Carer support and involvement in secure mental health services: A Toolkit

NHS England, May 2018

This toolkit aims to provide clear information for carers, service users, service providers and commissioners about how carers of people who use secure mental health services should be engaged with, supported, involved and empowered.

Click here to access the toolkit.

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Voices from the social care crisis :An opportunity to end a broken system, once and for all –

The Care and Support Alliance, May 2018

Care and Support Alliance report on how the social care crisis is affecting the day to day lives of older people, working aged disabled people and unpaid carers across the country.  It identifies that currently at least 1.2 million older people and disabled people do not receive the care they require, a number which has almost doubled since 2010.  An estimated £6.3bn will have been taken out of adult social care in real terms since 2010 and the cuts to budgets between 2010 and 2017 now total 49%.

Calls on the Government to develop  a social care system creates independence and that ensures recipients not only get the basics, but also have access to the care and support they need to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.  It should be preventative, high quality and deliver person-centered care and support.  It should not rely on the NHS having to save the day when there’s no other support on offer.

Click here to view the full report.

National Minimum Wage: sleep-in care: (Bulletin Number CBP 8243)

House of Commons Library, March 2018

In April 2017 the Employment Appeal Tribunal handed down judgment in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, providing further guidance on whether employees who undertake sleep-in duties are entitled the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the time during which they are sleeping. The Tribunal held that, in some cases, carers who are required to be present throughout the night will be entitled to the NMW whether awake or asleep. While this proposition had been established by case law prior to the Mencap case, government guidance had not explained this clearly.

Social care providers have expressed concerns about their ability to meet the requirement to pay carers the NMW during sleep-in shifts. Moreover, many such providers may be exposed to claims for backdated pay.  To obtain backdated wages if underpaid, an employee could take a claim to the employment tribunal or the country court. In addition, the State enforces the NMW. If an employer has breached NMW law, HMRC may take enforcement action.

Following the Mencap decision and the realisation that government guidance had been “potentially misleading”, the Government has set up the Social Care Compliance Scheme and temporarily modified its policy on enforcing the NMW in the social care sector.

Click here to view the full report.

Honoring the voices of bereaved caregivers: a Metasummary of qualitative research

BMC Palliative Care, September 2017

Family caregiving in the context of advanced disease in particular, can be physically and emotionally taxing. Caregivers can subsequently face bereavement exhausted with few supports, limited resources and a significant proportion will develop negative psychological and social outcomes. Although some research has attended to the bereavement experiences of family caregivers who had cared for a person requiring palliative care, a comprehensive qualitative understanding of the impact of caregiving on bereavement has not been articulated. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative metasummary to explore the experiences of bereaved family caregivers of people who received palliative care services, regardless of their underlying disease.

Click here to view the full text paper.

State of Caring 2017

Carers UK, July 2017

This report finds that 4 in 10 (40%) of unpaid carers have not had a break in over one year, whilst one in four (25%) had not received a single day away from caring in five years.  The report finds that carers most frequently listed access to breaks as one of three factors which could make a difference in their lives (42%).  Carers who had not had a break in a year or more reported a deterioration in their health, both mentally (73%) and physically (65%).

Click here to read the full report.

Carer’s Allowance and the Retirement Pension

House of Commons Library, June 2017

Carer’s Allowance cannot be paid in addition to the Retirement Pension because of the “overlapping benefits” rule. This Commons Library briefing looks at the rationale for this rule, and at the position of successive governments on payment of Carer’s Allowance to people over State Pension Age.

Click here to view the briefing.