Caring Times News


Cross-subsidy – the unfairest practice

Posted on December 5th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. No Comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study into care homes for elderly people. It is going to look into reports of potentially unfair practices and contract terms being used by some care homes and evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers. It will also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.

This is an opportunity for providers to acknowledge, and then step back from, the unfair practise of charging self-funding residents over the odds to subsidise the inadequate fees paid by local authorities for publicly funded residents.

Not only do self-funders pay for their own care, but have throughout their working lives, through their … Read More »


Competition body to examine care home market

Posted on December 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Competition body to examine care home market

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into care homes for elderly people, to assess how well the market works, and whether people are being treated fairly.

CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said that, as well as looking at reports of potentially unfair practices and contract terms being used by some care homes, the study would also evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers, and would also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.

“We want to hear from care home providers about the services they offer and any challenges they face,” said Ms Coscelli.

Views are welcomed on any of the issues raised in the Statement of Scope – https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/care-homes-market-studyRead More »


Down on the ostrich farm

Posted on November 28th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By guest blogger CATHY BUTTERWORTH, Independent Nurse Consultant

I wish I could have been where Philip Hammond has been for the last few months – somewhere quiet and peaceful, away from the world, a desert island perhaps with lots of sand. He must have been so isolated, with no access to letters, phone calls and emails. He can’t have read the numerous reports from reputable organisations like CQC, Kings Fund, and British Geriatric Society. He hasn’t heard the stories of people in distress from organisations like Age UK. He can’t have known about the evidence from leaders of the NHS and social care providers, from Care England and NHS England. He doesn’t know about the many people who remain in hospital when they are ready to go home, but there is no support for them to enable them to leave. He can’t … Read More »


Amendment to DoLS law welcomed

Posted on November 25th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Amendment to DoLS law welcomed

A proposed amendment to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) legislation has been welcomed by care providers representative body Care England. Speaking at Care England’s annual conference in November, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, chair of National Capacity Forum, said a change to the Policing and Crime Bill, initially proposed by Ann Coffey MP and supported by the Government, amends the meaning of state detention in Section 48 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green explained the significance of the proposed change.

“Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are designed to keep people safe, but they have long been a bone of contention with the care home sector and families owing to the unintended consequence meaning if someone is subject to a DoLS, their death must be investigated,” said Prof. Green.

“This means that older people with dementia, whose deaths … Read More »


Ian Sinnott’s passing is a double blow

Posted on November 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ian Sinnott’s passing is a double blow

The care sector in Dorset has been dealt a double blow this year.

Just weeks after being recognised by CQC as Outstanding, The Old Vicarage lost its charismatic leader when Annie Sinnott died in April, and earlier this week her husband also died suddenly at home.

They were a formidable team. Annie drove forward the quality care agenda whilst Ian worked quietly in the background planning the future and securing the funds for the development of the home whilst still finding time to run his own businesses which included importing wine.

Under their stewardship the Old Vicarage grew from one resident in 1985 to the 40-bed home it is today. The local community in Leigh near Sherborne has also benefited from the Sinnotts’ contribution to village life with barbecues, fetes, wine tastings and many other events which they have hosted in their gardens.

The … Read More »


Asking the right questions

Posted on November 21st, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

I think I was watching ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ when I first heard the barristers’ mantra ‘When in court, never ask a question that you don’t already know the answer to”. I’ve heard it many times since Leo McKern rendered it in his world-weary yet tolerant tones, and not always from the mouths or pens of our learned friends, and not always in respect of the theatre of the courtroom.

Those who conduct surveys – and their name is Legion – appear to have adopted the principle as their own. Yet another survey summary appeared in my in-box last week, trumpeting the finding that “80% of respondents say their biggest priority is to stay in their own home”.

We are not given the wording of the question that produced this result, so it cannot be dismissed out … Read More »


Care workers shape up with exercise programme

Posted on November 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care workers shape up with exercise programme

Caring Times, December 2016

A national care group is offering staff advice on exercises which can be done in the workplace in a bid to promote health and fitness.

Springhill Care Group, which operates homes in Lancashire and Bristol, has engaged Bristol-based physiotherapist Andy Stenner, to design a range of exercises which can be done by busy care professionals during the working day.

The exercises include step-ups which can be done on a set of stairs, sit-to-stand exercises which see staff simply standing up from a sitting position, and marching on the spot, designed to help keep muscles flexible without placing strain on the body.

Virginia Perkins, head of human resources at the Springhill Care Group, said helping staff stay fit and healthy was a key priority.

“Working in the care profession can involve long days and nights, often eating on the fly during a … Read More »


Social Care Academy launched at Weymouth College

Posted on November 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Social Care Academy launched at Weymouth College

Caring Times, December 2016

South coast care provider Agincare and Weymouth College have launched a new training initiative – The Agincare Health and Social Care Academy.

Both the college and Agincare believe that a strong partnership between business and education is a key way forward in developing the very best career opportunities and the two organisations will work in partnership to offer a wide range of clear pathways for a rewarding long-term career in care.

Agincare group chief executive Raina Summerson said she hoped the academy would raise the profile of the sector and attract more people into studying and working in social care.

“As examples from job roles across our services show, social care is an immensely rewarding sector in which numerous and diverse career pathways can be pursued,” said Ms Summerson.

“Weymouth College’s Health and Social Care course is outstanding and we are … Read More »


Five outstanding ratings for WCS

Posted on November 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Five outstanding ratings for WCS

Caring Times, December 2016

WCS Care, a not-for-profit company based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire with charity status that provides care and support for older people and people with disabilities, has become the first care home provider in England to have five care homes to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Newlands, based on Whites Row, provides rehabilitation, respite and long-term residential care for people with physical disabilities or long-term conditions, and received the accolade after an unannounced inspection by the regulator in July. Earlier this year the CQC rated four other WCS Care homes as ‘outstanding’, which means almost half of the charity’s 12 homes have achieved the highest recognition.

Nationally, only around one in 200 care homes receive the ‘outstanding’ status. In December the group added a 13th home to its portfolio. Castle Brook in Kenilworth is a £10.5m purpose-built development … Read More »


Dalton: spending plans are ‘unrealistic’

Posted on November 15th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Dalton: spending plans are ‘unrealistic’

Caring Times, December 2016

In response to the CQC State of Care report released in October, Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the report showed that the NHS was being stretched to the limit, especially after additional pressure caused by ongoing cuts to social care, mental health and public health.

Mr Dalton said CQC had found that patient safety was the greatest area of improvement in providers re-inspected by the CQC after being initially rated as inadequate but while successive Governments had protected NHS funding, social care funding was not keeping pace, leading to extra demands on the NHS, which it is ill-equipped to meet.

“Public spending plans are becoming less realistic by the day and it’s crucial that the upcoming Autumn Spending Review addresses this crisis. Relying on a political rhetoric that promises to protect the NHS, but fails … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Cross-subsidy – the unfairest practice

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a market study into care homes for elderly people. It...

Down on the ostrich farm

By guest blogger CATHY BUTTERWORTH, Independent Nurse Consultant

I wish I could have been where Philip Hammond has been for the last few months – somewhere...

Asking the right questions

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

I think I was watching ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ when I first heard the barristers’ mantra ‘When in court,...