‘Hospital’ and the Care Home Dilemma

Care Home image

Firstly a reminder for those of you have not been doing this already. Remember that BBC 2 is currently showing a series called Hospital . Worth following but the most relevant programme to older people’s care so far has been Episode 2 which looked at Delayed Discharges. I have been very disappointed that despite Older People being the most significant group requiring care the programmes have not had older people’s concerns at their heart. You have to ask I suppose why not …  but then this is not a new problem see the BBC’s own article on this  TV dramas ‘misrepresent the NHS’ from 2009!

I suppose this is a bit ironic though after posting the above,  because I want to bring to your attention this week is another BBC programme. This time however it is a Radio Scotland programme called: The Care Home Dilemma which will be broadcast on Wednesday 1st February @13.30 and Sunday 5th February @ 06.00 and then will be made available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days thereafter at The Care Home Dilemma  In the programme Prof June Andrews explores the difficult decisions people face when choosing a care home.

In the programme, Professor June Andrews explores the difficult decisions people face when choosing a care home. A decision which can be fraught with emotion. Often people find themselves looking for one when there’s a crisis or when a parent urgently needs round the clock care. If a parent is reluctant to move into a care home, this can place a huge responsibility on their children who feel guilty at having to make a decision on their behalf. Then there’s navigating the system with health and social care system!

Once the programme is broadcast additional online content will include:

  • Handy hints on Choosing a Care Home
  • Care Home Visit Checklist
  • Extended interviews with three people describing their experience of a parent going into a care home
  • BBC Actionline signposting to further information and advice

You can look also look out for tweets during the first broadcast from 13.30 to 14.00  If you would like to tweet, please include the @bbcradioscot handle. They are also planning to create a Facebook nearer the time which you can share.

This should be very useful to a number of this Blogs regular readers.



Ladies Get up and Go!


New research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have faster-ageing cells than those who exercise every day. The study, carried out on 1,500 women aged 64 to 95 found those who spent many hours sitting and exercised for less than 40 minutes a day had cells that were biologically eight years older. More information about the study which was  also reported on by the BBC can be found here

I also caught a really interesting radio programme this week which was part of the BBC Radio 4 series “In Business”. Over the last two weeks the programme has been looking at the NHS. The one I have heard already was looking at the NHS Recruitment Dilemma, what has caused it and what may happen in the future after Brexit. Very interesting but also worrying. The week before they looked at Productivity in the NHS and I will be listening to that at some point this week particularly since it is asking the question can the NHS really do more for less?

You can access both programmes at the BBC In Business page where you can listen to them or download them.

Updated Guidance on Assisted-suicide and “The Hospital”

Following on from last weeks post about the possibility of another assisted suicide court case in England the RCN recently published revised guidance on the need for compassion when dealing with such requests. The guidance explains the law on assisted suicide and looks at the alterations to organisations and support that have occurred since the Liverpool Care Pathway was discredited. You can find it at Updated guidance on Assisted Suicide

This week also saw the release of a  six-part BBC documentary series called the Hospital which looks at six weeks during 2016 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. Billed as the story of the NHS in unprecedented times episode one was shown on Wednesday 11th. of January and is now available to watch on the iPlayer. The BBC page for the whole series is at THE HOSPITAL where there is also the opportunity to take part in an interactive quiz provided by the Open University. Episode 2 is due to be screened on BB2 on Wednesday night.

Welcome, 2017!


It’s only the first week and already we have had two stories in the news in the UK that have huge implications for care of older people. In England, a terminally ill man called Noel Conway, has begun a legal fight for the right to die. This is not the first time that this has happened this though is the first case since campaigners lost their appeal at the Supreme Court in 2014. The Supreme Court made it clear at that time that it was up to Parliament to deal with any decision on amending the law. So in September 2015, MPs rejected plans for a right to die in England and Wales, in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years.

It’s worth noting that Canada, California and Colorado all introduced assisted dying in 2016 and later this year the State government in Victoria, Australia, plans to introduce legislation to allow doctors to help the terminally ill to die. Whatever your thoughts on this topic, this case will raise the issue once again, one hotly debated already in Scotland by in response to the late MP Margo Macdonald’s Assisted Suicide Bill. This was rejected almost overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament  82 votes to 36 following a debate at Holyrood. You can read more about Noel Conway’s case at Shropshire News

The second story involves delayed discharges in Scotland. Following a Freedom of Information request it has been revealed that nearly 700 NHS patients ‘died while waiting to be discharged’ over a 19-month period. These patients had all previously been declared as medically fit to leave hospital. The challenge that this is causing Scotland’s NHS is outlined well in the following article taken from the Herald. See Herald Opinion on Delayed Discharge.

Scotland’s NHS delayed discharge figures are not a secret. They are published regularly by ISD Scotland see


Two stories that I have no doubt that will be re-visited as 2017 proceeds.