Sets out Care England’s vision for the next five years on how the organisation and the sector plan to deal with a number of issues facing the health and social care system. The report focuses on critical areas of the current social care landscape, including: integrated and person-centred care; falling fees and local authorities’ budgetary constraints; recruitment of nurses; recruitment, pay and training of the care workforce; raising awareness of the value of the sector; the Care Quality Commission and the need for further improvement of the regulation process; learning disabilities; and dementia. The report warns of the risk of a collapse in the system if providers and commissioners do not work together and more nurses are not recruited into the independent sector.
This paper focuses on the different types and configurations of formal and informal support in place, alongside telecare, to assist frail older people, and on how having telecare in place affected, and was influenced by, these arrangements. Based on detailed research with older telecare users and people involved in their care, the paper defines and contrasts three ‘ideal types’ identified as: ‘complex’; ‘family- based’; and ‘privatised support’ caring networks. It considers how telecare interacted with each type of caring network and explores differences in the relevance and applicability of each to frail older people in the AKTIVE study. Focusing on older people living at home with different types of frailty, the AKTIVE project aimed both to enhance understanding of how they (and those supporting them) accessed, engaged with and used the telecare equipment supplied to them, and to explore the consequences for them of doing so. In this paper particular reference is made to differences between older people using telecare who lived alone or with others; and between those who had memory problems or were susceptible to falls. The paper shows how telecare enhanced all three types of network, in at least some examples in the study, although no network type was dependent, or solely reliant, upon it. This highlights that telecare is not a panacea, a substitute for human care or an adequate solution in and of itself.