By Debbie le Quesne

Nursing homes seeking assurance from new Government

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The Registered Nursing Homes Association has been quick to seek assurances on care provision from our latest crop of MPs.

In a front page article in Caring UK, the group which has long campaigned for a better deal from government on nursing care, is asking MPs to sign up to five pledges on the future care of older people.

There’s nothing new here, but they stand repeating, so here’s the overview:

Enough nursing homes to meet the need; planning ahead for the post war baby boomers’ spike that will arrive in 2030s; the formation of a new Department of Health Care & Support to pool budgets and oversee integrated care; to stop cuts in public expenditure on services for older people; to ensure funding will be enough for care providers to pay staff a living wage.

The RNHA believes the level of priority politicians give to the country’s older citizens says a lot about the kind of society in which we live.

I believe that too and so do many care providers I know personally the length of the country.

There are around 5,150 registered nursing homes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Between them, they are capable of looking after just over 200,000 residents. Without proper funding, or indeed in the face of the promised Government cutbacks on social care funding, how are we all supposed to continue to deliver care?

Critically, I want to know how that standards of care are expected to be maintained, especially with the implications of the Dilnot fee reforms that kick in next near.

The social care sector is now bracing itself for another round of deep spending cuts after the Conservative party secured victory in the general election. Plans to rekindle the austerity measures have already hit the headlines. Here’s hoping there will be a change of heart regarding social care budgets. Mr Cameron, please will you hear us? The RNHA echoes many other voices in care organisations across the UK care sector and my West Midlands Care Association is certainly one of them.


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