“Ageism widespread in UK, study finds”

“Ageism is rife in Britain, with millennials holding the most negative attitudes to ageing, according to a study.

A quarter of millennials believe it is normal for older people to be unhappy and depressed, while 40% believe there is no way to escape dementia as you get older, research from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) shows.

Across all age groups, almost a third of people surveyed agreed with the statement “being lonely is just something that happens when people get old”, while two thirds had no friends with an age gap of 30 years or more.

“Ageist attitudes abound in society and have a major impact on the public’s health, and yet they are rarely treated with the seriousness they deserve,” the RSPH chief executive, Shirley Cramer, said.

“Too often ageist behaviour and language is trivialised, overlooked, or even served up as the punchline to a joke – something we would rightly not tolerate with other forms of prejudice.” …

The RSPH also called for the Independent Press Standards Organisation to include age in the editors’ code of practice to prevent discrimination.

“[T]he common media portrayal of older people blocking beds could be framed instead as ‘older people trapped in hospital because they can’t afford the care they need when they go home’, states the report, About That Age Old Question, which surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK.

“[W]e need realistic portrayals of ageing that overall reflect both the challenges and opportunities in later life.”

The report recommends housing nurseries and care homes under the same roof.

“Intergenerational contact and care offer huge benefits for the groups involved, but also to the facilities operators,” it says, adding that it was an opportunity for local authorities and private providers to save costs “as well as offering genuine wellbeing benefits to ‘young’ and ‘old’ customers alike”.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/08/ageism-widespread-in-uk-study-finds

Devon CCG refuses to reveal crucial figures to independent county councillor

“Beds, beds, beds – Devon’s NHS couldn’t or wouldn’t give me their overall occupancy figure for the recent winter: but they were forced to buy in more capacity and there were ’12-hour trolley breaches’

Devon NHS’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) admitted in a report to Health Scrutiny yesterday that they had been desperately short of beds during the recent winter. They had to buy in extra beds to keep up with more patients staying longer, because of complex conditions. There were ’12-hour trolley breaches’, where patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be seen.

Despite my asking them directly, they did not give a figure for overall occupancy levels, although they did not deny my suggestion that they had been as bad as or worse than the nationally reported level of 95 per cent. (The nationally recommended safe level is 85 per cent.)

Jo Tearle, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Devon CCGs, rebutted my suggestion that cutting community beds had contributed to this crisis, saying that these were not the kind of beds they had needed, and that there had been capacity in community hospitals most of the time. However this suggests that there was no capacity some of the time. It is difficult not to believe that extra community beds wouldn’t have given them more leeway.

Meanwhile, Kerry Storey of Devon County Council indicated the strains that the ‘new model of care’ at home had been under. She said that maintaining personal care at home during the winter had been ‘a real challenge’, requiring ‘creativity and innovation’ – you don’t need much imagination to see that it will have been a real crisis time with frail people at home in isolated areas, care workers and nurses struggling to get through the snow, and staff themselves suffering higher levels of illness.

I and others predicted that because of the closure of community beds, there would be severe pressure on beds in a bad winter or a flu epidemic (and actually, this was not overall a bad winter and the snow episodes were late and short; despite higher levels of flu, there was no epidemic this winter).”

Beds, beds, beds – Devon’s NHS couldn’t or wouldn’t give me their overall occupancy figure for the recent winter: but they were forced to buy in more capacity and there were ’12-hour trolley breaches’

“Free speech” at Devon County Council – only for Tory councillors?

From Martin Shaw, East Devon Alliance for Seaton and Colyton councillor at Devon County Council:

“Conservative Councillor Richard Scott from Exmouth – where the hospital is safe because it’s kept its beds – accused me of ‘abusing the procedure’ when I went along and argued why Seaton and Honiton hospitals, which my constituents use, need to stay open with all the services and clinics currently provided – and more.

Seaton and Honiton were named by Dr Simon Kerr of NEW Devon CCG as being ‘at risk’ in the CCGs’ forthcoming Local Estates Strategy. Although the CCG has denied it has plans to close the hospitals, all local hospitals which have lost their beds – including Axminster, Ottery St Mary and Okehampton – could still be closed.

I was fully within my rights to speak up for my constituents and this was an unworthy personal attack. ClaireWright and deputy chair Nick Way (Lib Dem) both defended me.

When Claire Wright put her motion for the Committee to protect ALL community hospitals, all the Conservative members voted against this and it was defeated.

Martin Shaw
Independent East Devon Alliance County Councillor for Seaton & Colyton

Shock revelation suggests the NHS’s ‘new model of care’ is more about switching intermediate care from community hospitals to ‘block bookings’ in private nursing homes – saving costs and freeing up assets

Martin Shaw, East Devon Alliance councillor for Seaton and Colyton, Devon County Council:

Press release:

“There was a staggering revelation yesterday at Health Scrutiny from Liz Davenport, Chief Executive of South Devon and Torbay NHS Foundation Trust, that they had made ‘block bookings of intermediate care beds in nursing homes’ when they introduced the ‘new model of care’. South Devon has closed community hospitals in Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Paignton and Dartmouth and is currently consulting on the closure of Teignmouth – where I spoke at a rally last Saturday.

The ‘new model of care’ is supposed to mean more patients treated in their own homes, and there does seem to have been an increase in the numbers of patients sent straight home from the main hospitals.

But the idea that all patients can be transferred directly from acute hospitals to home is untrue. There is still a need for the stepping-down ‘intermediate care’ traditionally provided by community hospitals – the only difference is that now it’s being provided in private nursing homes instead.

It’s likely to be cheaper to use private homes, because staff don’t get NHS conditions, and crucially it frees up space in the hospitals so that the CCGs can declare buildings ‘surplus to requirements’ and claim the Government’s ‘double your money’ bonus for asset sales. It seems NEW Devon CCG has also made extensive use of nursing home beds, but we don’t yet know if there were ‘block bookings’.

However the private nursing home solution may not last – DCC’s chief social care officer, Tim Golby, reported that nursing homes are finding it difficult to keep the registered nurses they need to operate, and some are considering reversion to residential care homes.

This may be where the South Devon trust’s long term solution comes in – it had already been reported that it is looking to partner with a private company in a potential £100m dealwhich will include creating community hubs that contain inpatient beds.

The new model of care is also about privatisation.”