Policies and practices shaping long-term care: between an inclusivity ethos and service delivery realities

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MENARAH network lead, Professor Shereen Hussein and Professor Sara Charlesworth, at the RMIT University, Guest edited a new Themed Section in the Journal of Social Policy and Society. The Themed Section includes five articles in addition to the introduction and some useful resources.

Professors Hussein and Charlesworth write that ‘population ageing has been rapidly increasing in most of the developed world. However, healthy life expectancy has not been growing at a similar pace, resulting in an expansion in the number of years older people live with health and care needs. Long-term care (LTC) provision is diverse across Europe and more economically developed countries with input from different actors and agencies ranging from informal family carers, the state, and, increasingly, migrant workers. Nevertheless, the ethos of LTC policies in the UK, Europe, Australasia and North America are informed by person-centeredness, independence, and inclusion philosophies.‘ They highlight the core principles of long-term care services as being person-centred and aiming to maintain people’s independence and dignity. Globally, LTC delivery has been progressing towards ageing in place, where support is intended to enhance people’s ability to continue living independently at home for as long as they wish. However, various challenges exist in delivering high-quality LTC, including funding pressures, workforce shortages and national welfare discourses including ageist perspectives.

Hussein and Charlesworth bring to the forefront the impact of COVID19 on the delivery of LTC services. They write: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown an intense light on the LTC sector for all the wrong reasons: from high infection levels and death rates in care settings, mainly residential care, to evidence of failure to protect the LTC workforce with fragmented and contradictory guidelines and delays in or inadequate supplies of personal protection equipment and training. The significant effects of Covid-19 combined with a long-standing multiplicity of challenges – including many related to funding, ensuring diverse and adequate services, and resourcing a well-trained and supported workforce – call to understand the granularities of the different facets of LTC provision. In this themed section, we bring together a selection of articles from leading authors in LTC research from the UK and Europe’.

The collection of articles in this Themed Section engages with the complexities of implementing LTC policies within explicit and implicit sets of constraints, which create direct and indirect pressures on LTC providers, LTC workers, and informal carers.

A list of articles in the Themed Section:

1- Introduction: Policies and Practices Shaping Long-Term Care: Between an Inclusivity Ethos and Service Delivery Realities

Shereen HusseinSara Charlesworth

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 2022, pp. 257-260

2- What Is Out There and What Can We Learn? International Evidence on Funding and Delivery of Long-Term Care

Daniel RolandJulien ForderKaren Jones

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 October 2021, pp. 261-274

3- Othering in Media Representations of Elderly Care: Using the Social Justice Framework to Make Sense of Public Discourses on Migrants and Culture

Jonas LindblomSandra Torres

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 April 2021, pp. 275-291

4- Extra Care Housing: The Current State of Research and Prospects for the Future

Robin A. Darton

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 November 2021, pp. 292-303

5- Incentives and Deterrents to the Supply of Long-term Care for the Elderly in England: Evidence and Experience in Two Local Authorities

Stephen AllanRobin Darton

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 October 2021, pp. 304-315

6- Employment Inequalities Among British Minority Ethnic Workers in Health and Social Care at the Time of Covid-19: A Rapid Review of the Literature

Shereen Hussein

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 2022, pp. 316-330

7- Some Useful Sources

Shereen HusseinSara Charlesworth

Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 March 2022, pp. 331-332

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.