Caring Times News


New regulatory law in Wales focuses on accountability of senior officers

Posted on February 26th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Care home owners will become more accountable for their services under a new law designed to strengthen the protection of children and adults and improve the quality of care and support in Wales.

The Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill was put before the National Assembly for Wales by health and social services minister Mark Drakeford in late February.

The Bill introduced a new model of regulation, which will allow regulators to press for improvement across one care setting site or across a provider’s entire range of services – including care homes – if deemed necessary. It will make it easier for the regulator to act where care is considered beyond repair and, if necessary, cancel the registration of those providers, services and settings which fail to implement improvements. It also includes stronger penalties for certain offences.

Mr Drakeford … Read More »


HC-One offers nurses jobs on-the-spot

Posted on February 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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HC-One, the UK’s third biggest care home provider, will recruitment events in Bolton in early March, with candidates able to leave with a job on the same day.

Following two successful ‘Discovery Events’ in Northwich in February, HC-One will run two half-day events in Bolton specifically designed to cut out the all-too-familiar drawn out recruitment processes, and periods of uncertainty for candidates.

Each of the sessions in Bolton will seek to recruit nurses for Meadow Bank House and Four Seasons care homes, both in the Bolton area. On the day, potential candidates will have the opportunity to meet HC-One’s operations directors and the home managers of each of the homes. They will also receive tours of the homes and meet each homes’ staff and residents, before having an interview and short assessment.

Successful candidates will be offered a job on the … Read More »


CQC inspections are a lottery for many, says law firm

Posted on February 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. No Comments

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UK healthcare providers are facing a lottery over inspections by their regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with huge variations in enforcement decisions by different inspectors, says commercial law firm EMW.

CQC data shows that in 2013/14, 16 inspectors took ‘enforcement action’, the most severe option, in which they can fine, close or even prosecute, in more than 20% of all healthcare premises they inspected. In sharp contrast, 176 inspectors gave a ‘pass’ to every provider they inspected. In the same period, EMW says that many health and social care providers believe the outcomes of CQC inspections are inconsistent, as the broadly-drafted regulations force inspectors to make a subjective judgement, with very little audit of those decisions. It warns that the extensive enforcement powers granted to the CQC in 2014, as well as a raft of new powers set … Read More »


CQC consults on display of performance ratings

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

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The regulator of health and adult social care has issued draft guidance for consultation on how providers across England can make sure they are meeting the Government’s new requirement for them to prominently display their performance ratings from April.

Anyone with an interest is invited to have their say before final guidance is published in March and Government’s new regulations begin in April.

The closing date for all comments is Wednesday 25 February.

More information – and to provide feedback – on the display of ratings and other amended regulations is available at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/guidanceconsultation.


Meridian Healthcare portfolio sold

Posted on February 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Knight Frank healthcare team has sold a portfolio consisting of 30 care homes on behalf of Meridian Healthcare Ltd to Formation Capital and HCPI, for more than £100m.

Meridian is the 32nd biggest UK care home operator by number of registered beds, totalling 1,500, and employs about 1,200 people. All of the homes in the portfolio are purpose built and all bedrooms are in single occupancy. The business was founded by Alan Firth in 2000 and the headquarters are based in Hyde, Manchester.

The portfolio will be operated by Dr Chai Patel, acting chief executive and founder of HC-One. Gleacher Shacklock advised Formation Capital.

Knight Frank head of healthcare Julian Evans said Meridian enjoyed a reputation for providing outstanding care.

“There was significant competitive tension for the portfolio both from domestic and international capital and this demonstrates increasing investor appetite for UK … Read More »


Care England launches social care manifesto

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

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Care England has published a manifesto which offers a future government a roadmap to an outcomes-based health and social care framework.

“In a difficult financial climate, it is important that all parts of the system are treated fairly and work together in the interests of the people who use services, and this manifesto is written with that goal in mind,” said Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.

“The conversation on how we care for individuals accessing health and social care services must move from discussion on the nature of these services to the outcomes that they achieve for the individual. This won’t require structural reform, but will necessitate a change in culture that ensures all parts of the system work together to deliver on what is important for the person involved.

“By focusing on innovation, the workforce, commissioning and provision, … Read More »


DoLs backlog is unacceptable, says Alzheimer’s Society

Posted on February 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A backlog of 19,429 Deprivation of Liberty applications where the outcome was still not decided represents a worryingly high number of people being deprived of their liberty without external scrutiny or authorisation, says the Alzheimer’s Society.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs). Since 2009 the rate of applications for people aged 85 and over has nearly doubled. DoLs, which apply in England and Wales, are intended to ensure that a care home or hospital only deprives someone of their liberty in a safe and correct way when they lack mental capacity.

At the end of September 2014, there were compared with 359 at the end of 2013/14. The increase has been attributed to a Supreme Court ruling last year, known as the ‘Cheshire West’ ruling which spelled out strict … Read More »


Glut of DoLs applications is a good thing, says CQC

Posted on February 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Soaring numbers of Deprivation of Liberty applications resulting from last year’s ‘Cheshire West’ Supreme Court ruling are a good thing in the eyes of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In its fifth annual monitoring report on the implementation of the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS), published in late January, the CQC said the Supreme Court had clarified that a person lacking mental capacity to consent to the suggested arrangements was deprived of their liberty if they were both:

• Not free to leave and

• Subject to continuous supervision and control.

As a result, the numbers of applications for use of the deprivation of liberty safeguards has soared, from around 13,000 a year to around 55,000 in the first two quarters of 2014/15.

The report points out that this rise in applications is a good thing, since it shows willingness among providers to … Read More »


Care Home Open Day – 19th June

Posted on January 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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For the third year running, Care Home Open Day will take place this year on 19th June 2015, promoting the themes of “The Arts and Valuing Staff”.

Supported by a group of leading care providers, associations, charities and care regulators, Care Home Open Day aims to reinforce the connections care homes have across their local communities, as well as challenging misconceptions about residential care and showcasing the excellent services that are at the heart of communities across the UK.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the previous two Care Home Open Days had been a great success and the event was growing year-on-year, with more care homes signing up to take part each time.

“Care Home Open Day is an important event to participate in,” said Prof. Green.

“It is a great opportunity for the public to see the range … Read More »


9% increase in registration fees – a psychological straw for struggling providers

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

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A proposal by the Care Quality Commission to increase registration fees for adult social care providers by 9% has been criticised strongly by provider representative body Care England.

In its response to the CQC consultation on fee increases Care England said that, while it supported the regulator’s direction of travel, CQC had still to deliver changes for a sustainable amount of time and that registration fees should not be increased when the improvements promised by CQC were still to be delivered consistently.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the fee increases were being proposed when local authorities had cut their adult social care budgets by 26% since 2010, the equivalent of £3.53bn.

“This proposed 9% increase might, for some providers who are really struggling, be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Prof. Green.

“Not of itself but it … Read More »





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