Category: Caring Times


Avens brings Ferns out of the shade

Posted on September 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Specialist care provider Avens has opened and is now operating its third care home which was acquired for them by investors in December.

Previously a 27-bed residential care home for elderly people, the property in Raunds, Northamptonshire has been redeveloped to provide care to 14 adults with learning disabilities in first class surroundings.

The building was vacant for several years but having undergone extensive renovation and refurbishment, has now been registered with the Care Quality Commission and is welcoming its first residents.

By using the existing space differently, room has been allocated for the installation of top-of-the range en-suite facilities to all of the expansive property’s bedrooms. The home, formally called Kingfisher residential care home, will be known as The Ferns and will double Avens’ provision of residential care in Northamptonshire. Avens chief executive Christopher Andrews said CQC had given approval … Read More »


Sheffcare awarded council homecare contract

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

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Sheffcare, a not-for-profit organisation which operates a chain of 11 residential care homes across Sheffield, has been awarded a Sheffield City Council homecare contract.

Launched last November the Sheffcare Home Care Service will provide flexible services as part of Sheffield Council’s Framework for Supported Living Services.


Barchester leads development of new apprenticeship standard

Posted on September 15th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A new standard for apprenticeships in property maintenance has been developed by a trailblazer group of cross-sector employers, led and supported by national care provider Barchester Healthcare.

Working alongside companies such as Hilton Worldwide, Carillion, Mitie, Interserve, Barchester has established the new standard which is recognised by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

The new benchmark means that for the first time there will be an apprenticeship for maintenance staff across a range of business areas, including health and social care, hospitality, the NHS and local authorities.

This development gives apprentices who are not construction based the opportunity to learn how to maintain and care for the condition of buildings and grounds, ensuring they are kept in excellent working condition.

Barchester director of property services Bill Wilson said the new standard would raise the level of quality maintenance provided in sectors … Read More »


Families help to run dementia bistro

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

Families and friends of those people with dementia are helping to run their own special bistro at a care home to share advice on the issues surrounding the disease after the bistro was opened by a campaigner.

‘Tea for Two’ was opened at Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, by author and campaigner Ian Donaghy, who wrote the book Dear Dementia: The Laughter and Tears to help share information on dementia for those interested in learning more.

The bistro has been so popular that family members of people with dementia have stepped in to help run it, along with a small shop selling useful items and bric-a-brac. Birch Green general manager Carol Nickeas said that, by creating the relaxing bistro environment, the home was helping families of those people with dementia share their experience and gather information on the disease and … Read More »


Home Group backs new poll fears over social care

Posted on September 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Social care services provider Home Group has echoed the findings of the largest ever public survey of social care in England – calling on the Government to pump major new investment into the ailing system.

The YouGov survey of more than 4,000 people found that seven out of ten respondents over 60 are not confident they will receive good care when they need it and only 25% believe they will receive the care they need that will allow them to lead a good life.

Home Group is one of 75 of the country’s leading charities who form the Care and Support Alliance (CSA) which commissioned the poll and who are campaigning, alongside millions of older and disabled people and their carers, for a properly funded care system. The CSA argues that the system is on its knees, with demand going … Read More »


Care comes naturally to new owner Melissa

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

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A registered nurse has realised her ambition to run her own care home after purchasing a Lancashire care business.

Ashlands nursing home in Rossendale, which provides care for 19 residents and has 25 staff, has been acquired by Melissa O’Rourke and her husband Jason, following the imminent retirement of former owners Anna Mai and Arthur Marriott.

Melissa, 35, has worked in the care sector since leaving school, and recently spent two years as nurse manager at The Manor House nursing home in Chatburn. Jason, 43, a former joiner and surveyor, will look after the financial and administration side of the home.

The pair, who live in Sawley, in the Ribble Valley, have been learning the ropes at Ashlands since January and Anna Mai and Arthur will continue working with them to ensure a smooth transition now that the ownership baton has … Read More »


Dame Joan Stringer appointed as chair of Community Integrated Care

Posted on September 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Dame Joan Stringer has been appointed as chair of the board of trustees of national social care charity Community Integrated Care.

Dame Joan is nationally recognised as one of Britain’s leading public sector figures. She retired as the principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University in 2013, after more than 10 years in post. She has held a number of senior public appointment’s with organisations such as the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland, Grampian Health Board and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

She currently chairs Edinburgh’s Festival City Theatres Trust, is a member of the Board of the National Theatre of Scotland, and is a Council member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Institute of Directors. In 2011, she was named public sector leader of the year at the Scottish Leadership Awards.

Her appointment … Read More »


MHA welcomes Graham Smith as new chair

Posted on September 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Graham Smith has been installed as the new chair for national charity Methodist Homes (MHA). The charity, which provides accommodation, care and support services to 16,000 older people across the UK, made the announcement as Keith Salsbury completed his six-year term in the role.

Mr Salsbury has been an active and popular board member since 2001. MHA thanks him for his successful service as its Chair, and welcomes Mr Smith to the position. Mr Smith is a board Member of MHA and for more than 30 years has held senior positions at board level in the health and social care sector, both in the UK and in Europe. He founded Goldsborough Healthcare plc, which was acquired by BUPA in 1997, and was managing director of BUPA Care Services until 2001.

Since then he has chaired numerous businesses in the health … Read More »


‘Integrated Personal Commissioning’ initiative for those with complex needs focuses on the voluntary sector

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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NHS England, the Local Government Association, Think Local Act Personal and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have announced a new voluntary approach to joining up health and social care for people with complex needs.

The announcement about the introduction of ‘Integrated Personal Commissioning’ (IPC) focused strongly on the involvement of the voluntary sector and made no specific reference to other private providers of specialist care but, on enquiry, Caring Times was given assurances that for-profit providers can be involved. It appears, however, that they would have to partner in some way with a voluntary organisation.

“This proposal makes a triple offer to service users, local commissioners and the voluntary sector to bring health and social care spend together at the level of the individual,” said the announcement from NHS England.

“Local authorities and NHS commissioners, and providers will be … Read More »


Reshape health and social care around need, says King’s Fund commission

Posted on September 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The way that health and social care are currently organised and funded creates confusion, perverse incentives and much distress for individuals and families.

Releasing its report one day after the Demos recommendations, an independent commission established by The King’s Fund has concluded that a new settlement is needed for health and social care to provide a simpler pathway through the current maze of entitlements

The commission, chaired by Dame Kate Barker, proposes a new approach that redesigns care around individual needs regardless of diagnosis, with a graduated increase in support as needs rise, particularly towards the end of life. The final report of the commission recommends:

moving to a single, ring-fenced budget for the NHS and social care, with a single commissioner for local services;
social care for those whose needs are currently defined as ‘critical’ should become free at the point … Read More »



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