March 12, 2009 -- Able Newsflash No.159

Care News

For the last couple of years there has been an opinion that the star ratings awarded by CSCI to care providers have been flawed. Differing areas judging on different aspects and from differing directions. To date there has been very little weight given to care providers who have challenged their rating. This may now begin to change as Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire County Councils are seeking High Court permission for a judicial review on CSCI star rating, which they see as being "seriously flawed".
(Source: Ind. Healthcare Media Ltd)

The Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS) is running a survey to find out what claiming Employment and Support Allowance is like for people with Parkinson's. The aim of the survey is to find out how this new benefit is working.

If you wish to make your views heard contact: Dave Clark, Social Policy and Campaigns Officer, on 020 7963 9307 or email: before 30th March 2009.

The PDS will use evidence from the survey to lobby MPs for improvements to the benefit during the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill.

In-House News

A prospective client was visited in Norfolk.

Risk assessments and MH training has taken place in Essex.

A client care review has taken place in Sussex and spot checks have taken place in Suffolk and South London.

The March/April edition of The Gazette has just been published. You can view it on our website at:
or email to for a free copy to be posted to you.

Interesting Information / Statistics

The WRVS is one of the UK's largest voluntary groups with approx. 55,000 volunteers (male volunteers are 15%) and 2,500 employees.

WRVS volunteers provide meals, transport, support, companionship, social interaction and a home library service covering books, videos, DVD's, CD's and audio tapes to older people on a regular basis. The WRVS have 67 home library services across England, Scotland and Wales. Part of the volunteers training is to note any worrying changes in an older persons situation and report back, an important monitoring service especially for people who are relatively isolated.

Contact for any branch of the WRVS is in the local phone book.

According to the Resolution Fioundation, the two councils with the lowest number of care beds per 1,000 of the over 65 population are Westminster, 12.1 beds per 1000 and Kensington and Chelsea, 16.4 beds per 1000.

Question of the Week
"Please can you explain the Voucher system for obtaining a wheelchair?"

Answer The Voucher Scheme is designed to offer increased choice of wheelchairs that are available to a person. However, the Scheme is not necessarily operated nationwide.

If a person is assessed as requiring a wheelchair there may be three options.

There is the Standard option which is a wheelchair that will be supplied, repaired and maintained free of charge.

There is the Partnership option where you are able to choose an alternative to the type of wheelchair you are assessed as needing. This lets you buy a wheelchair of a higher standard than that which the NHS Wheelchair Service supplies. The Voucher reflects the value of the wheelchair originally recommended and the difference in cost then has to be paid. The wheelchair will be repaired and maintained free of charge. However, you have to obtain the wheelchair from an "approved supplier" who has to meet certain standards including quality of service.

The third option is the Independent Option but you own the wheelchair and are responsible for its repair and maintenance. The Voucher on this option will include an amount towards the anticipated costs of the repair and maintenance.

The Voucher Scheme is a five year scheme and unless a person's needs change there is no entitlement to a new wheelchair until the five year period has expired.

The Voucher is non taxable.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.