Caring Times News


High Court judge orders council to raise care home fees

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

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A High Court Judgment passed down last week will have profound implications for the funding of care home residents throughout the UK. This is the view of the Abbeyfield Society whose Newcastle branch took Newcastle City Council to Court for not paying a fair rate for the care provided to older people at two of Abbeyfield’s care homes in the city.

Mr Justice Norris said the rate should rise to £450 per resident per week for April 2010 to March 2011 and to £460 for April 2011 to March 2012. The council had originally paid Abbeyfield £436 for both years, in line with a two-year price freeze it initiated in 2010 for publicly-funded care home clients. But, on the eve of proceedings in December 2013, the council agreed it should have paid Abbeyfield £455, from October 2011 to April … Read More »


Parliament talks about top-ups

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

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Concern about families paying top-up fees for care home residents was voiced in a Parliamentary debate led by former care minister Paul Burstow this week.

Mr Burstow said there was mounting evidence of confusion and rule breaking over the application of top-up fees by local authorities. He said the rules on top up-up fees need to be examined and told the debate that ‘we need to get this right as top-ups look set to grow in number’.

In response care minister Norman Lamb said he was concerned about the case studies of two older people Paul Burstow had highlighted in his speech. Mr Lamb said they ‘almost sort of smack of exploitation’ of the elderly people involved.

Mr Lamb said care home tops-ups ‘must be the positive choice on the part of the person, something that they understand, both in terms … Read More »


Target Healthcare REIT acquires three care homes and specialist facilities

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

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Target Healthcare REIT has acquired three care homes and four specialist care bungalows from Zest Investment Group for about £20.4m including acquisition costs.

Located in Norfolk and Northern Ireland, each of the care homes offers a combination of residential, nursing and dementia care. One of the homes also provides specialist care for individuals with learning disabilities, autism and complex physical disabilities.

Accommodating up to 255 residents, the properties offer a range of facilities, including generously proportioned single bedrooms with en-suite wetroom facilities; spacious public areas; as well as activity rooms, hair-dressing salons and therapy rooms.

The care homes will continue to be leased to the existing operator, Priory Group, for a period of up to 28 years. The transaction represents an initial yield in excess of 7% and the rents payable under the leases are subject to fixed annual rental uplifts.

Priory … Read More »


‘Special measures’ raise more questions than answers, says RNHA

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

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The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) has called on health secretary Jeremy Hunt for reassurance that his hospital-style ‘special measures’ regime for failing care homes, announced last week, will be both workable and fair.

RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said proposals lacked vital detail and it is was uncertain whether they could sensibly be applied to care homes.

“We welcome any constructive steps aimed at helping care homes to deliver high quality services to their residents,” said Mr Ursell.

“We have been calling for the reintroduction of a care home ratings system for some time and are pleased that it is now happening at last. A good ratings system helps care providers to evaluate how well they are performing against the general standards of their sector. It also helps potential residents and their families to decide which care home to … Read More »


New Care Projects plan £7m care home in Nottingham

Posted on July 16th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. Comments Off

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Manchester based New Care Projects has plans for an 82-bed care facility in Nottingham, worth £7m.

New Care currently operates two care homes in the North West, in Urmston and Timperley, and has now acquired its first site, of 1.8 acres, outside of the North West, in West Bridgford in the Borough of Rushcliffe.


Target Healthcare REIT buys two more care homes

Posted on July 15th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. Comments Off

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Target Healthcare REIT, a specialist investor in UK care homes, has acquired two care homes – Bromford Lane and Beechdale Manor – in the Midlands, for about £14.3m including acquisition costs.

Located in Washwood Heath, Birmingham and Bilborough, Nottingham, both properties are modern, purpose-built homes and were acquired under a sale and leaseback arrangement from Bondcare, who will continue to operate them.

Accommodating up to 181 residents across the two homes, both are over three floors and offer residential, nursing and dementia care as well as specialist high dependency care at Bromford Lane. The care homes will continue to be leased to the existing operator Bondcare for a period of approximately 21 years at Bromford Lane and 35 years at Beechdale Manor, and the transaction represents an initial yield in excess of 7% The rent payable under the lease is subject … Read More »


Social care will suffer as money goes back to the NHS

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

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A Government directive that local authorities must hand money they received through the Better Care Fund back to the NHS will put a huge burden on councils whose social care budgets are already constrained, says the Nuffield Trust.

Responding to the revisions to the Better Care Fund, set out by the Department for Health in early July, Dr Judith Smith of the Nuffield Trust said that, while sound in principle, the Better Care Fund had been built on unrealistic assumptions about the in-year savings that could be achieved by reducing emergency admissions to hospital.

“It’s therefore good to see that the Government has listened to the concerns we and others raised about the impact the Fund could have on hospital finances in 2015/16, which is looking to be a crunch year for the NHS,” said Dr Smith.

“But we should be … Read More »


Albion Ventures invests £16m in new care homes

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

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Funds managed by Albion Ventures, one of the biggest independent venture capital investors in the UK, have committed up to £16m for the development of two purpose-built residential care homes for elderly people.

The new facilities will be located in Cumnor Hill, Oxford and Hillingdon, Greater London and will cater for a total of 130 elderly residents, providing hotel style accommodation including a bistro, private dining room, library and spa.

Construction on both facilities will start in September and they are scheduled to open in the autumn of 2015. Berkley Care Group, which currently runs three luxury care homes, will operate the two new facilities.

Albion and Berkley have already established a partnership through owning and operating Bayfield Court, a 46-bed purpose-built facility in Chingford, Greater London. The new developments will build on the model established at Bayfield Court by providing … Read More »


Care Council for Wales gets £10m to support the regulation and training of the social care workforce

Posted on July 7th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. Comments Off

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The Care Council for Wales will receive £10m funding from the Welsh Government in 2014-15 to regulate the social care workforce and ensure workers receive appropriate training and qualifications.

In announcing the funding, deputy minister for social services Gwenda Thomas said the social care sector was one of the major employers in Wales with 70,000 staff delivering care and support for people across Wales every day.

“This is a varied and dynamic sector incorporating services in the public and independent sectors,” said Ms Thomas.

“Its size and significance is growing and the importance of the social care workforce for the population of Wales cannot be overstated. The Council’s work to set standards is part of the fabric of social services and social care in Wales, providing the framework for a professional, well qualified workforce.

“In implementing our programme for change in social … Read More »


Clydesdale Bank backs Tracscare buyout

Posted on July 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. Comments Off

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Clydesdale Bank has provided funding worth £16.75m, as part of a three bank senior debt package, to support the management buyout of specialist care provider Tracscare Group.

The purchase of Tracscare by its management team was supported by pan-European private equity firm G Square and funded through Clydesdale Bank’s acquisition finance team and two other club partners.

Tracscare provides specialist healthcare to a range of service users with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, mental health or autistic spectrum disorders. Established in 1985 when it opened its first residential care unit in Hazeldene, Swansea, the group has since undergone major expansion and now provides care facilities in 75 homes across England and Wales.

Tracscare chief executive Paul Constable said the last decade had seen substantial growth for the group.

“Our strong occupancy rates are testament to the reputation we have developed as a … Read More »





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