Caring Times News


‘Technology is no substitute for the human touch’ says Scottish Care leader

Posted on April 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘Technology is no substitute for the human touch’ says Scottish Care leader

Members of the Scottish Parliament have been cautioned against an over-reliance on technology as a means of reducing the cost of delivering social care.

Addressing an economy, jobs and fair work committee of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Care chief executive Donald Macaskill said there were many instances in which technological solutions in care had been developed in Scotland and then been exported elsewhere.

“While technology has potential it must not be used to monitor staff, and advancements would involve implementation costs, training and equipping the sector’s workforce,” said Mr Macaskill.

“We need an appropriate balance. Technology cannot be used as a cheap mechanism to remove human presence. “We are all human beings, we are about human touch. Technology can certainly enable presence but it cannot replace it.”

Mr Macaskill called on organisations like Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway to focus on … Read More »


Compton Care discards ‘hospice’ tag

Posted on April 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Compton Care discards ‘hospice’ tag

Compton Care is one of the first palliative care providers in the UK to remove ‘hospice’ from its name as part a new strategy aimed at revolutionising the way in which people with complex and incurable conditions are cared for, after research found that people are fearful of accessing its services.

The charity carried out patient, staff and supporter and sector research which found that a large number of people associate the word ‘hospice’ with being ‘a place you go to die’. In turn, this negative perception contributed to people often becoming fearful of accessing care from Compton, as well as healthcare professionals making referrals only in the final weeks or days of a person’s life.

The new strategy, which includes a £2.5m investment into Compton’s care co-ordination centre is focused on ensuring that patients are referred into its care earlier on, … Read More »


Mel Knight passes the baton

Posted on April 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Mel Knight passes the baton

After more than 25 years at the helm of care sector construction specialist Castleoak, Mel Knight stepped down as executive chairman at the end of

March.

Over the past five years, the shareholders have led a succession plan to evolve the business from a shareholder-led business to one led by an independent management team.

The implementation of the succession plan is now complete, and Craig Currie, as chief executive, and his team have been leading the company for some time now.

Karen Rosser now steps up from non-executive director to non-executive chair. Karen has been part of the senior team since 2011, having joined Castleoak in a HR leadership role.

Mel, who remains a major shareholder in Castleoak, will now be pursue a range of other interests in the care and retirement living sector “Castleoak is well positioned for further success and growth, and importantly … Read More »


Sutherland: remember him?

Posted on April 16th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Half a century ago I had a series of wonderfully happy working holidays in Sutherland, that most beautiful part of north-west Scotland. The name always brings back memories, so when I spotted the obituary of Lord Sutherland of Roundwood who died in late February, even though I didn’t recognise the name, I started reading just for nostalgia.

I soon realised, however, that this sadly missed peer was known to me by his pre-ennoblement title of Sir Stuart Sutherland. Now, does that ring bells? It should do, since 20 years ago Sir Stuart was appointed to head a Royal Commission on the funding of long term care.

The commission met the requirement of the government of the day to report within a year, but neither this almost unprecedented speed for the consideration of such a complicated issue, nor the report’s … Read More »


Retirement housing failing to meet growing demand, says Knight Frank

Posted on April 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Retirement housing failing to meet growing demand, says Knight Frank

Global property consultancy Knight Frank says current stock levels of retirement housing and projected demographic changes highlight a critical undersupply of age-appropriate homes.

In its latest report, The Case for Retirement Housing, the firm assesses the drivers of what it describes as an ‘imminent crisis’. There are currently 11.8m people in the UK over the age of 65, which is forecast to rise by 20% over the next decade. This means that the time spent in ‘retirement’ will also lengthen, underpinning the need for retirement housing.

The gap between the potential pool of demand and current supply is stark. Present stock (from age-restricted over-55s housing to housing with care) comprises 725,000 homes, which equates to just .2.6% of the total housing stock in the UK.

Knight Frank’s research suggests that about 25% of over-55s would consider downsizing; or moving into some sort of … Read More »


Advinia Health Care acquires 22 Bupa care homes across the UK

Posted on April 12th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Advinia Health Care acquires 22 Bupa care homes across the UK

Care home provider Advinia Health Care has acquired 22 Bupa care homes as part of a deal with the international healthcare group that closed in February. The acquisition follows the completion of Bupa’s transfer of 110 care homes to HC-One in December.

The deal means Advinia Health Care now operates 38 care homes in the UK, comprising 3,250 beds, an increase of more than 500%. The company is now among the top 10 private care providers in the UK, and has taken over the employment of more than 3,700 staff who previously worked at Bupa. No reductions in overall staff numbers are expected.

The equity for the Advinia purchase, whose price has not been disclosed, was provided by Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, a liver surgeon and ex-McKinsey consultant from London, who co-founded Advinia with his wife Sangita Kanoria. Debt was arranged by Credit … Read More »


Care England calls for parity of esteem between the NHS and social care workforce

Posted on April 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care England calls for parity of esteem between the NHS and social care workforce

Provider representative body Care England has submitted a response to the Skills for Care Workforce Strategy Consultation. The underlying theme of the submission is that the development offer to the social care workforce should be proportionate to its contribution to individuals and society in general in equal measures to that afforded to NHS staff.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said that currently, the Government spent on average £3,615 on each NHS employee per year on staff development compared with only £16 on each social care employee per year.

“We need a level playing field,” said Prof. Green.

Care England has repeated its call for a more unified and proportionate approach to the health and social care workforce and says one mechanism to do this is to bring together Health Education England, Skills for Care and Skills for Health into one body.

In … Read More »


Govt allocates an extra £40m for dementia research

Posted on April 10th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Govt allocates an extra £40m for dementia research

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has hailed the announcement of £40m capital funding for the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI), as well as a £300m boost for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge that forms part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

“This investment is an important boost to what is now the country’s biggest joint endeavour in dementia research,” said Alzheimer’s Research UK chief executive Hilary Evans.

“The essential research happening at the UK DRI has the potential to transform our understanding of dementia and as a founding partner, Alzheimer’s Research UK is delighted to see this additional support.

“It’s encouraging to see the commitment to the Ageing Society Grand Challenge: early diagnosis of diseases could revolutionise the way we treat dementia, for example, where we now know the underlying diseases begin to develop 15-20 years before symptoms appear. We … Read More »


Postponing the inevitable

Posted on April 9th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

In expressing their pleasure at being allocated an extra £40m in funding, Dementia Research UK makes the startling claim that dementia is now the leading cause of death in the UK.

Well it startled me. On about two-thirds of the death certificates issued for people with dementia who have died, the cause of death is ascribed as pneumonia so what we have here is the conundrum of causality and co-morbidity that commonly confronts doctors. I think that the most that can be said is that dementia is an increasingly common condition contributing to mortality.

But hey, massaged facts and grant funding are the best of bedfellows. The extra £40m is certainly good news for Dementia Research UK, and for all of us; I think everyone is personally disturbed by the thought of developing dementia. Dementia Research UK chief … Read More »


Sector must improve care workers’ status, says healthcare insurer

Posted on April 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sector must improve care workers’ status, says healthcare insurer

Private healthcare insurer Simplyhealth says improving the status of care work and providing greater support to informal or unpaid carers could help fund a sustainable health and social care system.

Statistics quoted by the company suggest that almost half (45%) of UK adults believe improving working conditions for the nation’s care workers would help reform the sector, while 43% of people would like to see more support given to informal or unpaid carers, such as simplifying the Carer’s Allowance process, to help fund a sustainable system.

The latest figures follow a report from the National Audit Office published February, criticising the Department of Health & Social Care for not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce, adding that care providers struggle to recruit and retain workers.

The Government has said it will launch a Green Paper consultation later this year on … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Sutherland: remember him?

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Half a century ago I had a series of wonderfully happy working holidays in Sutherland, that most beautiful part of north-west...

Postponing the inevitable

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

In expressing their pleasure at being allocated an extra £40m in funding, Dementia Research UK makes the startling claim that...

Vive la différence!

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I confess that for much of the two decades of my involvement in the sector I have accepted the received...