Caring Times News


Care home group builds for the future in Hampshire

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

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Hartwood Care Group is planning for a sustained period of growth after securing new banking facilities from Clydesdale Bank. Hartwood is a joint-venture between major care home provider Hartford Care, Cinnamon Care Capital and developers Highwood Group.

Hartwood has secured lending facilities of £5.2m from Clydesdale Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in London. The deal will contribute to the development of a 65-bed nursing home in Netley Abbey in Hampshire, due to be completed in spring 2015.

The home involves the refurbishment of the former Netley Court School and a new build and follows similar projects at Hartwood House in Lyndhurst last summer and Sunnybank in Fairoak this summer.

The latest deal was delivered by Clydesdale Bank’s regional business development manager, Alex Brown.

With origins dating back more than a century Hartford Care remains a family-owned business delivering residential, dementia, nursing, … Read More »


Annuity firm says councils stand to lose £1.58bn as more people deplete their wealth to cut care costs

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

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The proportion of people who would be happy to reduce their assets below the £23,250 threshold in order to ensure the state pays for the majority of their long-term care has almost doubled over the last year from 23% (2013) to 41% (2014), according to specialist insurer Partnership.

With an estimated 150,000 people entering care each year Partnership says councils could be shouldering up to an additional £1.58bn burden in England alone if all of those who say they intend to spend their wealth do so. Councils in the South East (£330m) and North West (£240m) are likely to be most impacted due to the relatively high number of care homes in these regions.

However, people in the East Midlands (53%) are most likely to say they would spend their wealth and fall back on the state for support. Thomas … Read More »


‘Postcode lottery by the back door’ risk for society’s most vulnerable

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

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One of the UK’s biggest providers of social care services has warned that ambiguity in the rules and guidance included in the Care Act could undermine the Government’s desire to create a national set of care standards.

Home Group, which provides social care services to 30,000 people each year, believes that a lack of clarity around the terms used within the Care Act legislation could mean that some ill and vulnerable people with a major support need will no longer receive the care they need.

For an adult to meet the eligibility criteria, their needs must be caused by a physical impairment or illness, and they must be unable to achieve specified outcomes including carrying out ‘some or all’ basic care activities. Home Group wants the planned criterion for basic care needs to be altered to “one or more” basic … Read More »


Union calls on CQC to pull back on closure of two Kent care homes

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

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The GMB union wants the Care Quality Commission to hold-off on closing two care homes in Kent pending a full investigation.

GMB said previous CQC inspections stated that the two Orchard Care homes in Broadstairs in Kent offered a good standard of care and a decision to close the homes without explanation was an “insult to residents and staff”.

The Woodlands and Fairfield Manor care homes have been told by the CQC to close immediately. Fifty seven staff work at the two sites which up until recently cared for up to 59 residents. News that the CQC had issued a closure notice for Fairfield Manor emerged in mid-August. All staff were required to attend meetings the following week. GMB says its members have not been given reasons for the closures.

GMB senior officer Andy Prendergast said that, while all residents had … Read More »


We must commission for quality to avoid ‘sleepwalking into disaster’

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

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A social care leader has called for fundamental changes to tackle a dire shortage of nurses in Wales. The scarcity of medically trained staff is leading to nursing home closures which will push the NHS beyond breaking point, according to Care Forum Wales chairman Mario Kreft.

One of the major causes of the problem, says Mr Kreft, is the flawed way in which social care is commissioned.

“The commissioning process should be about quality and securing value for money and not about paying the lowest possible price,” said Mr Kreft, speaking after it was announced that two homes in the Bridgend area were closing. HC-One, which owns Abergarw Manor in Brynmenyn and Southmead Grange in South Cornelly, blamed “a national shortage of nursing staff” for the “very difficult decision”.

Mr Kreft said the closures were symptomatic of the problems affecting care … Read More »


RNHA says minister’s comments lack balance

Posted on August 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) has accused care minister Norman Lamb MP of besmirching the reputation of care homes across the country with ill-chosen, over-generalised comments likely to create a negative impression of the quality of service they provide.

Responding to remarks attributed to Mr Lamb, who claimed that care homes can be ‘austere and alien’, RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell said such a description clashed with the findings of a survey that asked care home residents what they thought of their care.

“Nearly nine out of ten (86%) of the sample interviewed told researchers that they had a say in arranging their own room,” said Mr Ursell.

“In addition, almost all of them (98%) said they felt comfortable and safe in their care home.

The survey, carried out by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent … Read More »


RNHA unhappy with threat of more use of courts

Posted on August 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) says it is surprised and disappointed that the Care Quality Commission expects in future to be much more likely to use the courts to improve standards in failing care homes.

This follows comments by CQC chairman David Prior about plans to strengthen his legal team and gear-up for a greater use of the court system to settle disputes about the quality of care being provided.

RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell said it would be more appropriate for Mr Prior to be talking about ways of strengthening the help he and his inspection teams could give to care homes that are struggling to meet the requisite standards.

“We in the RNHA are disappointed that the chairman of the regulator is going down this highly adversarial route,” said Mr Ursell.

“The money the CQC chairman intends to spend … Read More »


Sunrise to operate Gracewell homes

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

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Sunrise Senior Living has acquired the management company of Gracewell Healthcare, a residential care home company owned by Health Care REIT (HCN). Sunrise will operate the 11 care homes in southern England under the Gracewell brand.

Sunrise has also entered into an agreement with HCN and Gracewell’s founders, Tim Street and Daniel Kay who will continue to be financed by Patron Capital, a pan-European institutional investor focused on property-backed investments.

The agreement includes the redevelopment of one care home, the development of 11 additional properties, which are expected to open beginning in 2016, as well as the management of a pipeline of future projects of about five new properties per year.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our operations and footprint in the United Kingdom with Gracewell Healthcare, a company whose mission so closely aligns with ours,” said Sunrise chief executive … Read More »


Joanne celebrates 25 years at Radcliffe Gardens

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

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A member of the care team at Radcliffe Gardens nursing home in Pudsey, near Leeds, recently celebrated 25 year’s service.

Senior carer and activity co-ordinator Joanne Baxendale marked her career anniversary in style with a party for residents and staff.

“I’m so lucky to be in a job I truly enjoy,” said Joanne.

“The residents and the team here at Radcliffe are like my extended family, the last 25 years have been extremely memorable.”

Joanne, who was an auxiliary worker at Leeds General Infirmary before starting at the home was described by the home’s manger, Jean Thorpe, as being ‘very passionate about her work and Radcliffe Gardens, genuinely enjoying all aspects of her job.’

“She is a real asset to the team, constantly coming up with new activity ideas for the residents,” said Jean.

“We’re grateful to her for her long-standing service – here’s … Read More »


Compliance burden grows for care homes as Care Act enters law

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

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A record number of care home inspections were carried out by the Care Quality Commission in the past year as it ramped up its enforcement activity ahead of a raft of new powers given to it in the Care Act.

According to research by business analysts Thomson Reuters, CQC care home inspections have more than quadrupled over the last three years, from just 5,178 in 2010/11 to 21,12 in 2013/14. This follows intense political and public pressure in the wake of high-profile care home scandals such as that involving the Winterbourne View care home in 2011.

“The CQC is now a completely different animal – one with a lot more teeth,” said Tim Spencer-Lane, a lawyer and author of the Care Act Manual, to be published on August 31 2014 by Thomson Reuters.

“Care homes need to be prepared to deal … Read More »





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