Last night, Hospital on BBC Two revealed first-hand the pressures that are facing health and social care teams across the country, with an emphasis on the challenges teams are facing managing delays in transfers of care.
Helen Jones, The Director of Adult Social Services for Nottingham City Council, who took part in the programme alongside colleagues from the NHS, Council and other agencies in the city, closed out the programme by saying "If this were a business, you'd be investing in social care. If we can help people live lives in their community, that is cheaper for society...but my fear is, in a year, it will look exactly the same, but a little worse and we'll just think that's the norm. It is so not acceptable."
Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) said:
“Nobody who works in adult social care will have been surprised at the extraordinary dedication that Helen Jones and her team at Nottingham City Council have displayed, not only in finding ways to help health colleagues free up much needed beds, but also for championing social care and doing all they can to provide the very best care they possibly can for vulnerable adults in their communities.
“Helen’s words at the end of the programme ring true. It isn’t acceptable that social care continues to have the shortfalls in funding we’ve seen, and in the run up to the green paper this year, we’ll be campaigning vigorously to make sure those shortfalls are filled. This programme is an incredibly powerful watch, and I’d recommend it to all ADASS members and indeed anyone interested in how social care is provided.”
This powerful documentary demonstrated first-hand the incredibly challenging decisions that frontline health and social care staff face. ADASS has consistently called for the funding shortfalls facing adult social care to be addressed.
Cancer operations at Nottingham University Hospitals are under threat of being cancelled as the trust has run out of beds. As people lie on trolleys waiting to be admitted into A&E, hundreds of mostly elderly patients are stuck in hospital. They are well enough to leave but must wait either for a place in a residential home or for the appropriate care packages to be set up to support them in their own homes.
93-year-old Ray has dementia and will need a package of care to help him once he is back at home. After ten weeks, social services organise a care package, but doubts arise about his ability to cope at home on his own.
89-year-old Jean has been waiting for the package of care that will allow her to go home. Her flat will need to be decluttered before it is deemed safe enough, but Jean's keys are missing, so she is offered a temporary place in a residential home until they are found. However, her social worker is concerned that a residential home is not right for her.
Four-month-old Spencer has never left the Paediatric High Dependency Unit. He was born with underdeveloped lungs and needs help with his breathing. Doctors have said he can go home, but the family's flat is too small to accommodate the equipment and the carers he needs.
Watch the programme at this link on BBC iPlayer (for the next 29 days).