Category: Caring Times


Ombudsman says councils must offer affordable care home placement options

Posted on February 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ombudsman says councils must offer affordable care home placement options

When arranging care, councils must offer families the option of a nursing or care home placement which does not need a top-up fee, the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has said, following an investigation into Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

The investigation involved a Solihull family who paid a top-up fee for three years for their father’s care. The family should not have been asked to pay this additional fee.

The LGO said the case was another example of people across the country being given insufficient information to be able to make informed choices about their care – a problem which the LGO continues to see and which it highlighted in a Focus Report in September 2015.

In the Solihull investigation, a man went into a nursing home temporarily in September 2007. Before he moved into the home, the council contacted 13 nursing homes on … Read More »


Petition opposes plan to scrap Attendance Allowance for new claimants

Posted on January 28th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Petition opposes plan to scrap Attendance Allowance for new claimants

Sign the petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/119787

Michael Vaughan, managing director of the Red Rocks nursing home in The Wirral, has set up an online petition calling on the Government to abandon its plans to scrap Attendance Allowance (AA) for new claimants.

Mr Vaughan said the plan to scrap the allowance was very quietly announced just before Christmas in the Government’s Local Government Finance Settlement (see link below).

“The plan involves passing any saved monies on to local councils under plans for devolution, (as I understand it, without the money being ring-fenced) and many people who currently qualify for Attendance Allowance will then not meet local authority’s increasingly strict qualifying criteria for assistance,” said Mr Vaughan.

“AA is a non-means tested benefit for people aged over 65 needing help with personal care because they are physically or mentally disabled. It helps people to remain at home for longer … Read More »


Survey on GP care for residents with dementia

Posted on January 21st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Survey on GP care for residents with dementia

Care England, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, is conducting research into GP care for care home residents living with dementia.

They would like care home providers and managers to complete a short survey exploring how the health service meets the physical and mental health needs of people with dementia living in care homes, how GP practices provide primary care services to care homes and if GP practices charge care homes for these services.

The survey is available online at https://survs.com/survey/fa2sm0lszz and will take less than five minutes to complete.

All responses are anonymous.


Welsh Government urged to quell ‘perfect storm’ in social care

Posted on January 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Welsh Government urged to quell ‘perfect storm’ in social care

A social care leader has called on the Welsh Government to take urgent action to quell a “perfect storm” threatening care homes and domiciliary care companies in Wales.

According to Care Forum Wales (CFW) which represents private providers in Wales, the social care sector has been blighted by inadequate funding for many years and care homes and domiciliary care companies are now facing the double challenge of having to pay staff a 30% increase without knowing where the money is coming from.

CFW chair Mario Kreft said social care should be treated as a sector of national strategic importance.

“The problems cannot be solved by local government and health boards – we need the Welsh Government to intervene,” said Mr Kreft.

“The NHS is under huge pressure, care home beds are being lost across Wales because of inadequate funding, there’s a chronic shortage of … Read More »


Norman Lamb calls for commission into health and social care

Posted on January 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Norman Lamb calls for commission into health and social care

In early January, Lib.-Dem. MP and former coalition social care minister Norman Lamb introduced a Private Member’s Bill calling for the establishment of an independent cross-party commission to examine the future of the NHS and social care systems.

Mr Lamb, who has received the backing from Conservative and Labour former health secretaries Stephen Dorrell and Alan Milburn, believes that only a full non-partisan commission will properly deal with the crisis in health and social care. They have been joined in this call by NHS survival – a group of 8,000 doctors, patients and members of the public committed to ensuring the survival of the health service.

The former care minister believes the commission would be a “Beveridge Report” for the 21st Century, and be the first of its kind since the creation of the NHS and welfare state. Its aim is to … Read More »


‘Future of adult social care looks bleak,’ says ILC economist

Posted on January 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on ‘Future of adult social care looks bleak,’ says ILC economist

Detailed analysis of the social care funding measures outlined in the Spending Review reveals a bleak future for older people needing care, according to the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK).

About 1.86m people over the age of 50 in England (1 in 10) have unmet care needs – an increase of 120,000 people (or 7%) since 2008/9, says the ILC. Data from 326 local authorities had shown that the councils with the highest concentration of older people and unpaid carers would be the ones that will bring in the least amount of money from the 2% council tax precept.

ILC-UK points out that even if the Spending Review announcements bring £3.5bn into adult social care, a scenario they describe as “highly unlikely”, this will still only mean that spending on care returns to 2015 levels by the end of the Parliament. … Read More »


Care England welcomes intermediary nursing role, but advises DH to extend and collaborate

Posted on December 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care England welcomes intermediary nursing role, but advises DH to extend and collaborate

An announcement of the Department of Health’s intention to create a nursing associate role has been welcomed by provider representative body Care England.

Care England’s chief executive Professor Martin Green has pointed out however, that several initiatives to create a hybrid, or intermediary role between a nurse and care worker already exist, having been devised and piloted in care homes by care providers and by Care England.

“We would like to see the Department of Health bring together these work streams to create a standardised accreditation for this new role, and invest in the care sector which is presently suffering from a severe nursing shortage,” said Prof. Green.

“The problems caused by the 20,000 nurse shortfall are not exclusive to the NHS. There are 50,000 nurses working in the social care sector who relieve considerable pressure from acute and primary care. We would … Read More »


Christie + Co gauges businesses’ reactions to the National Living Wage

Posted on December 9th, by admin in Caring Times. No Comments

Specialist property adviser, Christie + Co has released a new report gauging initial reactions to the National Living Wage’s (NLW) impact on the UK labour market from key players in UK business.

By identifying the specific challenges facing the care sector, and others such as the hospitality and catering industries, Christie + Co has offered potential mitigating solutions to the issues and analysed the expected impact the NLW will have on these labour intensive segments.

Richard Lunn, Head of Care at Christie + Co commented: “The introduction of the NLW adds yet another cloud on the horizon for an industry where staff costs are the single biggest item of expenditure, particularly for adult social care. Based on an analysis of care homes which Christie + Co has appraised this year, we estimate that net wages will increase by around 5% when pay … Read More »


Fresh concerns over delays in implementing the cap on care costs

Posted on December 2nd, by admin in Caring Times. No Comments

The Public Accounts Committee has today, Wednesday 2 December, raised new concerns over the delays in implementing the cap on care costs, as set out in the Care Act. The Committee has warned that these delays could mean that older people and their carers will miss out on vital services.  

The lifetime cap on care costs, due to be introduced in April next year, was pushed back to 2020 following requests from local councils over funding allocation. People above state pension age would not be expected to pay more than £72,000 towards their social care; an estimated 35,000 people were expected to have benefitted immediately.

Today’s report has found a lack of transparency in identifying and assessing the new financial implications of the Care Act, and has recommended that a clear timetable for implementation is drawn up.

George McNamara, … Read More »


Social care sector responds to Osborne’s review – more needs to be done

Posted on November 25th, by admin in Caring Times. No Comments

Today George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on the Comprehensive Spending Review was met by mixed reactions from the sector, with the general tenor being “it’s not enough”. We’ll have a full report in the January issue of Caring Times, but here are some key reactions:

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society: “The Government’s commitment to fund a dementia research institute offers hope and we welcome the recognition that the NHS cannot function effectively without investment in good social care. However, the new money promised today will only go some way to covering the £4.3 billion social care funding gap estimated by 2020. Today must be a first step towards ensuring the vital lifeline of social care for people with dementia.”

Stephen Burke, director of Good Care Guide: “The Chancellor’s spending review has failed to tackle the growing care crisis. Increases of up … Read More »



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