Category: Caring Times


Caring Homes opens care academy

Posted on October 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Private provider Caring Homes has launched the first Helena Jeffery Care Academy, a dedicated learning and development resource for carers and nurses, enabling staff to develop and practice care and support skills in a collegiate and friendly environment.

Initially aimed at new care support and nursing staff, the Care Academy provides clinically-led programmes focused on developing the practical skills needed to provide high quality care. Attendees benefit from hands-on training sessions, where they can practice techniques with colleagues in a supervised environment.

Staff completing the academy course receive certification and a badge for their uniforms, providing a clear visual indicator of training and compliance in a range of core skills. The first Academy is at Caring Homes’ Moorlands service in Surrey and this will be followed by a further two locations across the country in 2015.

The Academies are the brainchild … Read More »


Four Seasons bonds suffer as profit slides

Posted on October 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Higher payroll costs and sustained regulatory and fee pressure has led to a 31% fall in profits for at the UK’s biggest care home group, Four Seasons Health Care.

The slide refers to the second quarter of the year, when compared to the same period in 2013. Profits for the calendar year 2013 stood at £93.9m, dropping to £79.1m for the last 12 months.

Private equity Terra Firma bought Four Seasons two years ago in a deal worth £825m and the financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2014 of Elli Investments, the umbrella company created to service the £525m in high yield bonds issued following the acquisition, confirms that EBITDA fell by £7.9m to £17.5 million for the quarter.

In response, ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded the bonds and cautioned a negative outlook. In a statement, Moody’s said the … Read More »


Montreux buys The Regard Partnership

Posted on September 30th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Montreux Capital Management, the advisor to The Montreux Healthcare Fund, and Macquarie Lending (Macquarie) has purchased specialist care provider The Regard Partnership for £119.5m.

Regard is a major UK provider of learning disability care homes in and supported living services to hundreds of users across more than 120 sites in England and Wales. The Montreux Healthcare Fund has taken a majority equity stake in Regard, bringing their significant management experience in the care homes sector. This includes (via the Montreux Care Home Fund) the majority ownership of the ACH care homes business.

Macquarie originated the Regard transaction and developed the capital structure of the deal. Providing a bespoke loan and minority equity financing, Macquarie introduced Montreux Capital Management to the transaction resulting in a competitive offer on an accelerated timetable.

Regard appears destined for growth under the new ownership arrangements.

“Montreux and … Read More »


Regulator sets out its new ratings regime

Posted on September 29th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has set out what Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate will look like across each of the key areas it will routinely inspect adult social care services against. From October, CQC will begin implementing its new approach to regulating adult social care in England.

Specialist teams, including trained members of the public (‘experts by experience’), will inspect services against what CQC says matters most to the people who use them – are they safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs, and well-led? CQC will then rate these services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

By March 2016, CQC expects to have rated every adult social care service in England. Following its public consultation and testing earlier this year, CQC has published the questions (called ‘key lines of enquiry’) that its inspection teams will use … Read More »


End of life care extends across health and social care

Posted on September 26th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Care for thousands of people nearing the end of life is being ‘transformed’ across all settings, as evidenced by the largest ever award ceremony for providers of end of life care across all sectors of health and social care in late September.

The National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) Centre was presented more than 100 awards to care homes, community and acute hospitals, GPs and homecare agencies, at its 10th annual conference in London.

The Quality Hallmark Awards, endorsed by all of the major care home associations, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), National Skills Academy and the Care Quality Commission, were presented to organisations that demonstrated a high standard of care for people approaching the end of life.

Church View, a 47-bed privately-run nursing and residential home in Stockton was presented with the first ever Care Home of the Year … Read More »


Rhidian Hughes is new chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Posted on September 25th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Dr Rhidian Hughes has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG). Rhidian joins the VODG from a senior consulting role, having previously he held positions in social care policy, regulation and research. VODG chairman Clare Pelham said Rhidian’s wealth of experience within social care and health made him ideal for the role.

“His talents and vision will enable the VODG to go from strength to strength as the leading membership charity for third sector care providers,” said Ms Pelham.

“It could not be a more important time for disabled people to have a strong voice for publicly-funded, good quality support to be available for all who need it”.

On his appointment, Rhidian Hughes said he looked forward to working with members and stakeholders to ensure that the right funding, policy, regulation and partnership arrangements … Read More »


Care home managers should work more closely with us, say financial advisors

Posted on September 24th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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All financial advisers who specialise in the elderly care sector say they believe care home managers should work more closely with financial advisers. In a poll of more than 100 financial advisers conducted by specialist long term care advice body Symponia, all those questioned said care homes should work more closely with financial advisers.

Ninety-six percents agreed that care home managers did not always appreciate how important it was for them to engage with financial advisers. In light of this, 90% showed support for Symponia to create a simple and recognised pathway for care home managers to follow. Janet Davies, managing director and joint founder of Symponia , said many care home managers appreciated fully that all privately funded residents should seek advice and had forged relationships with their own local, or preferred advisers, but this approach was not … Read More »


New Care Act workforce planning tools launched

Posted on September 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy for Social Care have launched new workforce capacity planning tools to help employers prepare for the implementation of the Care Act in April 2015.

Workforce capacity planning helps employers to work out whether or not they have the right mix and numbers of workers with the right skills and knowledge to implement care and support reform. The tools were commissioned by the Department of Health to support employers implement the Care Act which will have significant implications for the adult social care workforce in England.

The result is two new resources – the workforce readiness tool and the workforce capacity planning model.

Skills for Care says the workforce readiness tool will help employers reflect on their current workforce, their skills and knowledge and how the Care Act may require a change of approach. … Read More »


New national group to represent health and social care providers

Posted on September 22nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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More than 40 regional and local care associations throughout England have joined forces to form a new group to represent providers. Called the Care Association Alliance, members believe it will be better placed to represent the needs of its members than existing national bodies.

Debbie Le Quesne, the chief executive of the West Midlands Care Association, who will co-chair the organisation with Erica Lockhart from Surrey Care Association, is keen to point out that the new group will continue to support and work alongside existing industry umbrella bodies such as Care England, the National Care Association and the National Care Forum.

“We have good relationships with Professor Martin Green of Care England, Sheila Scott at the NCA and Des Kelly from National Care Forum and there is no agenda to change those working partnerships,” said Miss Le Quesne.

“We do believe, … Read More »


Home Instead tops league table

Posted on September 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off

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Home Instead Senior Care has again been named as England’s top homecare provider in LaingBuisson’s July Care Compliance Monitor.

LaingBuisson’s quarterly report includes headline data from CQC inspection reports and presents a digested view of providers’ performance. The resulting league table shows the percentage of inspected branches which are fully compliant with CQC’s core standards covering care, safeguarding, staffing, management and respect for service users.

Home Instead chief executive Trevor Brocklebank, said that, because his company focused on personalised care packages, rather than local authority block contracts, high quality care could be delivered with a minimum care visit of one hour.

“The result is positive outcomes,’ said Mr Brocklebank.

“Not only for our clients but for our dedicated caregivers too. The latest data from LaingBuisson bears testament to this.

“This result would not have been achieved without the commitment, hard work and dedication … Read More »



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