Dignity Action Day tomorrow (Sunday)

City of York Council is reinforcing the importance of treating customers receiving care and support services with dignity by supporting Dignity Action Day (Sunday 1 February).

Dignity Action Day is the brainchild of The Dignity in Care campaign, which aims to put dignity and respect at the heart of UK care services.National Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.

Dame Joan Bakewell, Dignity in Care Ambassador said: “Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn’t do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit.”

The ‘Ten Point Dignity Challenges’ are:
1.Have a zero tolerance of all forms of abuse.
2.Support people with the same respect you would want for yourself or a member of your family.
3.Treat each person as an individual by offering a personalised service.
4.Enable people to maintain the maximum possible level of independence, choice and control .
5.Listen and support people to express their needs and wants.
6.Respect people’s right to privacy.
7.Ensure people feel able to complain without fear of retribution.
8.Engage with family members and carers as care partners.
9.Assist people to maintain confidence and positive self-esteem.
10.Act to alleviate people’s loneliness and isolation.

Customers’ social care views to shape local priorities

Adults receiving care and support from City of York Council will be asked for their views and experiences of the services as part of a nationwide survey in January and February.

The Adults’ Social Care Survey, which will be sent out by every council in England and Wales, will be used by the authority to understand the experiences of people receiving its care and support services.

The survey will focus on customers’ quality of life, how well informed they are about services, their health and well-being and their levels of safety and security.

The questionnaire will go out to a total of 1,350 customers, and will include adults living in residential/nursing care, people with learning disabilities living in the community or supported residences as well as those receiving services in their own home.

The survey is due to be sent out to a cross section of customers over the next week. Accessible versions are available for customers who need them.

The findings from previous surveys and the opportunity to post general comments on the priorities for Adults’ Social Care are available on the council’s website at www.york.gov.uk/localaccount

The survey is just one of a number of ways that customers can give their views on the care and support they have received from City of York. Other options include feeding back directly to service providers, using the CQC ‘Share your experience’ link on the council’s Adult Social Care webpage(www.yor.gov.uk), or through Healthwatch York’s new feedback centre (www.healthwatchyork.co.uk).

Move to improve welcome at York’s elderly care homes

Over 300 staff from City of York Council’s Older People’s Homes will be carrying out a special training course which will put them in the shoes of a new resident moving in to their care home this month.

The council’s seven Older Person’s Homes are very popular with residents and their families, not least because of the high level of care provided by staff.

It’s hoped that the additional training session will further improve the experience for residents –  and their families – when they enter residential care.

Social care direct payments changes in York

City of York Council’s Cabinet will consider plans for how customers paying for adult social care will be charged under the new Care Act 2014 legislation at a meeting later this month (16 December).Social care

The Care Act is the biggest change to how social care is delivered for over 60 years, and will lead to significant changes for the council, partner organisations and providers (including the voluntary sector), service users and carers. The changes will be implemented in two phases – April 2015 and April 2016.

The Care Act brings together best practice around personalisation and makes people’s rights to direct payments and a personal budget statutory, provisions that are already available in most local authorities, including York.

Some important changes in Phase 1 of the Act include;

  • · A national minimum eligibility criteria for service users and carers.
  • · The right to an assessment, support plan and personal budget regardless of personal financial circumstances.
  • · Carers are placed on an equal footing with those for whom they care for and can access an assessment against the eligibility criteria to identify what needs the person may have and what outcomes they are looking to achieve. The purpose of the assessment will support the determination of whether needs are eligible for care and support from the local authority.

Important changes in Phase 2 from April 2016 include-

York celebrates Carers Rights Day (Friday 28 November)

City of York Council is teaming up with partners across the city to celebrate the invaluable work of carers this week as part of national Carers Rights Day (Friday 28 November).


Carers Rights Day aims to support carers by ensuring they have the information and advice they need to claim benefits, access practical support and find out how technology can help make their lives a little easier.

This year’s theme is ‘Looking after someone? Know your rights’. It focuses on making carers aware of their rights; letting them know where to get help and support, and raising awareness of carers’ needs.

Castlegate closure – York Council backs down

Labour admits “Could have done better, should have gone further with consultation”.

The future of the Castlegate youth advisory centre has been the subject of further debate today.

A few days ago details of the number of young people using the centre over the last few years was published by the Council, together with the reason for their visit.

Customer numbers Castlegate

  • Around 20 people a day use the centre.
  • Over half the visits each year were connected with job searches.
  • The majority of the users are aged between 16 and 19.

After an unnecessary game of pass the parcel the Labour Cabinet have tonight caved in and agreed to reprieve the youth advice service in York.

A working group is being set up to consider options for the continuation of youth advice and help services. It will first consult widely

The Council is expecting to receive proposals in early January. They will be discussed at a YorOk Board on 12th January.

The responsible Cabinet member admitted

We need to make West Offices a better experience for visitors

£2 million cost to allow elderly/disabled to live in their own homes

main_Home_Adaptations_1309352092The York Council spent over £800,000 last year in providing accessible shower facilities for their disabled occupants. Most of this was spent on adaptations to private houses (£564,000) with Council properties making up the balance (£249,000)

In total over £2 million was spent making it easier for elderly and disabled people to continue to live at home.

The figures were provided by the Council in response to a Freedom of Information request

NB. Internal appeals against the York Councils internal refusal to release information under FOI legislation have been upheld on 44 occasions in the 12 months up to the end of September. The decisions are in addition to thise referred to the Office of the Information Commissioner

“Crisis” in recruiting social care staff in York

A report to a Council committee taking place next week reveals that

“Providers are facing a “crisis” in terms of recruiting suitable carers across home care, residential and nursing care services”.Social care

The Council says it is looking at ways of retaining staff and supporting additional recruitment.

Most York Council funded care services are now undertaken by private contractors. With wages by far the highest cost of providing personal care for the elderly and disabled there is a growing suspicion that increased staff costs will be passed on to Council taxpayers, when contracts are re-tendered.

The report also reveals that new standards and process have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission. (CQC)

All services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and, as the regulator, it carries out regular inspection visits and follow-up visits (announced/unannounced) where applicable.

The frequency of CQC inspections will be dependant on the provider’s rating and on intelligence received in between scheduled inspections.

All reports are within the public domain and CQC have a range of enforcement options open to them should Quality and Standards fall below required expectations.

  • Of the 43 residential care homes in York, 6 currently have compliance actions listed against them.
  • Of 35 Home care providers in York, 2 currently have compliance and enforcement issues against them

The Councils states that when last surveyed 89% of their care customers were satisfied with the services that they were receiving.

Castlegate youth services reprieved

The York Council has agreed to review its decision to close the young peoples advice services provided from 29 Castlegate.

Castlegate centreThe decision to move services to “West Offices” was heavily criticised by opposition Councillors at a meeting yesterday.

Dringhouses Councillor Ann Reid was amongst those who spoke up for the centre

The decision is the second major rethink on policy – following the decision to reject Labours Local Plan – which has resulted from Labour losing control of the Council.

Labour Council fails “value for money” audit

External auditors have offered only a “qualified” judgement on Labour run York Council’s 2013/14 accounts due to failings in adult social care.

Lowfields care village - 3 years behind schedule

Lowfields care village – 3 years behind schedule

At last night’s meeting of the council’s Audit & Governance Committee it was confirmed that auditors Mazars would only offer a “qualified” judgement on the council’s accounts, specifically their ‘Value for Money’ assessment.

A report presented to the committee said there were “weaknesses in budgetary control and financial management in Adult Social Care services….a lack of understanding and ownership of budgets….and performance information was limited”.

It said “during 2013/14 the service did not demonstrate an ability to address the issues that it faced” and financial arrangements in place were “not strong enough”.

The final announcement comes in the wake of serious delays in a number of social care projects.

Key amongst these are plans to construct a state of the art centre on the Lowfields school site which would have made the service more efficient.

The project is 3 years behind scheduled and Labour Councillors have refused to reveal why, although no formal contract for the facility has yet been advertised for tender.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and a member of the Audit & Governance Committee, commented: