Category: CT blog


Look East old chap

Posted on May 14th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A certain amount of self-regard is no bad thing, but I can’t say the same about those, usually younger, people who appear to be obsessed with ‘selfies’. Talk about narcissism run riot.

My first camera was a box-Brownie and I could take eleven monochrome exposures before I had to remove the film and send it away for processing – I certainly wasn’t going to waste any of those exposures on a selfie.

I graduated in time to a Nikon 35mm and became absorbed for a while in the then dark art of photography. I even had a darkroom wherein an enlarger glowed in the dull red illumination of the safe light like a bulbous Shinto shrine. Which brings me nicely on to all things Japanese.

Japan has led the way in so many areas: all things electronic including mobile … Read More »


The flowers that bloom in the Spring

Posted on May 8th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

We spent the long weekend just gone mainly in our garden and on our allotment, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and so on, and it got me thinking about the role of plants in our lives.

Years ago, when I was a nurse working on the wards I was bemused (and often irritated) by the number of bunches of flowers that people brought in for their ailing relatives and friends. I don’t know how they manage it now, but in those days, each ward had a ‘flower room’ for the storage of vases and as somewhere to store the dozens of arrangements at night.

Honestly, some patients were surrounded by so much greenery that I felt like Harrison Ford beating my way through an equatorial rainforest just to take the patient’s temperature. I’d almost swear they had hanging baskets … Read More »


Running to stand still

Posted on April 30th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week, in giving evidence to the – wait for it – Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee – Care England’s Professor Martin Green spoke of local authorities and care providers ‘running to stand still’ owing to inadequate resources and the difficulty in recruiting staff.

This put me in mind of a very old chap I regularly see in the town where I live, making his way about with his zimmer frame. His progress is painful to watch; once, while sitting in my car waiting for a friend, I monitored his progress and it took him just under four minutes to cover 40 yards (I paced the distance out later).

I often see him around, in a number of places, so I must assume that wherever it is he wants to … Read More »


A quick task for Monday morning

Posted on April 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on A quick task for Monday morning

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Any measure which will go some way to stemming the tide of promotional pablum which is flooding our computers has to be welcome.

There has been far too much of people playing fast and loose with other people’s personal information and I am pleased that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is soon to go live. But it does mean that I must seek your permission if you would like to receive the CT Blog by email.

So, I ask you to take a moment to email – editor@caringtimes.plus.com – receipt of which will be taken as confirmation that you would like to receive this weekly blog via email (No need to write anything; just put CT Blog in the subject field).

Although it will still be posted on this website, I hope you do elect to receive the blog by … Read More »


Sutherland: remember him?

Posted on April 16th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Half a century ago I had a series of wonderfully happy working holidays in Sutherland, that most beautiful part of north-west Scotland. The name always brings back memories, so when I spotted the obituary of Lord Sutherland of Roundwood who died in late February, even though I didn’t recognise the name, I started reading just for nostalgia.

I soon realised, however, that this sadly missed peer was known to me by his pre-ennoblement title of Sir Stuart Sutherland. Now, does that ring bells? It should do, since 20 years ago Sir Stuart was appointed to head a Royal Commission on the funding of long term care.

The commission met the requirement of the government of the day to report within a year, but neither this almost unprecedented speed for the consideration of such a complicated issue, nor the report’s … Read More »


Postponing the inevitable

Posted on April 9th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

In expressing their pleasure at being allocated an extra £40m in funding, Dementia Research UK makes the startling claim that dementia is now the leading cause of death in the UK.

Well it startled me. On about two-thirds of the death certificates issued for people with dementia who have died, the cause of death is ascribed as pneumonia so what we have here is the conundrum of causality and co-morbidity that commonly confronts doctors. I think that the most that can be said is that dementia is an increasingly common condition contributing to mortality.

But hey, massaged facts and grant funding are the best of bedfellows. The extra £40m is certainly good news for Dementia Research UK, and for all of us; I think everyone is personally disturbed by the thought of developing dementia. Dementia Research UK chief … Read More »


Vive la différence!

Posted on April 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I confess that for much of the two decades of my involvement in the sector I have accepted the received wisdom that health care and social care integration is a goal worthy of pursuit, but I’m beginning to wonder if, rather than being a panacea of holy grail qualities, it may instead be a chimera which would turn and bite us.

The ever-burgeoning fiscal demands of healthcare are likely to perpetuate the relegation of social care to the role of poor relation, despite strong arguments that well-resourced social care could substantially reduce the burden on acute healthcare. I fear the reality is that healthcare demand will always grow to fill and exceed capacity.

And the two are chalk and cheese, with very different skills sets involved. Certainly there are common elements and interdependencies, just as there are with … Read More »


Hope and goodwill can only hold for so long

Posted on March 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger ALAN LONG, Mears Group executive director

I welcomed the news last week that more than one million NHS workers will be receiving pay rises over the next three years. Less welcome, however, is the warning issued by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that the UK government’s plans for local authority funding could leave adult social care inadequately and inconsistently funded.

I have long campaigned for better pay and conditions for people working in the care sector. I want to see greater parity between NHS staff and care workers who are increasingly providing specialist services as more and more elderly and vulnerable people are being cared for in their own homes rather than in nursing homes or hospitals. My fear is that giving the deserving people in the NHS more money, will lead to more people simply leaving care roles, unless they are … Read More »


New liberty rules – a breath of fresh air?

Posted on March 19th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Good news that the Government intends to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a system to be called ‘Liberty Protection Safeguards’ (LiPS).

It’s certainly a better title, focusing attention on the protection aspect rather than on deprivation and we are told the new rules will be less complex. But it’s early days and the proposals are going to be put out for consultation prior to any legislative changes. I am sure the lawyers will apprise us of the implications for social care providers and local authorities but we have to hope that the bureaucratic burden will be somewhat lightened without opening any avenues for potential abuse.

I wonder if there will be any impact on my obsession about open windows; I have always slept with my bedroom window wide open as I enjoy the night air. … Read More »


Now where did I put those spectacles?

Posted on March 12th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week, guest blogger John Burton touched on the management of dentures in care homes and used an extended toothy metaphor in a trenchant criticism of the regulatory regime. I thought I’d borrow the trick.

British bulldog-like, the Government has its teeth locked firmly into negotiations with Brussels and no amount of cudgelling seems likely to make it let go and take its other responsibilities more seriously.

Indentured as it is to the Brexit referendum, the Government may now be patting its pockets in search of its many pairs of spectacles. The foreign secretary has purloined the rose-tinted pair (apart from anything else they look well beneath his golden mop) and the NHS-issue set, meant to improve far-sightedness never seemed to work properly.

Like an aged recipient of social care, this government is becoming presbyopic and is ever more … Read More »



Latest blog posts

Look East old chap

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A certain amount of self-regard is no bad thing, but I can’t say the same about those, usually younger, people...

The flowers that bloom in the Spring

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

We spent the long weekend just gone mainly in our garden and on our allotment, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and...

Running to stand still

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week, in giving evidence to the – wait for it – Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the...