This week’s news article begins with concerning research regarding care cuts. It has been reported that elderly and disabled people are been driven to self-inflicted harm due to social care cuts.
Elsewhere, a new report has been released which hits-out at banks across the country, who are deemed to be betraying their elderly customers by closing branches and forcing them to use internet banking instead.
Finally, the number of EU nationals who have quite the NHS since Brexit is believed to be around 10,000 – an increase of 22% on the previous year. The NHS is believed to have around 40,000 vacant nursing roles.
Care Cuts causing harm to the elderly
We start this week with concerning news from the care sector. It has been reported that elderly and disabled people are being driven to self-inflicted harm due to recent social care cuts. The survey revealed that social care workers are having to “constantly battle” to provide adequate levels of supports to the elderly and disabled.
Due to care cuts, it is said that nearly seven in 10 social workers (69%) feel expected to reduce care packages because of the cost pressures on their local authority. Of the 469 social workers who took part in the survey, 37% felt that they were unable to provide people with the care they needed, while 28% were not confident that the reduced care they had to administer was “fair and safe.”
In the survey, social workers who were having to work through the care cuts exposed that in some cases, patients who have their care hours reduced are driven to commit acts of self-harm or become prone to physically harming themselves by failing to take medication or meet their dietary needs.
Responding to the findings, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Well-being Board, said:
“Councils are doing all they can to provide quality and safe social care but these services are now at a tipping point. We urgently need a long term sustainable solution in social care, and it is vital government addresses this through its forthcoming consultation.”
Local councils have warned that the social care sector faces an annual 2.3 billion funding gap by 2020.
Banks are ‘betraying the elderly’
A new report attacking banks across the country has suggested that they are betraying their elderly customers by closing branches and forcing them to switch to online banking.
Many older people are uncomfortable using the internet and do not feel safe using it. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have suggested that those branches which do remain open are noisy with no private areas to talk to staff, which can leave customers feeling confused.
The report claimed that older customers felt rushed and that they struggled to hear or understand the call handler when they called their bank for help. The FCA also highlighted how older customers struggle when using cash machines because the instructions change too quickly.
Martyn James, a consumer campaigner, told the Daily Mail:
“If we’re not careful, we’re in danger of sleepwalking into a society where older people are excluded from the dignity of managing their own finances by computers, call centres and a lack of humanity.”
By 2020 the number of consumers aged over 65 in the UK is expected to increase by 1.1million and by 2040 one in seven people will be over 75.
EU health workers quit the NHS
Since the Brexit referendum around 10,000 EU nationals have quite the NHS, according to data collection agency NHS Direct. In the 12 months leading up to June, 9,832 EU doctors, nurses and support staff had left, with more believed to have quit since then.
This is a 22% increase on 2016, and a 42% increase on 2015’s findings. Among those from the EU who left the NHS between June 2016 and June 2017 were 3,885 nurses and 1,794 doctors. The British Medical Association (BMA) said the findings mirrored its own research, which found that four in 10 EU doctors were considering leaving, with a further 25% unsure about what to do since the referendum.
A BMA spokeswoman told The Guardian:
“More than a year has passed since the referendum yet the government has failed to produce any detail on what the future holds for EU citizens and their families living in the UK. Theresa May needs to end the uncertainty and grant EEA [European Economic Area] doctors working in the NHS permanent residence, rather than using them as political pawns in negotiations.”
This year it emerged that 40,000 nursing posts were now vacant in the NHS in England as the service heads for the worst recruitment crisis in its history, according to official new data.