Category: Caring Times


CQC says it will close failing care services

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »


Care home staff asked to help protect antibiotics for future generations

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

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Care home staff have been called on to join the battle to protect antibiotics for future generations.

Care homes are being targeted during the campaign, led in Scotland by the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), as older people are more vulnerable to infections, receive more antibiotics than younger people and are more likely to experience adverse effects from antibiotic treatment.

As part of the focus on care homes, a decision aid tool has been developed by SAPG in collaboration with the Care Inspectorate and care home provider organisations to support management of diarrhoea, including advice on Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a potentially serious cause of diarrhoea.

The decision aid, together with “get well soon without antibiotics” posters and leaflets, will be sent out to care homes across Scotland. Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said care homes had an … Read More »


Academics to undertake three-year care sector recruitment study

Posted on November 14th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Aston Business School has teamed-up with Solihull-based recruitment experts Cohesion, who are funding a three-year study investigating recruitment and selection practices in the UK care sector.

It is hoped the study will result in specific and high-impact recommendations for recruitment and selection in the sector. Debbie Edmondson, talent director at Cohesion, said organisations in the care sector were faced with a dual challenge: the need for fast paced recruitment to meet business growth and turnover, and the continual demand to improve the quality of care provided.

“We’re really excited about this opportunity to work with Aston in order to develop and improve testable recruitment models,” said Ms Edmondson

“We’re passionate about innovation at Cohesion and we look forward to understanding more about how we can improve recruitment processes in the care sector.”

Dr Ann Davis, head of the work & organisational psychology … Read More »


King’s Fund report looks at commissioning

Posted on November 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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A new report – Commissioning and contracting for integrated care – which looks at the risks and benefits of using different contractual vehicles to stimulate and support integrated care, has been published by The King’s Fund.

In recent months, integration has been high on the health and social care agenda, and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been tasked with finding innovative, flexible approaches to commissioning and contracting for service transformation.

The report investigates how commissioners in five areas are using different contracting models to drive integrated care and draws four key observations from the evidence, namely that commissioners should:

continually engage with providers, patients and local communities to identify problems and appropriate solutions;
ensure whether a contractual solution is appropriate and proportionate for addressing the need at hand;
develop an approach to contracting that is not purely transactional, but which builds trust and … Read More »



Latest blog posts

Personal care should be a private matter

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Last week we had confirmation that local authorities spent £100m less on residential and nursing home care in 2013/14...

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Oh dear! The Care Quality Commission has had to apologise to hundreds of GPs for giving incorrect patient safety...

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