Caring Times News


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.


LaingBuisson launches consumer website

Posted on July 12th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on LaingBuisson launches consumer website

Health and social care market analysts LaingBuisson have launched CareHomeAdvisor, a consumer website which informs people which care homes provide the best quality care.

Endorsed by Age UK, Independent Age and Care England, CareHomeAdvisor is is a free-to-use consumer-facing website which aggregates quality performance data on individual care homes in real-time via Application Program Interfaces (APIs) from independent sources, including The Care Quality Commission (CQC), The Food Standards Agency (FSA), NHS Choices and Ipsos MORI’s independent Customer Satisfaction survey Your Care Rating (YCR).

These sources are then combined with LaingBuisson’s proprietary survey data and each care home is awarded a unique star rating and a score out of 100. LaingBuisson business development manager Heidi Nicholson said that, because everything is updated in real time, if a care home’s rating from one of these sources changes, e.g. a care home’s CQC assessment is … Read More »


Report unpicks complexity of continuing healthcare

Posted on July 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Report unpicks complexity of continuing healthcare

A report on an investigation into NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) by the National Audit Office has found that there is significant variation between areas administered by different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in both the number and proportion of people assessed as eligible for CHC.

The investigation also found that, owing to the complexity of assessment protocols, there may be differences in the way CCGs are interpreting the national framework to assess whether people are eligible for CHC. The report said there was a shortage of data on CHC, which made it difficult to know whether eligibility decisions were being made fairly and consistently. For example, no data are collected on how many individuals appeal to the CCG against unsuccessful CHC funding decisions, the first stage of the appeals process.

Care provider representative body Care England welcomed the report, saying it unpicked some of … Read More »


Telling it like it is

Posted on July 10th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

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’ report.

Unlike the media response, the report itself was neither unreasonable nor alarmist but very few people will take the trouble to read it, misguidedly relying on newspaper, TV and radio reports to render an accurate and unweighted account.

It was ever thus and there is little, it seems, that the sector can do other than grimace and bear it. But what annoys me most is that, in their never-ending pursuit of a bad news story, the national media cause a lot of unwarranted anxiety and distress to older people and their families.

Most of us perceive the news of the day through the filters of our own experience, judgment and prejudices, but the mental frailty which accompanies old … Read More »





Latest blog posts

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’...

The man who cried ‘Fire!’

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

On 27 June, David Behan, the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission wrote to all providers of care homes...