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Councils Urged to Champion Free Personal Care Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has called on local councillors to back the public’s call for the government to introduce free personal care for over 65s – something that is available in Scotland, but not in England. The social care system is broken, often providing poor or limited care – yet costs local government billions every year, while not meeting the needs of over 1.4 million older people[i]. The social care cap proposed by the government at the last General Election will not help 90% of older people and will do nothing to invest in the quality of care[ii]. The charity argues that free personal care will change that, for a similar cost to the cap, and address the social care challenges that local government are struggling to address by: · Providing a social care guarantee that people want and need; · Providing better value for money for the taxpayer; · Reducing the need for residential care placements, which are funded at high cost by local government; · Supporting family carers to spend more time providing emotional support; and · Enhancing the integration of health and social care. Introducing free personal care would be extremely popular. A recent YouGov poll found that 74% of adults in England aged 18-64 want free personal care for all older people, and 69% would be willing to contribute more to fund it. In addition, there is growing parliamentary support for free personal care. A recent ComRes poll for Independent Age, which surveyed 116 MPs[iii] in England, found that three quarters of them (74%)

agreed that free personal care, paid for through a social care contribution, should be provided to all older people needing it. This reinforces the recommendations of the influential Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government select committees’ joint report setting out the case for free personal care to be introduced, paid through a social care contribution. With more than two years having passed since the government announced it would produce a Green Paper on adult social care, the charity has written to council leaders across England, calling on them, their fellow councillors and prospective council candidates, to join the growing support for the introduction of a free personal care guarantee for older people as part of the social care reforms. George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, commented: “The introduction of free personal care is affordable and would lead to a fairer system for older people and address many of the social care challenges with which local government is struggling. “Free personal care will increase accessibility to the support that older people want and need. It can be delivered at a similar cost to the government’s poorly targeted, high cost, cap on care costs, which will only benefit around 20,000 older people. “The growing support for free personal care by the public, health and care leaders and parliamentarians shows how this policy could deliver the transformation in social care that is desperately needed.”

Lavender Fields Care Home Becomes Film Set Greensleeves Care’s newest home, Lavender Fields in Sevenoaks, welcomed BAFTA award-winning actors Miriam Margolyes and Virginia McKenna, and an international quality film crew to the home as it was transformed into a film set that created the centre of a beautiful love story that spans across the ages. Although the plot is currently secret and under wraps, Greensleeves Care’s historic links with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service made Lavender Fields a particularly apt filming location. During filming, residents observed the action and had the opportunity to chat to the two actors they have long admired; residents were welcomed on the film set and learnt what happens during the making of a movie. Residents even joined in a rousing sing-

song spontaneously initiated by Miriam and Virginia themselves. With many residents assuming the opportunity to be in a professionally produced movie was behind them, they were delighted to be offered the opportunity to be a star for the day and show off their acting talent as extras in the movie. The film will be completed over the coming months and will be released later this year. Carla Fraser, the Filmmaker, said:

“The care home team were fantastic and went above and beyond to make the day a success. Aside from the amazing support with the filming, I would see the cast and crew speaking to residents or organising activities for them and I was absolutely blown away by the care and dedication I witnessed – not only is this a beautiful location, the atmosphere is so incredibly welcoming and happy!” Paul Newman, Greensleeves Care’s Chief Executive, said “Lavender Fields is a lively home with a vibrant resident and staff community who jumped at the chance to contribute to such an important story. Residents look forward to seeing themselves on the silver screen and marking the film’s release with their own local red carpet premiere. Fingers crossed for a Best Supporting Actor role!”


Profile for The Carer

The Carer #44 Spring 2019  

Issue #44 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Spring (April) 2019.

The Carer #44 Spring 2019  

Issue #44 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Spring (April) 2019.

Profile for thecarer