This report aims to provide a warning to government that the chronic under-funding of social care must be reversed. It pinpoints three key challenges faced by voluntary sector providers of adult social care, which mean that funding is insufficient:
- increasing demand for services
- rising costs of providing services
- workforce recruitment and retention problems
Read more here.
Public Health England, 2017
This document is for health and social care professionals to use to encourage uptake of the free flu vaccination that people with learning disabilities are entitled to.
Guidance available here.
Vulnerable adults who are taken into police custody face a postcode lottery around the provision of ‘appropriate adults’ who help safeguard their rights and welfare while detained, a new study has found.
The research set out to understand local authorities’ role in providing appropriate adult (AA) services – which, unlike with children and young people, they have no statutory duty to do so – and to highlight good practice. It was undertaken by the University of Bristol’s School for Policy Studies, with funding from NIHR SSCR.
While it identified inconsistencies in service provision and funding, the study found that good practice was “more evident” in local authority areas where AA services were embedded in, or linked to, adult safeguarding teams.
It also highlighted the need for commissioners to consider the ways they monitor the effectiveness of services, beyond simply making AAs available promptly, and to find means of improving service user involvement.
Tricia Jessiman, who co-authored the study, said: “We found some good examples of local authority adult social care services who commissioned AA services for vulnerable adults in custody, often at very little cost.”
Tricia added: “There is a huge priority placed on getting an AA quickly, and rightly so, but it would also be helpful if commissioners considered other aspects of quality. Increasing the service user voice in the design delivery and monitoring of AA services would likely help with this.”
Find out more here.
We are signing up to the TALKING ABOUT DYING survey
How often are [staff/support workers] confronted with dying, death and bereavement at work? It may be because one of the people with learning disabilities you support has just lost a parent. Perhaps their mother is terminally ill with cancer. Or it may be that someone within [our service] is coming to the end of their life – whether that is because of old age, dementia, cancer, or other life-limiting illness.
How do you cope? Do you talk about dying with the people you support? Or is it better not to talk about such distressing topics? How do you support people with severe communication problems, who may not understand what death is?
These are important questions for [our organisation]. That’s why we have linked up with a team of researchers at four universities in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Ulster, to participate the a UK-wide Talking About Dying Survey of staff working in learning disability services. They will send an online questionnaire to staff who work directly with people with learning disabilities, in registered care homes or supported living services – and they need our help.
Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, who worked at L’Arche before and is now based at Kingston University & St George’s, University of London (who leads the study) says:
“Our team has done a lot of research around learning disability, death and dying. We know this is a huge issue for services, as people are ageing and therefore more likely to develop life-limiting illnesses such as cancer. For example, there are growing numbers of older people with Down Syndrome who get dementia. In addition, people are more and more likely to experience the deaths of loved ones, including parents and housemates. We know this is one of the hardest things for staff to cope with. It’s hard enough for people who don’t have learning disabilities!
We have worked closely with people with learning disabilities, families and staff, to develop a questionnaire that will answer many of our questions. Exactly how often do staff in learning disabilities services have to cope with death, dying and bereavement at work? What are the most difficult issues? What is happening within services at the moment? How do staff currently support people with learning disabilities who are dying, or who are bereaved?
This is the first large scale study on this topic. We think it is really important, because it will help to develop the right kind of support and guidance for staff. The more staff members fill in the questionnaire, the better we can understand their problems, and the better we can address this issue – both within the organisations taking part in the survey, and on a national level.
The online survey is completely anonymous. We won’t even know which organisation the respondents work for. That means staff can feel free to be as honest as possible. And it doesn’t take too much time – about 20 minutes. We also want answers from staff who have had no recent experience of death, dying or bereavement at work – and for them, it will take only 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Claire Lam (Research Assistant)
Tel 020 8725 0116