Category: Caring Times


Caring Homes celebrates 20 years

Posted on March 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Congratulations to Caring Homes on their 20th Anniversary. The company was founded in 1994 by the Jeffery family who still run it.


Burden of bureaucracy is compromising care, says new Joseph Rowntree report

Posted on March 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, April 2014

Some care home managers say they spend 20% of their time on paperwork rather than on leadership activities that could improve the quality of care for residents.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published in February, identifies more than 100 separate items of paperwork that must be completed regularly in care homes, responding to a range of regulatory and commissioning requirements.

The JRF report – Is excessive paperwork in care homes undermining care for older people? – says paperwork has limited the ability to quantify and measure the quality of interactions between care staff and residents. “Paperwork has become an industry in its own right, fuelled by fear and insecurity,” is a key finding of the research. Others include:

Poor co-operation and co-ordination between agencies responsible for regulation, monitoring and purchasing care results in information being duplicated, often several times … Read More »


Provider association underwhelmed by Solihull’s 16.5% increase in fees

Posted on March 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, April 2014

From April 2014, Solihull Council is increasing the fees it pays to residential and nursing care homes for older people and people with dementia, by up to 16.5%. The uplift in will cost the Council £805,000 more in 2014-15. The additional cost will be paid for from the existing adult social care budget.

The decision was taken by Cllr Bob Sleigh, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, at a council meeting in February. It means that maximum fee levels for older people’s residential care will increase by 16.5%, to £439 per week. Fees for residential care for people with dementia will increase by 16.3% to £508 per week. Including NHS funded nursing care, council funding will rise to £615 per week for older people’s nursing care and £661 per week for nursing care for dementia. This represents increases … Read More »


Your Care Rating gives residents a voice

Posted on March 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, April 2014

Results from the 2013 Your Care Rating survey were published in February. Responses from more than 20,000 residents from 1,055 homes were analysed to give each an Overall Performance Rating (OPR) out of 1,000.

The results broadly painted an encouraging picture of life in care homes from most of the homes which took part, with an average OPR score for participating homes of 871.

The highest score achieved was 991 for St Leonard’s Rest Home in Hayling Island, Hampshire. However, clearly not all homes achieved the national average and some scores for questions were significantly lower. Ten homes had an OPR score of 700 or below.

The survey also provides scores out of 1,000 across four main sub-themes, with the national average score for each being (a) staff and care – 869; (b) home comforts – 852; (c) choice and … Read More »


Paying for healthcare remains a reality for care homes

Posted on February 25th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Care England report says many providers are still being charged for GP services

Caring Times, March 2014

In 2008 Care England’s predecessor body, ECCA, investigated the practice of GPs charging retainers to work with care homes. The research showed this was a widespread practice and that the pronouncements that health care was free at the point of need, were not necessarily true for care home residents.

In 2013 ECCA re-ran this research, and discovered that six years after its initial report, the practice is still going on at much the same levels. Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said that while Primary Care Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups may be aware that GPs are charging care homes in this way, it appeared that they had no powers to deal with the problem.

“Charging care home residents for healthcare is an ongoing malpractice despite … Read More »


Care UK slams cuts to mental health services

Posted on February 25th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, March 2014

Care UK’s mental health director Dr Alison Rose-Quirie has voiced concerned about cuts to funding mental health services.

In mid-December the BBC published figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act which showed that mental health trusts In England have had their funding cut by more than 2% in real terms over the past two years.

“As demand, quite rightly, grows for high quality, publicly-funded mental health services, what amounts to a two per cent cut in mental health funding is bad news for patients, their families and society,” said Dr Rose-Quirie in response to the BBC’s revelation.

“These cutbacks are completely at odds with the way this government talks about how it wants to give the same importance to mental health services and recovery as it does to physical health. Patients and their families are already living with a … Read More »


Quebec blaze prompts call for sprinklers

Posted on February 25th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, March 2014

Independent fire safety experts have called for all care homes in the UK to install sprinkler fire extinguishing systems in the wake of a recent fire in a Canadian care home.

At least five elderly people were killed after a fire destroyed an old people’s home in Quebec in January.

Safety Management (UK) (SMUK), which has been campaigning for laws to be introduced to make sprinkler systems compulsory in every high rise flat in the country, has now extended the campaign to care homes and says that those which don’t have sprinkler systems already installed should now look at retro-fitting them as a matter of urgency.

It is also urging care managers to immediately review their fire evacuation procedures in the wake of the fatal fire in Canada.

SMUK says that the danger is increased at night-time – when staffing levels … Read More »


CQC launches national review of dementia care

Posted on January 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, February 2014

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to carry out focused inspections of some 150 care homes and acute hospitals to review how people with dementia are cared for in England. CQC says it will explore the care and support these services provide for people with dementia and in doing so, draw common themes on what works well and what needs to improve on a national level.

The announcement came on the day (Wednesday, 11 December) that Government hosted a G8 summit in London on developing co-ordinated global action to prevent, delay and effectively treat the condition. CQC chief executive David Behan said there was a real need to explore why people with dementia may not be receiving high quality care, as well as how the different services work together.

“This is the first time that CQC has undertaken a … Read More »


Ecclesiastical draws back from care home insurance

Posted on January 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, February 2014

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc, the largest provider of insurance in the UK care home sector, announced in December that it will withdraw from the care home insurance market, with the exception of charity operated care homes.

This change, which is expected to take place from March 2014, is expected to have considerable implications both for the insurance market and for care homes. David Waters, managing director of the broker Care Home Insurance Services, said Ecclesiastical currently insured about 30% of all care homes in the UK, more than any other insurer.

“Its withdrawal from the care market will come as another ‘body blow’ to the care industry and is likely to have lasting ramifications, both for the insurance industry and for care home operators,” said Mr Waters.

“The market is likely to harden in the coming months with other insurers … Read More »


Lack of English a barrier to recruitment of workers from Bulgaria and Romania

Posted on January 26th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, February 2014

While national debate continues about the likely effects of a possible influx of workers from Bulgaria and Romania, it seems few of them will be working in care homes.

While the care sector has acquired a reputation as an employer of cheap labour from overseas, with care home groups actively recruiting staff from the Philippines, India and Poland, it appears that tighter regulation by the UK Border Agency, combined with the fact that very few Bulgarians and Romanians can speak English, means care home operators do not see this new labour pool as one in which they can fish.

Three major provider associations contacted by Caring Times said they were unaware of any of their members seeking to employ Bulgarians or Romanians as care workers. Registered Nursing Home Association chief executive Frank Ursell said the language problem was the … Read More »



Latest Caring Times news

Caring Homes celebrates 20 years

Congratulations to Caring Homes on their 20th Anniversary. The company was founded in 1994 by the Jeffery family who still run it.

Burden of bureaucracy is compromising care, says new Joseph Rowntree report

Caring Times, April 2014

Some care home managers say they spend 20% of their time on paperwork rather than on leadership activities that could improve...

Provider association underwhelmed by Solihull’s 16.5% increase in fees

Caring Times, April 2014

From April 2014, Solihull Council is increasing the fees it pays to residential and nursing care homes for older people and...