Caring Times News


Care home staff asked to help protect antibiotics for future generations

Posted on November 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Care home staff have been called on to join the battle to protect antibiotics for future generations.

Care homes are being targeted during the campaign, led in Scotland by the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), as older people are more vulnerable to infections, receive more antibiotics than younger people and are more likely to experience adverse effects from antibiotic treatment.

As part of the focus on care homes, a decision aid tool has been developed by SAPG in collaboration with the Care Inspectorate and care home provider organisations to support management of diarrhoea, including advice on Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a potentially serious cause of diarrhoea.

The decision aid, together with “get well soon without antibiotics” posters and leaflets, will be sent out to care homes across Scotland. Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said care homes had an … Read More »


Academics to undertake three-year care sector recruitment study

Posted on November 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Aston Business School has teamed-up with Solihull-based recruitment experts Cohesion, who are funding a three-year study investigating recruitment and selection practices in the UK care sector.

It is hoped the study will result in specific and high-impact recommendations for recruitment and selection in the sector. Debbie Edmondson, talent director at Cohesion, said organisations in the care sector were faced with a dual challenge: the need for fast paced recruitment to meet business growth and turnover, and the continual demand to improve the quality of care provided.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity to work with Aston in order to develop and improve testable recruitment models,” said Ms Edmondson

“We’re passionate about innovation at Cohesion and we look forward to understanding more about how we can improve recruitment processes in the care sector.”

Dr Ann Davis, head of the work & organisational psychology … Read More »


King’s Fund report looks at commissioning

Posted on November 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A new report – Commissioning and contracting for integrated care – which looks at the risks and benefits of using different contractual vehicles to stimulate and support integrated care, has been published by The King’s Fund.

In recent months, integration has been high on the health and social care agenda, and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been tasked with finding innovative, flexible approaches to commissioning and contracting for service transformation.

The report investigates how commissioners in five areas are using different contracting models to drive integrated care and draws four key observations from the evidence, namely that commissioners should:

continually engage with providers, patients and local communities to identify problems and appropriate solutions;
ensure whether a contractual solution is appropriate and proportionate for addressing the need at hand;
develop an approach to contracting that is not purely transactional, but which builds trust and … Read More »


Intermediate care provision must double to meet demand, new audit reveals

Posted on November 12th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Intermediate care services for frail older people must double in capacity to meet increased demand due to an ageing population. The 2014 National Audit of Intermediate Care (NAIC) shows that, in spite of similar findings in 2012 and 2013, there has still been no national increase in funding for intermediate care services, which provide an important link between GPs, social care and hospitals.

Despite this, the NAIC audit shows that outcomes for intermediate care patients are extremely positive, and continuing to improve. The vast majority of people experienced a positive outcome from their care; 92% of service users in home based care and 94% in bed based care maintained or improved their level of functioning across a range of everyday activities.

The NAIC figures also show that further resources are urgently needed: waiting times for crisis response services have increased … Read More »


Catering association warns of dangers of cutting community meals services

Posted on November 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has warned that elderly people in Britain face the risk of malnutrition and social isolation, whilst adding to the cost of an already struggling NHS, as government cuts hit community meals services.

Research published by the NACC shows that a third of councils no longer provide community meals – through meals on wheels, luncheon clubs and day centres – to elderly and vulnerable people living independently in their own homes. More than half expect further service reductions in the year ahead.

The NACC national chair, Neel Radia, has also called for government to look at making community meals a statutory responsibility for councils to protect services for older people. The NACC – supported by MPs, local authorities, caterers and campaigners such as the National Pensioners Convention – wants to highlight the pressure on meal … Read More »


Care home bosses back calls for urgent reforms

Posted on November 10th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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NHS will cease to function without fundamental changes to system

Care home bosses in Wales have backed a call for urgent reforms of the way services are commissioned and paid for.

Care Forum Wales (CFW), an organisation which represents 500 independent care providers, said a review into the quality of life and care of older people in care homes in Wales conducted by the Older People’s Commissioner had revealed worrying flaws in procedures for commissioning social care.

According to Sarah Rochira’s report, A Place to Call Home?, the way care is procured is often more about “contractual frameworks and service specifications” rather than the quality of life of older people. CFW chair Mario Kreft said the report had also highlighted the fact that it was less viable to run care homes in Wales than it was in England. As a result, … Read More »


HC-One sold via NHP acquisition by Formation/Safanad partnership

Posted on November 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Healthcare property group NHP , which owns 275 properties, including the UK’s third largest care provider HC-One, has been acquired for £477m by Formation Capital in partnership with Safanad, a global investment principal firm, and Court Cavendish, the healthcare turnaround specialist and management team at HC-One.

The deal brings total recoveries to NHP’s creditors to £507m over the last five years as NHP has sought to realise value for its lenders through the sale of assets. HC-One was formed in 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of NHP and then appointed Court Cavendish to take control of the NHP care homes following the collapse of Southern Cross The objective for the Court Cavendish team was to manage the homes and stabilise the organisation. Since then, NHP and its lenders have invested more than £90m into HC-One to ensure the business … Read More »


Colliers Review: care home market hindered by falling fees despite improved occupancy levels in 2014

Posted on November 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The UK healthcare market has experienced another consecutive increase in the number of residents in care homes (nursing, personal care and specialist homes) for the third time in 18 months according to the 20th biannual Care Homes Review from specialist healthcare advisors Colliers International. However despite augmented demand, profit margins are on a downward trajectory due to limited public funding as care home operators increasingly struggle to absorb costs.

The report, which focuses on the five key performance indicators of the care home industry, including occupancy rates, average weekly fees, payroll costs, non-payroll costs and profit margins (EBITDAR), found that occupancy levels are continuing to rise in all sectors and now exceed 90% in nursing homes, personal and specialist care homes.

Despite stronger occupancy, profit margins are becoming tighter; falling fee levels coupled with rising costs have meant profitability has fallen … Read More »


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.”





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