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Frail elderly “failed by care deserts”

BBC News, Nick Triggle

The system for looking after frail older people in England is falling apart, with what are being dubbed “care deserts” emerging, a charity says. An analysis carried out for Age UK indicates about 30% of areas now have no residential care beds. The situation is even worse for nursing homes – needed for the most frail – with more than 60% having no places. Recruiting staff and keeping services running were proving a real challenge some areas, the charity said. Age UK believes the situation is now so bad that about 1.4 million older people are not getting the care they need – nearly one in seven of the over-65 population. Ruthe Isden, from Age UK, said: “The system is failing people – and that is having catastrophic consequences.” The government has promised plans to reform the care system will be put forward soon.

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Daughter of slapped dementia patient angry at police

BBC News, UK

The daughter of an elderly dementia patient slapped by her carer said she is angry the woman only received a police caution. Sabina Marsden, 78, was also told she “stinks” by the carer, who was unaware she was being filmed. Mrs Marsden’s daughter Gina Owen said she was “furious”. Employer Mega Care said it was “appalled and disgusted”. Northamptonshire Police said safeguarding vulnerable people was a “high priority”. Mrs Owen said she had only installed the camera in her mother’s home shortly before the incident on 13 June 2017. She said it happened within ten minutes of her monitoring the video. “Mum didn’t provoke it. Mum can’t talk. She couldn’t hit back,” Mrs Owen said. “I left work and then we came down to the house. I felt physically sick. I never thought it would happen in my mum’s home. “The police have done the interview and she only got a caution. I’m angry about that and I’m not happy about the outcome.”

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Vulnerable “playing Russian roulette” choosing care

Nick Triggle, BBC News

Vulnerable people are playing “Russian roulette” when they need care in England, campaigners warn, as a quarter of services are failing on safety. The Care Quality Commission said drug errors, lack of staff and falls were major problems. Nursing homes had the worst problems, with a third falling short on safety. The CQC said the failings across services for the elderly and disabled were “completely unacceptable”.

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Social care system beginning to collapse as 900 carers quit every day

David Rhodes, BBC News

More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, new figures reveal. Service provides warn that growing staff shortages mean vulnerable people are received poorer levels of care. In a letter to the prime minister, the chairman of the UK Homecare Association said the adult social care system – which applies to those over the age of 18 – has begun to collapse. The government said an extra £2bn is being invested in the system. An ageing population means demand is increasing for adult social care services. Those who provide care to people directly in their own homes, or in nursing homes, say a growing shortage of staff means people face receiving deteriorating levels of care.

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Prosecutions “rare” for abuse by home carers

Ben Robinson and Lesley Curwen, BBC News

More than 23,000 allegations of abuse have been made against carers working in people’s homes across the UK. The data comes from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC Radio 4 program. The United Kingdom Homecare Association, which represents 2,000 care companies, described the findings as “horrifying” and blamed cuts to local government budgets.

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