Caring Times News


Providers say they will take fewer publicly-funded placements as staff costs continue to climb

Posted on July 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Providers say they will take fewer publicly-funded placements as staff costs continue to climb

Provider representative body Care England has published results of its survey on pay, and says the finding affirm the fragility of the system owing to

inadequate and unsustainable fees from local authorities.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the survey made it clear that providers were expecting higher staffing costs and falling profits whilst demand continued to increase.

“In order to manage this, providers are anticipating fewer local authority placements while investing in technology and services to respond to demand,” said Prof. Green.

“The sector can and must adapt, but dynamics are shifting and unless local authorities pay the commensurate rate to providers there will be a lack of capacity for local authority funded residents and the ongoing workforce challenges will not be addressed.”

Key Statistics

96% of providers expected their overall staffing budget to increase this year and all expected further increases over … Read More »


Government acts to reduce impact of new wage rules on sleep-ins

Posted on July 26th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Government acts to reduce impact of new wage rules on sleep-ins

The Government has announced that it has temporarily suspended enforcement activity and is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector.

Last week specialist care provider organisations said the sector was approaching a crunch over sleep-ins and called on government to clarify its position. Today, the Government has said it will waive historic financial penalties owed by employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before 26 July 2017; and temporarily suspend HMRC enforcement activity concerning payment of sleep-in shifts by social care providers until 2nd October 2017.

Government reaffirmed its expectation that all employers pay their workers according to the law, including for sleep-in shifts, as set out in guidance entitled “Calculating the National Minimum Wage”.

The Government says it will continue to look at the issue alongside industry representatives to see whether … Read More »


Money Can’t Buy Me Care

Posted on July 24th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Every so often someone writing a speech or press release trots out the tired old trope about “older people receiving the care they deserve”.

As a piece of patronising drivel it’s hard to beat. Nobody “deserves” good care; it’s not something one receives as a reward for meritorious conduct, you don’t get good care in recognition of your past contribution to society. Older people get good care because they need it. End of story.

Well, not quite; even if we accept the word ‘care’ as shorthand for ‘care services’, the situation doesn’t change. The reality of limited resources means that care services are rationed, but on the dual bases of means and need, not ‘deservability’.

Having pots of money might guarantee you good care services but not necessarily good care. Otherwise there’d be no need for CQC to inspect … Read More »


City & County acquire Scottish homecare provider

Posted on July 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on City & County acquire Scottish homecare provider

City & County Healthcare Group, the UK’s biggest national provider of homecare, has acquired Constance Care Ltd in a move to strengthen its presence in Scotland.

Constance Care is a family-run Scottish homecare business based in Kilmarnock with six branches covering central and western Scotland. It employs more than 400 staff who provide 11,000 hours of care per week to around 1,200 individuals, principally under local authority contracts.

The acquisition expands City & County’s existing presence in Scotland following its acquisition of Social Care Recruitment & Training Ltd in September 2016.

Constance Care is City & County’s tenth acquisition since it was acquired by Graphite Capital, a mid-market private equity specialist, in 2013.

City & County chief executive, James Thorburn, said: “Constance Care is a well-run business with a strong local presence and a reputation for quality. We are delighted to welcome the Constance … Read More »


Report points to looming crisis in nurse recruitment

Posted on July 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Report points to looming crisis in nurse recruitment

The nursing shortage in the UK is becoming more acute, according to a sector analysis report published by commercial property specialists Christie & Co.

The report, Adult Social Care 2017: Funding, Staffing & the Bed Blocking Challenge, surveyed every local authority, using Freedom of Information requests, and more than 200 leading operators across elderly and specialist care in the UK in order to understand the ongoing, as well as new issues, faced by the care sector. Following on from reports over the previous two years, latest figures show that there has been a 3% fall in total registered nursing numbers for 2016/17 with a 23% rise in de-registrations leading to 17,000 permanently unfilled nurse vacancies across the UK.

Following the Government’s decision to axe NHS bursaries for student nurses from 2017, applications by students in England to nursing and midwifery courses at … Read More »


Care providers call for clarity on sleep-in shifts and suspension of enforcement

Posted on July 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care providers call for clarity on sleep-in shifts and suspension of enforcement

Three care organisations – Learning Disability Voices, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group and Care England – have supported calls from the charity Mencap to clarify rules on overnight care sector ‘sleep-in’ shifts.

These arrangements are delivered regularly for people with learning disabilities requiring round the clock care. Carers sleep through the night but are present on site to respond to emergency requests for care and support.

For years these shifts have been paid at a flat rate of £35-45, with workers receiving National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, for the hours they spend providing care.

However government guidance on the NLW’s application to sleep-ins has recently changed, prompted by employment tribunals. The Court of Appeal will now consider the re-interpretation of the law next year.

This has left providers liable for up to six years of back payments, which is actively being pursued … Read More »


Care UK partners with Worcester research unit to develop dementia care

Posted on July 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care UK partners with Worcester research unit to develop dementia care

Major provider Care UK has selected the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester as its new partner to help it invest further in

its provision of care for people living with dementia.

The initial phase of the partnership sees an 18-month contract where the University of Worcester will support Care UK to build consistency, cohesion and continuous improvement into all aspects of dementia care in its 114 homes.

Care UK spent four months evaluating possible academic partners from universities across the UK. After narrowing it down to three, the University was chosen for its strong research base and its determination to develop a tailored programme based on a deep understanding of Care UK’s current and future dementia care services.

Announcing the partnership, Care UK’s residential care services managing director Andrew Knight said linking to an academic partner would help Care UK … Read More »


Building true communities

Posted on July 17th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 6 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Nightingale House, a care home in South London, is soon to include a children’s nursery on the same site; the first example in the UK, so far as I am aware, of this kind of co-provision.

While there will always be some who will seek the sense of protection and security afforded by gated communities and the like, I think a true sense of community can only come from a mix of age groups, all of whom see a particular group of buildings and open spaces as being very much a ‘shared turf’ where the generations can engage with each other and all enjoy richer lives as a consequence.

There will always be limitations on how truly a ‘home’ a care home can be but, by integrating a care home with its surrounding social environment, I think that … Read More »


Call for managers to participate in psych therapy survey

Posted on July 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Call for managers to participate in psych therapy survey

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is calling for care home managers to complete a short survey which is now live at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZFF59TX

The survey (which should take less than 10 minutes to complete) aims to find out whether talking therapies are available in UK care homes; and where they are available how the mental health needs of care home residents are being identified. Dr Jo Pybis, senior research fellow at BACP explains:

“This survey is part of a wider piece of work in which we’re aiming to raise awareness of older people’s mental health, to promote conversations around older people and depression, and to increase understanding that dementia is not the only condition older people may experience in later life.

“We would really appreciate care home managers taking the time to complete the survey (which is completely confidential) and will … Read More »


Regard group acquires Adelphi

Posted on July 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Regard group acquires Adelphi

Shropshire care group Adelphi Care Services, which provides services to adults with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour, is to become part of The Regard Group, the UK’s fourth biggest care provider.

Nine specialist residential and supported living services will become part of Regard, which was formed in 1994, and now has a staff of more than 2,200 operating at 150 sites around the country. The organisation currently supports more than 1,100 people.

Specialist property agents Carterwood were instructed by Adelphi shareholders to seek a suitable buyer for the business and played an integral role in facilitating the acquisition by Regard, which comes at a time when it is already experiencing significant organic growth, having opened 12 new services within the past 12 months, with a further 12 new openings planned by mid-2018.





Latest blog posts

Money Can’t Buy Me Care

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Every so often someone writing a speech or press release trots out the tired old trope about “older people receiving...

Building true communities

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Nightingale House, a care home in South London, is soon to include a children’s nursery on the same site; the...

Telling it like it is

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

With accustomed dismay I monitored the media’s response to the Care Quality Commission’s recently published ‘State of Social Care’...