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Archived News Stories

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness will shine a spotlight in older people from 20 March to 23 April, encouraging to start a conversation about loneliness to start to break down the stigma associated with talking about it. Further information can be found on the website page on Loneliness and Social Isolation.

The Yorkshire and Humber Pensioners Convention are holding their AGM/QGM on 19 April 2017 at City of York Tramways Club. Further details can be found here.

Freedom Riders are celebrating their third anniversary and holding a rally on 27 March. They meet at 10.45am at Barnsley Intechange. The speaker will be Tosh McDonald.

Do you know someone who would benefit from an invention to enable them to live more independently?
The Big Fix, on BBC 2, are looking for people to help with a second series. If anyone is interested in applying, they can call the casting team on 0203 040 6908 or email us at
biglifefix@studiolambert.com. All calls are treated in the strictest of confidence. Alternatively, a short contact form can be filled out here to express interest in the show:http://www.studiolambert.com/take-part-the-big-life-fix.html

Research Opportunity The University of Leeds are conducting some research into the living experience of older people and fuel poverty. Ideally focussing on people aged 60+ and living in their own property, it would involve 4-5 interviews in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, lasting no more than 20 minutes. To find out more contact Liam Bennet on 07986481954 or
ee1413b@leed.ac.uk

Writing Back is a project run by the University of Leeds which links student pen pals with older people. It has been running for 3 years during which time 260 people have exchanged letters with one another. Participants can write as part of a group or with the assistance of a friend/volunteer. All stamps and stationary are provided as letters are sent via the university and only the project officer has access to addresses. Students are reference checked and recieve training. The project would like to expand to work with older people accross the region. If you're interested Click Here for details. The Project is run by Georgina Binnie, a PhD Candidate in the School of English.

Community and Care Homes coming together in Keighley
Members of the Keighley community came together to find out how they can help residents in care homes stay connected with their skills, hobbies and interests as part of the Airedale Social Movement. Living with dementia can mean losing connections with neighbours and friends and losing hobbies, sports and pastimes. For too many people, including those living in care homes, dementia can result in loneliness and isolation. The Airedale Social Movement will change this for residents living in five local care homes. Regency Court Care in Keighley has embraced this initiative. On Friday the 2nd December they welcomed over twenty local people and community groups into the home to discuss how the community and the residents can enjoy spending time together. The event was a great success and generated a wide range of ideas ranging from enhancing the garden to provide a dementia friendly space and a community allotment, to getting residents together with local school children to share memories and learn how to use iPads together and using digital photography to create a scrap book of outings and activities. Residents are also interested in "Everything! Reading, gardening, exercises, tidying, colouring, poetry knitting, dancing!" Airedale Social Movement are now we're looking for people who can help build and sustain these community connections - people who can use their local knowledge and relationships to make these ideas (and more!) happen at all five care homes and people who can encourage others to get involved in the lives of these homes. It will be rewarding, varied and stimulating! For more information or to get involved contact Joanne Volpe, Alzheimer's Society Joanne.volpe@alzheimers.org.uk or 07484 504996

Changes in the behaviour and health of 40 - 60 year olds
Public Health England have recently published a report showing how the behaviour and health of people aged between 40 and 60 has changed over the last 20 years. Click here to access both of these reports. Future Years and Age UK Yorkshire and Humber Unite to Deliver a Roadshow Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Military Veterans in Yorkshire We want to tap into the skills of military veterans in our region to improve the lives of their peers, offering comradeship and opportunities to get involved. Future Years and Age UK Yorkshire and Humber held two events in September, one in Keighley and one in Sheffield. With more than a million older people in the UK saying they go over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member,this new forum will tackle emotional and practical issues to enable good health and the well-being of miliatary veterans in Yorkshire, born before 1950. Discussion will included: The best ways to improve your own health, Support for isolation/loneliness, Influence people in your local authority or health service, Find information on local charities and volunteering, Housing options The Roadshow was funded by the Aged Veterans Fund funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.

Millions of People Put Off Difficult Conversations About Ageing
: research suggests that almost two thirds of those aged 65 and over have never had a conversation with their family about key issues including preferences for end of life care, where they would like to live if they can no longer live at home, and who will care for them.Click
here to read more.

AGE UK SUPPORT SERVICES (YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER) TO RECEIVE SHARE OF £4 MILLION TO SUPPORT PROPOSALS IN THE HEALTH AND CARE FIELD

Age UK Support Services (Yorkshire and Humber) is to get up to £169,350 to develop new, innovative approaches to health and care, actively share excellent practice or improve integrated care and efficiency. Voluntary sector organisations submitted funding bids to the Department of Health setting out how they could help meet the Departments objectives of better health and well-being and better care for all and how their proposal has potential for national impact. Minister for Care and Support Norman Lamb said: "These projects play a crucial role in supporting people, their families and carers. They are examples of just some of the excellent and innovative work going on throughout the country in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector – all of which help to create and support strong and resilient communities." Age UK Support Services (Yorkshire and Humber) has received funding for the Eatwell and Livewell Project, which will support older people whose health is suffering as a result of being underweight. Local Age UKs in Doncaster, Calderdale and Kirklees will work with older people identified as having nutritional issues following a MUST (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool) assessment either in hospital or primary care. Using an outcomes tool they will work with the older person and their carers to address the issues impacting on their diet such as isolation; access to food or financial issues. The project will demonstrate the role of the voluntary sector and volunteers in the malnutrition pathway for older people.

Almost a million older people are cutting back on food.

New research from Age UK shows that 960,000 people aged 65 or over have had to spend less on food in the last 2 years. Many pensioners live on low, fixed incomes and the rising cost of food and energy over recent years has hit hard. For more information visit: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/almost-a-million-older-people-cutting-back-on-food/

The Care Bill will introduce a new criminal offence applicable to care providers that supply or publish certain types of information that is false or misleading, where that information is required to comply with a statutory or other legal obligation. The report identifies five areas to aid improvement: 

(i) Preventing problems; 

(ii) Detecting problems quickly; 

(iii) Taking action promptly; 

(iv) Ensuring robust accountability; and 

(v) Ensuring staff are trained and motivated 

For the full response see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mid-staffordshire-nhs-ft-public-inquiry-government-response

Hard Truths: The Journey to Putting Patients First

This is the Government's response to the Mid-Staffordshire Trust Inquiry, known as the Francis report. It provides a detailed response to the 290 recommendations the Inquiry made across every level of the system in 'Patients First and Foremost' (see below; which set out a radical plan to prioritise care, improve transparency and ensure that where poor care is detected, there is clear action and clear accountability. The report sets out how the whole health and care system will prioritise and build on this, including major new action in vital areas. New actions include:

  • Transparent monthly reporting of ward-by-ward staffing levels and other safety measures;
  • A statutory and professional duties of candour;
  • Legislate at the earliest available opportunity on Wilful Neglect;
  • A new fit and proper person's test which will act as a barring scheme;
  • All arm's length bodies and the Department of Health have signed a protocol in order to minimise bureaucratic burdens on Trusts; and
  • A new Care Certificate to ensure that Healthcare Assistants and Social Care Support Workers have the right fundamental training and skills in order to give personal care to patients and service users.

Budget Statement Response from the National Pensioners Convention

NPC Budget Statement Briefing March 2014.pdf

A public policy blog from the TUC has posted a new item, A pensions disaster in the making?:

Toustone Blog from the TUC

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

Friday 28 March

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is the national day to recognise the problem of fuel poverty and the solutions available to help people keep warm in their homes. It is organised by NEA and supported by SSE, and concludes our winter-long Warm Homes Campaign. For more information visit: http://www.nea.org.uk/campaigns-events/fuel-poverty-awareness-day

PERS - Opening Doors A new free advice service for disabled people in Yorkshire and Humber: PERS - Opening Doors.pdf Power Cuts Northern Power Grid Helping the Vulnerable Northern Powergrid maintains the electricity supply network in our area and aims to provide support during power cuts to vulnerable people who particularly depend on their electricity supply – eg older people, families with young children or people with health issues. Involve Yorkshire & Humber is working with Northern Powergrid to help them connect with community, voluntary and public sector organisations to support vulnerable customers in the event of a power cut: http://involveyorkshirehumber.org.uk/our-work/training-and-consultancy/northern-powergrid/ Your role as 'community connectors': Helen Robinson at Involve (full contact details below) is pulling together a list of priority community organisation contacts at local level that Northern Powergrid can call in the event of an expected power cut (both office hours and out of hours). You will not be asked to deliver any services. You will be contacted by Northern Powergrid if your area will be affected by powercuts, so you can tell them who needs support in the your area. In the event of an anticipated powercut, someone from Northern Powergrid will call the contact you have supplied to let them know that the electricity will be down (for example) in BD4 for 5 hours and ask you what support vulnerable people in your area may need. Support available to vulnerable clients: this support can include:

  • advance warning phone calls or texts

  • a Northern Powergrid customer service van, which serves hot and cold drinks, charges phones, is a warm place to sit and contains "winter warmer packs";

  • additional support from the Red Cross including home visits.

  • for areas with a high number of vulnerable customers, during an extended power cut, Northern Powergrid can sometimes generate electricity for a community building and arrange for hot drinks to be served.

Interested? If you have any questions, please contact Helen Robinson at Involve – see below for contact details. If you want to be part of this initiative, please fill in the information below and send it direct to: Helen.Robinson@involveyorkshirehumber.org.uk

  • Organisation:

  • Contact name:

  • Phone number:

  • Email:

  • Hours (contact details required for both office hours and out of hours services):

  • Which vulnerable customer groups/areas can you reach (eg young families, the elderly, people who rely on electricity supply for medical equipment, etc):

Beware of phone scammers posing as police officers We've been alerted to a complex scam to trick older and vulnerable customers into handing over their bank details or savings. Fraudsters posing as police officers are calling people and claiming that money has been, or is about to be, stolen from their account and that a suspect has been arrested. They may ask the victim to tell them their PIN or key it into the phone’s handset. The criminal then poses as a courier and comes to collect the person’s bank card. Once they have the PIN and card, they clear out the victim’s account. In some circumstances, victims are persuaded to go to their bank, withdraw their savings and hand them over to the courier. A variation of the scam involves the fraudster claiming to be from the victim’s bank – again with the aim of collecting their card or their money. We encourage you to remind older people you're in contact with never to assume a caller is genuine just because they have basic information about them, such as a name and address. Banks never call and ask for someone’s PIN or ask someone to withdraw money and hand over to them. Older people should not be afraid to hang up on someone if they’re unsure about giving their details. Anyone who receives a call like this should hang up, call someone they trust to make sure the line is clear, and report the matter to the police. Age UK's guide Avoiding scams explains how older people can protect themselves from common scams.

NEA has launched the Heat Heroes Awards 2014 sponsored by ScottishPower.

The Awards aim to recognise individuals within communities in England and Wales who have made a significant contribution to helping those struggling with the effects of fuel poverty. This can be through work or through voluntary activities outside the workplace.

If you know of such a person please complete the entry form and send to us with a submission of no more than 500 words outlining the contribution the individual has made to people in fuel poverty and why you think the individual deserves to win.

The award scheme is open to not-for-profit organisations including local authorities, health and social care agencies, voluntary and statutory agencies and community groups.

Please enter online at
www.nea.org.uk/heat-heroes

Disability Living Foundation Launch a national loan library

The Disabled Living Foundation charity have a free program in place that is now expanding nationally, which aims to help improve quality of life for older people The Disabled Living Foundation, a national charity based in London that has been around for about 40 years – have recently received funding from the Department of Health to expand their library of simple electronic aids where people in the UK can borrow equipment for free for up to 2 weeks. The reasoning behind this is that there is evidence that such aids can improve people's quality of life, but that the older age group in particular shy away from trying it as they are unsure it will work for them, and lack confidence they can learn how to operate it. The aim of the library is to break down these barriers, provide support during the loan period, and to get the right piece of equipment out to the right people. If you'd like to have a look at the library content online, please find a link to it here:http://www.dlf.org.uk/library

UK winter deaths jump 29%

A prolonged cold period during January - March 2013 saw winter deaths rise sharply on the figures for the previous year, with an estimated 31,100 excess winter deaths in 2012/13. March 2013 was the coldest since 1962, and many parts of the country saw snow. As well as more an increase in the number falls, the data shows a rise in deaths due to heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness.

The statistics have been released a week after gas and energy suppliers were criticised for high prices. Combined with poor housing or insulation, many households have been unable to afford to heat their homes.
'The state of health care and adult social care in England 2012/13' by the CQC

Despite the financial squeeze across the NHS and in local authority funded social services, the quality of care across England appears to be bearing up. This is evidenced by today’sCare Quality Commission reportand the recentQualityWatch analysisby two independent charities, the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation

Hospitals 'spend more on supplements than food'

The NHS in England spent £320 million on nutritional supplements for hospital patients last year - compared to £270 million on food, the Campaign for Better Hospital Food found.

The figures were released ahead of a new Hospital Food Bill being introduced to the House of Lords that will call for mandatory quality standards for all patient meals.

In response, Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter explained nutritional supplements are "essential" to many patients in order to survive.

He added: "The majority of this spend is for people in the community, so it is completely wrong to say it is about hospital food quality.

"We agree, however, that there is still too much variation in food standards across the NHS and we are working with Age UK and others on our continued work to support better hospital food."

Food for thought: Catering in extra care housing In this Housing LIN Viewpoint No 52, the author, a specialist in diet, nutrition and catering, outlines the importance of good quality food in the health and wellbeing of older people and how the housing and care industry needs to embrace the opportunity of expecting more from the catering than simply providing "fuel". The focus at mealtimes should be about creating an experience for guests and delicious quality food. A fresh look is needed and innovation to raise standards in line with an increasing more savvy and demanding customer. Documents: Food for thought: Catering in extra care housing (pdf - 299Kb)

Rural access to health and social care increasingly difficult

The Rural VCS Policy Group has just published a paper on rural health and social care. The findings have received extensive regional media coverage, including this front page lead in the Yorkshire Post: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/timebomb-warning-as-elderly-face-rural-care-crisis-1-5973913The report, produced as part of the Yorkshire and Humber Rural Networks Policy Group, raises concerns that health and social care services in rural areas are getting more difficult to access, which impacts on the wellbeing of these communities.Key messages from the report:

  • It is harder to access health and social care services in rural areas.

  • The demography of rural areas is aging and the number of older people in rural areas is expected to double by 2028, impacting further on health and social care provision

  • The work of the VCS helps create well being and this prevents health problems. The VCS also delivers health and social care initiatives within rural communities that reduces the need for costly hospital treatment. This valuable work needs recognising and investment.

  • Commissioners of health and social care services need to tailor services to meet the particular needs of people in rural areas-recognising that this may require additional resources.

You can read and download the full report from the Involve Yorkshire & Humber website here: http://involveyorkshirehumber.org.uk/Upper age limit for jury service to be raisedPeople up to the age of 75 will soon be able to sit as jurors in England and Wales under plans announced by Criminal Justice Minister Damian Green today. The proposal is part of a drive by the Ministry of Justice to make the criminal justice system more inclusive and to reflect modern society by giving people aged 70 to 75 the opportunity to serve on a jury. Currently, only people aged between 18 and 70 are eligible to sit as jurors.For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/upper-age-limit-for-jury-service-to-be-raised

Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better

Yorkshire has five out of the thirty two local authorities shortlisted to bid for a share of the £70 million funding package under the Big Lottery Fund's Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme tackling social isolation for vulnerable older people.

The local authorities in our region that are being taken forward to the second stage are Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Sheffield and Wakefield.

The areas have been selected out of 100 identified Local Authorities applying for funding of between £2 million and £6 million for activities that will engage older people in key decision making and shaping priorities for local action.

Launched in March and delivered in association with the Daily Mail, the initiative will make funding available in around 15 to 20 local areas, over a period of up to six years, to pilot area-wide, voluntary service led local authority partnership projects to improve the lives of older people. Awards will be made in Spring 2014.

More information

Overhaul of End of Life Care system

The Government is to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) and will ask senior clinicians to sign off all end of life care plans, as part of its response to the findings of an Independent Review, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced earlier this month. In its report the Review found that in the right hands and when operated by well-trained, well-resourced and sensitive clinical teams the LCP does help patients have a dignified and pain-free death. But its findings included too many cases of poor practice, poor quality care of the individual, with families and carers not being properly engaged in the patient's care. Because of these failings in its use, the Review has recommended it should be phased out. The Independent Review has also identified themes highlighted by the Francis Inquiry, such as the need to put people first in decisions about their care and the need for staff to be more compassionate. Click here to view the report by the Independent Review into the Liverpool Care Pathway

Launch of Pioneering Dementia Care Pilots

Over a hundred hospitals and care homes across England have been awarded a share of a £50 million fund to create pioneering care environments designed with the needs of people with dementia in mind. Winners in Yorkshire and Humber include: Airedale NHSFT, awarded £443,588 for their Here To Care project; Bradford Teaching Hospital NHSFT, awarded £513,086 for their Yorkshire At Its Best project; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHSFT, working with Dementia Friendly Doncaster have been awarded £1m capital to deliver an Environment Accreditation Scheme within the Dementia Friendly Environments; Rotherham, Doncaster & South Humber NHSFT were awarded £375,000 for a Lighting Scheme for Improving Well-being Independence & Sleep and Bradford Council was awarded £617,246 for a Bradford Dementia Environment Project.

The Homecare Innovation Challenge

The Homecare Innovation Challenge aims to improve homecare for older people and disabled adults in England. The challenge, which is led by the Department of Health, will:

• encourage more people to talk about homecare
• gather ideas and experiences of how to make homecare better
• share these ideas and experiences
• use these ideas and experiences to spread new ways of improving homecare in England The Homecare Innovation Challenge invites ideas and new approaches from everyone who is interested in homecare, including people who receive homecare, care workers, local authorities, charities, care companies, communities and carers. Comments will be shared on the Guardian Homecare Hub and will be available for everyone to see and reflect on, so people can learn from each other. In the autumn we will set out how this will make a difference to future homecare. We want this challenge to bring about improvement to home care services for everyone involved.

For more information visit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2013/jul/03/inadequate-homecare-massive-challenge


 

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