‘Care’ Homes: What is Care?

July, 4, 2021 | 12 Comments

Comments

  1. I.ve already written to umpteen ‘care home’ managers flagging up the over medication issue inviting them to contact me initially if they wish so I can forward enquiries and giving DH contact e mail. -with some info carefully edited from the blogs What they want is ‘stories’ to add to their campaigns but it seems others with expertise can be seen as a challenge to their own org. not as collaborators. It includes this group which has done a lot to highlight the issues -but no response. I just flag this up as a dead end attempt which mirrors trying to get a response from other orgs such as Social Services and Elderly People and Childrens Commissioners . From just personal experience The worst thing about reporting a ‘concern’ about the care of friends or something seen in a ‘home’ is fear of repercussions on them. It could be someone knows a better way of getting a response from any of them…

    I tried this group several times as they were in the news a lot and seemed to be doing good work -no response
    Click here to download the report
    CCFTV included in submission to the Law Commission
    Care Campaign for the Vulnerable has been included in a submission to the Law Commission on abuse of our elderly to be made ‘hate crimes’. Click the button below to view the submission…

    Click here to view the Law Commission submission
    The CCFTV Organisation
    Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV) CCFTV – TOGETHER, WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE (‘Together’? Orgs don’t seem to want to collaborate with others though) They don’t ultimately want to risk it might rock their boat

    Care Campaign for the Vulnerable was one of the first organisations to call for a public inquiry way back in April 2020 and so we are now pleased to see a commitment from the Government to hold a public inquiry on the handling of care homes during the Covid 19 pandemic. If you would like to talk to us in confidence about your experience in a care home during the Covid pandemic, please contact us in strict confidence at ccftv.cares@gmail.com

  2. Golden Twilight –

    During one of our Canada to Scotland telephone calls, my daughter remarked “thank goodness, Grandma, wasn’t around to go through all this”.

    Interesting turn of phrase ‘go through’

    Suddenly I had to make real decisions, with far-reaching consequences on behalf of my mother, the brave and fearless women who through her decisive actions had saved me from Seroxat incurring the wrath of doctors along the way – I had no idea my dear, kind, well-mannered mother had it in her to draw on all her instincts to save her remaining offspring…

    To keep her self in her lovely home she organised for home-help through an expensive agency. This agency subsequently folded-up despite being one of the leading companies in the field.

    Matters came to a head when she had a bad fall. Coincidentally, this was the day I had arranged for an extremely nice senior nurse from a local country-house residential care home to visit her to talk about her future and may be even take her for a visit. When ‘Rose’ arrived, there was an ambulance, a doctor and a carer and mum was on the floor with her glasses on upside-down. Mum was whisked off to hospital and I flew down immediately, Rose having called me.

    Two weeks later, mum was a resident.

    Mum had quite substantial savings which paid for her new home. After a couple of years, there was no choice but to sell-up her home.

    I had no idea that her care home was part of a syndicate of several nursing homes.
    The Manageress, tall, slim, attractive, held regular meetings with suited-men who arrived quite regularly for meetings. Not once, in four years, did the Manageress speak to me.

    The home seemed relatively faultless. The staff were great, well-organised, there were activities every day and trips to the seaside for fish and chips and ice-creams. Whenever I visited, we loaded the wheelchair in to the hired-car and off we would go, all over Kent.

    This post about Care hit a raw nerve with me.
    My dear, lovely mum, was over-medicated with morphine, fentanyl patches, gabapentin and doctors talked about other medications. I tried extremely hard to to stop this with doctors who rushed in and rushed out but to no avail, mum died in front of me ‘drug-wrecked’ all the life sucked out of her, a skeletal husk of doctors and their medication-abuse.

    What should have been mum’s 100th birthday, on Christmas day 2020, was that what appeared to be a working care system costing a fortune failed her.

    Mum had absolutely nothing wrong with her, fit-as-a-fiddle, always well-dressed, lipstick at the ready, we always had a good-time. It had happened again – there was nothing wrong with me when Seroxat was stridently claimed to be effective.

    Go-through the Doctor-dominated Matrix or Drive-through the Care-dominated Scheme of Things –

  3. Since Covid ‘care homes’ are no longer such a lucrative business where people have been/are used as commodities and housed sometimes in ‘residences’ as big as warehouses. They are being sold off. ie Peoples’ ‘homes’ are being sold under them and many being told to leave.I would rather see this gross business abolished altogether and taken back into social services if they could sort themselves out and provide a national service of a choice of types of accomodation as individuals desire
    S.S had real failings but they neednt be repeated.

    carehome.co.uk
    Care Homes For Sale in Wales & Nursing Homes For Sale in Wales
    Nursing Home – Rhondda Cynon Taff
    £475,000 (Freehold)
    Rhondda, Cynon, Taff (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Delightful detached Nursing Home (Registered for 16 residents), peaceful yet accessible desirable setting, South Wales – Fee income £745,319 per annum (y/e 31.03.21) generating an EBITDA of £61,113, operated with experienced

    6 hours ago

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    FORMER JUNIOR SCHOOL (CLASS D1 PP) ON SITE AROUND 0.75 ACRES, SUBJECT TO SURVEY
    £375,000 (Freehold)
    Aberdare, Rhondda, Cynon, Taff (Other For Sale)
    Former Junior School on a site of around 0.75 acres/0.30 hectares (subject to survey) in a village location approximately 4 miles from the town of Aberdare and currently with D1 planning permission. Possible

    23 May 2021

    Bishops
    Residential Care Home – Conwy
    £995,000 (Freehold)
    Conwy (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Exquisite Detached Residential Care Home for the Elderly (Registered for 16 residents), desirable and accessible location, North Wales – Turnover £469,111 per annum (y/e 30.06.20), impressive EBITDA of £227,737, 14 single & 1 twin

    28 Apr 2021

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Residential Care Home – Denbighshire
    Offers Over £2,000,000 (Freehold)
    Denbighshire (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Impressive Detached Residential Care Home (Registered for 32 residents), convenient and accessible location, North Wales – Turnover £901,655 per annum (y/e 31.10.19), impressive EBITDA of £280,545, 30 bedrooms (17 with en-suite

    27 Apr 2021

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Project Liberty – Ref 44531
    1600000 (Freehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Project Liberty represents the opportunity to acquire a well-established and profitable freehold nursing home in South Wales. The home has enjoyed significant investment over the years and originally two semi-detached properties

    15 Apr 2021

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    PURPOSE BUILT NH – Reg 34 (Ref: 4704)
    £1,995,000 (Freehold)
    Denbighshire (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    DC CARE REFERENCE: 4704 NORTH WALES PURPOSE BUILT NH – REG 34 EXPERIENCED MANAGER IN SITU ASSET SALE GUIDE PRICE £1,995,000

    14 Apr 2021

    DC Care Specialist Healthcare Business Agents
    Group of Nursing Homes – Conwy
    Bids Invited (Freehold)
    Conwy (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Group of 2 impressive nursing homes (Reg 44) peaceful yet accessible locations, North Wales. Advised combined fee income £1,803,755 per annum, truly enviable reputations, historically high occupancy, superbly appointed,

    03 Dec 2020

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    A HIGHLY REPUTABLE PROVIDER OF DOMICILIARY CARE – REF 161750
    Offers Invited (Leasehold)
    Wales (Care Provider Business For Sale)
    BASED IN WALES Turnover in excess of £925,000. Delivers person-centred domiciliary care services for over 60 clients. Regulated by the Care Inspectorate Wales and is a member of the United Kingdom Home Care Association. Works

    18 Nov 2020

    Knightsbridge Business Sales
    IMMACULATELY PRESENTED CARE HOME – Reg 24 (Ref: 4690) UNDER OFFER
    £975,000 (Freehold)
    Denbighshire (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    DC Care reference: 4690 – North Wales – UNDER OFFER Residential care home – registered for 24 Consistently good inspection reports Immaculately presented High levels of EBITDA Trades at full occupancy FREEHOLD GUIDE PRICE

    02 Oct 2020

    DC Care Specialist Healthcare Business Agents
    PROFITABLE SPECIALIST CARE HOME – Reg 23 (Ref: 4684)
    £1,150,000 (Freehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    DC Care reference: 4684 North Wales – profitable specialist care home Mental health care home Registered for 23 clients Excellent compliance history Experienced team in place Freehold guide price £1,150,000

    28 Sep 2020

    DC Care Specialist Healthcare Business Agents
    Brigadoon Care Home – Conwy
    £585,000 (Freehold)
    Llandudno, Conwy (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Delightful Detached Residential Care Home for the Elderly (Registered for 11 residents), highly sought after & convenient setting, Conwy – Fee income £312,541 per annum (y/e 30.04.20), all room single en-suite, historically high

    23 Sep 2020

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Project Liberty – 44531 – South Wales
    1600000 (Freehold)
    Swansea (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Well-established and profitable nursing home registered for 22, providing specialist care for adults with mental health and challenging behaviors. Income of £1,021,465 for the year ended the 31st March 2019, generating an EBITDA

    10 Sep 2020

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Residential Care Home – Cardiff – 47561
    £1,400,000 (Freehold)
    Cardiff (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    An opportunity to acquire a well-known and highly respected residential care home for the elderly located in a popular South Wales town. Having been in present ownership for over two decades, the home has earned a truly enviable

    06 Sep 2020

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Residential Care Home – Conwy – 47972
    £1,100,000 (Freehold)
    Conwy (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Delightful Residential Care Home for the Elderly (Registered for 18 residents), convenient and accessible residential area, truly enviable reputation. “At or approaching 100% occupancy. Rated “GOOD” by CIW. Fee Income £532,357 per

    04 Sep 2020

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Residential Care Home
    £550,000 (Leasehold)
    Vale of Glamorgan (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Charming Residential Care Home for the Elderly (Registered for 26 residents), South Wales, excellent reputation, 7 en-suite bedrooms, well presented throughout, Fee Income £897,485 per annum (y/e 31.03.19), impressive EBITDA of

    10 Dec 2019

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Project Stephen – Wales – 45305
    £1,000,000 (Freehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Project Stephen represents the opportunity to acquire a well established care home located in West Wales. Operating since 1993, the business has developed a fantastic reputation through quality residential care. Ideally located

    04 Jun 2019

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Care Home – North Wales – 46682
    Offers Invited (Freehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Impressive EMI Nursing & Residential Care Home for the Elderly, registered for 28 residents, peaceful yet accessible setting, Fee income £933,574 per annum (y/e 31.01.20) with EBITDA of £251,460(23%), 26 single&1 twin room (17

    04 Jun 2019

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Domiciliary Care Agency – South Wales – 46832
    £175,000 (Leasehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Well established & lucrative domiciliary care agency, convenient & accessible trading position, South Wales – Turnover £143,068 y/e 31/10/2017 adjusted net profit of £44,541 (31%) truly enviable reputation, approximately 305 hours

    16 Apr 2019

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Detached Converted Nursing Home
    £1,250,000 (Freehold)
    Holywell, Flintshire (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Detached Converted Nursing Home; Registered: 23 service users – category of Older People (N); 17 single bedrooms, 3 twin bedrooms – 7 of which have en-suite facilities; NVQ level 5 Registered Manager with excellent credibility

    03 Apr 2019

    Cooper Healthcare
    Learning Disability Care Home – Wales
    £750,000 (Freehold)
    Wales (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Highly renowned residential care home for residents with learning disabilities. Fee income of £310,000+, Registered for 5 residents. Historically healthy occupancy levels. Substantial detached property, Enviable reputation.

    22 Nov 2018

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    Care Home – Conwy – 45343
    £1395000 (Freehold)
    Conwy (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Highly respected care home for residents with Mental Health (Registered for 23), convenient and accessible setting, Conwy – Fee income £611,366 per annum (y/e 31.01.16), impressive EBITDA, truly enviable reputation, historically

    10 Mar 2017

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    CARE HOME – SOUTH WALES – 41136
    £450,000 (Freehold)
    Swansea (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Learning Disability Care home registered for 8 residents providing care for Learning Difficulties. Advised fee income (Y/E 29/02/2019) of £244,153 with ANP of £96,201 (39%). End terrace terraced property set in a semi-rural

    04 Oct 2013

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr
    CARE HOME FOR SALE IN POWYS – 41765
    £1,900,000 (Freehold)
    Powys (Care Home / Nursing Home For Sale)
    Impressive detached residential care home, providing care for the elderly and dementia sufferers. Registered for 40 residents. Desirable location.Fee income for Y/E 31/3/2019 £934,247 with an ANP of £254,358 (27%)) 38 single rooms

    08 Aug 2013

    Redwoods Dowling Kerr

  4. Great more detailed video on All4 (Chanell 4 7pm news today – playback)

    Down’s syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court
    Published5 May

    Down’s syndrome: Abortion case heads to High Court
    Campaigners are set to have a review of abortion law relating to Down’s syndrome heard at the High Court.

    Heidi Carter, of Coventry, and Máire Lea-Wilson from Brentford, west London, are challenging the government over a clause in the current law which allows abortion for up to birth for a foetus with Down’s syndrome.

    Mrs Carter, 25, who has the condition, said the current law is “not fair”.

    The case is due to be heard on 6 and 7 July.

    Currently, there is a 24-week time limit for abortion, unless “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped” .
    Mrs Carter, who campaigns under her given name of Crowter, previously wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying all non-fatal disabilities should be subject to the same standard 24-week limit.

    James and Heidi on their wedding day
    image captionMrs Carter married her husband James last year
    “A baby without Down’s syndrome can be aborted up to 24 weeks, but a baby like me and James can be aborted to birth,” Mrs Carter said. “It’s downright discrimination.”
    “People shouldn’t be treated differently because of their disabilities.

    “The reason it’s important to me and James is because we’re someone who has Down’s syndrome and we want to show the world we have a good quality of life.”

    Mrs Lea-Wilson, 32, said she was placed under pressure to have an abortion when a 34-week scan revealed her son had Down’s syndrome.

    Down’s syndrome ‘not something to fear’
    ‘We were offered 15 terminations of our baby girl’
    Latest news from the West Midlands
    “I have two sons that I love and value equally, but the law does not value them equally,” she said.

    “My motivation for taking this joint legal action with Heidi has always been simple. As a mother, I will do all that I can to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of my son, Aidan.”

    Mrs Lea-Wilson said the case is “not about the rights or wrongs of abortion” but about “removing a specific instance of inequality of the law.”

  5. An officious woman’s voice, very early in the morning. She sounded panicked, “You have a 1 in 64 chance of having a Down’s baby, you will have to decide what to do”. This was my brush with Downs. I started to cry, not because of Downs but because her panic brushed on to me.

    It was a miracle I was pregnant at all only having one fallopian tube and I was 42, an ‘elderly prim’ in those days. I was going to have a baby and a baby I was going to have…

    I had private medical insurance in those days from the company I worked for and so for the second time I went to a Private Hospital on the South-Coast which was run by Nuns and which had an operating theatre in the basement. Each night, all night, for a week, a nun sat in the corner of my room watching over me. This had happened before when I had a parotid gland removed from my face, a very lengthy and skilful operation where miraculously I did not end up with a facial droop or other facial nerve problems. I was in my twenties for both major operations.

    https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/heritage-and-retro/heritage/forty-nine-new-flats-could-be-built-former-eastbourne-private-hospital-2946657

    https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/people/esperance-hospital-eastbourne-history-facility-prepares-closure-69929

    The Doctor who took me off Seroxat cold-turkey went to extreme lengths in her denial, even suggesting that an ‘ectopic’ pregnancy’ was the cause of my Seroxat induced chronic distress. Considering my fallopian tube was removed with great skill and I was soon to move to the USA for my job, it seems just a little desperate to refer such private details to a psychiatrist, something she had not discussed with me and something which had occurred light years before my pregnancy.

    Some other suggestions she had were equally arcane and toe-curling.

    The Down’s issue stayed with me to a small degree, but after ‘that’ phone call no more was said from anybody.

    The point is that whatever arrived, and this was a once-in-a-lifetime event, would be cherished and loved. There was no question about that and if my baby was anything like the joyful and inspiring Teresa Pocock then indeed I would have been blessed

    Butterflies in My Stomach: Synopsis

    This is the true story of Teresa Pocock, a woman with Down syndrome who has overcome discrimination and her own fears, to blossom into an award-winning artist and author. Four years ago, at age 49, Teresa was written off as “incapable” and was forced into a old-age nursing home in Ontario. Teresa did not want to live there. Her father and a sister rescued her, and Teresa moved across the country to B.C. to start a new life. “Butterflies in My Stomach” will tell her remarkable journey: How 26,000 people on Change.org, as well as civil rights organizations, and the media, helped Teresa get an apology from the government. And how Teresa’s new community in Vancouver, helped her to have confidence and emerge as a professional artist and a self-advocate.

    https://www.billiamjames.com/butterflies-in-my-stomach/

    overcoming discrimination —

  6. Politics of Care – the NHS in UK is used as a political football locally and nationally – not always for the good of populations but of the party playing power games with voters. Some interesting points in this:-
    Political appointees in the NHS—be careful what you wish for

    The 2021-22 Health and Care Bill gives politicians new powers to control the detail of how the healthcare service runs. But past evidence suggests this may be unwise, unnecessary, and potentially damaging,

    Following the publication of the 2021-22 Health and Care Bill [2], Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

    “There is a clear logic to the parts of this Bill that would allow the NHS to collaborate more, as it has been trying to do for years in the face of the unhelpful 2012 Health and Social Care Act. But unfortunately these changes are bundled up with new powers for politicians to control the detail of how the health service runs. The evidence of the past suggests this may lead to worse decisions, and they will come to regret it.

    From what i’ve seen in different places the more not just management but hierachies in orgs/groups of people the less well things work out either for those in receipt of ‘caring’
    or employed in caring. even those in unpaid roles, whose expertise is trivialised. One ever lasting discontent is the imbalance of power beteen those who do the caring because they do care and those in ‘higher’ positions, particularly psychologists who have only done a few placements during an academic profession but ‘think they know best.’ In some ways they have expertise which ‘carers’ value but the reverse is not as valued. The happiest places I have known about have been where a division of status is not visible jargon is not used ‘team meetings’ are not called that and include everyone if at all possible (I think if this is not possible an advocate should be included) and somehow the most genuine of relationships develop based on something like mutual respect, ,even love. When there’s too much intereference in relationships being able to develop between all involved it becomes a more bureaucratic ‘service’ done to another person

  7. For me it is “easy” to see the scale-problems with the complexity-lens.

    There is dimensionalities (‘axis’) that if you scale you must change the dimension of procedure (if mechanical) or praxis (if human or “organic”). 1-on-1 clinical visit is a political event (by Levinas). 3 or more is when democracy starts (you need to “vote”). If you cook for your loved one, you will do things differently if you do a dinner for 15 people. Here technology can help you (even AFTER eating, like cleaning the mess. Here it doesn’t matter that the objects used are washed impersonally with washing machine and so on insted of with your hands and soup). But caring for your grandma is a different praxis compared to caring for a “stranger old woman” in your job and is different compared to caring for a 30 “strangers old men and woman” and is different compared to caring for a 220 from 09:00 to 13:00 in the morning with 4 minutes to every one of them.

    The irony is that we are paying a lot for what “Pretty Woman” portrayed so good in the film (those who divided enterprise and sell them apart with more benefits that maintaining together the “package”) and we are paying very little those who really care for us (the speculators LITERALLY don’t care for us as long as we can’t be profitable for them. They have 0 compromise and only “answers” the market, that is LITERALLY no-one).

    I am proposing a taxonomy of “Intimate Labors”:
    https://www.amazon.com/Intimate-Labors-Cultures-Technologies-Politics/dp/0804761930

    And blocking by law the “scale of care” to the smallest possible one. Better 10 nurse houses with 50 old people there than 1 with 500 old people there.

    People are not hamburguers. And care is not scale-independent or scale-free. So, how we make this happen?

  8. Could be the NH|S has gone too far down the drain already but maybe it’s still worth fighting for:- Keep Our NHS Public
    Fund the NHS, not the private sector

    1,280
    Signatures
    Target 2000
    Please sign our petition to demand the UK Government invests £10 billion in the NHS – NOT in private healthcare.

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    I would like to join Keep Our NHS Public’s mailing list for more information about its campaigns and activities.
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  9. Opt In or Opt Out bearing in mond both Ben G and Matt H were intrumental in drawing it up and attempting to slip it in without informing the public or medics -There is no duty of care regarding any obligation by practitioners to inform those registered with them that they need to make this decision.There has been a stink in UK following the attempt at a population wide birth to death massive Data grab by politicians without consultation or information given to citizens so that the option to opt out of ‘sharing’ their data may be taken. Ben Goldacre was the lead for drawing up the proposal which has now been forced to hold back
    ‘The draft strategy also commits the DHSC to, where appropriate, act on the findings and recommendations of the Goldacre Review [1] into the use of data for research and analysis which is expected to conclude later on this year.’

    The final version of the strategy is expected to be published later in 2021. In the meantime, the government has launched a consultation of stakeholders.

    WHAT DOES THE DRAFT POLICY COVER?
    The new strategy proposes central improvements to the way the data collected by the NHS (and other care providers) in England is used. The paper is split into 7 chapters each tackling a separate way in which patient data may be used to benefit the health and social care system and ensure a high quality of care.

    The publication of the draft strategy policy comes in the wake of a general backlash against the controversial General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) programme, purporting to transfer all GP records into a centralised database, a plan now expected to be postponed to 1 September 2021.T
    Search
    5 July 2021

    UK NHSX NEW DATA STRATEGY FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD: “TRANSFORMING HOW DATA IS USED AND SHARED IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE: DATA SAVES LIVES”
    IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS, MORE SCIENTIFIC DATA HAS BEEN GENERATED THAN IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF MANKIND
    On 22 June 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published its draft policy paper titled ‘Data Saves Lives,

  10. The Cost of ‘Care’ – Pharma’s made a killing as the phrase goes. We’ll never know how many of the 6million prescriptions have led to harms and deaths as they are not recorded.
    (This has been during the period when Matt Hancock was Health Minister in UK – many of his arrangements are being investigated.

    In the Guardian last year
    More than 6 million people in England received antidepressants in the three months to September, part of a wider trend and the highest figure on record.

    And
    Cost of sertraline has increased by more than 500% since …https://pharmaceutical-journal.com › article › news › co…Cost of sertraline has increased by more than 500% since 2019, figures show
    Despite the number of items of sertraline dispensed increasing by 12% in 2020/2021, the cost increased by £142m, NHS data show.
    Prescribing
    14 June 2021By Julia Robinson

    Sertraline blister pack
    The NHS Business Services Authority said this was the second consecutive year that the cost of items dispensed in England had increased
    The cost of the antidepressant, sertraline, to the NHS in England increased by more than 500% between 2019 and 2020/2021, despite the number of items dispensed only rising by 12% in that time, figures released by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) have shown.

    The annual Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA), published on 10 June 2021, includes information about the costs and volumes of prescriptions that have been dispensed in England over the past year.

    Drugs containing the active ingredient, sertraline hydrochloride, increased in cost from £1.56 per item in 2019 to £8.89 per item in 2020/2021; an increase of 470%. As a result, the total cost to the NHS was almost £168m in 2020/2021, compared with just over £26m in 2019, an increase of 538%. This was despite the number of items prescribed increasing by just 12%, from 16.8 million to 18.9 million.

    Sertraline (100mg tablets) was the presentation with the largest absolute increase in cost between 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, with an increase of £78.9m, from £21.0m to £99.9m, the PCA showed.

    The 2020/2021 PCA also detailed that the cost of prescription items dispensed in the community in England had risen to £9.61bn — a 3.49% increase of £324m from £9.28bn in 2019/2020.

    The NHSBSA said this was the second consecutive year that the cost of items dispensed in England had increased, following three consecutive years of decreases between 2015/2016 and 2018/2019.

    The Pharmaceutical Journal reported in April 2020 that manufacturers had reported “industry-wide” supply challenges, exacerbated by export bans and border closures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Overall, a study published in March 2021 found that the total number of antidepressant prescriptions dispensed in 2020 increased by 4 million compared to 2019 — costing the NHS England an extra £139m.

    Steve Bazire, honorary professor at the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia, said there had been “erratic” shortages of sertraline since the beginning of 2020, with the 100mg tablets in particularly short supply.

    “My last trust has been able to source sertraline but from different suppliers each time and at varying costs; they currently pay around £5 for 28x100mg, but that does change from week to week according to who has what available,” he said.

    Bazire said it appeared that the huge price increases were only being experienced in the UK.

    A price concession — which is set when pharmacists may face difficulties in getting medicines at their usual prices owing to supply or other issues — was granted for sertraline 100mg and 50mg by the Department of Health and Social Care for the period April 2020 to October 2020.

    This article was corrected on 15 June 2021 to clarify that the calendar year of 2019 is being compared with the financial year of 2020/2021 for some data.

  11. My modest proposal: let’s take ninety-five percent of the money we spend on drugging senior citizens in nursing homes and use it to hire more nursing assistants and pay them more.

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