Displaying items by tag: Funding
Social care organisations want Boris Johnson to fix the broken care system.They want long overdue changes to funding social care and ‘immediate’ cash injections to cover costs incurred during the pandemic. Councils need money for new technology and fairer deals for care staff. In 2019 Boris Johnson vowed to fix the funding crisis ‘with a clear plan we have prepared’, but discussions around changing costs are still ongoing. Social care is not free to vulnerable people with assets over £23,500. Below that they receive council help. Consequently, thousands of people annually must sell their homes to pay for their care. Charities warned that ‘every week of dithering means an extra 13,000 pensioners being denied vital help’. It is believed the PM supports a £50,000 lifetime cap on care costs to shield pensioners from catastrophic bills. However Rishi Sunak is concerned over finding £10billion a year to pay for this.
National Education Union leader Kevin Courtney said official statistics showed 4,050 special needs pupils did not have a suitable school place in 2017 in England, up from 1,710 in 2016. Lack of designated funding means growing numbers of our most vulnerable children are left without appropriate support in a suitable school environment. The Government said money for schools and special needs was protected, and councils are allocated funds for special needs in both mainstream and special schools through their ‘high needs’ budgets. However, shortfalls in these budgets leave them ‘cash flat’ (the total does not account for inflation), while the number of pupils needing special programmes has been growing. Pupils with autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, ADHD, and other learning or physical disabilities need extra equipment and trained support staff to enable them to reach their full potential.
Hundreds of victims of domestic abuse are being turned away from refuges in Wales due to lack of space. As many as 500 women, children and men were turned away in 2016-17, half the time because units were full. Welsh Women's Aid said there had been a 5% funding cut in specialist services for violence against women. There are fears that the loss of a protected Welsh government grant could see more refuges close (already 34 have done so since 2010). Fleeing violence and finding refuge is not just a welsh challenge. Across the UK one-third of all referrals to refuges are turned away, according to Women’s Aid; others say two out of three women are turned away. Specialist domestic violence services for black and ethnic minority women and women with disabilities have borne the brunt of the cuts. See also
Ninety children a day are taken into care in England and Wales, and currently there are 72,670 children in care - up 3% from 2016. Social workers are ‘firefighting’ the most serious cases late into the night. Professor Ray Jones, working in social services improvement, says that staff fear that children slip through the net as they try to keep up with rising pressures. Local government associations say children's services will face a £2bn a year funding gap by 2020. Social workers are spending a lot of time, late at night and during weekends, preparing for court proceedings. They are closing down work where children are unhappy and distressed because they have to concentrate on those in immediate danger. This causes considerable stress over concerns that they may be missing something.
Alcohol deaths are at their highest level since the peak of the recession. Health boards that have slashed funding for problem drinking are the worst hit. Six of the seven Scottish health boards cut spending on Alcohol and Drug Partnerships by around £700,000 last year, causing a surge in the number of people dying as a result of alcohol abuse. NHS Lanarkshire, which cut funding by 10% in 2016/17 experienced a 14% year-on-year increase in alcohol-related deaths, the highest number in the region for a decade. The statistics, produced by the National Records of Scotland, exclude suicides and accidental deaths where alcohol may have played a part. Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said, ‘I will be refreshing our Alcohol Strategy later this year’ and promised to consider taking steps to tackle alcohol-related harm.
Adult mental health hospitals in Northern Ireland currently have a target of discharging patients within 7 days of their being declared medically fit. However, one mental health patient spent 1,235 days stranded in an acute unit awaiting discharge in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Over the past two years, 16 patients waited more than 100 days for discharge and five were delayed for more than a year. Discharged mental health patients are often placed in supported accommodation and a lack of these facilities can lead to delays. A spokesperson said, ‘Trust policy ensures community-based care and treatment is put in place as soon as possible for patients who can be safely discharged. But they can only be safely discharged when appropriate accommodation is available’.
‘Our International Board meeting will take place from 27 to 30 April, in the Middle East. Our board members and the directors of our national offices in the UK, Holland, Germany, Australia, and the USA will meet. Please pray for wisdom, discernment and unity in all the decisions they have to make, and for a strengthening of the vision to gain access to many unreached people groups in the countries we work. From 30 April to 6 May, all our team members will meet for our annual conference. Please pray for safe travel, and that everybody will be strengthened and encouraged and equipped afresh for our work and ministry. This is a very important time for our teams, and God always ministers to us as individuals and as an organisation. Pray also for all those who will come to speak and minister to our team members.’
Police Scotland has been called ‘an organisation in crisis’ after it emerged the force will face a £200 million funding gap by 2020-21. Auditor-general Caroline Gardner gave this figure, which she said was a conservative estimate, to MSPs during a scathing assessment of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA). Her evidence led to a call for the SPA, Chief Constable Phil Gormley, and the Scottish government to appear before the committee to explain the “financial mess”. Ms Gardner said there was ‘weak financial leadership’ in both Police Scotland and the SPA, the organisation which manages the £1.1 billion policing budget. She also said there may yet be wider financial implications as a result of the decision to scrap the controversial i6 computer system last year. SNP MSP Alex Neil, a former health secretary, told the committee the performance of the two organisations was ‘totally unacceptable’.