Caring Times News


We must commission for quality to avoid ‘sleepwalking into disaster’

Posted on August 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

A social care leader has called for fundamental changes to tackle a dire shortage of nurses in Wales. The scarcity of medically trained staff is leading to nursing home closures which will push the NHS beyond breaking point, according to Care Forum Wales chairman Mario Kreft.

One of the major causes of the problem, says Mr Kreft, is the flawed way in which social care is commissioned.

“The commissioning process should be about quality and securing value for money and not about paying the lowest possible price,” said Mr Kreft, speaking after it was announced that two homes in the Bridgend area were closing. HC-One, which owns Abergarw Manor in Brynmenyn and Southmead Grange in South Cornelly, blamed “a national shortage of nursing staff” for the “very difficult decision”.

Mr Kreft said the closures were symptomatic of the problems affecting care … Read More »


RNHA says minister’s comments lack balance

Posted on August 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) has accused care minister Norman Lamb MP of besmirching the reputation of care homes across the country with ill-chosen, over-generalised comments likely to create a negative impression of the quality of service they provide.

Responding to remarks attributed to Mr Lamb, who claimed that care homes can be ‘austere and alien’, RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell said such a description clashed with the findings of a survey that asked care home residents what they thought of their care.

“Nearly nine out of ten (86%) of the sample interviewed told researchers that they had a say in arranging their own room,” said Mr Ursell.

“In addition, almost all of them (98%) said they felt comfortable and safe in their care home.

The survey, carried out by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent … Read More »


RNHA unhappy with threat of more use of courts

Posted on August 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) says it is surprised and disappointed that the Care Quality Commission expects in future to be much more likely to use the courts to improve standards in failing care homes.

This follows comments by CQC chairman David Prior about plans to strengthen his legal team and gear-up for a greater use of the court system to settle disputes about the quality of care being provided.

RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell said it would be more appropriate for Mr Prior to be talking about ways of strengthening the help he and his inspection teams could give to care homes that are struggling to meet the requisite standards.

“We in the RNHA are disappointed that the chairman of the regulator is going down this highly adversarial route,” said Mr Ursell.

“The money the CQC chairman intends to spend … Read More »


Sunrise to operate Gracewell homes

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

Caring Times Latest

Sunrise Senior Living has acquired the management company of Gracewell Healthcare, a residential care home company owned by Health Care REIT (HCN). Sunrise will operate the 11 care homes in southern England under the Gracewell brand.

Sunrise has also entered into an agreement with HCN and Gracewell’s founders, Tim Street and Daniel Kay who will continue to be financed by Patron Capital, a pan-European institutional investor focused on property-backed investments.

The agreement includes the redevelopment of one care home, the development of 11 additional properties, which are expected to open beginning in 2016, as well as the management of a pipeline of future projects of about five new properties per year.

“We are extremely pleased to expand our operations and footprint in the United Kingdom with Gracewell Healthcare, a company whose mission so closely aligns with ours,” said Sunrise chief executive … Read More »


Joanne celebrates 25 years at Radcliffe Gardens

Posted on August 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

A member of the care team at Radcliffe Gardens nursing home in Pudsey, near Leeds, recently celebrated 25 year’s service.

Senior carer and activity co-ordinator Joanne Baxendale marked her career anniversary in style with a party for residents and staff.

“I’m so lucky to be in a job I truly enjoy,” said Joanne.

“The residents and the team here at Radcliffe are like my extended family, the last 25 years have been extremely memorable.”

Joanne, who was an auxiliary worker at Leeds General Infirmary before starting at the home was described by the home’s manger, Jean Thorpe, as being ‘very passionate about her work and Radcliffe Gardens, genuinely enjoying all aspects of her job.’

“She is a real asset to the team, constantly coming up with new activity ideas for the residents,” said Jean.

“We’re grateful to her for her long-standing service – here’s … Read More »


Compliance burden grows for care homes as Care Act enters law

Posted on August 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

A record number of care home inspections were carried out by the Care Quality Commission in the past year as it ramped up its enforcement activity ahead of a raft of new powers given to it in the Care Act.

According to research by business analysts Thomson Reuters, CQC care home inspections have more than quadrupled over the last three years, from just 5,178 in 2010/11 to 21,12 in 2013/14. This follows intense political and public pressure in the wake of high-profile care home scandals such as that involving the Winterbourne View care home in 2011.

“The CQC is now a completely different animal – one with a lot more teeth,” said Tim Spencer-Lane, a lawyer and author of the Care Act Manual, to be published on August 31 2014 by Thomson Reuters.

“Care homes need to be prepared to deal … Read More »


Anchor launches ‘Grey Matters’ campaign

Posted on August 12th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Research commissioned by older people’s charity, Anchor, has found that half of Britain’s over-55 population have thought about care options for later life, with nearly one in ten (8%) believing they are too young to think about the subject and one in five (20%) saying they don’t want to think about the possibility of needing care.

The publication of the study has coincided with Anchor’s launch of its ‘grey Matters’ campaign (www.Anchor.org.uk/GreyMatters) which aims to encourage people to have a conversation about their care and retirement options.

The study also asked people who they would trust to make a decision on their behalf about care in later life, with most over-55s putting their trust in their children (58%) or a partner (54%) but nearly two thirds of over 55s (62%) who would trust someone else to make care decisions for … Read More »


HC-One sponsors Silver Line charity

Posted on August 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

HC-One, the third largest care home provider in the UK, has become a sponsor of the Silver Line charity, which supports older people. HC-One is the charity’s only founding partner from the care sector to engage in this endeavour to provide relevant and meaningful support at a national level.

HC-One’s chairman, Dr Chai Patel, has a long history of philanthropy and he has imbued this charitable spirit into HC-One’s philosophy and donating £150,000 to The Silver Line.

The Silver Line was launched by Esther Rantzen in November 2012, with the slogan “No question too big, no problem too small, no need to be alone.” It is a free confidential helpline for older people – the Silver Generation – providing them with information, friendship and advice delivering a 24-hour helpline, open every day of the year.

The charity also connects callers to … Read More »


Local authorities unsure of how care home top-up fees will work under Care Act

Posted on August 7th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Research by advice charity Independent Age has found uncertainty and concern among councils about their responsibilities to monitor care home top-up fees under the new Care Act. The fees are paid by relatives to supplement the care of loved ones in care homes but care minister Norman Lamb said recently he feared some care homes were ‘exploiting’ the fees and using them to subsidise basic levels of care.

Independent Age conducted interviews with a sample of 13 local authorities in England and found:

Uncertainty about the knock on effect of the Care Act on the payment of top-up fees.
A lack of awareness from local authorities about whether family members can really afford to pay a top-up fee.
An awareness by local authorities that families are increasingly worried about paying top-up fees.
Challenges faced by local authorities in monitoring and managing the extent … Read More »


Study: most would go to councils for care home advice

Posted on August 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Partnership, a FTSE-listed specialist provider of financial solutions for people with health/lifestyle conditions, says two-thirds saying they find the Government’s announcement on care funding confusing.

Partnership’s Third Care Index suggests that, with less than a year to go before the Care Bill starts to be introduced, 61% of over-45s admit they find the subject confusing and the largest proportion (49%) would turn to local authorities/social workers for guidance on this topic.

Others would turn to the Citizens Advice Bureau (43%), use the internet (36%), speak to their family (33%), consult their doctor (31%) or look for help from a charity (21%). Just 13% would speak to a financial adviser (up from 8% in 2012) who, according to Partnership, are arguably the only people qualified to provide advice on financial products which can fund care.

With councils often the first port of … Read More »





Latest blog posts

A surfeit of surveys

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Most of us ‘switch off’ when we come across the results of yet another survey or study, according to...

99% of people don’t want to live in a care home, so isn’t it time to review the options?

By guest blooger Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley Retirement Villages

In recent weeks both Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, and health secretary Jeremy...

Paying for GP services

By guest blogger Leon Smith

The Royal College of GPs tells us that “one in nine people trying to see a GP cannot get an...