Caring Times News


‘People willing to pay more tax to fund social care’ says FCC report

Posted on September 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘People willing to pay more tax to fund social care’ says FCC report

A UK-wide poll commissioned by the charity Future Care Capital (FCC) has found that most people support income tax rises to increase funding available for adult social care.

A key finding was that most of those questioned said people should be required to plan ahead – 67% agree that people should be required to plan and prepare financially for later life, whilst 49% agree that they should be required to plan and prepare financially for adult social care services they might require later in life.

The charity has also commissioned a UK-wide poll through Ipsos MORI to gauge public opinion about preparing for and managing future care needs.

FCC chief executive Dean James said public attitudes about adult social care were changing

“Our poll shows that the public are willing to contribute more through tax to increase funding available for adult social care,” said … Read More »


Flu jabs – a vexed question

Posted on September 18th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

As the days grow shorter and temperatures fall, the annual anxiety about ‘flu and whether or not to be vaccinated against it returns to plague us.

For care home operators this is a vexed question. Without doubt, flu carries-off elderly people every year, and the contagious nature of influenza makes it a big headache for care homes and hospitals.

But there is very real doubt about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, with some scientists putting its effectiveness as no more than 50%. No one claims it to be 100% effective, and it is demonstrably not the case; many of us will know of someone who has had the jab, only to subsequently develop flu.

And there is some doubt about the safety of the vaccine, and while most health authorities do their best to assuage people’s fears, one … Read More »


Voyage acquires Focused Healthcare

Posted on September 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Voyage acquires Focused Healthcare

Specialist care provider Voyage Care has acquired Focused Healthcare Ltd (FHL), which provides care services to children and young people with complex, acute and chronic illnesses. Based in London, FHL was set up in 2009 by paediatric nurse Nicki Nicholls who will continue to manage day-to-day operations at FHL as managing director.

FHL and Voyage Care provide complementary specialist care and support services, with FHL focusing on providing specialist care to children and Voyage Care predominantly supporting adults.


’Flu kills nursing home residents in Australia

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ’Flu kills nursing home residents in Australia

Six people were reported to have died during an influenza outbreak at a nursing home in the Australian state of Tasmania.

The state’s public health department confirmed the deaths at the beginning of September and said there had been flu outbreaks in 21 nursing homes across the state nine still being monitored.

Those who died were all residents at the 37-bed Strathdevon aged care facility in Latrobe, run by Uniting Agewell, an organisation of the Australian United Church. The deaths came after it was confirmed seven elderly residents at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta, in Victoria, died during an influenza outbreak. Uniting Agewell issued a statement saying there had been “an influenza A outbreak at its Strathdevon aged care facility . . . from August 9 to 30, with the outbreak cleared on 30 August 2017″. It also confirmed the six … Read More »


Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

Posted on September 4th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

For centuries, marine explorers sought to find a ‘North West Passage’ whereby ships could travel from the North Atlantic, across the top of Canada and so into Asian waters. Their endeavours were hampered by the vagaries of wind, extreme low temperatures, drifting pack ice and the very real risk of becoming ice-bound.

It was not until 2009 that a reduction in ice brought about by climate change enabled a permanently navigable North West Passage to be established.

To my mind, those who would bring about health and social care integration find themselves just as challenged as those early explorers and that, until a circumstance as potent as climate change supervenes, the best they can hope for is only limited success.

Take ‘Devo-Manc’, the health and social care integration programme for Greater Manchester which left the slipway in April … Read More »


No more ‘make do and mend’

Posted on August 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on No more ‘make do and mend’

Responding to research on MPs’ opinions about social care, Richard Humphries, senior fellow at The King’s Fund, said the research, by Independent Age, challenged the leaderships of both main parties to put aside their differences and work together to fix the crisis in the social care system.

“There is an overwhelming consensus among MPs that it does not meet the needs of the ageing population,” said Mr Humphries.

“MPs of both main parties agree that adult social care needs both fundamental reform and more funding, and so it is vital that the forthcoming government consultation addresses this.

“Despite numerous reviews, commissions, Green and White Papers on this, successive governments have ducked the challenge with the result being that many vulnerable people are now forced to rely on friends and family or are unable to access care at all. Parliament has made clear that … Read More »


Homecare report highlights deficiencies

Posted on August 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Homecare report highlights deficiencies

Healthwatch, an independent champion for people who use health and social care services, has published a report on homecare services, in response to what it says has been a doubling of the priority of concern about homecare over the last year.

The organisation analysed the experiences of 3,415 home care users, their families and front line staff across 52 local areas between August 2015 and June 2017. These findings came from local Healthwatch events, surveys and site visits to health and care services.

Healthwatch has identified four themes which it believes will be of interest to those who commission, provide and regulate social care services:

• Care planning – People frequently reported that staff were unfamiliar with their clients’ care plans. In cases where it was a staff member’s first visit to a client, insufficient time was often allowed to enable them to … Read More »


Getting it right – all the time

Posted on August 29th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

It is a truism that the sort of care residents receive varies very substantially between homes; on this point Care Quality Commission reports no more than put detail onto simple observation. The rather more subtle finding of a recent report from the consumer organisation Healthwatch – or ‘healthwatch’ as they sometimes annoyingly write it – is that ‘The quality of care varies . . . also within the same home’.

What it’s like to live in a care home, the findings from a study which draws on visits to 197 homes carried out between January and April 2017, is not simply saying that places which do good work on, say, involving volunteers or bringing in members of the local community may be less successful at providing general healthcare for their residents or ensuring pain control for people … Read More »


HC-One buys 122 care homes from Bupa

Posted on August 24th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on HC-One buys 122 care homes from Bupa

Major care home provider HC-One has, subject to regulatory approval, acquired 122 care homes from Bupa in a deal totalling about £300m.

Bupa will keep around 150 care homes and six Richmond Villages caring for more than 9,000 residents, with a further four care homes and two retirement villages under construction.

Bupa UK chief executive David Hynam said Pupa would remain one of the main providers of residential care in the UK, and a major investor in the sector.

“This move enables us to focus our investment to continue to provide high quality care for our residents, both now and in the future,” said Mr Hynam.

“This year, Bupa will invest more than £120m into refurbishing existing homes and building new care homes and retirement villages.

“Bupa and HC-One have a shared commitment to excellence in care. We will work together over the coming months … Read More »


Sunrise of Purley and Bucks New University collaborate to improve dementia care

Posted on August 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sunrise of Purley and Bucks New University collaborate to improve dementia care

Staff from Buckinghamshire New University visited Sunrise of Purley recently to learn about aspects of dementia care.

The Skills and Simulation Team at the university is seeking to enhance its nursing teaching programme and has drawn inspiration from the dementia-friendly environment at Sunrise of Purley, to continue its practice-based learning opportunities for its students.

The university’s staff observed the way in which Sunrise team members interact with residents who live with dementia, the way the care community is decorated, and also learnt about the memory boxes that are created and displayed outside residents’ rooms.

The collaboration is set to continue, with team members from Sunrise of Purley having been invited to visit Buckinghamshire New University in the near future. It is hoped the continued dialogue and sharing of ideas between the two organisations will ensure the highest standards of dementia care, both in … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Flu jabs – a vexed question

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

As the days grow shorter and temperatures fall, the annual anxiety about ‘flu and whether or not to be vaccinated...

Health & social care integration – an epic quest of the 21st Century

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

For centuries, marine explorers sought to find a ‘North West Passage’ whereby ships could travel from the North Atlantic, across...

Getting it right – all the time

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

It is a truism that the sort of care residents receive varies very substantially between homes; on this point Care...