Caring Times News

Another insurance broker withdraws from care sector

Posted on August 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Hiscox Insurance has announced its withdrawal from the care sector. The firm will continue to write business through to 31st December 2014 but after these policies expire in 2015, it will not offer renewal.

This news comes hard on the heels of Ecclesiastical, which also withdrew from the care sector at the end of last year. David Waters, managing director of Care Home Insurance Services (CHIS), said Hiscox’s decision was based on actuarial projections for future claims, which it believes will escalate considerably.

“Our analysis of the risk profiles of our clients does not bear out Hiscox’s projections,” said Mr Waters.

“All the care businesses we pass on to underwriters are of exceptional quality and carefully selected. However, the withdrawal of Hiscox is undoubtedly a significant market development and, with two major insurers leaving the sector, it is only prudent to … Read More »

UK left to grow old disgracefully

Posted on July 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Older people have backed calls for better representation as a new report reveals the devastating impact of failure to address demographic change.

Neglect, loneliness and inadequate care funding are just some of the reasons why older people’s charity Anchor has issued a rallying call to transform the way services are planned and designed for older people.

The case for change is set out in its Grey Pride Manifesto, published at the end of July, which supports growing calls for a Minister for Older People.

The charity’s report shows 77% of over-65s agree that one individual in the Cabinet should be dedicated to the needs of older people.

Support for such a role is also prominent among younger people with 62% of 18 to 34 year olds who expressed a definitive view backing the move.

The research commissioned by Anchor shows that young people … Read More »

Care home market remains fragile

Posted on July 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A new report from the Institute of Public Care (IPC) shows that, three years on from the collapse of Southern Cross, significant problems continue for the care home market.

In the wake of the demise of Southern Cross in 2011, and following the development of the Market Oversight regime in the Care Act, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published an IPC report which reviews the state of the care market in England.

IPC, which is part of Oxford Brookes University, found that recruiting a trained and well paid workforce is likely to be a major issue for the future, and that the older persons’ care market continues to be fragile.

The report notes that “very few of the providers and financial advisors we interviewed ruled out the possibility of another Southern Cross style crisis.” Debt, and the management of debt, … Read More »

CQC consults on how providers can meet new ‘fundamental standards’ of care

Posted on July 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has drafted guidance on how the 46,000 health and adult social care providers and services that it regulates across England can meet the Government’s new regulations on care and what actions it will take when they fail.

The draft guidance has been issued as part of a public consultation which ends on Friday, 17th October. CQC says the new regulations (called “fundamental standards”) are more focused and clear about the care that people should always expect to receive.

They were laid before Parliament in July and will come into effect by next April. They include both the new “duty of candour” and the “fit and proper persons” requirements. These will oblige providers to be open and honest when things go wrong and hold directors to account when care fails people.

These two requirements will apply to … Read More »

High Court judge orders council to raise care home fees

Posted on July 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A High Court Judgment passed down last week will have profound implications for the funding of care home residents throughout the UK. This is the view of the Abbeyfield Society whose Newcastle branch took Newcastle City Council to Court for not paying a fair rate for the care provided to older people at two of Abbeyfield’s care homes in the city.

Mr Justice Norris said the rate should rise to £450 per resident per week for April 2010 to March 2011 and to £460 for April 2011 to March 2012. The council had originally paid Abbeyfield £436 for both years, in line with a two-year price freeze it initiated in 2010 for publicly-funded care home clients. But, on the eve of proceedings in December 2013, the council agreed it should have paid Abbeyfield £455, from October 2011 to April … Read More »

Parliament talks about top-ups

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

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Concern about families paying top-up fees for care home residents was voiced in a Parliamentary debate led by former care minister Paul Burstow this week.

Mr Burstow said there was mounting evidence of confusion and rule breaking over the application of top-up fees by local authorities. He said the rules on top up-up fees need to be examined and told the debate that ‘we need to get this right as top-ups look set to grow in number’.

In response care minister Norman Lamb said he was concerned about the case studies of two older people Paul Burstow had highlighted in his speech. Mr Lamb said they ‘almost sort of smack of exploitation’ of the elderly people involved.

Mr Lamb said care home tops-ups ‘must be the positive choice on the part of the person, something that they understand, both in terms … Read More »

Target Healthcare REIT acquires three care homes and specialist facilities

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

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Target Healthcare REIT has acquired three care homes and four specialist care bungalows from Zest Investment Group for about £20.4m including acquisition costs.

Located in Norfolk and Northern Ireland, each of the care homes offers a combination of residential, nursing and dementia care. One of the homes also provides specialist care for individuals with learning disabilities, autism and complex physical disabilities.

Accommodating up to 255 residents, the properties offer a range of facilities, including generously proportioned single bedrooms with en-suite wetroom facilities; spacious public areas; as well as activity rooms, hair-dressing salons and therapy rooms.

The care homes will continue to be leased to the existing operator, Priory Group, for a period of up to 28 years. The transaction represents an initial yield in excess of 7% and the rents payable under the leases are subject to fixed annual rental uplifts.

Priory … Read More »

‘Special measures’ raise more questions than answers, says RNHA

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

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The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) has called on health secretary Jeremy Hunt for reassurance that his hospital-style ‘special measures’ regime for failing care homes, announced last week, will be both workable and fair.

RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said proposals lacked vital detail and it is was uncertain whether they could sensibly be applied to care homes.

“We welcome any constructive steps aimed at helping care homes to deliver high quality services to their residents,” said Mr Ursell.

“We have been calling for the reintroduction of a care home ratings system for some time and are pleased that it is now happening at last. A good ratings system helps care providers to evaluate how well they are performing against the general standards of their sector. It also helps potential residents and their families to decide which care home to … Read More »

New Care Projects plan £7m care home in Nottingham

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

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Manchester based New Care Projects has plans for an 82-bed care facility in Nottingham, worth £7m.

New Care currently operates two care homes in the North West, in Urmston and Timperley, and has now acquired its first site, of 1.8 acres, outside of the North West, in West Bridgford in the Borough of Rushcliffe.

Target Healthcare REIT buys two more care homes

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

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Target Healthcare REIT, a specialist investor in UK care homes, has acquired two care homes – Bromford Lane and Beechdale Manor – in the Midlands, for about £14.3m including acquisition costs.

Located in Washwood Heath, Birmingham and Bilborough, Nottingham, both properties are modern, purpose-built homes and were acquired under a sale and leaseback arrangement from Bondcare, who will continue to operate them.

Accommodating up to 181 residents across the two homes, both are over three floors and offer residential, nursing and dementia care as well as specialist high dependency care at Bromford Lane. The care homes will continue to be leased to the existing operator Bondcare for a period of approximately 21 years at Bromford Lane and 35 years at Beechdale Manor, and the transaction represents an initial yield in excess of 7% The rent payable under the lease is subject … Read More »

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