Carers Trust East Midlands

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Carers Trust East Midlands's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Carers Trust East Midlands is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Christine Alexander, CEO
The systematic devaluing of the workforce
means that services we provide at home for
adults with disabilities are at risk
Carers Trust East Midlands provides care to people who
need support. Over the past few years, CEO Christine
Alexander has seen the commissioning landscape and
political priorities change, alongside the emerging impact of
Britain’s ageing population. She believes that the current system of
care provision and support will inevitably attract enhanced focus
from all parts of society, thus demanding additional government
investment and major reform. CTEM intends to be at the forefront
of this change within a specialist and splintered charity sector.
There is currently a care crisis in the UK. This is fact – and all evidence indicates that
it’s getting worse. The King’s Fund, Age UK and many media outlets comment
regularly on the ageing British population and increasing needs of our elderly. They
contrast this burgeoning demand with the significant reduction in provision of
funding to meet these needs. There’s a critical gap between these two points – and,
as a result, our ability to provide basic adequate care to the elderly is now at risk.
Meeting demand
There is a solution to these issues, and our organisation is part of that solution.
Firstly, there is an urgent need to bring together smaller charities who specialise in
this sector to create capacity, economies of scale and financial stability. This will be
essential if we are to ensure that funding provided has maximum impact and there
is continuity of regular service provision in the longer term.
Secondly, the needs of those who require care and provide unpaid caring services
are increasing, and there is not an adequate supply of the resources necessary to
provide support for them.
»CEO: Christine Alexander
»Established in 1994
»Based in the East Midlands,
but operates across the
Midlands, South of England
and Yorkshire
»Services: Hospital prevention
and discharge services, home
care services, support for
carers and group support
»No. of employees: Over 500
»Turnover: £10 million
»Largest partner in Carers Trust
UK network
»Has successfully merged 15
similar organisations in 11
Carers Trust East
Highlighting best practice
Negative media coverage over recent
years has led to a public perception that
health and social care services in the UK
are poor. Our country’s approach to the
care of those with illnesses and disability
has deteriorated not just in terms of
practical care; there is also a seeming
lack of compassion and empathy. The
problem of isolation is increasing as
communities become less collaborative
and less prepared to support the weaker
members of our society. This leads to
society relying much more on institutional
provision of services, which has
become the focus of media attention.
There is undeniable evidence of poor
care, but what is not discussed is
the lack of balance between needs
and the funding required to meet
them. Alongside this, we are seeing a
systematic devaluing of the social care
workforce: many are leaving the sector
thanks to increasing regulation, low
pay, an onerous workload and some
high-profile examples of unethical
employment practices.
The answer lies in rebuilding
public trust and working together
In spite of this picture, I believe that
there are an increasing number of
people who simply find the current
situation unacceptable. They are
determined to work together to bring
the requirements of people with
needs and the provision of decent,
cost-effective caring services back into
equilibrium. I see it in my workforce,
and I see it in the thousands of families
we support. I know there are many
organisations in this country who feel
as we do, and although the public may
have lost trust in our sector, we are
determined to work hard to rebuild it.
I know that it is possible to stretch our
resources and make them go further.
I know that we can provide care and
support with compassion and dignity.
I know that we can highlight these
issues and continue to create these
solutions for the benefit of our society.
We will collaborate with our colleagues
in health and social care to provide
services that combine innovation,
technological development and
modern delivery methods to optimise
resources, all the while improving the
experience for those in need of care
and their families.
Integrated care
We are determined to provide a
system of integrated, focused and
proportionate care for those who need
it, young or old, as they live through the
challenges of needing help from others.
Our Hospital Discharge Services provide
both cost-effective solutions for cash-
strapped commissioners and superb,
personalised and compassionate care
for patients. They were developed in
partnership with health, social care
and local acute trusts. Theyreduce the
demands and pressures on acute care
by providing a sustainable, community-
based alternative. Alongside driving
efficiencies, our aim with these
services is to provide higher-level
care packages only where necessary,
prevent readmission to hospital and
encourage the individual to remain in
their community.
Our model is based on rapid response
to a care issue. All patients have
Compassion, dignity and
building trust are the
cornerstones of care for
children with disabilities
Above all, we
want to be
known as an
that is built on
the principles
of trust
a worker face to face with them
within two hours of referral. This has
proven effective in bridging the six
to eight-day referral gap between
hospital discharge, initial contact and
commencement of both planning and
a support package.
Our rapid response staff provide a
prompt assessment of the patient’s
discharge support needs. They
operate with case autonomy and
ownership, and their approach focuses
on thedynamic co-ordination of
critical resources. This enables them
to achieve a sustainable discharge,
interim support and a co-ordinated
handover to restore the individual to
the community. This has served to
professionalise the role of frontline
care staff, providing fixed shift patterns
and full-time salaries.
The performance results include:
»Demonstrable cost avoidance:
for each £1 invested, we achieve
£2.50 cost avoidance
»Reduced social care delays in
discharges from hospital:
100 per cent two-hour response
time achieved
»Reduction in the number of
commissioned home care packages:
40 per cent of cases have resulted
in reduction in commissioned
home care packages
The next step
We are embarking on a journey of
organisational transformation and
change to push back against the
trend of worsening, poor-quality and
inadequately funded provision of care
services. We have ambitious growth
plans to extend the reach, quality and
scope of our existing service offering.
We are working with consultants such as
Aleron, a consulting firm that supports
public and private organisations, to
ensure we have a sustainable impact.
We have also engaged with the
Trusted Executive Foundation, founded
by author John Blakey, and they are
supporting our organisation through
a leadership development programme
that offers a “journey of trust”.
Above all, we want to be known as
an organisation that is built on the
principles of trust. The work we do
with the support of these external
consultants will create an organisation
that is not only innovative in its
approach to providing care, but one
that recognises trust as the cornerstone
of future growth and improvement.
Internal operational excellence, deep
commitment and an uncompromisingly
positive culture have the potential to
transform the quality and depth of
service that those members of our
society need.
In the last five
years there has
been a £160
million cut in
total public
spending on
older people’s
social care
despite a rapidly
because of our
Age UK care crisis report
»By 2039, more than one in 12 of the UK population is projected to
be aged 80 or over
»In the UK, 4.27 million people juggle work and care
»Many of these are between the ages of 50 and 64 – at the peak of
their careers with skills and experience
»In 2008, the dependency ratio was 4:1. By 2018 it had fallen to 3:1
– a record high old-age dependency ratio in the EU
»By 2050, 34 per cent of the population in Europe is projected to be
aged over 60 and it will be the oldest continent in the world
Innovative approaches are necessary
when providing services for young
adult carers like Ben

This article was sponsored by Carers Trust East Midlands. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister