Stark Challenges in Social Care
A report by the Association for the Directors of Adult Social Services reveals the long term problems facing local authorities in delivering care for older residents with 78 per cent of councils expressing concern about their ability to meet the statutory duty to ensure care market stability within their existing budgets.
The survey has also revealed serious concerns about the impact of funding reductions on providers and the care market. Three quarters of councils believe that providers will experience financial difficulties over the next year, with two thirds concerned that those pressures could impact on the quality of care over that period and directly affect thousands of people who need those services.
Increase in Mental Health Demands on GPs
A survey of GPs has revealed rising demand for mental health support in primary care. GPs say that two in five (40 per cent) of their appointments now involve mental health, while two in three GPs (66 per cent) say the proportion of patients needing help with their mental health has increased in the last 12 months.
The research carried out by Mind surveyed more than 1,000 GPs. Commenting on the report, Dr Richard Vautrey, British Medical Association GP committee chair, said: "We not only need greater investment in community-based training to give GPs more opportunity to develop their skills but also a significant increase in mental health therapists directly linked to practices. This would reduce the unacceptable delays many patients currently face getting access to the care they need."
Open Call for Increased NHS Funding
The Nuffield Trust, The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation have published an open call to Government to increase NHS funding and a long term solution to social care funding.
The open letter also calls for reform to allow greater integration of health and social care and a more even distribution of resource around the country.
Patient Engagement in AI
The innovation foundation NESTA has called on the NHS to act urgently to involve patients in digital innovations before it is “too late”. It suggests that Artificial Intelligence is likely to be in common usage in primary care within 5 years and that without public involvement, “AI technology could make NHS harder to access, or squeeze out doctor-patient dialogue”.
The report, Confronting Dr Robot argues that without the active participation of patients, clinicians and the public, AI interventions could alienate more vulnerable people and not fulfil their potential to alleviate capacity issues in the NHS.
Attitudes to Ageing Linked to Health
A new report by the Royal Society for Public Health has found that people with negative attitudes to older people and ageing experience an adverse effect on their own health and wellbeing.
The report found that two thirds of the public have no friends with an age gap of 30 years or more. Of the 18-34 year olds asked, 25% of them believe it is "normal for older people to be unhappy and depressed". 30% of the public believe "being lonely is just something that happens when people get old"
The findings of the report That Age Old Question reveal that ageist views are held across the generations, and that an ageing society is viewed by many as a challenge rather than an opportunity. The report makes a number of recommendations aimed at addressing some of the key drivers and negative consequences of societal ageism.
Circus for Care Homes
The Baring Foundation has published a booklet of guidance for care settings that want to use circus to improve the health and wellbeing of older participants. Written by circus company.
Upswing, the guidance enables care homes and day centres to try out some simple circus games themselves.
Upswing was commissioned by Hull City of Culture 2017, funded by The Baring Foundation, to deliver a multi-sensory circus experience in care homes in the city. This booklet emerged out of that project and is designed for use by care homes and staff even without previous circus training.
Dementia Friendly Rural Communities Guide
The Alzheimer’s Society has published a guide for rural communities to support them in becoming more dementia friendly. It includes extensive resources focused on using museums, arts and culture to support people with dementia.
The guide is designed to help groups with ideas for activities, potential contacts and support networks. Its aim is “[through] developing an understanding of dementia, rural communities can make a huge difference to people living with dementia.”
DCMS Identifies Areas for Research
The Department for Culture has highlighted specific areas where research into the impact of culture is required. These include longitudinal research into the impact of cultural participation on health, research into culture and young people’s mental health and the impact of heritage on health and wellbeing.The Areas of Research Interest report is designed to identify areas that the Department recognises require research to inform effective policy-making. It will be used to encourage researchers and academics to explore those topics that could be of benefit to DCMS and act as a starting point for future collaboration.
Arts Council Corporate Plan
The Arts Council’s new corporate plan includes a number of changes to increase support for socially engaged arts practice and a specific change to the Creative People and Places programme to incorporate arts and health activity. This is accompanied by £17m new investment in the programme.
The corporate plan sets out the organisation’s activity over the next two years. It offers a fresh focus on health saying: “We will develop a coherent and strategic approach to investment, seeking partnerships with major stakeholders in health and criminal justice and the support of specialist cultural organisations working in these sectors to raise quality, broaden delivery and attract new revenue streams.”
WHO physical activity guidance
The World Health Organisation has included dance in its guidance on physical activity. Its new report ‘More Active People for a Healthier World’ cites dance as an important part of implementing “a whole-of-community approach to increase levels of physical activity in people of all ages and abilities”.
The report notes that levels of inactivity are increasing rapidly and in some countries, 70% of the population is now inactive.
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