Category: Caring Times


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

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

Caring Times Latest

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 »


CQC publishes Special Measures proposals

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

– closing date for consultation comments:
Friday, January 30th

By Lester Aldridge solicitor PETER GROSE

At the end of December 2014 CQC released its long awaited proposals for special measures. The proposals will have a significant impact for all registered providers. It will be all too easy to enter special measures and risk cancellation of registration. The keys points are as follows:

Entry point of special measures: When CQC carries out a comprehensive inspection against the five “key questions” (ie is the service safe, caring, responsive, effective and well led?) and two of those key questions are rated as Inadequate, CQC says that not only will the entire service be rated as Inadequate but this will also result in immediate entry into the special measures process.
Special measures can be entered even if a comprehensive inspection results in only one of the key questions being rated … Read More »


Four Seasons agrees revised corporate credit facility

Posted on December 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Four Seasons Health Care group has reached agreement with its banks in respect of its £40m corporate credit facility, with the existing covenant under that facility replaced with a gross ‘super senior’ leverage covenant.

Four Seasons says the revised facility, which matures in three years (December 2017), provides sufficient headroom to enable the group to implement its medium term operational and strategic plans. Four Seasons chairman Ian Smith said the group had now restructured its operations into three businesses, each has its own chief executive and senior team in place and they had begun implementing their plans to develop the three businesses.

“I welcome this new affirmation of support from our banks which combined with the group’s ample liquidity, means we are well placed to drive our strategy in the coming years,” said Mr Smith.

The businesses created as a result … Read More »


CQC says it will close failing care services

Posted on December 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Adult social care services in England that fail to improve within a year of being rated as Inadequate overall will face closure as part of the Care Quality Commission’s plans to tackle failing care.

The announcement followed a CQC board meeting in mid-December, in response to health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s request in July that the regulator develop a ‘special measures’ regime for adult social care in England. Since then, CQC says it has been developing what this could look like with people using services and their carers, providers and their representatives, commissioners, our staff and national partners.

CQC is now seeking further views from anyone who wishes to have their say on the latest special measures proposals before the final policy is published in March 2015. Chief inspector of adult social care Andrea Sutcliffe said the proposals set out CQC’s … Read More »


Government statistics confirm decline in spending on older people’s services

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

Caring Times Latest

Figures published by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that local authorities spent £100m less on residential and nursing care in 2013/14 compared with 2012/13.

Older people’s charity Independent Age said the HSCIC’s figured showed the full extent of the cut in services over the last five years for older people.

“In real terms, councils are spending £1.3bn less on social care for the elderly, at a time when expenditure should have increased to reflect a growing ageing population,” said the charity.

“Cuts were made to essential community services such as meals and home adaptations, and charges for services increased. Even more worryingly, councils continue to force down the cost at which they buy care home ‎places, overall spending £100m less on residential and nursing care in 2013/14 compared with 2012/13, but at a risk of threatening the … Read More »


Care provider to issue ‘mini bonds’ to fund construction of care home in Bolton

Posted on December 10th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Specialist dementia care provider Woodlands Care Group is to market a corporate bond issue to raise the £3m finance required to develop a new residential care home.

The group, headquartered in Wigan, is currently constructing a new 55-bedroomed property in Westhoughton, Bolton, due for completion next summer. Founder Sam Lancaster said the scheme would provide people with “the opportunity to invest in secured bonds that yield an attractive rate of interest” for between three and five years.

“This investment opportunity is a positive and pro-active way for people to make a real difference by enabling us to be able to reach out and assist even more people living with dementia,” said Mr Lancaster.

“Our initial research has shown that the bond issue is likely to appeal to investors whose family or friends have been affected by dementia experiences. This presents a … Read More »


Executive Care sold to Monarch

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

Caring Times Latest

Executive Care, a provider with 25 care homes across the North East and Scotland, has been sold to Monarch Alternative Capital (Europe) Ltd.

In a letter to all staff in early December, Executive care chief executive David Harrison said the company’s acquisition by Monarch meant that the group would be able to focus on long-term growth, ensuring a bright future for the company and all homes, residents and employees.

“Monarch has purchased the business as a going concern and as such, the operation of our care homes will be unaffected by the transaction,” said Mr Harrison.

“Monarch’s planned multimillion pound programme of investment into our homes, our systems and our people will enable the management team to continue with their long-term plans. These include an extensive refurbishment programme as well as additional staff training and development programmes.”

Speaking to Caring Times, Executive … Read More »


Senior staff shuffle at HC-One following takeover by Formation/Safanad

Posted on November 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

Following the takeover of major care home operator HC-One by Formation Capital and Safanad last year, the company has reasserted its mission and values in the next phase of ‘Turnaround to Transformation’.

At a challenging time for the sector, when providers are facing funding constraints, regulatory pressures, greater dependency and care needs, difficulty recruiting home managers, a shortage of nurses, HC-One has re-stated its commitment to providing the kindest possible care, and in the best possible working environment for staff. As part of this new phase for the company, HC-One says it has made changes to provide greater management support to homes, whilst also making sure the kindest care is delivered in the most cost effective way, in response to tight local authority budgets.

There will now be eight operational directors, each working with smaller groups of homes, and reporting … Read More »


Report demands action on care of people with learning disabilities

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

Caring Times Latest

NHS England has published an independent report into the future care of people with learning disabilities. Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of charity leaders body ACEVO, was asked by NHS England to work with stakeholders and make recommendations for the development of a national commissioning framework to address serious shortcomings in the provision of support for people with learning disabilities.

Sir Stephen chaired an independent group who developed the report, “Winterbourne View – Time for Change”, with guidance and expertise from healthcare professionals, the voluntary sector, local government and people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. Sir Stephen’s report makes a series of recommendations for the NHS, local government, regulators and the Government, that include a robust NHS commissioning framework to support people with learning disabilities and autism moving out of hospitals and into the community.

“The Winterbourne View … Read More »


CQC to publish information about the use of camera surveillance in care homes

Posted on November 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

Caring Times Latest

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has agreed in principle to publish information for care providers, as well as for people who use services and their loved ones, about the use of covert or overt camera surveillance to monitor care.

Over the last year, CQC has sought views from people who use services, carers, providers, staff and other partners about the use of surveillance cameras. CQC’s Board members have approved the information to be included in the final documents but have asked that the information for the public be written in a more accessible way.

The CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care Andrea Sutcliffe said the information published for providers made clear the issues the CQC expects providers to take into account – for example, consulting with people using the services and staff – if they are considering installing hidden … Read More »



Latest blog posts

A hundred is the new ninety!

By Guest Blogger LEON SMITH

Executive vice president,

Nightingale Hammerson

We know that more people in the UK are now living to 100 than ever before. In...

Casting some light on the overheated subject of immigration

By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON

I may have missed it, of course, but, as we draw ever closer to the general election, I haven’t noticed a...

Nine per cent – out of the blue and into the red

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

A few months ago I was telephoned by a man who owns an 18-bed care home in Derbyshire. Relying...