Caring Times News


Essex Council says care homes fees are unaffordable

Posted on September 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Essex Council says care homes fees are unaffordable

Caring Times, October 2016

Care provider representative body Care England says a fees framework for people living in care homes proposed by Essex County Council will not be adequate to keep homes open.

A cost of care exercise conducted by the local authority had found a fair cost of care would be £647 per week for residential placements and £665 per week for nursing but the council has said applying these rates to all providers would be unaffordable.

It has instead suggested a fee uplift system that would see current rates increase by a maximum of £13.79 per week.

Care England chief executive professor Martin Green said there was little point conducting a costs of care exercise without adhering to the results.

“Without adequate resourcing care homes will simply cease to exist,” said Prof. Green.

“Essex County Council needs to ensure that it funds the cost … Read More »


Providers step up to the mark on National Living Wage

Posted on September 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Providers step up to the mark on National Living Wage

Young care workers benefit from boost in pay

Four in five young social care workers previously paid below the new National Living Wage (NLW) introduced this April have enjoyed a pay rise as a result of it despite no legal entitlement, according to a report by the independent think tank Resolution Foundation.

The report, which provides the first detailed evidence of how a sector has implemented the NLW, says its implementation in care encouraging so far, but risks faltering if public funding is not increased.

According to the Resolution Foundation, social care employers have overwhelmingly passed on the benefit of the new rate for the over-24s to younger workers, with 83% of young workers previously paid below it seeing their hourly pay increased to or beyond £7.20.

There were also wider ‘knock-on’ benefits of the NLW in the social care sector beyond the lowest … Read More »


Coming to terms with the upheaval of moving

Posted on September 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

A couple of weeks ago, after living for 16 years on the outskirts of a village in rural Dorset, my wife and I moved house – only about 10 miles to the outskirts of a regional town.

After all the turmoil of packing and unpacking, the nightmare of sorting out a new internet connection and roaming the neighbourhood at night in search of missing cats (they’re both back now, thanks) we’re inclined to say “never again!”.

But apart from all that, there is also a homesickness for the place we have just left – even without a spanner in the works, moving is still a big wrench. How much more distressing must it be for a care home resident when they are told, at a moment’s notice, that they have to pack their kit and kaboodle, their … Read More »


Bedrails – a risk-laden remedy

Posted on September 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Bedrails – a risk-laden remedy

DAVID EDWARDS,associate solicitor and head of the healthcare and regulatory teams at Harrison Drury Solicitors looks at a recent case involving BUPA Care Homes.

01772 258321 david.edwards@harrison-drury.com

In May this, Bupa Care Homes (CFC Homes) Ltd were brought before Carlisle Magistrates Court by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in consequence of an incident involving bedrails in which a resident died at one the company’s care homes. Bupa was fined £400,000 with costs of £15,206.

The Court found that the company had failed to ensure that the resident’s bedrail assessment was suitable and sufficient, or that staff were adequately trained in bedrail risk assessments. They Court said reviews of bedrail assessment should have identified further measures to prevent the risk of falls, but staff who carried out the initial assessment and reviews were not adequately trained. It also found that measures identified to protect … Read More »


Survey highlights providers’ bleak regard of Councils

Posted on September 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Survey highlights providers’ bleak regard of Councils

A survey of care providers carried out by the Care Association Alliance (CAA), which represents more than 80 local care associations across England, has found that 95% of providers believe that fee increases proposed by Councils in 2016 will not meet the additional costs of the National Living Wage.

The CAA received 224 responses from more than 50 local authority areas, including care home operators, homecare agencies and learning disability providers.

76% of those who had responded to consultations from their local authority believed their local authority had not made any noticeable change to their fee proposals based on provider feedback. 77% of providers surveyed said pre-admission information sent to them by Councils, which was used to set initial fees, was not accurate.

“It would be impossible to remain in business without self-funder cross-subsidy,” said one provider.

“Local authority fees are totally inadequate. Instead … Read More »


‘Red Bags’ improve transfer communication

Posted on September 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘Red Bags’ improve transfer communication

By PAUL WILLIAMS

A new scheme designed to improve communication and working practices between the NHS and care homes has been implemented in the London borough of Sutton.

A care home manager’s forum identified room for improvement in the care home to hospital transfer pathway. One of the stories that came to light concerned hospital staff who had spent a considerable amount of time trying to help a care home resident get out of bed and walk because they hadn’t been told he was a wheelchair user.

Now, when a care home resident needs to go into hospital, a red bag containing their personal details, information on health conditions, medication and a change of clothes is packed for them. The bag also has room for other belongings such as toiletries, glasses, hearing aids and dentures. Mary Hopper, a senior NHS manager in Sutton, … Read More »


LJJ wins £3.5m contract with Signature

Posted on September 7th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on LJJ wins £3.5m contract with Signature

Mechanical and electrical contractor LJJ has been awarded a £3.5m building services contract as part of the £16m development of a 96-bed luxury care and assisted

living scheme by Signature Senior Lifestyle in Sunninghill, Berkshire.

Designed by PRP Architects with interiors by Leisure Concepts, the scheme continues LJJ’s relationship with Signature Senior Lifestyle, following three previous projects completed in Brentwood, Marlow and Kingston Upon Thames. Sunninghill is the first project that the building services specialist will deliver for main contractor, Wates Construction. The whole scheme, due for completion in May 2017, is being delivered by LJJ’s Southern office based in High Wycombe.

The luxury new build senior lifestyle and assisted living complex comprises a mix of en-suite one bedroomed apartments and en-suite studio apartments all with kitchenette. Specialist dementia care en-suite bedrooms are provided on the third floor. Facilities will include a cinema, … Read More »


Intermediate care – a massive opportunity despite the challenges

Posted on September 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Intermediate care – a massive opportunity despite the challenges

MARK McCARTHY, managing director of Sanctuary Care, talks about the intermediate care model and how Sanctuary Care is managing the practicalities.

Figures released by the NHS show there were close to 6,000 delayed transfers of care in March alone, and, as the number continues to grow, it’s clear a long-term solution to the problem is needed.

Sanctuary Care’s homes provide the ideal platform for an intermediate care offering. Their layout, which includes a collection of large bedrooms, wide corridors and communal areas situated in suites, enables us to use space flexibly, not only with intermediate care, but also residential and nursing care options. Over the years this design has allowed us to work with CCGs and trusts to provide intermediate care without an initial large investment to change the building or facilities.

Generally, our largest outlay is putting vinyl flooring down in the … Read More »


Another good home closes

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

In June I spent an evening and the next day with the residents of a small care home. It’s a really nice place, a family, a little community of five men who have support and friendship from each other and the very small staff group. The best of residential care.

The Care Quality Commission doesn’t agree. Having consistently found it to be compliant and very homely until 2014, CQC reversed their assessment for the next three inspections. Having decided that it was “inadequate” and having removed the manager’s registration, the regulator is now closing the home.

I know that very good homes can deteriorate quickly. Changes of leadership or owner can result in a breakdown of care, and it’s important that the regulator can take action in these situations. If we had a different sort of inspection, where local … Read More »


CQC looks ahead to yesterday’s plan

Posted on September 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on CQC looks ahead to yesterday’s plan

The regulator’s back-to-the-future take on inspection threatens to bring the curtain down on quality ratings, says BOB FERGUSON

CQC executives have seen the future and the “vision” as revealed to them will work as their strategy for the next five years. Unsurprisingly for people who have had an otherworldly experience, they have been touched by make-believe, convincing themselves that the (re)introduction of a money-saving inspection model at the very time their budget is being cut is just a happy coincidence.

Rarely has credulity been stretched so far. It all got off to such a rocky start. Before the strategy had even been published, the Commission had tabled proposals for higher registration fees, effectively asking care homes to buy a more expensive pig in a poke – one that proved to be a declining level of service.

Providers are entitled to feel short-changed: facing … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Coming to terms with the upheaval of moving

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

A couple of weeks ago, after living for 16 years on the outskirts of a village in rural Dorset,...

Another good home closes

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

In June I spent an evening and the next day with the residents of a small care home. It’s a really...

In denial about fairness?

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Social care providers are indebted to Health Ltd (SSP), a service provider operating GP practices in England, which won...