A social care providers’ group has warned that any predicted increases in NHS pay must be matched by better funding for the independent care sector to avoid a worsening of the current staffing crisis in the sector.
The Independent Care Group has welcomed reports that the Government will end the freeze on public sector pay, paving the way for pay increases for nurses but say this must be matched with better funding for social care. The group’s Chair, Mike Padgham said: “We fear the Government might not fully see the consequences of taking this step. If it is not matched by better funding for social care, which will enable providers to compete with the NHS when it comes to recruitment, we could see the situation get worse rather than better.”
Mr Padgham said social care was suffering from a major staff recruitment … Read More »
Caring Times, November 2017
Local authorities in the West Midlands have warned the Government of a “catastrophic impact” on people needing care if pledged social care funding is not honoured.
The warning came after NHS England set what West Midlands leaders call new, unachievable targets for local authorities to reduce the delays in the number of people leaving hospital. Latest Government figures show that in most cases this is because people are waiting for NHS services, not social care.
NHS England says local authorities which don’t meet the targets immediately will not have funding approved as part of the Better Care Fund, which aims to support more people in their home and communities rather than being kept in hospital. This amounts to around £150m in the West Midlands which is needed to fund services for the most vulnerable people including homecare, reablement and … Read More »
Using people private homes as ‘Carebnbs’ to relieve pressure on the NHS drew national media attention in late October, reporting that Southend University Hospital had pulled-out of a trial of the scheme.
The hospital distanced itself from the widely-criticised Airbnb-style pilot scheme after it was criticised by both health groups and politicians.
However, health minister Philip Dunne, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, said he ‘wouldn’t immediately reject’ the idea as ‘one’s got to trial different things’.
“This is not national policy, anything innovative needs to be very carefully scrutinised and assessed before we proceed with it,” said Mr Dunne.
“I wouldn’t say that new models of care in the community are necessarily wrong.”
The scheme – now dubbed ‘Carebnb’ – would have been trialled in Essex with around 30 hospital patients staying in local residents’ spare rooms while they wait to be discharged.
Healthcare start-up … Read More »
Healthcare Management Solutions chief executive Tony Stein has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of his Autumn Budget, raising issues faced by the care sector and
suggesting a radical solution to the long-term funding issues it faces.
In his letter Mr Stein highlighted that extra funding from local government’s social care precept and the Government’s Better Care Fund was being used to plug existing gaps in funding, rather than improving services or planning for the future, as the population ages.
Mr Stein advised the Chancellor that reducing the amount councils spend on housing-related benefits, by building more affordable housing, could free up much needed funds for social care. This would also make people better off without the planned rise in the National Minimum Wage, which many businesses, in many sectors, will struggle to pay.
“The Government needs to understand that by creating … Read More »
Leading health economist William Laing has published his ‘Personal Asset Protection Guarantee’ (PAPG) White Paper, the key proposal of which is that individuals are guaranteed to keep
about three-quarters of their personal assets in the event of their needing residential care in their old age.
The White Paper deals with the question of how the cost of long term care should be divided between the State and those individuals (mainly property owners) with care needs who have the resources to pay for themselves. The PAPG proposes a novel mechanism which defines individuals’ eligibility for council support for residential care in terms of the percentage of each individual’s assets which has been spent-down since being assessed as needing care.
William Laing, the founder of healthcare analysts LaingBuission, argues that the PAPG would be more efficient and equitable as well as easier to understand than … Read More »
Caring Times, November 2017
A UK-wide poll commissioned by the charity Future Care Capital (FCC) has found that most people support income tax rises to increase funding available for adult social care.
A key finding was that most of those questioned said people should be required to plan ahead – 67% agree that people should be required to plan and prepare financially for later life, whilst 49% agree that they should be required to plan and prepare financially for adult social care services they might require later in life.
The charity has also commissioned a UK-wide poll through Ipsos MORI to gauge public opinion about preparing for and managing future care needs.
FCC chief executive Dean James said public attitudes about adult social care were changing
“Our poll shows that the public are willing to contribute more through tax to increase funding available for adult … Read More »
Responding to research on MPs’ opinions about social care, Richard Humphries, senior fellow at The King’s Fund, said the research, by Independent Age, challenged the leaderships of both main parties to put aside their differences and work together to fix the crisis in the social care system.
“There is an overwhelming consensus among MPs that it does not meet the needs of the ageing population,” said Mr Humphries.
“MPs of both main parties agree that adult social care needs both fundamental reform and more funding, and so it is vital that the forthcoming government consultation addresses this.
“Despite numerous reviews, commissions, Green and White Papers on this, successive governments have ducked the challenge with the result being that many vulnerable people are now forced to rely on friends and family or are unable to access care at all. Parliament has made clear that … Read More »
Social care needs to become part of the ‘national infrastructure’ on a footing similar to that of the National Health Service, with a reduction in the role
of local authorities, according to Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.
Interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s John Humphrys on the Today programme in the wake of a report published in the Lancet which says an extra 71,000 care home places will be needed over the coming eight years, Prof. Green said swift action was needed with planning for the next 20 to 30 years rather than focusing on a five-year timeframe dictated by the electoral cycle.
“What we need is the Government to see social care as part of national infrastructure,” said Prof. Green.
“If we want to have uniformity across the country, with everybody having the same opportunities. we’ve got to have a national policy. … Read More »
An analysis of care needs in 2011 compared to 1991, published in The Lancet, suggests that the ageing population combined with greater levels of dependency means that, at current levels of provision, there will be a shortfall of more than71,000 care home places by 2025.
The study compares levels of dependency in adults aged 65 years and over in England in 1991 and 2011 – 15000 adults in total, who were classed as high dependency if they required 24-hour care, medium dependency if they required care at regular times each day, low dependency if they required care less than daily, or independent.
Professor Carol Jagger, lead author from Newcastle University, said the past 20 years had seen continued gains in life expectancy, but not all of these years were healthy years.
“Our study suggests that older people today are spending more of their … Read More »
In reporting its financial performance for the second quarter of 2017, major provider Four Seasons Health Care says there has been across-the-board
improvement in earnings, occupancy and quality ratings.
Four Seasons chairman Robbie Barr said that in the second quarter of this year, EBITDA of £13.5m was 14% higher than in the first quarter, bringing EBITDA for the first half of this year to £25.3m, 11% ahead of the comparative period last year.
Turnover for the second quarter was £164.5m (£163.9m in Q1). Turnover for the first half of this year was £17.5m or 5.7% ahead of the comparative period last year, on a like for like basis, after adjusting for closures and disposals.
Occupancy across the group’s care homes in Q2 was 89.4%, compared to 87.5% during the comparative period in 2016.
Mr Barr said the group’s care quality ratings continued to improve, with … Read More »