Health

1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year in the UK.

It’s important that we understand what this means for those with mental ill health and what we can do to support them.

This session will provide some information to increase your knowledge, so that we are better equipped to understand and support our colleagues and beneficiaries who may be impacted. We will also discuss treatments and the support services available.

Click here to join the event on the day.


If you have any questions about any of these sessions, please contact: Carrie.bower@ageuk.org.uk.

Reminder – “The Role of the Local Authority” Safeguarding Knowledge Share Next Week

A reminder that the third of our lunchtime drop-in sessions on safeguarding will take place on Wednesday 6th April. Find out how to join on the day.

This is a quick reminder that the third of our Safeguarding Knowledge Share Events “The role of the Local Authority” will take place Wednesday 6th April) from 13:00-14:00. You can find out full details below, including the link you need to join the event on the day. This event will be recorded and we will share the link afterwards for those who can’t make it on the day. If you missed the first session on “Safeguarding Language”, you can view the recording here and you can view a recording of the second session “Domestic Abuse Myths and Stereotypes” here.


13:00-14:00 | Wednesday 6th April | The role of the Local Authority

Are you confident in contacting a local authority and be able to speak with the team you need to?

Accessing social care teams can be tricky. If you’ve tried before, you’ll probably have already experienced being put through from a contact centre to a duty worker and then on to a case worker.

In this session we’ll help you to understand who does what and who to speak with to help you get the advice and action you need.

Click below to join the event on the day


13:00-14:00 | Wednesday 8th June | Understanding Mental Health

1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year in the UK.

It’s important that we understand what this means for those with mental ill health and what we can do to support them.

This session will provide some information to increase your knowledge, so that we are better equipped to understand and support our colleagues and beneficiaries who may be impacted. We will also discuss treatments and the support services available.

Click here to join the event on the day.


If you have any questions about any of these sessions, please contact: Carrie.bower@ageuk.org.uk.