health and social care news from across the world

Browse all the latest news and media from the UK and across the world.

Elderly care: are there lessons UK can learn from Netherlands? August 2018

The number of people in the UK aged over 85 who’ll need round the clock care is set to double by 2035, according to a major new study. But there could be an alternative solution to the standard model of an old people’s home, like that being developed in The Netherlands.

The country is already known for pioneering work in dementia care – what they call Dementia Whispering, which is a way of reconnecting with those who have the disease.

Poor rural broadband means elderly people in the countryside will miss out on the healthcare revolution. July 2018

Technology has been touted as the answer to social care shortfalls, but those most in need could be unable to access crucial at-home help – because rural internet is too slow. It said people living outside cities were still struggling with slow internet, which could prevent them using smart devices which can monitor someone’s activity and alert family or carers if something goes wrong.

Dementia crisis WARNING: Millions who could be affected ‘doing NOTHING to prepare’.  June 2018

BRITAIN is heading towards a dementia crisis as millions of people who will be affected by the disease do nothing to prepare for it, a hard-hitting report warns today. By 2025, more than 13m people who are at risk of mental incapacity will be unprepared, with no legal or medical plans in place for their future care.

‘Social care on its knees and government must act on funding and staff this year, MPs warn.’  May 2018

The government must announce and implement a credible solution to address the long-term underfunding of adult social care by the end of 2018, MPs have said.

A green paper from the Department of Health and Social Care, expected in summer, also risks underestimating the challenges in resolving the crisis, particularly in retaining underpaid, poorly motivated staff after Brexit.

Homes of elderly should be used to fund social care, NHS head says. April 2018

Pensioners’ homes should be used to fund social care instead of major tax rises on those of working age, the head of the NHS has said.

Simon Stevens said the “accumulated housing wealth” held by older generations should be used to pay for their care, saying they were in a “relatively advantaged position” compared to younger generations.

‘Japan lays groundwork for boom in robot carers’. February 2018

Japan’s elderly are being told to get used to being looked after by robots.

With Japan’s ageing society facing a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025, the government wants to increase community acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce.

‘What is ‘Aussie’ flu and should we be worried?’ January 2018

The NHS is preparing itself for a bad flu season.

One of the strains circulating this year – H3N2 – has been dubbed Aussie flu because it is the same strain that recently caused big problems for Australia. Australia’s 2017 flu season was the worst the country had experienced in nearly a decade. Experts are waiting to see if similar will happen in the UK, after a recent rise in cases.

Older people taking multiple medications more likely to fall over  – 24th October 2017

Older people who take a combination of at least five different medications are 21 per cent more likely to fall over, according to a new study by researchers from the Leicester Diabetes Centre, at the University of Leicester.

Read the full article here.

Game of Thrones Star Kit Harrington voices concerns about back dated pay for night carers 6th September 2017

Games of Thrones star, who plays the hero Jon Snow in the hit TV show, has waded into an argument about the Government’s decision to make care providers pay as much as six years’ worth of wages owed to ‘sleep-in’ care workers.

Channel 4 news video

GPs warn against routine use of statins in a bid to stop over-prescribing – 1st August 2017

Doctors are urging caution over the routine prescription of statins on the NHS, in response to a study suggesting most older people should receive the medicine to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

A study by Harvard University, published in the British Journal of General Practice, looked into the risk of heart attacks and suggested the possibility of using statins as a preventative measure, however the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned that the potential to overprescribe statins exists and could have serious implications for patients as well as GPs.

Further details here

Brain gyms growing in popularity as way of combating dementia 30th June 2017

Brain gyms are becoming increasingly popular in the UK as a way of combating dementia and memory impairment problems. Brains in Action (BRINA) has recently opened two in North London and has found the demand to be so high that it is opening another six in other areas in London and Hertfordshire.

Click here for more info.

Over 65s with care needs to rise by a quarter by 2025 – 24th May 2017

The number of people over the age of 65 who will need care could rise by 25 per cent to 2.8m by 2025 in England and Wales, resulting in more people with disabilities such as dementia.

According to research published in The Lancet Public Health journal, the number of people living into old age is estimated to increase by more than half a million (560,000 people) by 2025, when compared to 2015.

Carehome News

Experts excited by brain ‘wonder-drug’  – 24th April 2017

Scientists hope they have found a drug to stop all neurodegenerative brain diseases, including dementia.
In 2013, a UK Medical Research Council team stopped brain cells dying in an animal for the first time, creating headline news around the world. But the compound used was unsuitable for people, as it caused organ damage. Now two drugs have been found that should have the same protective effect on the brain and are already safely used in people.

MP’s Debate health and Social Care Budgets. – 18th March 2017

MPs discussed health and social care funding in a Westminster Hall debate on 14 March 2017 led by Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier. While £2bn additional funding was welcomed, MPs were in no doubt that a longer term solution to the issues facing health and social care was needed, which addressed both sectors and secured public support. The Budget measures were a help but not sufficient, because they were not long-term funding and did not represent a strategy to close the gap between resources and patients’ needs. MPs called for more detail about the proposed Green Paper, the timescale for publication and information on what is happening with phase 2 of the Care Act (the Dilnot cap on funding), which has been postponed, possibly to 2020. Hansard report of debate on 14 March 2017.

Select Committee calls for action on social care funding – 6th March 2017

Before the Spring Budget on Wednesday (8th March), the Communities and Local Government Committee has called on the Government to bring forward money to fill the social care ‘funding gap’, estimated to be between £1.3 to £1.9 billion in 2017/18.

The interim report, which highlights the pressures on local authority budgets and the financial sustainability of the sector, is an outcome of the Committee’s inquiry into adult social care that UKHCA provided evidence to last year.

The Committee expects the final report to be published in the next few months. Further information can be found on the Committee website.

Act F.A.S.T. campaign returns to encourage people to call 999 at sign of a stroke – 26th February 2017

Public Health England has relaunched the “Act FAST” stroke campaign, working closely with the Stroke Association. This aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and encourage people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately.

This is important for people who are more likely to experience a stroke including people with medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). The campaign is built around the ‘Act F.A.S.T.’ (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym. For more information and leaflets go to

Care in a post-Brexit climate – 1.6 million workers needed up to 2022  – 10 February 2017

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) looks at how to raise standards and meet workforce challenges of care in the UK, including chronic underinvestment, the reliance on a low paid, poorly trained workforce and high levels of staff turnover. It considers the challenges of the UK leaving the EU and projects ‘the UK will need to have recruited and trained 1.6 million low-skill health and social care workers up to 2022 in order to replace those leaving the profession as well as to meet increased demand. This is the equivalent of two-thirds of the current low-skill health and social care workforce, and is larger than for any other occupation in the UK.’

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Councils angry at government’s social care offer – BBC News 16th December 2016

Councils say it is “hugely disappointing” that the government has not given them extra money to tackle shortfalls in social care funding.

Raising council tax to fund social care will ‘worsen postcode lottery’.  Sky News 13th December 2016

The Prime Minister is reported to be preparing to allow tax precepts to be increased as experts warn the social care system could “topple over at any moment”, leaving the poorest “living a squalid life”

Cost of social care has rocketed over last year, analysis shows. The Guardian 5th December 2016

The cost of social care rocketed over the last year, even as the proportion of services ranked good or outstanding fell, according to a new analysis.Concerns are growing over the UK social care system’s inability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on budgets.

‘Bored stiff’ Devon pensioner, 89, seeks job  – 30th November 2016

Pensioner Joe Bartley, 89, was so bored being retired he put an ad in his local paper asking for work.


A US study identifies a downward trend in dementia rates.  – 24th November 2016

Data from 21,057 people over the age of 65 in the US showed the proportion with dementia fell from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012.


Dementia rates show signs of falling. BBC News 20th November 2016

There is growing evidence that the dementia crisis may not be as bad as first feared, say researchers. A study suggests the proportion of elderly people developing dementia is falling in the US – backing up similar findings in the UK and Europe.

Alzheimer’s Research UK have just released their moving Christmas video message. – 23rd November 2016

Click on this link to watch it 

Reviews of Nash Homecare

A report published today by the Local Government Ombudsman highlights concerns surrounding home care provision. 10th November 2016

‘It’s often the little things that mean so much to them in maintaining their dignity, independence and a good quality of life. Consistency of care is vital to those who rely on these services.’ Click here for the report

This winters advice from NHS Staywell campaign…

The cold and damp weather – ice, snow and cold winds – can be bad for your health. It can make you more more vulnerable to winter illnesses, such as coughs and colds, which could become very serious. It also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke. However, there are things you can do.