Caring Times News


Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs

Posted on February 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has reminded councils across England they must give families accurate information when placing relatives in care homes, following an investigation into a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council.

The investigation found a family was not told about the possibilities available to them when their father was placed in a care home as an emergency. They were left with no option but to pay a ‘top-up’ fee, when the council should have offered them the choice of a home which did not require the additional amount. When they struggled to pay the fees, their father was threatened with eviction.

During the investigation, the Ombudsman also found the council had unclear information about care home fees on its website and Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King has now has asked the council to review its procedures … Read More »


Heathcotes to develop supported living alongside residential services

Posted on February 7th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Heathcotes to develop supported living alongside residential services

Specialist care provider Heathcotes Group is increasing its capacity to provide a full care pathway for service users with plans to establish independent supported living accommodation in every region where it operates.

The first of a series of new developments began in January with the construction of supported living apartments in Nottingham and Leicester for service users who no longer require full-time residential care.

Last year Heathcotes helped 25 individuals to move into a more independent setting and the company’s success in supporting service users to complete the transition has driven the decision to increase its provision of self-contained accommodation, which currently includes properties in Wakefield, Northampton and Stoke Mandeville Heathcotes managing director Brendan Kelly said the company was responding to the changing market and looking to develop more self-contained provision.

“This accommodation is available for individuals who have progressed through their care pathway, … Read More »


Royal London finds hotch-potch of care funding

Posted on February 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Royal London finds hotch-potch of care funding

Responses to a Freedom of Information request to local authorities show wide variation in care funding arrangements, says insurance company Royal London.

Of 150 local authorities contacted, 125 responded, showing a huge variation in both the amount councils will pay towards care home costs, and the extent to which people have to ‘haggle’ with their local authority to get a good deal.

Royal London says elderly people who enter care in a ‘crisis’ situation and do not have family members to advocate on their behalf could lose out when it comes to negotiating care fee packages.

The research identified three different approaches taken by local authorities to funding care:

Authorities which have a fixed ceiling for care home funding which they will not exceed, regardless of actual care costs;
Authorities which have a published ceiling but which regularly exceed it on a case-by-case basis;
Authorities which … Read More »


Loneliness behind the front doors

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

By Guest Blogger KEITH LEWIN

Last week SCIE issued its monthly ‘Briefing for Commissioners’, its focus is on social isolation which it correctly says “can be difficult to identify.”

There has and, sadly, always will be a cohort of people of all ages who are lonely. And the fact is that for older people the situation can be made much more difficult because, for many, they may have lost their ‘life-partner’, friends of many years will have died, and frailty prevents them from leaving home.

There is the telephone… which rarely rings… and for some people the daily contact with carers who, to many, seem to come less frequently and/or for shorter visits.

The telephone befriending service provided by Silver Line is for some people a God-send, but not enough people are aware of the service and I suppose that, of those people … Read More »


Older people are not planning for care

Posted on February 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Older people are not planning for care

Statistics released late last year say life expectancy at age 75 in 2017 was 87.7 and 89.3 for men and women respectively, while projections suggest those reaching 75 in 2040 will live to 90.8 and 92.3.

The figures raise concerns that many of those aged 75+ are not receiving the help they need to plan adequately for the possibility of needing care in later life. This is despite evidence of increasing pressure on care services from an ageing population which is set to see the numbers aged 85+ double to 3.2 million by 20142.

The Just Care Report 2017 released in December indicates that those aged over 75 are not thinking about their care plans:

• 70% have not given long term care any thought, planned for it or spoken to friends and family about it

• Only 5% have made financial plans and … Read More »


Healthcare property seen as an investor ‘sweet spot’ in 2018

Posted on February 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Healthcare property seen as an investor ‘sweet spot’ in 2018

As much as £13.5bn of equity could be invested in healthcare real estate this year, according to the inaugural

Healthcare Investor Survey launched at the end of January by global real estate advisor CBRE.

The survey audited the intentions of the 50 major investors who dominate the market and own £16bn of assets between them. They range from healthcare REITs and institutional investors with healthcare exposure as well as those from the development sector and private equity community.

Of the key investors in the healthcare market, over three quarters (77%) defined themselves as a net buyer, as opposed to a net seller, which is not always the case in the investor market.

Tom Morgan, senior director, CBRE Healthcare, said that, with so much capital to deploy, and now armed with deeper and more extensive market knowledge, institutional investors were dramatically expanding the range of … Read More »


Kilgour invests in Aberdeen but says Scottish Government must properly fund public placements

Posted on January 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Kilgour invests in Aberdeen but says Scottish Government must properly fund public placements

Entrepreneur Robert Kilgour has stepped-up investment in the Aberdeen operation of his Scottish Renaissance Care

business.

Work is about to start on a £2m refurbishment of the 35-bed Cowdray Club care home, a listed 19th century building in the Ferryhill area of the city. The 40-week contract, awarded to local company Morrison Construction, includes internal alterations and refurbishment to the existing building and a total refresh of existing facilities.

This comprises new mechanical and electrical installations, sanitary ware, alterations to room layouts, and new finishes to floors, walls and ceilings with redecoration throughout. Bedrooms will be equipped with new fittings and furnishings. Externally the works include hard and soft landscaping, car park enlargement and an accompanying refresh of the existing areas of the garden. The building fabric works include stonework, roofing and window repairs.

The home will remain open while these works are carried out … Read More »


Judge finds in favour of Essex in fees review

Posted on January 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Judge finds in favour of Essex in fees review

‘Councils’ care duties cannot be viewed in isolation’

Representative body Care England has lost a judicial review it brought against Essex County Council on behalf of local care providers who said the Council had breached its Care Act duties by setting fees too low.

In 2016, using a new commissioning framework in 2016, Essex offered private care home operators a maximum of £538.37 and £577.29 per week per resident for residential and nursing care respectively.

A costs of care analysis completed by the council a few months later set ‘ceiling fair market prices’ at £641.15 for residential and £665.35 for nursing care. Essex said raising all rates to these levels would be financially unviable and instead offered providers a weekly per-person uplift of just under £14 to compensate for increased costs incurred by the National Living Wage.

Care England argued that Essex had contravened … Read More »


The not-so-sweet sound of success

Posted on January 29th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Here’s one of my many gripes about marketing and PR people. It seems that nothing is done these days unless it be done ‘successfully’.

So we hear of developers having successfully gained planning permission; of builders successfully completing a project, of IT companies successfully launching a new app; a company successfully appointing a new chief executive.

Can any of these be done unsuccessfully? I suppose that in the latter case, if the new CEO turns out to be a duffer, then the appointment may be retrospectively deemed to have been unsuccessful, but I don’t think the PR people are claiming prescience; in their desperation to achieve a positive gloss, they scatter their adverbs and adjectives with no real regard to sense, and then people like me have to weed them all out (none shall pass!).

The word ‘successfully’ should … Read More »


Czajka trains staff to cope with stress

Posted on January 26th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Czajka trains staff to cope with stress

Bradford based Czajka Care Group has become one of the UK’s first care operators to take a proactive stance on dealing with workplace stress by incorporating dedicated training into the induction programmes of all its new employees.

Following the success of a pilot scheme, the company now plans to offer the training to its entire team who work across its five care homes in West Yorkshire. All new starters at Czajka Care Group participate in a minimum four-day induction programme at the firm’s training centre, located next to its Bradford headquarters.

The specialist ‘stress buster training course’ is provided by My Wellbeing College, which is part of Bradford District Care Foundation Trust. It focuses on recognising signs of stress, staying calm and focused in uncertain situations, and it looks at how good organisational skills can reduce stressful situations.

Konrad Czajka, managing director of … Read More »





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