Category: Caring Times


Study: people die more comfortably in a care home

Posted on November 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Study: people die more comfortably in a care home

Very old people are more likely to die comfortably if they die in a care home or at home, compared with dying in a hospital, suggests a new study from the University of Cambridge.

Yet while the overwhelming majority of very old people reported symptoms at the end of life such as distress, pain and depression, the study found that these were not always treated effectively.

Older people with dementia commonly report multiple symptoms as they approach the end-of-life, and if these symptoms are not adequately controlled, they may increase distress and worsen an individual’s quality of life.

The researchers argue that their findings highlight the need to improve training in end-of-life care for all staff, in all settings, and in particular to address the current shortage of palliative care doctors in the NHS.

Compared with people who died in hospital, the odds of … Read More »


Colten Care plans further growth after bank deal

Posted on November 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Colten Care plans further growth after bank deal

A family owned care home company is set for further expansion after agreeing a £26m financing package with its new banker.

Colten Care, which owns and operates 20 homes across the South of England, says it is planning to open a new home every couple of years following the deal with NatWest.

Work is already well-advanced on its 21st home, costing in excess of £10m, in Poole, Dorset, while a £1.5m ‘top to toe’ refurbishment has just been completed at its Canford Chase home in Branksome Park, also in Poole.

Colten Care chief executive Mark Aitchison said the new finance would allow the company to continue with its growth strategy of building new homes, while at the same time maintaining its current homes.

“Colten Care is different from many other companies in our sector,” said Mr Aitchison.

“We are a family owned company with no … Read More »


A weary sense of deja vu

Posted on November 20th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 4 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

So we are to be favoured with a Green Paper sometime next summer.

Theresa May’s insistence on the importance of an exact date for Brexit rings hollow alongside her government’s insouciant deferral of the Green Paper. They say “it is right that we take the time needed to debate the many complex issues and listen to the perspectives of experts and care users, to build consensus around reforms which can succeed.” They’ve had years to do this.

It is with a weary sense of deja vu that I recall that the release of the last social care Green Paper was deferred. Green Papers are of course standard practice for appearing to address an issue while not actually doing anything. A panel of the great and good comes up with a few suggestions which are then put out to … Read More »


Shaw healthcare plans long-term growth with £10m Bridges Evergreen investment

Posted on November 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Shaw healthcare plans long-term growth with £10m Bridges Evergreen investment

Shaw healthcare, an employee-owned care provider for elderly people, has agreed to sell a minority stake to Bridges Evergreen Holdings for £10m to accelerate its growth and development.

With 52 care homes across England, more than 3,500 employees and revenues of over £90m last year, Shaw healthcare is one of the ten largest employee-owned companies in the UK and will continue to be substantially owned by its employees for the long-term. The company enjoys strong relationships with local authorities and the NHS, from whom it derives over half of its income through long-term contracts.

Evergreen is a permanent capital vehicle managed by Bridges Fund Management, a specialist sustainable and impact investor. Unlike standard private equity funds, Evergreen has no requirement to exit in a finite period – allowing it to provide financial and operational support to Shaw over the long-term. As part … Read More »


Colne supported living scheme gets under way

Posted on November 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Colne supported living scheme gets under way

Work has begun on a £1.6m supported living development in Colne, Lancashire.

Due for completion in Spring 2018, the three storey scheme will provide 11 apartments alongside communal areas and landscaped gardens specially designed for adults with a range of support needs.

New residents will receive a tenancy agreement and there is no limit to how long people can live there.

The development, a three-way partnership project between Making Space, a national charity and leading provider of health and social care services, specialist accommodation developer Homelife and health and social care landlord Inclusion Housing, is intended to enable adults with a range of support needs to live as independently as possible, with support from an on-site care team.


Dutch dementia care provider targets UK south east

Posted on November 15th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Dutch dementia care provider targets UK south east

Castleoak, Mike Parsons and Dutch operator in new venture to create Martha Flora UK

Established European specialist dementia care operator Martha Flora has joined forces with care sector development specialists Castleoak and operating partner Mike Parsons to create Martha Flora UK.

Amsterdam-based Martha Flora operates specialist boutique dementia care homes across the Netherlands with 13 homes currently open or under construction.

As part of the joint venture Castleoak will provide specialist land finding and acquisition services, will manage the planning process, and design and build the high quality specialist care homes. Care sector entrepreneur Mike Parsons and his team will commission and operate the new facilities and Martha Flora will provide the brand, intellectual property and operational support.

A new company Martha Flora UK Ltd has been established and will be jointly owned by the three parties, with development and construction partner Castleoak taking … Read More »


Anchor’s apprenticeship scheme gets top rating

Posted on November 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Anchor’s apprenticeship scheme gets top rating

An apprenticeship scheme run by care home and retirement housing charity Anchor has been rated the best in the country.

Anchor, which is England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people, has come tops in the Rate My Apprenticeship Award, coming-in ahead of Virgin Media, Deloitte, Land Rover and BAE Systems.

The award saw apprentices from across the UK rate their apprenticeship, basing their views on how valued they feel, the support they get on programme, development opportunities and how much they earn.

“We’re incredibly honoured to be voted the number one employer of apprentices, especially as it is our apprentices’ feedback which has got us there,” said Katie Rankin, Anchor’s qualifications & apprenticeships manager.

“We’re passionate about developing future talent, giving young people the opportunity to gain new skills and make a real difference to older people’s lives. We’re extremely … Read More »


It’s a hard, hard world

Posted on November 13th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on It’s a hard, hard world

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A recent survey has found that 63% of the general public believe the NHS provides social care and 42% think it’s free.

It might be difficult for we who are involved with social care to appreciate this ignorance of the reality, but most people have little engagement with social care, which is why government has hitherto felt that, as long as the system doesn’t actually collapse, it can get by with a very minimum drip-feed of extra resources.

But the increasing unmet need is making itself felt in the NHS, with frail elderly people being increasingly yo-yo’d between hospital and home – at huge cost and with huge stress to the elderly people concerned.

It is the latter which makes the situation so morally repugnant. We have come quite a long way towards social justice but it has yet … Read More »


Work starts at Hallmark’s Banstead site

Posted on November 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Work starts at Hallmark’s Banstead site

Work has begun on the construction of a 77- bed care home in Banstead, Surrey which will leased by care provider, Hallmark Care Homes.

The new home, which will provide residential and dementia care is being built at a cost of £8m across a one acre site by contractor Lawrence Baker and will be the care group’s first lease deal.

When opened the home will provide a spacious, luxurious and sociable environment where family members are encouraged to spend time in the home with their loved ones, participating in activities.

Facilities will include; a cinema, hairdressing salon, therapy room and café. Each bedroom will have an en-suite bathroom and most of those on the ground floor will have access to their own patio.

Other communal areas will include an interactive kitchen where residents can assist in the preparation of meals and gardens designed by … Read More »


Work starts on site at two more Albion homes

Posted on November 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Work starts on site at two more Albion homes

Albion Care Communities (ACC), a rapidly growing investor and developer of quality care homes for elderly people, has begun two further developments in Abergavenny and Hereford.

The two facilities are due to open in early 2019, each providing facilities to 70 residents including a café, gym, cinema room, hairdressing salon, dedicated activity spaces and extensive landscaped gardens.

The en-suite bedrooms will be furnished to the highest standard of comfort with input from specialist interior designers. Care services will include residential, nursing and dementia care.

In August, ACC opened its first development, Pine Martin Grange, a 64-bed purpose built care home in Wareham, Dorset. The company is rapidly becoming a major regional investor and developer with 271 beds currently in operation or development.

Albion chairman Mike Parsons said that to date, the company had raised about £50m in debt and equity funding, with access to … Read More »



Latest blog posts

A weary sense of deja vu

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

So we are to be favoured with a Green Paper sometime next summer.

Theresa May’s insistence on the importance of an...

It’s a hard, hard world

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A recent survey has found that 63% of the general public believe the NHS provides social care and 42% think...

Sign-up and pay, or perhaps pay more

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

There are powerful arguments why carers working at night in small specialist care facilities should be paid their full hourly...