Caring Times News


Extracare – the next best solution?

Posted on August 21st, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. No Comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Academics at Newcastle University say that an average of almost nine thousand more care home beds will be needed each year for the next eight years to meet the growing need consequent to us all living longer.

If they’re right we have a problem as for the past few years there have been fewer care home beds as closures have outpaced new care homes coming on stream.

No problem of course for the flourishing self-pay market in the south but it very much looks as though care homes are going to be increasingly out of reach for frail elderly people living in the north of the UK.

I don’t see the Government taking the sort of radical action needed to address the problem (relieving local authorities of their social care funding responsibilities and replacing the present unwieldy, costly and … Read More »


Stimulating activities promote brain health

Posted on August 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Stimulating activities promote brain health

A care provider in Wales says it encourages its service users to engage in activities such as learning an instrument or gardening.

The Global Council’s recent report on brain health recommends people engage in stimulating activities such as learning an instrument, photography and gardening as they provide benefits for adults’ brain health and can impact how well the brain functions.

Ffion Evans, registered manager at Abacare, said the company had been encouraging our service users to engage in cognitively stimulating activities for many years.

“The report says that ‘brain-training’ games including mind games and puzzles that are designed to improve brain health have little benefit as the player only gets better at the game, which does not amount to improvements in daily cognitive ability, and we agree,” said Ms Evans.

“We much prefer to encourage our service users to take up activities such as … Read More »


Local government seen as an obstacle to national planning for social care

Posted on August 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Local government seen as an obstacle to national planning for social care

Social care needs to become part of the ‘national infrastructure’ on a footing similar to that of the National Health Service, with a reduction in the role

of local authorities, according to Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.

Interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys on the Today programme in the wake of a report published in the Lancet which says an extra 71,000 care home places will be needed over the coming eight years, Prof. Green said swift action was needed with planning for the next 20 to 30 years rather than focusing on a five-year timeframe dictated by the electoral cycle.

“What we need is the Government to see social care as part of national infrastructure,” said Prof. Green.

“If we want to have uniformity across the country, with everybody having the same opportunities. we’ve got to have a national policy. … Read More »


Lancet study says 71,000 care home places needed in the next eight years

Posted on August 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Lancet study says 71,000 care home places needed in the next eight years

An analysis of care needs in 2011 compared to 1991, published in The Lancet, suggests that the ageing population combined with greater levels of dependency means that, at current levels of provision, there will be a shortfall of more than71,000 care home places by 2025.

The study compares levels of dependency in adults aged 65 years and over in England in 1991 and 2011 – 15000 adults in total, who were classed as high dependency if they required 24-hour care, medium dependency if they required care at regular times each day, low dependency if they required care less than daily, or independent.

Professor Carol Jagger, lead author from Newcastle University, said the past 20 years had seen continued gains in life expectancy, but not all of these years were healthy years.

“Our study suggests that older people today are spending more of their … Read More »


Avery is tops in food standards

Posted on August 15th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Avery is tops in food standards

Care home operator Avery Healthcare believes it may have achieved a sector first for a larger care provider by attaining a five-star rating from

environmental health officers for food standards in all of its more than 50 care facilities and senior living locations throughout the country.

Based purely on unannounced visits, a five star award from environmental health is the highest level achievable.

Avery says it has invested greatly in recent years with high quality commercial kitchens and recruiting well-qualified professional staff who they have continued to support and train further.

Group culinary manager for Avery, Simon Lawrence said a first-class hygiene and food safety culture had been developed alongside the quest for higher quality dining for the care sector.

“Avery chefs have also individually won awards for their expertise and dining development for the sector over the last few years, and are enthusiastic to … Read More »


Care homes discounted in end of life care

Posted on August 14th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I am sure that we all want those who we care for to experience ‘a good death’ when the time comes. At present about one-in-five people spend their last days and hours in a care home and I know of many care homes which deliver excellent standards of end of life care.

Staff in hundreds of care homes have gone through the rigorous assessment procedures of the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) in end of life care, with many homes achieving ‘beacon’ status, the highest level of accreditation awarded by GSF. Indeed, some care homes actively promote best practise, giving other care homes and agencies the benefit of their expertise.

A recent survey of organisations providing specialist palliative care services to care homes gives the briefest of mentions to the good work done by care homes and focuses instead … Read More »


Survey says care homes are challenged in end of life care

Posted on August 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Survey says care homes are challenged in end of life care

A survey of organisations providing specialist palliative care services to care homes has highlighted the good work they do and identified the key challenges they face.

Commissioned by Public Health England and undertaken by the Marie Curie Research Centre at Cardiff University, with input from the National Council for Palliative Care and Hospice UK, the survey examined the role of specialist palliative care in providing support to care homes in England.

One hundred and eight specialist palliative care services based in hospices, the community or hospitals were surveyed between November 2016 and January 2017. 90% of those surveyed had been providing services to care homes for 10 years or more. Just over half provided services within one Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, while 5% covered 5 CCGs. 72% were specifically commissioned to provide palliative care support in care homes, while the other … Read More »


Healthwatch England looks at life in a care home

Posted on August 10th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Healthwatch England looks at life in a care home

Between January 2016 and April 2017, local Healthwatch staff and volunteers across England visited 197 care homes across 63 different local authority areas, to find out what day-to-day life is really like for many of those living in care homes.

Most of the residents and relatives Healthwatch spoke with considered the care they received to be good, with innovative homes showing what is possible without breaking the bank.

Local Healthwatch representatives saw staff going above and beyond the call of duty to connect with those they care for and really helping them to live their lives – including one activities co-ordinator from Cheshire who arranged for her own wedding reception to take place in the care home she worked at to enable residents to join in with the party.

However, Healthwatch volunteer visitors said they also witnessed homes not getting the basics right … Read More »


Four Seasons reports steady improvement despite funding pressures

Posted on August 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Four Seasons reports steady improvement despite funding pressures

In reporting its financial performance for the second quarter of 2017, major provider Four Seasons Health Care says there has been across-the-board

improvement in earnings, occupancy and quality ratings.

Four Seasons chairman Robbie Barr said that in the second quarter of this year, EBITDA of £13.5m was 14% higher than in the first quarter, bringing EBITDA for the first half of this year to £25.3m, 11% ahead of the comparative period last year.

Turnover for the second quarter was £164.5m (£163.9m in Q1). Turnover for the first half of this year was £17.5m or 5.7% ahead of the comparative period last year, on a like for like basis, after adjusting for closures and disposals.

Occupancy across the group’s care homes in Q2 was 89.4%, compared to 87.5% during the comparative period in 2016.

Mr Barr said the group’s care quality ratings continued to improve, with … Read More »


Speaker line-up confirmed for Care England Conference 2017

Posted on August 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Speaker line-up confirmed for Care England Conference 2017

The speaker line-up has now been finalised for the Care England 2017 conference & exhibition, ‘Shaping Tomorrow’, which will take place at Church

House, Westminster, on Thursday, 16 November.

The programme will begin with a presentation on ‘Sustainable & transformed care using the NHSmail and the IG Toolkit’ to be delivered by Keith Strahan, NHS Digital, principle relationship manager, social care. He will be followed by William Roberts, care home lead, NHS New Care Models Programme, who will cover the Airedale Telehealth Vanguard and its benefits for social care.

Tim Griffiths, assistant director, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, will give an update on the progress of ‘Devo Manc’, the Health & Social Care Integration Pilot in Manchester. And finally an international perspective on care provision will be delivered by Sue Jauncey, the founder of Pulse Australasia. Her presentation, ‘Culture Change. Learning … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Extracare – the next best solution?

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Academics at Newcastle University say that an average of almost nine thousand more care home beds will be needed each...

Care homes discounted in end of life care

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I am sure that we all want those who we care for to experience ‘a good death’ when the time...

Perhaps I’m ‘app’athetic

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I’ve got an app in my toolbox that allows me to bang-in nails – I call it a hammer. I’ve...