Caring Times News


Too much variation in care quality, says regulator

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

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In its fifth annual report on the state of health and care services in England the Care Quality Commission says variation in the quality and safety of care in England is too wide and is unacceptable.

In releasing the report, CQC chief executive David Behan said findings from inspections over the last year had clearly shown there was too much variation in quality and safety between services and within services.

“People need to have confidence that they will get good care,” said Mr Behan.

“ Our role is to identify what works well and why, and what doesn’t work, and use this information to drive improvement and close the gap.

“We acknowledge the rising pressure on care services. Financial pressures are real but not unexpected, and yet we continue to see many examples of good and outstanding care even in financially challenged … Read More »


Plans to train the social care workforce in Wales

Posted on October 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Welsh Government has set out how a multi-million pound grant will be used to support the essential training of the social care workforce in Wales ahead of major legislative changes being introduced over the next three years.

A new Regulation and Inspection Bill, to be introduced in the National Assembly next year, will establish a National Institute for Care and Support to drive forward workforce improvement and development across the sector.

The new arrangements are designed to support essential training in the social care sector and ensure social care staff get the training they need, including training in relation to the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act. The Social Care Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) is worth £8.2m with local authorities contributing 30% match funding. The five priorities for the SCWDP grant in 2015-16 and 2016-17 will be:

To ensure staff … Read More »


CQC consults on next year’s registration fees

Posted on October 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a consultation about the fees it proposes to charge care providers in 2015/16.

This year’s consultation, which runs until noon on 9th January, includes proposals to increase annual fees for all registered providers except for the dental sector and amend the fee scheme for independent healthcare providers whose fees increased due only to structural changes made in the 2013/14 fees scheme.

The regulator says that, with these increases included, health and care providers will still typically pay 1% or less of their income in fees to CQC. The impact of the proposed fee increase on a typical care home a would be £238.

CQC says the proposals in the consultation were developed with CQC’s Fees Advisory Panel, which includes representatives from the providers it regulates.

The consultation document can be accessed at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/organisations-we-regulate/registered-services/fees


Care England and the GMB union say they want to work with Local Government Association to pay care workers the Living Wage

Posted on October 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Care providers’ national body Care England and the GMB Union have written a joint open letter to Councillor David Sparks, chair of Local Government Association setting out a joint concern over earnings levels in the care sector.

GMB national officer for the care sector Justin Bowden and Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said: “We believe a workforce carrying out such highly skilled and socially vital roles deserves to be a paid a living wage. We wish now to work with the LGA to raise pay in the Care Sector to at least living wage.

“As representatives of staff and employers, we are agreed that the time is long overdue for those who care for and support the elderly and most vulnerable people in our society to be properly valued. Key to recognition of the role and contribution care … Read More »


CQC says people with dementia are at risk of poor care in hospitals and care homes

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

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A major review of dementia care by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it is likely that someone with dementia will experience poor care as they move between care homes and hospitals.

When inspecting 129 care homes and 20 hospitals across England, CQC says it found that in about 29% of care homes and 56% of hospitals, assessments were not comprehensive in identifying all of a person’s care needs. In about 34% of care homes and 42% of hospitals, the were aspects of variable or poor care regarding how the care met people’s mental health, emotional and social needs.

The report says the variation in how care is assessed, planned, delivered and monitored by hospitals and care homes puts people living with dementia at risk of experiencing poor care. CQC chief inspector of adult social care Andrea Sutcliffe said the … Read More »


NCA: providers confused by fundamental errors in launch of new fundamental standards

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

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The National Care Association (NCA) says its members are confused by the Care Quality Commission’s implementation of the new fundamental standards and the issuing of two provider handbooks; one covering community adult social care services, and the other covering residential adult social care services.

NCA vice-chairman Mandy Thorn said members were concerned, frustrated and in some cases “very cross” at the confusion that surrounds the introduction of the new fundamental standards and quality ratings system.

One concern is that the Key Lines of Enquiry relating to the new Fundamental Standards were published on 25th September and implemented on 1st October, giving providers five days to make the changes required before inspections start implementing the Fundamental Standards. NCA says the handbooks explaining how the new arrangements are to be implemented were published nine days after implementation of the new method of … Read More »


NICE seeks feedback from care homes on draft drug guidance

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

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A list of nine draft statements aimed at helping care home residents to make decisions about their own medicines has been drawn-up by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The list is a draft ‘quality standard’ which NICE believes care homes should address if they are to provide residents with high quality care.

Published for consultation, the document advises care homes to put individuals at the heart of decisions about any medicines they may need and to support them wherever possible to administer medication themselves. It also sets out how care homes can avoid medication errors.

The standard also emphasises the importance of GP practices and care homes working together to promote best practice.

The public consultation on the draft quality standard will run until Friday 7 November 2014. It is expected to publish next March and will be the … Read More »


Gateshead Continuing Healthcare funding enquiry welcomed

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

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Healthcare funding watchdog Monitor has agreed to conduct an inquiry into whether Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group followed the application of the rules within the National Tariff with respect to the fees it pays for Continuing Healthcare Funded residents in care homes.

The inquiry has been welcomed by national representative body Care England. Its chief executive, Professor Martin Green, said the National Tariff rules for the setting of fees locally by CCGs around CHC provided a vital framework for ensuring the process is undertaken in a fair and reasonable way.

“The case being brought by David Collins solicitors with respect to the way Gateshead CCG set its CHC fees payable to care homes is, therefore, of significant interest and importance in securing quality care for individuals and fairness for providers,” said Prof. Green.

“We welcome the response by Monitor to conduct an … Read More »


Cameras in care homes are ‘expensive, laborious and ineffective’, says Stephen Burke

Posted on October 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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While the Care Quality Commission is to offer guidance to families on how to use secret cameras to monitor their loved ones in care, Stephen Burke, director of Good Care Guide (www.goodcareguide.co.uk), the TripAdvisor style website for the care industry, believes that installing cameras in care homes is a “terrible idea” and “a step too far”.

“Surveillance is not the answer; it undermines staff and implies that they can’t be trusted,” said Mr Burke.

“There have been a number of devastating cases of abuse at care homes lately but there are better ways to avoid these in the future. The CQC needs to be more responsive to families’ concerns and tackle the early signs of poor care before it’s too late.

“The key to improving care is not by introducing a Big Brother-style culture but to ensure the industry is well … Read More »


Alternative Futures appoints community circles connector

Posted on October 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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North West charity Alternative Futures Group (AFG) has adopted a new community approach to help people with dementia and learning disabilities.

AFG says it is the first provider to invest in a full time community circles connector to help people develop circles of support.

Cath Barton, who has been appointed to the post, describes a community circle as a way to support someone through bringing together friends, family and neighbours with a facilitator. Cath, who is an experienced trainer and facilitator who prior to joining AFG was an adviser for national charity MacIntyre in all areas of person centred approaches, said a circle could start with two people or several people coming together with a clear purpose before agreeing what the circle can do that will make a difference.

“I’m passionate about developing person centred approaches which support people to live … Read More »





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