Category: Caring Times


Encore enters £250m growth deal with Welltower

Posted on January 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Encore enters £250m growth deal with Welltower

Encore Care Homes has entered a £250m strategic development partnership with U.S. healthcare REIT (real estate investment trust), Welltower.

The partnership will provide Welltower with the exclusive option to acquire £250m of Encore’s future developments, allowing Encore to continue to design and construct care homes across the south.

Part of the Quantum group, Encore is a specialist residential, nursing and dementia care home provider which currently manages three care homes in Dorset and Hampshire.

Encore operations and quality director Izzy Nicholls said the company planned to design and build care homes in the south of England.

“The care homes, which Welltower may acquire in the future, will continue to operate under the Encore brand and will allow the company to grow; therefore, creating new jobs and opportunities for those in the local community,” said Ms Nicholls.

“We have seen how effective building strong, innovative partnerships … Read More »


Four Seasons outsources customer services

Posted on January 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Four Seasons outsources customer services

Major provider Four Seasons Health Care has appointed outsourced customer contact specialist Echo Managed Services to manage and develop its dedicated enquiry line for prospective customers.

Echo will provide a centralised service for Four Seasons Health Care, handling new customer enquiries for nearly 200 care homes across the portfolio, with the aim of providing an informative and consistent level of service to prospective customers and their families.

Echo first started working with Four Seasons as a bureau service in May 2016, fielding the sales enquiry calls for 34 of its care homes across the UK. After a successful five month period, the service expanded to 109 homes.

Under the new service, a centralised team of specially trained advisors at Echo will now be the first port of call for Four Season’s prospective new customers.

Echo’s advisors have been trained to provide empathetic, personal, and … Read More »


Crowd funder eyes care home sector with increasing interest

Posted on January 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Crowd funder eyes care home sector with increasing interest

Crowd Bonds, a type of debt-based crowdfunding, are gaining traction in the healthcare investment sector with a particular focus on high quality care homes, according to crowdfunding platform Downing Crowd.

Downing Crowd itself has launched a new £2.5m Crowd Bond for two established care homes in Scotland. operated by Care Concern.

Downing currently has invested more than £45m in 11 care homes. Earlier this year, the Downing Crowd platform also raised £3m for a luxury care home in Edinburgh with the same management team, hitting the target investment within eight days. Investing in this type of market is not entirely new to Downing with the company gradually building its expertise over time after making its first move into the sector back in 1998.

Head of Downing Crowd, Julia Groves, said shifting demographics had created ideal conditions for fresh investment in the sector, but … Read More »


Devon’s first ever health and social care apprentices start work

Posted on December 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Devon’s first ever health and social care apprentices start work

Three young people started integrated health and social care apprenticeships in October – the first in Devon.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust and Devon County Council have teamed up to provide apprenticeship opportunities across both health and social care for the first time. The Trust and the Council have both offered lots of apprenticeship programmes as separate organisations but this is the first time they’ve joined up to provide apprenticeship opportunities that cover both types of care.

Gail Richards, training manager and apprentice lead at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said the move reflected the closer working and integration between health and social care in Devon, with teams of nurses, occupational therapists and social care workers working together to deliver care that is centred around the individual, whether they need support at home, or in a care home, or have been admitted … Read More »


CMA’s final report on care homes

Posted on December 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on CMA’s final report on care homes

‘System is unsustainable without extra funding’

At the end of November the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its final findings following an extensive review of whether the care homes sector is working well for older people and their families.

The CMA’s headline finding is that the current system for providing care is not sustainable without additional funding, with the CMA’s financial analysis of the sector identifying a funding shortfall of £1bn a year across the UK because councils are paying fee rates for the residents they fund which are below the costs care homes incur. This has led to care homes propping up their finances by charging higher prices to those who pay for their own care (self-funders). On average, self-funders’ fees (c.£44,000 per year) are around 40% higher than those paid by councils.

The CMA report says that, beyond the challenges … Read More »


Cap on fees would only benefit a few, says report

Posted on December 27th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Cap on fees would only benefit a few, says report

Nine in 10 people who pay for their own care in England won’t benefit if the ‘cap’ on care costs, currently set at £72,000, goes ahead. Set at this level, it will take a typical pensioner more than six years to reach the cap, which is double the average life expectancy for someone in residential or nursing care.

However, research from Independent Age, the older people’s charity and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), suggests that introducing a cap on costs at £100,000 that includes all costs of care (an ‘all-inclusive cap’) will benefit up to four times as many people and within two to three years.

The Government’s proposed lifetime cap on care costs for adults in England is set at £72,000 and the latest plan was for it to come into force in 2020.

The idea of a cap on … Read More »


Brunelcare to build in Cadbury Heath

Posted on December 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Brunelcare to build in Cadbury Heath

Not-for-profit care and housing provider Brunelcare, in partnership with Brackley Investments, is to develop a new 64-bed care home and 24-bed reablement service in Cadbury Heath, South Gloucestershire.

Following the receipt of planning permission, Brackley Investments will develop the buildings to Brunelcare’s specification, which the charity will then lease from them on a 25-year term.

It is hoped that the new care home and reablement service will be up and running within two years.

Brunelcare chief executive Kevin Fairman said the Cadbury Heath scheme would increase the number of care home places Brunelcare currently provides for people in the South West region by 20%, along with expanding its reablement service, supporting people returning home from hospital.


Priory acquires Aspire Scotland

Posted on December 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Priory acquires Aspire Scotland

Specialist care provider The Priory Group has acquired Aspire Scotland to the for an undisclosed sum.

Aspire Scotland operates seven homes in Scotland and caters for vulnerable children and young people, providing a safe, nurturing and ‘family’ environment. It also operates its own independent school as well as a café and leisure facilities based at Aspire Scotland’s headquarters in Kilbirnie. Redwoods Dowling Kerr Healthcare negotiated the sale on behalf of Aspire.


Christmas wish to end funding crisis

Posted on December 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Christmas wish to end funding crisis

Care workers’ union GMB will join care provider HC One and a delegation of older people later today (December 20) to deliver a Christmas card to the Prime Minister asking her to grant carers’ Yuletide wish for end to the funding crisis in care.

The union will head to 10 Downing Street, Westminster, at 3pm today to deliver the Christmas message. The Christmas card, co-signed by care home provider HC-One urges the PM to show those who work in care, the patients and their families, as well as the public, that the government values the work and service of the care sector.

Today’s initiative forms part of GMB’s #WeCare campaign celebrating the work of members working in care this Christmas. It comes as new analysis from the Labour Party this morning shows 2.3 million older missing out on vital social to help … Read More »


Praise for devotion

Posted on December 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Praise for devotion

Staff at a Hastings care home have been praised by the town’s MP for their thoughtfulness and dedication to caring for residents. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary and MP for Hastings and Rye, read in the Hastings Observer how Kellie Carter and Kimberly Mann from Hastings Court care home on The Ridge had given up their evenings off to accompany a devoted couple on a special evening out.

John and Celia Mortimer, both in their late 80s, were treated to a ‘date night’ at the Sussex Exchange after Kellie overheard them discussing how much they would like to go out to dinner.

The couple, who’ve been married for more than 60 years, moved into Hastings Court in January 2016 after John’s Parkinson’s disease and Celia’s deafness made living at home too difficult. In personal letters to the caring staff members, Ms Rudd … Read More »



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