Caring Times News


Pilot course in care catering qualification

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

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A course in professional catering and cookery for the health and social care sector is being piloted at Barnet and Southgate College in North London.

The NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care Catering is described as the first professional qualification for the sector. A result of collaboration between the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), and Barnet and Southgate College, the 20-week pilot course and qualification aims to address the absence of a recognised formal professional catering qualification dedicated to the health and social care sector.

NACC national chair Neel Radia said the course upholds a joint commitment to continuously improve the quality and standard of food in health and social care settings, and to position catering in this specific field as a viable and progressive career choice.

“The absence … Read More »


CQC adopts 9% increase in registration fees

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

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Following a 9% increase for 2015/16, care homes will have to pay considerably more in registration fees from April.

The Care Quality Commission announced the increase in late March, following a public consultation last year and approval from the Secretary of State for Health. In the announcement, CQC gave the example a care home with 21 to 25 beds, which would have to pay an increase of £238.

The regulator said it would publish a calculator on its website in April to help providers work out their exact fees for 2015/16, alongside detailed fees guidance.

In the summer, CQC will introduce the option for providers to pay by instalments and by direct debit, to help them manage their cash flows.


GMB joins corporates in warning of care homes crisis

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

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Four Seasons Health Care, Bupa and HC-One, the three biggest operators in the UK’s £24bn care home market, have been joined by the GMB union in warning that the system is in crisis.

GMB, which includes care home staff in its membership, have publicly support the warning from Britain’s biggest providers of care homes for elderly people that cuts to public funding for residents are ‘unsustainable’ and that more homes will close unless the situation improves. GMB national officer for social care Justin Bowden said repeated warnings from GMB that Southern Cross would collapse had been repeatedly ignored by government.

“Warnings that the entire care sector is in a slow motion collapse, albeit for different reasons to Southern Cross, are falling on the same deaf ears,” said Mr Bowden.

“If we are not prepared to learn the lessons of history, we … Read More »


Report recommends free social care for terminally-ill people

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

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A report published by the Health Select Committee published in mid-March has reviewed the state of end of life care, making a number of recommendations for improvement, including that social care should be free at the end of life.

Based on evidence from clinicians, charities and palliative care experts, the report found ‘great variation in quality and practice across both acute and community settings’ in England.

End-of-life care is defined as people expected to die within 12 months, most of whom will have incurable or progressive illnesses like dementia. Care minister Norman Lamb has said that the Government is looking carefully at a policy of free end-of-life care.

George McNamara, head of policy and public affairs at the Alzheimer’s Society, said people with dementia were currently obliged to pay a “dementia tax” of thousands of pounds for essential care, especially towards … Read More »


Guidance issued on displaying ratings

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

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Guidance issued on displaying ratings Final guidance has been issued by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on how care providers should display their performance ratings determined by the regulator.

CQC has developed a suite of posters that will be automatically generated through the regulator’s website for all care services that receive a CQC rating to download, print and display.

CQC chief executive David Behan said people could expect to start seeing performance ratings on provider websites as well as across premises, public entrances and waiting areas of care services from 1st April.

“We know that our ratings are an important source of information to support people’s choice of service,” said Mr Behan.

“The aim of this new requirement is all about helping to achieve better awareness and greater transparency for members of the public about which care services are Outstanding, Good, Require … Read More »


Homecare report highlights councils’ meagre payment

Posted on March 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Using data obtained under freedom of information legislation, the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has released figures which it says show the national and regional picture of under-funding of homecare services for older people across the United Kingdom.

The UKHCA says its report exposes the level of risk that councils in Great Britain (and health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland) place on a system intended to support older people. Of the 203 authorities where an average price could be established, just 28 councils paid their independent and voluntary sector homecare providers fees at or above UKHCA’s minimum price for homecare of £15.74 per hour. The average price for an hour for homecare for older people in a sample week was:

United Kingdom: £13.66 per hour
England: £13.77 per hour
Wales: £14.28 per hour
Scotland: £13.68 per hour
Northern Ireland: £11.35 per hour

UKHCA’s … Read More »


Care home days were ‘the best years of my Mum’s life’

Posted on February 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Speaking at the My Home Life conference in Wales in late February, a South Wales woman described her mother’s days living at a Porthcawl care home as ‘the best years of my Mum’s life’.

Marianne Manser’s mother Morfydd Jones had dementia, and moved to live to the Masonic Care Home in Porthcawl in May 2007.

“Mum never wanted to go into a care home,” said Marianne. “She used to say ‘they are all full of older people sitting around sleeping’

“When her memory started to deteriorate and it was becoming more obvious that despite homecare, it wasn’t enough to keep her safe at home.

“The Masonic Care Home was home – mum’s home. We struck gold! I was told that I could come and go as I pleased, visiting Mum whenever I wanted.

“She was very happy there – the staff treated her … Read More »


New regulatory law in Wales focuses on accountability of senior officers

Posted on February 26th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Care home owners will become more accountable for their services under a new law designed to strengthen the protection of children and adults and improve the quality of care and support in Wales.

The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill was put before the National Assembly for Wales by health and social services minister Mark Drakeford in late February.

The Bill introduced a new model of regulation, which will allow regulators to press for improvement across one care setting site or across a provider’s entire range of services – including care homes – if deemed necessary. It will make it easier for the regulator to act where care is considered beyond repair and, if necessary, cancel the registration of those providers, services and settings which fail to implement improvements. It also includes stronger penalties for certain offences.

Mr Drakeford … Read More »


HC-One offers nurses jobs on-the-spot

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

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HC-One, the UK’s third biggest care home provider, will recruitment events in Bolton in early March, with candidates able to leave with a job on the same day.

Following two successful ‘Discovery Events’ in Northwich in February, HC-One will run two half-day events in Bolton specifically designed to cut out the all-too-familiar drawn out recruitment processes, and periods of uncertainty for candidates.

Each of the sessions in Bolton will seek to recruit nurses for Meadow Bank House and Four Seasons care homes, both in the Bolton area. On the day, potential candidates will have the opportunity to meet HC-One’s operations directors and the home managers of each of the homes. They will also receive tours of the homes and meet each homes’ staff and residents, before having an interview and short assessment.

Successful candidates will be offered a job on the … Read More »


CQC inspections are a lottery for many, says law firm

Posted on February 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. No Comments

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UK healthcare providers are facing a lottery over inspections by their regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with huge variations in enforcement decisions by different inspectors, says commercial law firm EMW.

CQC data shows that in 2013/14, 16 inspectors took ‘enforcement action’, the most severe option, in which they can fine, close or even prosecute, in more than 20% of all healthcare premises they inspected. In sharp contrast, 176 inspectors gave a ‘pass’ to every provider they inspected. In the same period, EMW says that many health and social care providers believe the outcomes of CQC inspections are inconsistent, as the broadly-drafted regulations force inspectors to make a subjective judgement, with very little audit of those decisions. It warns that the extensive enforcement powers granted to the CQC in 2014, as well as a raft of new powers set … Read More »





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