Ray Jones

Care costs: short-changed on Dilnot

Capping long-term care costs at £75,000 betrays the spirit and the letter of the Dilnot proposals. Only a handful of older people stand to gain Read more

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No seasonal cheer for councils

Despite Eric Pickles’ claim that today’s Local Government Settlement was a ‘bargain’, there was little to celebrate for vulnerable communities. Councils need to start telling the truth about what it will mean on the ground  Read more

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Social care: it’s a jungle out there

The big beasts of politics have once again ducked the crucial issues around funding in today’s social care white paper Read more

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Social care inspectors have lost respect

A series of scandals have exposed a lack of understanding of social care in the ranks of both Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission. The watchdogs need to learn from the wisdom of those delivering the service Read more

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Southern Cross wake-up call

The Southern Cross affair shows that it is not sensible to expose to untrammelled market forces crucial and very personal services such as the care of older people.  Read more

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Law review lacks vision, by Ray Jones

The Poor Law may seem a long way away. It was abolished by the 1948 National Assistance Act amidst the deluge of legislation that set up the welfare state. In the 60 years that have passed there has been a continuing trickle of further legislation, statutory regulation and case law. This has kept lawyers in business but has left disabled and older people and those who seek to assist them uncertain and confused. Read more...

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The cuts: communities are the real victims, by Ray Jones

The Coalition against the Cuts march in London at the weekend got hijacked. I am not thinking here about the limited and intermittent damage by a small number of very excited, largely young people who were having a pre-planned adrenalin rush. I am talking about the many on the march like me we were demonstrating not so much against job cuts – but against the culling of crucial services which assist and protect those who are neglected and often marginalised in our communities. Read more...

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What not to cut, by Ray Jones

This is not an easy time for local councillors.  As has happened before, the government is passing to local authorities the pain of deciding where cuts should be made, and closing off the escape route of allowing them the alternative of raising more income through local taxation. It is all the more galling when government ministers trumpet localism, which at this time largely means devolving responsibility without opportunity. Read more...

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Budget for the few, not the many, by Ray Jones

Tough times ahead, but it is going to be toughest for those who rely on crucial public services for their safety and for their quality of life. In many respects this is all of us, but this is most of all a sharp-end issue for families in difficulty, children who need care and protection, and for disabled adults and older people where public services and state funding are crucial to their support and assistance. Read more...

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Care green paper: just fine words? By Ray Jones

As a social services director for 14 years until 2006, I carry the scars and bruises. Some were self-inflicted, because of the personal pain I felt from having to increasingly ration services to disabled and older people. To keep within budget, we had to use waiting lists; rising risk thresholds; frequent reviews of the levels of care people were receiving; and redefined criteria about who were entitled to help. Read more...

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