Impact of the Care Act for older people and
carers, 7 July
This event was attended by just under 50
older people and representatives of age sector and local
voluntary organisations who enjoyed presentations from four
expert speakers. All presentations are available on the PAiL website.
Stephen Lowe of Age UK gave an overview of
the positive changes which the Act promises for older
people and carers, the new duties particularly for local
authorities, issues which seem to be coming up in early
implementation and the limitations – such as funding.
Tristan Brice of LondonAdass (Association of Directors of
Adult Social Services) talked further abut the intentions
of the Act, new principles it introduced – such as that
local authorities have a general duty to promote an
individual’s wellbeing –and how the Act is likely to affect
local authorities’ working in practice.
Anastasia Mulenga of London Councils spoke
on the difficult financial position for local authorities
in implementing the Care Act. Her presentation included the
worrying insight that funding allocated by the Government
for future years may be partly based on early uptake of the
new rights particularly for carers, but this uptake has
been very low so far. Tim McLachlan of the Alzheimer’s
Society pointed out the ways in which the Care Act is
particularly relevant to people with dementia and their
Participants raised a wide variety of issues
with the presenters. Points included how to report abuse
including neglect, people’s rights to reject a personal
budget (as well as to have one) and the difficulties and
delays in obtaining a diagnosis of dementia. Some of these
points were agreed for follow-up with speakers.
Positive Ageing in London Quarterly Meeting,
There were two key discussions at PAIL’s
summer quarterly meeting. One was around a presentation
from Jo Field of Transport for London on 'Investing in City
Regions' - a campaign TfL is involved in for cities’
devolution to boost homes, jobs and the UK’s productivity.
One of the implications would be for TfL to run more
suburban rail services, which might be good from an
accessibility point of view.
Participants agreed with this view in
principle, while pointing out a number of areas eg. in
North-West and North London where rail services are
currently poor. Better rail travel, and if possible
extending the use of the Freedom Pass, would facilitate
older people’s social and economic contribution. The issue
was also raised of rail fares for low paid care workers.
Participants also discussed the political
context on ageing following the General Election and the
formation of the new Government. Among the discussion
subjects were to what extent pensioner benefits are
guaranteed in future, and how employment support to workers
and jobseekers aged from 50 to State Pension Age will be
impacted by changes.