20 Nov 2023
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

Rise in people discovered dead and decomposed raises concerns

An exploratory study has raised concerns about the increasing number of people in England and Wales whose bodies are discovered so late they have decomposed. The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, has highlighted potential links between growing isolation and such deaths. The researchers said the increase suggests wider societal breakdowns of both formal and informal social support networks even before the pandemic. Men were more than twice as likely as women to be discovered in a decomposed state.

Draft Illegal Working Penalties Code of Practice published

The Home Office has published a draft code of practice on illegal working penalties, which sets out the prescribed checks employers should conduct to avoid a civil penalty in the event of illegal working. This code will come into effect on 22 January 2024 or, if later, the twenty-first day after the day on which it is made. The main change is to provide for increased penalty levels within the new maximum for civil penalties for employers.  The change was announced in August this year: Tripling of fines for those supporting illegal migrants.

New report on avoiding hospital admissions and improving patient flow

The County Councils Network has published a report into avoiding hospital admissions and how patient flow can be improved  this winter.  The CCN called for a more holistic approach, drawing together acute and community health services with public health and social care, and the prevention and mitigation of conditions that cause pressures in the first place. The report said there should be greater investment in, and use of, home-based care, community and reablement services – as well as reforming NHS ways of working.

Healthwatch survey reveals hospital discharge failings

A survey by Healthwatch England has found 59% of people said the hospital discharge team didn't ask if they needed support in getting transport to the place they were discharged to, and people discharged either before 9 am, or after 6 pm, were significantly less likely to be asked if they needed transport. Over half, 51%, of people weren’t given contact information for further help when leaving hospital and nearly a third, 32%, felt unprepared at discharge. Healthwatch called for updated hospital discharge and community support guidance, with new minimum standards on transport waiting times and post-discharge contact times.

Identifying unpaid carers using local authority and GP records

The Health Foundation’s new long read looks at identifying unpaid carers using local authority and GP records. An analysis of five local system partners across the UK, who have linked their carer assessment and GP data, found that data held by GPs and local authorities identified at most a quarter of unpaid carers compared to the 2021 Census. The report discusses the implications for organisations supporting carers and sets out recommendations for other analysts.

Open Letter from Surrey Care Association on safeguarding homecare and ensuring provider sustainability

Surrey Care Association has issued an open letter to ADASS leads addressing funding and quality oversight, direct payments, market saturation, local authorities’ duty, and historic poor practices. SCA say hours are falling for some providers, with those trading quality for lower rates doing better. The letter aims to (a) raise awareness of poor practice that harms the sector; (b) demand higher standards from all providers who cares for vulnerable people and (c) ask providers to ensure they are not unintentionally falling foul of poor practice.

Health and Disability White Paper Tests and Trials

The DWP has published a written statement on the progress of a number of tests and trials set out in Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper, published in March this year. Among the White Paper initiatives underway, there are six new and innovative ways to deliver the Government’s goals, responding to views Government heard through the Green Paper consultation. More details in the Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements.

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