Tag: Legal Issues
Proposed new legislation would replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a new system – Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), a set of checks that aim to make sure that any care which restricts a person’s liberty is in their best interests.
Government says the reform will offer a more efficient and effective system which better takes into account people’s past and present wishes for care and treatment. The proposed changes follow a series of recommendations published by the Law Commission last year, criticising DoLS as being too bureaucratic and complex.
The Government is consulting with health and social care stakeholders to finalise the plans before introducing new legislation. Care minister Caroline Dinenage said the Government broadly accepted the recommendations made by the Law Commission and would replace DoLS in a bid to provide better care for people and increase access to the … Read More »
Provider representative body Care England has won the right to intervene in the Court of Appeal’s sleep-in-shift case – with the hope of solving the impending £400m financial crisis for care providers, mainly those who provide specialist care.
With the hearing set for 20-21 March this year, law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors are acting for Care England, with the body given the opportunity to pursue new arguments not yet considered in the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case to date.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said that, if the existing decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal were upheld, it would be a watershed moment for the sector, with profound affects for the viability of residential domiciliary and supported care which supports 1.2m vulnerable people across the country.
“I cannot stress the magnitude of this opportunity for our … Read More »
Care providers are being urged to participate in the national survey commissioned by the Solve Sleep-Ins Alliance (#SolveSleepIns), a group of organisations that represent providers delivering overnight support shifts. The alliance is formed of the Association for Real Change, Care England, Learning Disability England, Learning Disability Voices and the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).
The alliance says a full independent, accurate analysis of the impact of the bill for sleep-in back pay on social care is urgently needed.
The survey, accessible via www.sleepinsurvey.org.uk will close at midnight on Monday 5 March 2018. Data will not be shared across organisations and only aggregated data will be reported in our policy influencing and campaigning activities.
Changes to government guidance mean that sleep-in staff who previously earned around £30 per shift must be paid minimum wage, with providers liable for six years’ worth of back pay … Read More »
Caring Times, February 2018
The cost of insurance for care home operators could be slashed by installing CCTV, according to Philip Scott of pioneering safety organisation Care Protect.
Mr Scott is calling on insurers to take the reduced risk to patients in homes with CCTV systems installed, and subsequent reduction in financial and reputational risk to homes, into account when calculating premiums.
The operator of a care home with 70 beds can currently expect to pay up to £10,000 a year for insurance, while the premium for nursing homes and those offering specialised services can be significantly more.
Care Protect’s monitoring system employs the latest sound and motion sensitive technology which when activated by a ‘resident event’, triggers recording which within seconds alerts the 24/7 professional monitor. This reduces risk because assistance can be provided to a resident within seconds of the event having … Read More »
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has reminded councils across England they must give families accurate information when placing relatives in care homes, following an investigation into a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council.
The investigation found a family was not told about the possibilities available to them when their father was placed in a care home as an emergency. They were left with no option but to pay a ‘top-up’ fee, when the council should have offered them the choice of a home which did not require the additional amount. When they struggled to pay the fees, their father was threatened with eviction.
During the investigation, the Ombudsman also found the council had unclear information about care home fees on its website and Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King has now has asked the council to review its procedures … Read More »
‘Councils’ care duties cannot be viewed in isolation’
Representative body Care England has lost a judicial review it brought against Essex County Council on behalf of local care providers who said the Council had breached its Care Act duties by setting fees too low.
In 2016, using a new commissioning framework in 2016, Essex offered private care home operators a maximum of £538.37 and £577.29 per week per resident for residential and nursing care respectively.
A costs of care analysis completed by the council a few months later set ‘ceiling fair market prices’ at £641.15 for residential and £665.35 for nursing care. Essex said raising all rates to these levels would be financially unviable and instead offered providers a weekly per-person uplift of just under £14 to compensate for increased costs incurred by the National Living Wage.
Care England argued that Essex had contravened … Read More »
The impact of an individual complaint in improving care services for others has been highlighted in a new report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman’s Review of Adult Social Care Complaints shows councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people in 2016/17.
As well as putting things right for an individual, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to improve services for others by changing policies and procedures, training staff, or recommending a service be provided.
Within the Ombudsman’s 1,318 recommendations, councils and care providers made nearly 180 procedural changes and committed to train staff on nearly 50 occasions.
In some cases the result of a single investigation leads to the Ombudsman looking at injustices caused to people who haven’t complained. Examples of this over the past year include one person’s complaint about the way a … Read More »
Caring Times, September 2017
The number of prosecutions made by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) against health providers has risen sharply this year following the enactment of the Health and Social Care Act in 2015.
Lauren Wilson, a lawyer with LHS Solicitors says care providers charged with breaches of regulations regarding harm now face unlimited fines and could be left with criminal records.
“Since the CQC was given powers of prosecution in 2015, we’ve seen a spike in cases brought against health providers,” said Ms Wilson.
“Indeed, we’ve gone from zero in 2015, to two in 2016, to three between January and April 2017. This seems to be a testament to the CQC’s new found dedication to holding health providers to account.”
In 2015 following a patient death, an investigation into the provision of medication was undertaken. While the cause of death was not directly … Read More »
Angry care home owners in Wales say they’re owed over £30m in unpaid fees because of a legal battle over who should pay a £20 a week fee for
nursing care provided by care homes.
After more than three years of wrangling, the Supreme Court has reached a decision on a dispute between Welsh health boards, councils and providers, with the court ruling unanimously in favour of the local authorities and saying the health boards had misinterpreted the legal position.
Provider representative body Care Forum Wales said it was ridiculous that the health boards could not have reached an agreement without going to court in the first place. They believe the court costs are upwards of £1m, money they say would have been better spent on providing frontline nursing care for vulnerable and frail care home residents.
Care Forum Wales chairman Mario Kreft said … Read More »
The Government has announced that it has temporarily suspended enforcement activity and is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector.
Last week specialist care provider organisations said the sector was approaching a crunch over sleep-ins and called on government to clarify its position. Today, the Government has said it will waive historic financial penalties owed by employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before 26 July 2017; and temporarily suspend HMRC enforcement activity concerning payment of sleep-in shifts by social care providers until 2nd October 2017.
Government reaffirmed its expectation that all employers pay their workers according to the law, including for sleep-in shifts, as set out in guidance entitled “Calculating the National Minimum Wage”.
The Government says it will continue to look at the issue alongside industry representatives to see whether … Read More »