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How innovative social care solutions can enable better outcomes for the NHS and care homes


The second of January not only marked the second day of the new year, or the day many of us returned to work after the Christmas period; but also, the start of a long January for patients and the NHS.

BBC News reported that ‘tens of thousands of non-urgent NHS operations and procedures in England may be deferred until 31 January, due to winter pressures’ on January 2nd. The day deteriorated to a point where NHS hospital trusts declared ‘black alerts’ when bed capacity in 24 hospitals reached 100 percent.

One such hospital was Bedford Hospital NHS Trust – who issued the following statement, urging families ‘to come and collect their elderly, and look after them at home’:

‘Many of our patients are elderly and require support after discharge, and we ask that relatives support us and their loved ones by helping us discharge patients that are medically well to leave hospital; to return to the most appropriate environment such as their own home or a community care home.’

The problem remains that a decision on a temporary care solution that can relieve the pressure on the NHS during high-usage periods, cater to a wider range of care needs, and be sustained throughout the year, still does not exist. If your business specialises in initiatives that can address the need to expand care to impact better outcomes on the NHS and care homes, please contact 0117 990 2109 to discuss exhibiting opportunities at the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo.

The need for such a solution was only compounded by the Prime Minister who, when asked whether the NHS was in crisis, suggested:

“The NHS has been better prepared for this winter than ever before, we have put extra funding in. There are more beds available across the system, we’ve reduced the number of delayed discharges of elderly people who would otherwise have been in NHS beds rather than in social care.”

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, recently outlined her vision for social care in The Guardian. Her article ‘A brave and bold new world: my vision for social care’ touched upon the ‘integration between health and care.’ An example of such initiatives is ‘discharge to assess units’. These units provide ongoing care and support, where elderly people who have recently been discharged from hospital can recuperate. Discharge to access units could run in conjunction with a hospital or care home. A solution as such not only provides a foundation where both sectors can support each other, but also acts to impress better outcomes on the care industry and the NHS. To attend CPD accredited seminars on the latest initiatives in social care, register for your free ticket by calling 0117 990 2097.

Moves by the government to reform social care after its downgrade two-years ago have been taken, with Jeremy Hunt assuming the title of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.  What remains to be see is if this is the right decision, and how positive the outcomes from this decision will be. Norman Lamb, commenting on the new role for Hunt and social care, on Twitter, writes:

‘…struggling to understand what [the change]means beyond… window dressing’

Whilst opinion remains averse to Jeremy Hunt, perhaps optimism can be taken from the nature of the role. The new title shows ambition from the government to address the problems currently surrounding elderly care and what can be done to ‘tackle the challenge of an aging population.’ The impact of which, can be evaluated when the green paper is released.

Meanwhile, the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo offers the opportunity for care home owners to identify the solutions that can improve the level of care and cover a wider range of care requirements. Our first aim is to help generate industry growth so the demand for beds expected over the next few years can be met. In meeting these demands, the care industry can relieve the pressure it currently finds itself under. Filling more beds ultimately means that the care industry will have the funding to develop additional care facilities.

Our second key ethic goes hand in hand with our first – we want to improve the level of care and facilities care providers can offer. Improving the level of care throughout the industry will create more initiatives that can cover a wider range of care needs.

3,000 care home owners and senior decision makers are due to attend the event on the 25th & 26th April 2018 at NEC, Birmingham. Tickets to the event are free, making this the must attend event for care home owners looking to develop and grow their care home businesses.

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