From grey power to Care UK via Briars care home and via Southern Cross

My time is heavily ‘restricted’ at present, but I don’t want to lose sight of a few things that have come my way recently, so a miscellany of care in the UK today.

From 26 February 2004: If … the Generations Fall Out :

“It is 2024 and the baby boomer generation, currently in their forties and fifties, are starting to retire. The number of people over 65 has increased by nearly 50% since 2004. And this is just the beginning.”  The start of things to come?

From 23 March 2004: The Rise of grey power:

With a falling birth-rate, increased life expectancy and a shrinking number of working-age people to pay for the welfare state, there are set to be pressure points ahead.

From December 2007:  Prospect of moving to a care home frightens two thirds of Britons:

“Britons are living in fear of growing old in a society that fails to respect the over-65s or provide adequate support for those in need, a Guardian poll reveals today.

It found a country struggling to come to terms with demographic pressures that are set to see an increase in the number of older people by more than 60% over the next 25 years, putting a huge strain on the resources of the welfare state.”

From 6 August 2010:  Southampton Briars care home bosses sentenced:

“A care home owner has avoided jail after she was convicted of ill-treating and neglecting residents.

Annette Hopkins, 65, who owned Briars Retirement Home, Southampton, was order to pay a total of £52,000 and given a 30-week suspended prison sentence.

Care home manager Margaret Priest, 56, was ordered to carry out 200 hours community service after also being found guilty of wilful neglect.”

That particular result bothers me – and especially “Judge Derwin Hope said both were unqualified to do their job and they had not kept up with legislation to protect vulnerable people.  But he decided not to jail them because they were “obviously caring people” based on the references from their supporters”  I have problems with that decision of yours, Judge Hope, and I hope you will consider things differently in future.  Anyone running and managing a care home should be qualified to do the job and must keep up with legislation to protect vulnerable people – no matter whether their ‘supporters’ can provide good references!  Where are the references for the vulnerable people?  Did you have an equal number submitted to you?

From 9 August 2010: Profits plunge at care firm Southern Cross :

“The UK’s biggest care home operator today revealed earnings have plummeted by £7m in the last three months.  Bosses at Darlington-based Southern Cross Healthcare announced they expect total earnings to have dived by £20m by the end of the financial year.”   I’m not sure such a plummet could be all down to the fact that local authorities are placing fewer people in your care homes, Southern Cross.  Could it be down to the fact that many people are becoming very wary – and weary – of the problems that surround Southern Cross care homes?

And finally, also from today 9 August 2010:  Brighton and Hove private care provider nets £767,000 for work it didn’t do :

“One of Brighton and Hove’s leading private health providers has made an extra £767,000 for work that it didn’t do.

Care UK, which runs several NHS services in Brighton & Hove, pocketed the money for the 2009-10 financial year.

The sum relates to work scheduled at the Sussex Orthopaedic Treatment Centre in Haywards Heath.

Sven Rufus, the Brighton and Hove Green Party health spokesman, said: “This is another example of how difficult it is to manage and ensure value for money from outsourcing public services to private contractors.

“It’s clearly inappropriate for Care UK to be taking home an extra three quarters of a million pounds of taxpayer money for failing to do much as work as was predicted.”

More another day.

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Filed under care, care homes, dementia care, liability, neglect, professional responsibility

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