Caring Times News

Deprivation of Liberty applications jump by seventy-four per cent

Posted on October 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The number of Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications in England has already increased by 74% (9,200 applications) in 130 councils compared to the total number of applications in the same councils for the whole of last year (12,400 in 2013/14), according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

A DoL refers to a restriction of an individual’s freedom such as physical restraint or constant supervision. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are a set of legal requirements which ensure individuals are only deprived of their liberty in a necessary and proportionate way and provide protection for individuals once a DoL has been authorised.

Since DoLS were introduced in 2009, applications have increased year on year. However, the main contributing factor to this quarter’s larger increase is likely the Supreme Court judgment ruling in March 20146, expanding applications … Read More »

Independent Age welcomes new rules on top-ups

Posted on October 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Older people’s charity Independent Age has welcomed new rules under the Care Act to strengthen protection for families from having to pay unfair top-up fees for relatives’ care home costs.

The charity’s chief executive Janet Morrison said it also supported the requirement for councils to improve information and advice services on care issues.

”However we think the Government has missed an opportunity to liberalise the rules on who is eligible for social care, meaning that an estimated 235,000 older people will continue to be outside the system and need to either pay for care themselves, receive it from friends and families – or go without,” said Ms Morrison.

“This is shortsighted because many of those outside the care systems may as a result need to draw on health and other services earlier as a result.”

JRF Kennedy report: care homes need to be brought in from the cold

Posted on October 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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An inquiry into the state of the care home sector for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) calls for sweeping change to ‘inject humanity’ back into care homes, with personal relationships put at the heart of how they are run and regulated.

The call comes following a year-long personal inquiry by John Kennedy, Director of Care Services at JRF and care provider the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT), who has 30 years’ experience working in care homes. Mr Kennedy says that, with more of us living longer and our care needs changing, care homes should be declared ‘a sector of national strategic importance’ by the country, which cares for 400,000 people and employs more than 1 million people.

The inquiry argues human relationships and caring needs to be central to the system and the sector – replacing the impersonal and insecure … Read More »

HC-One calls for sector-wide debate on use of CCTV in care homes

Posted on October 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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HC-One, the UK’s third largest care home provider, has called for a sector-wide debate on implementing an opt-in, visible camera scheme in care homes, in the wake of its own internal consultation.

The company ran its own consultation with residents, relatives and staff to gauge their views on an opt-in, visible camera scheme. More than 12,000 individuals responded to HC-One’s consultation, with the following results:

• 68% of all respondents were in favour of introducing opt-in, visible cameras in homes;

• 87% of relatives supported of the use of cameras;

• 63% of staff supported the use of cameras;

• 53% of residents opposed the use of cameras.

The consultation showed a number of concerns about the implementation of such a scheme:

• Privacy for Residents – 74%

• Who has access to the footage – 65%

• Who watches the footage – 63%

• Where footage is … Read More »

British Geriatrics Society says NHS plan is right to focus on older people

Posted on October 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) has welcomed the launch of NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View which, says the BGS, offers “a bold set of recommendations for meeting the changing needs of patients, in particular the complex needs of frail older people”.

BGS research and guidance on the care of older patients supports the Forward View’s assertion that traditional divides between primary care, community services and hospitals are increasingly a barrier to integrated and patient-centred health services. This, says the BGS, is especially true for older patients living with multiple conditions including frailty and dementia, the 350,000 residents of care homes (whose needs the report explicitly prioritises), and the vulnerable “oldest old”

“NHS England’s recognition of the needs of frail older people is therefore extremely welcome: providing high-quality care to this specific group of patients will be crucial for building an … Read More »

GMB union to meet with Surrey care provider to discuss job losses

Posted on October 24th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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There will be a meeting next week between GMB and Prospect Housing and Support Service on consultations for redundancy due to financial problems at the organisation.

The union says that in 2013, Prospect harmonised the terms and conditions of staff saying the resultant savings had been required by Surrey County Council with some employees losing up to £16,000 per year. GMB took claims to an Employment Tribunal. Earlier this month the Tribunal ruled that an employer is not entitled to harmonise terms and conditions simply to remain competitive or tackle funding reductions and reversed the cuts.

Prospect Housing and Support Services provides care and support services to vulnerable adults with learning disabilities within East and South Surrey. The company operates 12 community residential homes for clients with disabilities and mild mental health issues. Care staff had been compulsorily transferred from the … Read More »

Department of Health needs to focus on care as well as diagnosis

Posted on October 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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National provider representative body Care England has made an oblique criticism of the announcement that GPs are to be given extra funding to diagnose dementia.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said that, while any increase in the diagnosis of dementia was welcomed, the bigger issue was the underfunding of social care.

“The care sector is constantly being challenged to improve quality but the Government refuses to put more money into delivering care,” said Prof. Green.

“In many areas local authorities are paying less than £5 an hour for high-level, quality care and we are constantly told there is no more money in the system.

“However, the Government has found money to fund GPs to make a diagnosis and ignored funding care providers properly to deliver the vital support that is necessary after that diagnosis is delivered.”

Too much variation in care quality, says regulator

Posted on October 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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In its fifth annual report on the state of health and care services in England the Care Quality Commission says variation in the quality and safety of care in England is too wide and is unacceptable.

In releasing the report, CQC chief executive David Behan said findings from inspections over the last year had clearly shown there was too much variation in quality and safety between services and within services.

“People need to have confidence that they will get good care,” said Mr Behan.

“ Our role is to identify what works well and why, and what doesn’t work, and use this information to drive improvement and close the gap.

“We acknowledge the rising pressure on care services. Financial pressures are real but not unexpected, and yet we continue to see many examples of good and outstanding care even in financially challenged … Read More »

Plans to train the social care workforce in Wales

Posted on October 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Welsh Government has set out how a multi-million pound grant will be used to support the essential training of the social care workforce in Wales ahead of major legislative changes being introduced over the next three years.

A new Regulation and Inspection Bill, to be introduced in the National Assembly next year, will establish a National Institute for Care and Support to drive forward workforce improvement and development across the sector.

The new arrangements are designed to support essential training in the social care sector and ensure social care staff get the training they need, including training in relation to the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act. The Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) is worth £8.2m with local authorities contributing 30% match funding. The five priorities for the SCWDP grant in 2015-16 and 2016-17 will be:

To ensure staff … Read More »

CQC consults on next year’s registration fees

Posted on October 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a consultation about the fees it proposes to charge care providers in 2015/16.

This year’s consultation, which runs until noon on 9th January, includes proposals to increase annual fees for all registered providers except for the dental sector and amend the fee scheme for independent healthcare providers whose fees increased due only to structural changes made in the 2013/14 fees scheme.

The regulator says that, with these increases included, health and care providers will still typically pay 1% or less of their income in fees to CQC. The impact of the proposed fee increase on a typical care home a would be £238.

CQC says the proposals in the consultation were developed with CQC’s Fees Advisory Panel, which includes representatives from the providers it regulates.

The consultation document can be accessed at:

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