Conservative manifesto: Why many will pay more for care

  • 18 May 2017
  • From the section Health
Woman paying for care Image copyright ForMed Films

What the Conservatives have proposed for elderly care in England is complex.

They are changing certain thresholds as well as what can be defined as assets and how long you wait before you have to pay your bill.

But in the end it can be summed up quite easily - they want people to pay more towards the cost of their care, but are prepared to wait until you die before taking it from your estate.

Yes, some elements of their plans sound generous and certainly some people will benefit, but large numbers won't.

Why? Because we are a nation of homeowners and these plans make sure that whatever sort of care you need, the value of your home can be taken into account.


Elderly care is not free

Read full article Conservative manifesto: Why many will pay more for care

Are Britons falling out of love with booze?

  • 3 May 2017
  • From the section Health
Illustration of drinkers

Britain has always been known as a nation that loves a tipple. But the latest Office for National Statistics lifestyle survey suggests this may be coming to an end.

The 2016 poll of nearly 8,000 Britons found just under 60% had had a drink in the past week - the lowest rate since the survey began in 2005.

Read full article Are Britons falling out of love with booze?

NHS confusing public by using 'gobbledygook'

  • 29 March 2017
  • From the section Health
Speech bubbles

Imagine the scene. Up and down the country, local NHS leaders are crowded into meeting rooms discussing information transfers and ambulatory care, when someone jumps up and shouts "I've had enough of sticky toffee puddings".

Confused? You're not the only one. The language being used by the health service is simply gobbledygook, says the Plain English Campaign (PEC).

Read full article NHS confusing public by using 'gobbledygook'

Will the Budget help ailing grandparents?

  • 8 March 2017
  • From the section Health
Man on his own Image copyright ForMed Films

The chancellor has announced a £2bn rescue package for the social care sector in England.

Philip Hammond says the extra money - to be phased in over three years - will help support a system that is "clearly under pressure".

Read full article Will the Budget help ailing grandparents?

10 charts that show what’s gone wrong with social care

  • 24 February 2017
  • From the section Health
Elderly people, in a care home, play a board game Image copyright iStock

Ministers in England have said they are looking for a solution to the problems in social care. That has raised hope that next month's Budget could include measures to tackle what many describe as the crisis facing the sector.

But what exactly has gone wrong? And who's affected?

Read full article 10 charts that show what’s gone wrong with social care

10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble

  • 8 February 2017
  • From the section Health
Hospital Image copyright PA

The NHS faces unrelenting pressure despite funding rising. Why?

The sheer scale of the NHS can take the breath away. Every 24 hours it sees one million patients, and with 1.7 million staff it's the fifth biggest employer in the world.

Read full article 10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble

Why the NHS is performing miracles

  • 18 January 2017
  • From the section Health
Hand and light Image copyright iStock

It has been a remarkable few weeks for the health service hasn't it? The worst waiting times in A&E for over a decade. Patients left for hours on trolleys. Vital cancer operations being cancelled. Hospitals across the country declaring major alerts. A humanitarian crisis in the making, says the Red Cross.

But amid all this what we haven't heard is just how well the health service is coping. Given what it is facing, the NHS and, in particular, hospitals are performing miracles.

Read full article Why the NHS is performing miracles

Is the NHS going to break in 2017?

  • 29 December 2016
  • From the section Health
Glass shattering Image copyright Thinkstock

The past few months - if not the whole year - have seen a constant stream of warnings about impending Armageddon in the health service.

We have heard how the system has reached various levels of crisis from "tipping point" and "breaking point" to "on the brink of collapse".

Read full article Is the NHS going to break in 2017?

Why council tax hike for care raises peanuts

  • 13 December 2016
  • From the section Health
Peanuts Image copyright gerenme

Over the years there have been some pretty radical suggestions to solve the care crisis. A cap on care costs, a "death tax" and even a full merger of the free-at-the-point-of-need NHS and means-tested social care systems have all been mooted.

But it appears the government in England is now looking at something much less reforming - giving town halls permission to increase council tax by more than they are currently allowed to.

Read full article Why council tax hike for care raises peanuts

How scrapping targets could help ambulances

  • 30 November 2016
  • From the section Health
Ambulance on journey Image copyright iStock

The ambulance service in the UK receives about 30,000 calls a day. Or, to put it another way, by the time you've finishing reading this article 30 people will have rung 999 pleading for help.

The challenge for the hard-pressed control centre staff is working out which cases are genuinely life threatening - and which are not - so they can prioritise where to send crews.

Read full article How scrapping targets could help ambulances