Caring Times News


Equality & Human Rights – got them sorted?

Posted on September 25th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Safe, Responsive, Caring, Effective and Well-led – the regulator’s ‘Key Lines Of Enquiry’ (KLOEs) cover it all, wouldn’t you think?

Apparently they don’t. Apparently, anyone who aspires to the provision of social care must now give heed to Equality and Human Rights (their capitals, not mine).

Into this acronym-plagued milieu, I’ll throw in another; the time-honoured KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Social care regulation has evolved layers of such Byzantine complexity that we have come to where one piece of regulation may easily find itself in conflict with another. Providers have given me many examples of this but I must try to keep this blog short. However, take risk; on one hand there is plenty of regulatory guidance which encourages risk-taking (it’s in the human rights guidance), and an equally plentiful supply of sanctions for those who … Read More »


Practicality meets comfort at Tudor Lodge Retirement Facility

Posted on September 22nd, by jacob in Caring Times, Sponsored post. No Comments

Tudor Lodge, a development of 30, one and two bedroom, purpose-built retirement apartments based in Solihull, in the West Midlands, has upgraded the carpet in its communal areas with Total Care, from Heckmondwike.

The existing carpet at Tudor Lodge had been in situ since the facility was built in 2008. Tudor Lodge is managed by retirement specialist Millstream Management Services, with Lodge Manager Diane Bennett responsible for all ongoing service and maintenance of the development. Diane undertook a period of consultation with residents, starting in 2016, to gather opinion on a refresh of all communal areas at Tudor Lodge.

Diane remarked: “The time had come for an upgrade of internal decoration of the Lodge’s communal areas; the existing carpet had been installed when Tudor Lodge was built and although in good condition, wear and tear was becoming an issue from an aesthetic … Read More »


‘People willing to pay more tax to fund social care’ says FCC report

Posted on September 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘People willing to pay more tax to fund social care’ says FCC report

A UK-wide poll commissioned by the charity Future Care Capital (FCC) has found that most people support income tax rises to increase funding available for adult social care.

A key finding was that most of those questioned said people should be required to plan ahead – 67% agree that people should be required to plan and prepare financially for later life, whilst 49% agree that they should be required to plan and prepare financially for adult social care services they might require later in life.

The charity has also commissioned a UK-wide poll through Ipsos MORI to gauge public opinion about preparing for and managing future care needs.

FCC chief executive Dean James said public attitudes about adult social care were changing

“Our poll shows that the public are willing to contribute more through tax to increase funding available for adult social care,” said … Read More »


Flu jabs – a vexed question

Posted on September 18th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

As the days grow shorter and temperatures fall, the annual anxiety about ‘flu and whether or not to be vaccinated against it returns to plague us.

For care home operators this is a vexed question. Without doubt, flu carries-off elderly people every year, and the contagious nature of influenza makes it a big headache for care homes and hospitals.

But there is very real doubt about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, with some scientists putting its effectiveness as no more than 50%. No one claims it to be 100% effective, and it is demonstrably not the case; many of us will know of someone who has had the jab, only to subsequently develop flu.

And there is some doubt about the safety of the vaccine, and while most health authorities do their best to assuage people’s fears, one … Read More »


Voyage acquires Focused Healthcare

Posted on September 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Voyage acquires Focused Healthcare

Specialist care provider Voyage Care has acquired Focused Healthcare Ltd (FHL), which provides care services to children and young people with complex, acute and chronic illnesses. Based in London, FHL was set up in 2009 by paediatric nurse Nicki Nicholls who will continue to manage day-to-day operations at FHL as managing director.

FHL and Voyage Care provide complementary specialist care and support services, with FHL focusing on providing specialist care to children and Voyage Care predominantly supporting adults.


’Flu kills nursing home residents in Australia

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ’Flu kills nursing home residents in Australia

Six people were reported to have died during an influenza outbreak at a nursing home in the Australian state of Tasmania.

The state’s public health department confirmed the deaths at the beginning of September and said there had been flu outbreaks in 21 nursing homes across the state nine still being monitored.

Those who died were all residents at the 37-bed Strathdevon aged care facility in Latrobe, run by Uniting Agewell, an organisation of the Australian United Church. The deaths came after it was confirmed seven elderly residents at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta, in Victoria, died during an influenza outbreak. Uniting Agewell issued a statement saying there had been “an influenza A outbreak at its Strathdevon aged care facility . . . from August 9 to 30, with the outbreak cleared on 30 August 2017″. It also confirmed the six … Read More »


Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

Posted on September 4th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

For centuries, marine explorers sought to find a ‘North West Passage’ whereby ships could travel from the North Atlantic, across the top of Canada and so into Asian waters. Their endeavours were hampered by the vagaries of wind, extreme low temperatures, drifting pack ice and the very real risk of becoming ice-bound.

It was not until 2009 that a reduction in ice brought about by climate change enabled a permanently navigable North West Passage to be established.

To my mind, those who would bring about health and social care integration find themselves just as challenged as those early explorers and that, until a circumstance as potent as climate change supervenes, the best they can hope for is only limited success.

Take ‘Devo-Manc’, the health and social care integration programme for Greater Manchester which left the slipway in April … Read More »


No more ‘make do and mend’

Posted on August 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on No more ‘make do and mend’

Responding to research on MPs’ opinions about social care, Richard Humphries, senior fellow at The King’s Fund, said the research, by Independent Age, challenged the leaderships of both main parties to put aside their differences and work together to fix the crisis in the social care system.

“There is an overwhelming consensus among MPs that it does not meet the needs of the ageing population,” said Mr Humphries.

“MPs of both main parties agree that adult social care needs both fundamental reform and more funding, and so it is vital that the forthcoming government consultation addresses this.

“Despite numerous reviews, commissions, Green and White Papers on this, successive governments have ducked the challenge with the result being that many vulnerable people are now forced to rely on friends and family or are unable to access care at all. Parliament has made clear that … Read More »


Homecare report highlights deficiencies

Posted on August 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Homecare report highlights deficiencies

Healthwatch, an independent champion for people who use health and social care services, has published a report on homecare services, in response to what it says has been a doubling of the priority of concern about homecare over the last year.

The organisation analysed the experiences of 3,415 home care users, their families and front line staff across 52 local areas between August 2015 and June 2017. These findings came from local Healthwatch events, surveys and site visits to health and care services.

Healthwatch has identified four themes which it believes will be of interest to those who commission, provide and regulate social care services:

• Care planning – People frequently reported that staff were unfamiliar with their clients’ care plans. In cases where it was a staff member’s first visit to a client, insufficient time was often allowed to enable them to … Read More »


Getting it right – all the time

Posted on August 29th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

It is a truism that the sort of care residents receive varies very substantially between homes; on this point Care Quality Commission reports no more than put detail onto simple observation. The rather more subtle finding of a recent report from the consumer organisation Healthwatch – or ‘healthwatch’ as they sometimes annoyingly write it – is that ‘The quality of care varies . . . also within the same home’.

What it’s like to live in a care home, the findings from a study which draws on visits to 197 homes carried out between January and April 2017, is not simply saying that places which do good work on, say, involving volunteers or bringing in members of the local community may be less successful at providing general healthcare for their residents or ensuring pain control for people … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Equality & Human Rights – got them sorted?

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Safe, Responsive, Caring, Effective and Well-led – the regulator’s ‘Key Lines Of Enquiry’ (KLOEs) cover it all, wouldn’t you think?

...

Flu jabs – a vexed question

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

As the days grow shorter and temperatures fall, the annual anxiety about ‘flu and whether or not to be vaccinated...

Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

For centuries, marine explorers sought to find a ‘North West Passage’ whereby ships could travel from the North Atlantic, across...