Caring Times News


Not the retiring sort

Posted on February 20th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

 

In the unlikely event of the queen’s ever asking me, “And what do you do?”, I will have a problem; I can’t bring myself to use the word “retired”.

Retirement reeks of the now largely discredited disengagement theory, which argued that ageing was an inevitable, mutual withdrawal leading to decreasing interaction with others. That’s not at all how I feel. I used to make a joke of it by saying I was ‘re-tyred’, my engine refurbished, ready to fire on all cylinders, but it came to sound a bit forced. These days I tend to fall back on, “I’ve stopped full time work”, but that defines me by what I used to do, not what I am. “Pensioner” is of course even worse; surely I’m more than simply a recipient of unearned income. But what are … Read More »


Marie Curie launches free online resource for end of life care

Posted on February 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Marie Curie launches free online resource for end of life care

Marie Curie has launched a free online resource for health and social care professionals who don’t have expertise in palliative and end of life care.

The charity says it is the first time that a comprehensive and robust suite of end of life care material has been made available free, quickly and easily accessible all in one place. Tracey Buckley, Marie Curie’s Palliative Care Knowledge Zone project lead and former clinical nurse manager at Marie Curie, said evidence suggested that some health and social care professionals felt uncomfortable talking about the dying process because they don’t have the knowledge and confidence to do so, and this could be a huge barrier to providing high quality care.

“The new Marie Curie Palliative Care Knowledge Zone aims to help give generalist health and social care staff the confidence to talk openly with their patients … Read More »


How to secure care homes and their residents in the 21st century?

Posted on February 16th, by admin in Caring Times. No Comments

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Care homes present many unique security challenges. Above all, a residence needs to feel like an open, welcoming space. It must work for the resident, and provide a pleasant environment to greet family and other visitors. It should be a home, in every sense.

At the same time, managers must ensure security of the site, including its staff, sensitive data, and areas where medicines are kept. If there has been an unauthorised access attempt, staff need to know as soon as possible. When residents have dementia or other complex conditions, it is crucial that care workers can find out where they are at any time.

That’s why advanced access control — that’s easy for everyone to operate — can have major benefits in a care home. A system that … Read More »


Families say social care services have got worse

Posted on February 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Families say social care services have got worse

UK families say care services for children and older people have got worse in the last five years, but reserve their harshest criticism for care of older people, particularly homecare services, according to reviews reported to Good Care Guide.

More than 40% of reviews of homecare agencies in 2016 rated them as poor or bad for quality of service and for value for money Based on an analysis of 9,000 reviews left by families on the Good Care Guide website, the latest research shows:

In 2012, 22.7% of homecare agencies were rated poor or bad for quality of service by older people and their families. By 2016 this had almost doubled to 41.6% of homecare services getting poor or bad reviews. The percentage of reviews rating homecare agencies as poor or bad for value for money rose from 23.4% in 2012 to … Read More »


It’s time for people power

Posted on February 13th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on It’s time for people power

 

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

It has been revealed that many people who have successfully negotiated the labyrinthine application process for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) now find their wish to be cared for at home counting for nothing as CCGs limit funding for delivery in domestic settings.

The outrage that greeted the disclosure suggests the move has come as a surprise. Really? Disturbing it is, new it is not; this sort of thing has been going on for years.

Where I live, councils and health authorities got together in the early noughties to create, with Whitehall’s blessing, what is still a unique development: 500 beds worth of council-operated nursing homes. No sooner were they up and running than the erstwhile allies were at each other’s throats, arguing about eligibility assessments for CHC, each determined on budget protection. Without a national health and social … Read More »


Meeting responsibilities

Posted on February 6th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Junior health minister David Mowat, the one who drew the social care straw, had a go at talking himself out of a job last week.

Speaking to the House of Commons’ select committee on Communities and Local Government, Mr Mowat opined that people must consider looking after their parents, just as they do their children.

If Mr Mowat were at all familiar with his portfolio he would know that most people are trying their level best to do this already. So often, it is only when the care burden becomes so great and so unremitting that the carers, often in their 60s and 70s themselves, find their own physical and mental health so compromised that in desperation they resort to outside agencies.

Now Mr Mowat didn’t suggest that grandchildren should step up to the mark, but from remarks, such … Read More »


Care homes should have clear policies on pets

Posted on February 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care homes should have clear policies on pets

The chief executive of a Shropshire not-for-profit care provider Coverage Care has welcomed a call for more residential homes to implement a pet policy to make the transition into care an easier process for older people.

David Coull says he supported the campaign by the charity Blue Cross for all care homes for elderly people to have a specific pet policy. Blue Cross says its research found that 40% of UK care homes claim to be ‘pet friendly’ but, in practice, this often isn’t clear or consistent. The charity wants care homes to be clear on where they stand regarding residents keeping their pets and the responsibility of residents living with their pet in the home.

Mr Coull said a transparent policy would make moving into care easier for people who don’t want to part with their pets.

“Moving into care is a … Read More »


Glasgow provider beefs-up homecare provision

Posted on February 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Glasgow provider beefs-up homecare provision

Glasgow’s largest homecare provider, Cordia Services LLP, is undertaking one of its biggest recruitment drives as it seeks to boost its workforce by 300 employees, due to demand created by the demographic pressures of an aging population as well as the creation of a new supported living initiative which will be implemented in the city over the next six months.

Cordia delivers 95,000 visits a week to 6,300 individuals. The company was created by Glasgow City Council in 2009to take over the work of the former Direct and Care Services (DACS) department.The organisation, the largest of the Council’s arm’s length external organisations (ALEO), has a current staff of almost 7,300.


Funding shortfall leaves self-funders filling £1.3bn gap

Posted on January 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Funding shortfall leaves self-funders filling £1.3bn gap

Self-funding, or private-pay, care home residents are keeping the sector afloat according to the latest figures from healthcare market intelligence provider LaingBuisson.

The latest update to its Care Cost Benchmarks toolkit has found that the average fee per resident paid to care homes falls short of the real costs of service provision by more than £100 a week – a situation which means that those residents who pay from their own finances are filling a funding gap of £1.3bn a year.

Headline figures from the toolkit show that residential care homes in England for older people, which employ average levels of staff at average pay rates, currently need to charge fees of between £648 and £590 per week in order to generate a reasonable annual return on capital (set at 11% in the Care Cost Benchmarks model, a level LaingBuisson says is … Read More »


Care workers should not be ‘Jacks of all trades’

Posted on January 30th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 5 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Wouldn’t it be marvellous to have an open-ended training budget which included staff cover for when people were doing the courses, because there are lots of courses on offer; diabetes awareness, managing dysphagia, Parkinsons, glaucoma, macula degeneration, general sight loss, hearing loss, sarcopenia, apraxia, aphasia, renal dysfunction, skin care, dementia, end of life care, to name just a few in no particular order.

Knowledge is great, even if it’s just for it’s own sake, and where it can be applied it’s even more great, and there should always be blurred boundaries between professional disciplines as this facilitates two-way communication, but I think there is a danger that we might expect care workers to shoulder responsibilities that rightly should be borne by health professionals.

Care home residents tend to be getting on a bit and it’s a fair bet … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Not the retiring sort

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

 

In the unlikely event of the queen’s ever asking me, “And what do you do?”, I will have a problem;...

It’s time for people power

 

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

It has been revealed that many people who have successfully negotiated the labyrinthine application process for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) now...

Meeting responsibilities

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Junior health minister David Mowat, the one who drew the social care straw, had a go at talking himself out...