Disabled people with complex health needs are at increasing risk of being forced into nursing homes by cash-strapped NHS commissioners unwilling to fund packages to support them to live independently in their own homes, campaigners fear.At least two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) – Mid Essex and Enfield – have already introduced rules that refuse to fund home-based packages of support for those eligible for NHS continuing healthcare if the cost is more than 10 per cent above the cost of a place in a nursing home.Disability Rights UK (DR UK) has raised concerns that such moves to impose an artificial cap on home support packages could impact on former users of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), which closed at the end of June.Faced with responsibility for an influx of service-users with high support needs, it is feared that local authorities will argue that many former ILF-users should instead be funded by the NHS.If CCGs then cap the cost of support packages, it could force some ILF-users into nursing homes.NHS continuing healthcare was introduced in 2007, and refers to packages of ongoing care for people with complex health needs that are arranged and funded solely by the NHS.Earlier this month, the board of Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group approved new guidelines that allow new patients to receive NHS continuing healthcare at home only if that support costs a maximum of 10 per cent more than equivalent care in a nursing home.A consultation on the plans saw only 22 per cent of 75 respondents backing one of two options to impose a cap.Responding to the consultation, the user-led Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) warned that such a policy could breach both article eight – the right to a private and family life – of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and article 19 – on living independently – of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).SIA said the policy “strongly implies that the individual will be physically placed in a residential care home against their will”, which would be a “fundamental and material interference with their right to a private life”.It pledged to support members who challenge the policy in the courts.The SIA response added: “In summary, SIA wishes to make it clear that it rejects as unacceptable the proposals to restrict the cost of ‘care at home’ packages, and will support its members in opposing any attempts to coerce the CCG’s spinal cord injured patients into residential care.”When asked if the policy would lead to fewer disabled people with high support needs living independently, a Mid Essex spokesman said: “This policy is intended to ensure that NHS continuing healthcare provision in mid Essex is an equitable process for all residents.”He said Mid Essex had “sought legal advice prior to the consultation taking place to ensure we are meeting our legal obligations”.Asked if the policy could impact on former ILF-users, he said: “The policy applies to all new patients.”Enfield CCG has already introduced a similar policy for people assessed as eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, and will now “only consider the provision of ‘care at home’… where the total cost of providing care is within 10 per cent of the equivalent cost of a placement in an establishment”.Enfield’s policy was introduced in October 2013 and is currently being reviewed.A spokeswoman for Enfield CCG said that so far the policy had not been invoked, as colleagues had managed to “look at each individual’s needs and have worked the package around what is best for them”.But she said the policy could still be invoked in the future, because Enfield CCG was a “financially-challenged organisation”.She said Enfield does not “have any concerns” that its policy could breach the ECHR or the UNCRPD, and believes it is consistent with the government’s framework on NHS continuing healthcare.But Sue Bott (pictured), deputy chief executive of DR UK, said she was “very concerned” that CCGs had begun to introduce such policies.She said: “I think we will be looking to find out as soon as we can how many CCGs have got this policy.“It is a direct threat to disabled people and there is a real worry that people could end up in a nursing home against all the principles of independent living.“It is just not acceptable for people to be institutionalised, which is what it amounts to, in this way against their will.“We will be campaigning and getting our allies to ask questions in parliament and we will be seeking some reassurance from ministers that disabled people are not going to face this threat.”Bott said the new policies posed a threat to former ILF-users, as some local authorities were now referring them to CCGs for NHS continuing healthcare because of their own lack of resources.Linda Burnip, a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said policies such as those in Enfield and Mid Essex were “very regressive” and were “taking disabled people’s rights to independent living backwards, basing it not on independent living but purely and simply on cost”.But she said it was very difficult to know what impact these and other such policies would have on people’s care in the future, until the results of the chancellor’s spending review in the autumn.
The Liberal Democrats have called for disability benefit assessments to be video-recorded, after their annual conference heard fresh evidence that healthcare professionals were writing dishonest assessment reports on behalf of the government.The party’s disabled work and pensions spokesman, Stephen Lloyd, told Disability News Service (DNS) that he was in favour of introducing pilot schemes to test video-recording of face-to-face assessments for personal independence payment (PIP).He was speaking after party members highlighted continuing concerns over dishonest PIP assessments, during a debate on last month’s report by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which found that the UK government’s cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”.A motion overwhelmingly carried by party members noted that evidence of the “inappropriate and dishonest” PIP assessment process showed the system was “target-driven and designed to penalise” disabled people.DNS has now collected more than 250 allegations that healthcare professionals working for the government contractors Capita and Atos have compiled dishonest PIP assessment reports.Maureen Rigg, vice-chair of Stockton Liberal Democrats, told fellow delegates that she had recently supported a friend with a fluctuating health condition – who had previously been claiming disability living allowance – to a face-to-face PIP assessment.Her friend was asked by the nurse carrying out the assessment to stand up, and when she tried to do so “she almost fell into the desk”.Rigg told the conference: “The nurse said, ‘For heaven’s sake, sit down before you hurt yourself.’”Despite this incident, the nurse’s assessment report described her friend as “slightly unsteady on her feet”, and as a result of the report a DWP decision-maker found her ineligible for PIP.Rigg said: “If that is typical of assessments, there is something wrong with the system.“There has to be some sort of assessment, but my goodness, it needs to be a fair one, it needs to be a proper one and it needs to be based on the facts.”DWP’s original decision was confirmed by a mandatory reconsideration – the first stage of the appeal process – and Rigg’s friend is now waiting for her appeal to be heard by a tribunal.Baroness Brinton told the conference in Bournemouth (pictured) that some disabled people had been driven to take their own lives by the discrimination they faced during the benefits assessment process, while some claimants were secretly recording their own face-to-face assessments to protect themselves.She said: “The Department for Work and Pensions process is manifestly failing them.”Caroline Macdonald, a member of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association, from North Edinburgh and Leith Liberal Democrats, said: “We are hounded as scroungers, as cheats.“There is real ignorance and prejudice and a lack of knowledge and understanding about the conditions we live with.”She said the PIP process was “not fit for purpose” and that public money was being wasted on benefit appeals.Lloyd told DNS after the debate that, as a result of the repeated allegations of dishonest PIP assessors, he believed the government should carry out pilot projects to test the video-recording of face-to-face assessments.
COACH Ian Talbot fielded his strongest side for a number of weeks on Friday evening and was rewarded with the type of performance that he always knew was in there as the Saints dominated Hull KR 48-10, writes Graham Henthorne.Rovers were still in the game at the break trailing by just 8 points but a merciless defensive display in the second period saw the Saints nil the opposition and render them toothless in the process.Having said all that, it was the visitors who took the lead in the sixth minute punishing some slack kick defence with a try in the left corner.But the wakeup call bore fruit as the Saints pack led by Shaun Magennis got on top.Scott Hale was the first to break the line but he chose to find Danny Yates on the inside when he probably should have powered over himself.But minutes later a piece of brilliant insight from Dom Speakman 40 metres out saw the hooker pass down the blind side putting Jamie Foster away. He gave it out to Greg Wilde who tiptoed down the line to the full back before giving the return ball to Foster for the score.Foster scored his second as some aggressive defence forced the knock on from the visitors, the centre picking it up to race away to the sticks unopposed.In between Foster’s brace Carl Forster got his first of the night bursting onto a nice ball from the returning Nathan Ashe.Sloppy defence on the half hour gave Rovers’ impressive left centre Chris Heil enough space to outpace the cover to touch down a grubber in the corner.The second half was a different story. On the back of an 80% completion rate the Saints were unstoppable.Joe Greenwood, with a point to prove after being relegated to the bench for the first time season, went on yet another long drive deep into the heart of the visitors. From the play the ball Danny Yates did exactly as Assistant Coach Steve Prescott urged him to do, he ran at the line then dummied his way in for a great score.Magennis got his just rewards for a commanding 80 minute display as he took a neat inside pass rounding the full back to score and the game was over as a contest.Ste Yates announced himself on the game with a big hit on his opposite number then combined with his centre partner Alex Trumper to keep the line intact.Joe Greenwood relieved yet more of his angst with a bone shattering tackle to finally knock the stuffing out of Rovers.The last quarter was all Saints. Dom Speakman was held up over the line after Forster and Swift had been held inches short.But Swift got his revenge as he took another inside pass off Ashe before rounding the full back.Greenwood got a deserved try as he blasted his way through a line that looked genuinely terrified to see him coming before Forster capped off a fine game with his second. Offloads from Magennis and Greenwood had got the Saints close but Speakman’s miss pass direct from the play the ball put Forster through.It’s great what a bit of confidence can do. Ashe and Yates looked menacing every time they had the ball and Jamie Foster seemed to be getting back to his best. All of this can only happen of course if the team have some go forward and this evening they had it in spades as all 10 members of the forwards union played their part in a dominating display.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Adam Swift, Jamie Foster 2, Danny Yates, Shaun Magennis, Carl Forster 2, Joe Greenwood.Goals: Jamie Foster 8.Hull KR:Tries: Chris Heil, Aaron Ollett.Goals: Matthew Beharrell.Half Time: 18-10Full Time: 48-10Teams:Saints:1. Adam Swift; 5. Ste Yates, 4. Alex Trumper, 3. Jamie Foster, 2. Greg Wilde; 6. Nathan Ashe, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Shaun Magennis, 9. Dom Speakman, 10. Carl Forster, 11. Scott Hale, 12. Andrew Dixon, 13. Danny Jones.Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 16. Anthony Walker, 17. Joe Greenwood, 18. Jordan Hand.Hull KR:1. Louis Sheriff; 2. Jacob Blades, 4. Dave Scott, 3. Chris Heil, 5. James Beaumont; 6. Kristian Bell, 7. Matthew Beharrell; 8. Sam Jowsey, 9. Keal Carlile, 10. Lloyd Ofori, 11. Aaron Ollett, 12. Tyla Hepi, 13. Joe Gay.Subs: 14. Jamie Deighton, 15. Luke Hardcastle, 16. Adam Sunman, 17. Callum Taylor.
CONGRATULATIONS to Paul Sculthorpe MBE!He was awarded the accolade by his HRH Prince Charles on Friday for Services to Charity and Rugby League.Everyone at Saints sends their best to ‘Scully’ and we’ll catch up with him shortly to find out about his feelings on the honour.You can leave your tribute here.
In the process they amassed 112 points at an average of 28 per game, whilst conceding a total of 56 points at an impressive 14 per game average, writes Neil Kilshaw.However, there was much more to this trip and I believe on this tour we took the most naïve (that’s putting it kindly) bunch of players.Now I don’t want to name names so instead I’ll list some of the conversations and comments we heard:“If there’s no kangaroos round here what do the lions and tigers eat?” “Why is it called a set of six, when the referee only gives us five tackles?”We had several players waiting patiently in a queue for ‘left handed paddles’, when Tommy Martyn gave them some advice!And my personal favourite was overhearing this:“There is no oxygen in the air.” (Naturally my ears pricked up, and the conversation continues…) “You only get oxygen in an ambulance or at the dentist.” (Then I piped up) “What do you breathe out then?” (Reply was better than I could ever have imagined) “You breathe out photosynthesis.” (Where do you go from there?)On a serious note, performance wise, the 2011 tour really set the marker for future trips. We played against two very good sides in Cronulla and Penrith.In Cronulla we kicked off at 3pm in searing heat and it’s testament to the physical conditioning and personal preparation of the players that we handled the conditions much better than our counterparts.From that trip Adam Swift, Mark Percival, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson became Super League Grand Final winners.Andre Savelio established himself as a Super League regular too whilst Lewis Charnock, Alex Clare, Lewis Foster, Matthew Fozard, Lewis Galbraith, Corey Lee, Dominic Speakman, James Tilley, Jamie Tracey, Greg Wilde and Danny Yates all played at a senior level – and some still do.So whilst it’s difficult to truly say which tour has been the most significant for Rugby League given the merits of all the trips, 2011 will always be up there!”Tourists:1. Brad Ashurst 2. Chris Carr 3. Lewis Charnock 4. Alex Clare 5. Jack Connor 6. Mike Fields 7. Lewis Foster 8. Matthew Fozard 9. Lewis Galbraith 10. Jordan Heaton 11. Adam Hesketh 12. Corey Lee 13. Jack Jones 14. Ben Parry 15. Mark Percival 16. Greg Richards 17. Tom Roughley 18. Andre Savelio 19. Mike Scott 20. Nathan Skupski 21. Dominic Speakman 22. Adam Swift 23. James Tilley 24. Luke Thompson 25. Jamie Tracey 26. Chris Webster 27. Greg Wilde 28. Matthew Wood 29. Daniel YatesResults:St Helens 26 v 6 West Tigers St Helens 36 v 14 Central Coast St Helens 30 v 22 Cronulla Sharks St Helens 20 v 14 Penrith Panthers
Due to a late cancellation, we can offer Main Match sponsorship of this Friday’s game with Leeds Rhinos on a shared basis for just £800 + vat for five guests.You will begin your evening with a tour of the dressing rooms with our Grand Final winner Mike Bennett before enjoying a three-course meal in our 1873 Lounge.Then, you can watch the game from half-way line seats in the South Stand behind the home dugout.This really is an outstanding package – full package details are here.We will acknowledge your support in the Stadium via PA announcements, LED advertising, Teamsheet and Match Programme and you will receive a signed and framed home shirt as a thank you for your support.If you would like to take advantage of this unique offer, then please call us on 01744 455 053 or email email@example.com to book today.
Surfers head out at Wrightsville Beach. (Photo: WWAY) WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Now that the 1924 Bordeaux Cottage has been moved to its permanent location, the Wrightsville Beach Museum is hoping you will be a part of what goes inside.The museum is working on a project that highlights family memories of being at Wrightsville Beach. Whether your family has been living here or visiting for one generation or five, the museum says they would like for you to share your photographs of those times.- Advertisement – The images will be used to create collages and to make “scrapbooks” at the museum or online.You can either email them or scan them at the museum. Originals photos are accepted too if you wish to donate them.The museum says they especially need photos of families sailing, swimming, or playing on the beach. Shots on porches or inside the cottages are also desirable.Related Article: Heading to Wrightsville? Parking could soon cost you more“We would like to have photos from a century ago right up to the present. Fun shots from last summer are just as important as those of your grandparents. We want to show them all together as shared experiences across the generations,” Executive Director Madeline Flagler said.Email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Truscello said she noticed something was wrong when their drop off area was empty.“We started putting two and two together because Sunday is a very big drop off day for people and we were seeing on Monday morning that there was nothing out there and we said oh something is not right here,” Truscello said. “And sure enough when we got the security cameras we can see this person coming and just loading their vehicle.”They recently installed security cameras just because of it.Related Article: Randy Aldridge gives in studio update on his health“We would appreciate them stopping and if they do have a need for something and wanted to come to us we would be happy to help them, but don’t hurt us by stealing from us,” Truscello said.Truscello said they have reached out to the police, but would need the license plate number to do anything about it. She said they do not want to prosecute anyone. They just want who ever is doing it to stop.“If you would just please think about what you’re doing before you do it,” Hampstead Women’s Club Thrift Store Manager Rose Gates said.Truscello said it is a white van that continues to take from their drop off donation area. PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A thrift shop that gives back to the community is now being taken from. The Hampstead Women’s Club’s mission strives to serve its community, but now they have found a thief.“If someone was in need and they came to us and said this is what I need, this is my situation we would be happy to give to them. But to steal from us really hurts us because we do work hard,” Hampstead Women’s Club President Patricia Truscello said.- Advertisement –
“Based on the latest information available from local and state authorities, we anticipate that our campus will be open to faculty and staff for a voluntary return as early as Wednesday, Sept. 26; and that classes will resume on October 1. Residence halls may be open as soon as 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, subject to the status of ongoing repairs,” Sartarelli wrote.Information about damage on campus has been hard to come by. UNCW has sent out several messages, but offered few specifics other than extensive damage to Dobo Hall and issues with the school’s website and e-mail. Last night the university posted 21 photos of damage and work being done on campus.For days all entrances to campus have been blocked off. This afternoon the school is finally opening the campus to news media to get a look at what’s been going on.Related Article: Pender Memorial Hospital reopens after Hurricane FlorenceUNCW has said it would give everyone at least 72 hours notice of campus reopening.“We are providing this tentative timeline as a means to give you as much planning time as possible,” Sartarelli said. “We wish we could provide confirmed dates, but with road conditions changing day by day, it is simply too soon to say. We will send you an update with confirmed dates as soon as we can determine them.”In his message Sartarelli advised against anyone out of town coming back to Wilmington until state and local authorities say it is safe to do so.“If authorities have not announced it is safe to travel back to Wilmington with ample time before our anticipated dates for faculty, staff and students to return, we will send you an amended timeline,” he said. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW has announced classes will likely resume Oct. 1.In a message to the campus community this afternoon, Chancellor Zito Sartarelli announced that the campus could begin reopening to staff Wednesday.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We now know more about the condition of UNCW’s campus after Hurricane Florence, and when things will start getting back to normal.At a round table discussion Monday, UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli said about half of the campus has been cleared of fallen trees and other debris, and all buildings have now been inspected.- Advertisement – Dobo hall is still the most damaged building, and Sartarelli says they are trying to figure out where biology and chemistry classes can be held in the meantime.Staff is still tentatively set to return Wednesday, with classes beginning next Monday October 1, but Sartarelli says that will depend on road conditions.“We are making sure that we are tracking that daily, and so making sure that as students try to come back, they will have options to come back, even though it’s going to take a long time to come back,” said Sartarelli.Related Article: New service dogs celebrated at paws4people graduation ceremonySartarelli says students that live farther away may be allowed to come back to campus later than students who live close.Galloway was the hardest hit residence hall, and crews are working to repair the damage.“That building was like, in the center of this gigantic influx of water coming from everywhere. Coming laterally, horizontally, from the top, from the sides, affects everything. Affects the roof, affects the windows, affects everything,” said Sartarelli.The university is having all personal belongings damaged by moisture professionally cleaned for students.A definite schedule should be sent to students and staff by Tuesday.