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VODG Blog:

7 Apr 2014
John McDonald, executive director, Real Life Options

What role does assistive technology – any technology that supports people - play in person-centred care? For Leonie, a 30-year-old mother-of-one who we provide with 12 hours of weekly support, it means safety, choice and control for her and her young son.

0 comments
31 Mar 2014
Ruth Marvel, director of foresight and innovation, Scope

It is 7am on a Monday morning in 2020 and Linda, aged 85, has just woken up. She is quite frail and her short term memory is not as reliable as it was. It’s reassuring then, that her biometric wristband wishes her a “Good Morning”, confirms she is in good health and reminds her take her diabetes medication.

3 comments
14 Mar 2014
Paul Snell, chief executive, Walsingham

The pending Care Bill has been the subject of considerable debate in the social care sector as of late – and for good reason. Such a mammoth undertaking doesn’t come without its share of issues.

0 comments
6 Mar 2014
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

People with learning disabilities not only have worse health than the general population; they die younger than their non-learning disabled peers.

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26 Feb 2014
Clare Emmins and Samantha Wilkinson

Choice and control is the aim of all progressive social care organisations, but in practice, there are barriers to achieving this.

0 comments
11 Feb 2014
John Tizard

Parliament has passed the lobbying bill or, as many in the voluntary and community and trade union sector refer to it, ‘the gagging bill’, having mounted a long campaign to have it either significantly amended, withdrawn or defeated.

0 comments
4 Feb 2014
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

Celia had, over the years, become confined to her bed and wheelchair. Her severe learning disabilities, progressive neurological disorder myoclonic ataxia, epilepsy and dyspraxia affected her behaviour, and she began self-harming and being aggressive.

0 comments
19 Dec 2013
John Adams, VODG general secretary

2013 began much as it ended; with a focus on improving quality and safeguarding in social care in the wake of Winterbourne View. In January, most of us were still reading the government’s final report into the care scandal, and in December came the welcome news that former VODG chairman Bill Mumford is the new head of the joint improvement programme.

3 comments
9 Dec 2013
Bill Mumford

Many people still don’t know that the role of NICE has been extended to include social care. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 broadened the organisation’s statutory remit to develop and provide guidance and quality standards for care and accordingly its new title is: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

0 comments
27 Nov 2013
John Adams, VODG general secretary

Joe*, who has Autism and a severe learning disability, was restrained up to 15 times a day by a team of four staff. He had a poor diet, often eating 15 packets of crisps a day, and was a risk to both himself and his family. His support package cost £248,000 a year, including 3:1 support in the community and 2:1 at home.

0 comments
26 Nov 2013
Helen Baker, chair of the board at Dimensions

Are political parties trustworthy? Why do we send our army to other countries? Should the police have more training in supporting people with a learning disability or autism?

0 comments
20 Nov 2013
Tim Cooper, chief executive, Advance

Xenia Kyriacou was recently asked to leave a restaurant after showing challenging behaviour and overturning a table in frustration. The 'outburst' was a reflection of Xenia’s complex needs and the fact she was overwhelmed.

0 comments
28 Oct 2013
Ges Roulstone, chief executive, Linkage Community Trust

Gemma's* story, which we describe in a new Linkage Community Trust report published today, illustrates the human cost of “ordinary residence” disputes – the all-too-common social care funding disagreements between local authorities (see below, What is ‘ordinary residence’).

0 comments
23 Oct 2013
John Adams, General Secretary VODG

The cautionary warning by David Norgrove, head of the Low Pay Commission in Wednesday’s Guardian article “Council funding cuts force care firms to pay less than the minimum wage;” clearly illustrates the unacceptable reality of increasing numbers of councils failing to cover the actual costs of care, and the impact this has on care workers’ earnings, service quality and vulnerable peoples’ wellbeing.

0 comments
17 Oct 2013
Bill Mumford

What a privilege it has been to chair an organisation that makes a distinct and unique contribution to the social care sector. The VODG has never been just another trade association- it is so much more.

0 comments
6 Sep 2013
John Adams, VODG general secretary

The Department of Health’s final report into the Winterbourne scandal, rightly noted that although 11 former members of staff had been sentenced in connection with the abuse of patients, there were “weaknesses in the system of accountability”. Leaders, concluded the review, were “not fully held to account for poor quality or for creating a culture where neglect and even abuse can happen”.

0 comments
30 Aug 2013
John Tizard

It is clear to me that charities and other campaign organisations will be muzzled by the current draft of the Government's 'Transparency of Lobbying, non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill'.

0 comments
28 Aug 2013
Jon Minall, operations director, Brandon Trust

If you have a problem with your health, you go to your GP. If you need help with social care, you look to your local authority. If you need housing, your first port of call probably won’t be the NHS.

0 comments
14 Aug 2013
Preth Rao, head of policy and campaigns, Sue Ryder

In a civilised society and 65 years since the establishment of the NHS, it’s totally unacceptable that some individuals and their families are not properly supported at the most life-changing and emotionally challenging time. Your diagnosis, where you live, or who your doctor is shouldn’t pre-determine whether or not you have a good death.

2 comments
11 Jul 2013
David Martin, director of strategy and marketing, Papworth Trust

Independence can mean having a spare room to store your hoist, so you can still get around the rest of your home. It can mean having somewhere for your relative to stay and look after you when you have a bad week. And it can be a space for your partner, who is also your full time carer, to get some rest so that they are able to look after you the next day.

0 comments
10 Jul 2013
Bill Mumford, VODG chairman, MacIntyre managing director

Meet Charlie: Charlie, a middle aged man who until recently had a career in the leisure industry, is a care worker in a home for adults with profound disabilities.

0 comments
27 Jun 2013
Jonathan Senker, chief executive, VoiceAbility

The Care Bill has the potential to improve our country and the lives of millions of people by breaking the link between using social care - or being a carer - with vulnerability and powerlessness. The Bill places wellbeing and participation in our own care and support at the heart of its approach and begins to address the potentially catastrophic cost of care.

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