Caring Times News


Oh death tax, where is thy sting?

Posted on March 27th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Reactions to the latest proposed review of social care funding have ranged from cautious welcome to resigned cynicism. What, several commentators have tiredly enquired, can this new look at a difficult but already thoroughly rehearsed issue actually achieve? The answer surely lies in how the central question is posed.

If we ask simply how can social care be funded, all the old objections resurface, notably the big bill. Eventually a report will be produced and in all probability after a brief debate timid politicians will again banish the issue to the back burner or the long grass, depending on your cliché preference. If on the other hand, the facts that something has to be done and that whatever happens will cost a lot are stated as givens, the question then to be put to the public is … Read More »


Delayed discharge oversight holds promise

Posted on March 20th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

Although post-Budget celebrations have been understandably muted, social care providers might derive some consolation from the Chancellor’s sub-text. The improvement measures planned for councils that struggle to reduce delayed transfers of care (DTOC) could offer wider-ranging potential.

Given the impracticability of isolating issues around DTOC from general commissioning practice, the likely ripple effects of external intervention could constitute the thick end of a regulatory wedge – especially if implemented by CQC. Providers have long been frustrated by local authorities’ in-house replacement for independent oversight of commissioning: LGA’s buddy scheme in which performance is assessed at mates’ rates. Now Whitehall also seems to have become exasperated.

At the request of the Department of Health, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has directed councils towards the straight and narrow with an idiot’s guide to providers’ costs*. This, remember, … Read More »


Not wishing to seem ungrateful, but . . .

Posted on March 13th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

The great and the good have comprehensively welcomed the extra £2bn over three years of our money which the Government has committed to fund the social care needs of those who lack the means to pay for it themselves.

It would have been churlish and mean-spirited to dismiss the Chancellor’s announcement as nothing more than the bare minimum the Government can do in order to avoid significant long term damage, if not the general collapse of the publicly-funded social care system, and the equally significant knock-on effects on the beleaguered NHS.

But I do wonder at the absence of any howls of protest at the insult implicit in the promise of yet another ‘green paper’ on a long term solution to social care funding. I see no evidence that this one will have any more legs … Read More »


Greensleeves launches charity bonds

Posted on March 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Greensleeves launches charity bonds

Greensleeves Care, a not-for-profit provider operating 20 care homes, including two nursing homes across the Midlands, South and East of England, has arranged for the issue of charity bonds to diversify its sources of funding and allow the organisation to expand its services.

The bonds will be issued by Retail Charity Bonds plc, a special purpose issuing vehicle that connects charitable organisations seeking unsecured loan finance with investors looking for fixed income bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The funds raised will be loaned, via a loan agreement, to Greensleeves Homes Trust. The bonds are available to wholesale and retail investors and will pay a fixed rate of interest at 4.25 % per annum. They have a minimum initial subscription amount of £500 and are available in multiples of £100 thereafter.

The offer period is expected to close at 24 March 2017 … Read More »


Mixed provision in a mixed retirement market

Posted on March 6th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A man recently wrote to my local paper objecting to retirement units being built near to the centre of the town where I live.

“There is already more than enough retirement housing in the town,” he wrote. “Do we want to become a community of geriatrics?”

He has a point, particularly as younger people are being priced out of the town’s housing market. The writer mentioned that he himself was a pensioner in his 70s so we may assume that he enjoys living in a multigenerational community.

But around the country the township demographic is getting older and yet the supply of ‘age qualified’ housing in the UK is only about 0.05%, compared to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where it ranges between 5 and 7%.

‘Retirement villages’ and the like are enjoying a period of growth … Read More »


End of March deadline to enter training awards

Posted on March 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on End of March deadline to enter training awards

Care providers have until Friday, March 31st to enter the City & Guilds Group Princess Royal Training Awards – a programme which celebrates the impact of training and development on business performance.

Last year, 33 organisations reached the standard and received an award at a reception hosted by Princess Anne at St James’s Palace. Among the recipients were the Caring Homes Group and Home Instead Senior Care. Now in the second year, the awards are free to enter. Businesses of all sizes and from all sectors are encouraged to apply.

For more information on how to apply and for support with the application, visit: www.princessroyaltrainingawards.com


CQC to be given oversight of new funding?

Posted on February 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on CQC to be given oversight of new funding?

An article published in the Health Service Journal in late February suggests that the Government will ask the Care Quality Commission to oversee use of additional funds for care, expected to be announced in the March budget.

Although a government source is reported to have said the plans were ‘speculation’, several sources with knowledge of the plans said talks were taking place between the Treasury, Department of Health and the CQC.

Sources with knowledge of the talks are reported to have said the CQC would be tasked by ministers with inspecting how councils use the money. The intention is to provide assurance to the Treasury that the money will deliver measurable improvements – both for social care users, and to the NHS, by helping to reduce delayed transfers out of hospital. The plans are expected to be announced when the Government delivers … Read More »


Health and social care: poles part in the public perception

Posted on February 27th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on Health and social care: poles part in the public perception

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Despite increased media attention, social care remains a low priority issue in the mind of the general public.

Last week, in the latest ‘Issues Index’ published by IpsosMori and the Economist, British people ranked social care and an ageing population ninth in their list of concerns, overshadowed by Brexit, immigration, the economy, housing, unemployment, education, poverty and inequality.

Concern about the NHS came top of the poll, so are we to conclude that wider society is content for the needs of the relatively few elderly people who cannot pay their own way to be ignored, provided that we have a sufficiency of A&Es and maternity units?

I think that’s how government sees it; that spernding more public money on social care to reduce ‘bed blocking’ may not be a panacea for the NHS and that asset-poor elderly people … Read More »


Social care not the most pressing issue on the public’s mind

Posted on February 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Social care not the most pressing issue on the public’s mind

Despite increasing media attention social care ranks only as the ninth matter for concern in people’s minds, according to the latest Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index.

The poll shows increasing public concern with the NHS, with almost half (49%) of the British public considering it to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain. Concern has risen nine percentage points since December, and is now at the highest level recorded since April 2003.

After the NHS the public rank the following as issues of major concern (in descending priority):

Brexit
Immigration
The economy
Housing
Unemployment
Education/schools
Poverty/inequality
Ageing population/social care
Defence/foreign affairs/terrorism


Care England questions LD registration criteria

Posted on February 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care England questions LD registration criteria

Care providers’ association Care England has responded to CQC’s latest consultation on its next phase of regulation – Annexe B on Learning Disability services – warning that services should be registered on the prospective outcomes that they will achieve for people, not simply on their size.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said his members were concerned by the real life application of the current guidance that states that CQC will only register units of six beds or fewer will not offer genuine choice.

“The ‘six bed rule’ seems to be the primary, and in some cases, the only factor in deciding if registration will be granted,” said Prof. Green.

“This is contrary to the need to look at a range of factors to determine what is suitable for people living in the community and will work counter to the establishment of suitable … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Oh death tax, where is thy sting?

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Reactions to the latest proposed review of social care funding have ranged from cautious welcome to resigned cynicism. What, several...

Delayed discharge oversight holds promise

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

Although post-Budget celebrations have been understandably muted, social care providers might derive some consolation from the Chancellor’s sub-text. The improvement measures...

Not wishing to seem ungrateful, but . . .

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

The great and the good have comprehensively welcomed the extra £2bn over three years of our money which...