Tag: Local Authorities
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Provider representative body Care England has published results of its survey on pay, and says the finding affirm the fragility of the system owing to
inadequate and unsustainable fees from local authorities.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the survey made it clear that providers were expecting higher staffing costs and falling profits whilst demand continued to increase.
“In order to manage this, providers are anticipating fewer local authority placements while investing in technology and services to respond to demand,” said Prof. Green.
“The sector can and must adapt, but dynamics are shifting and unless local authorities pay the commensurate rate to providers there will be a lack of capacity for local authority funded residents and the ongoing workforce challenges will not be addressed.”
96% of providers expected their overall staffing budget to increase this year and all expected further increases over … Read More »
A Harrogate-based social care provider group has called on the Government to end austerity for the country’s elderly and vulnerable people.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Government must end the crisis in social care which currently sees more than 1.2m people going without the care they need.
Their warning comes after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) warned that savings of £824m were being made from council care, despite the extra £1bn the Government announced for councils to spend on social care in the budget.
The figures also showed that for the first time in nine years, more nurses and midwives are leaving than joining the profession, which will further exacerbate the crisis in care.
ICG chair Mike Padgham said there was a growing call to end austerity and warned that social care had been a big issue during … Read More »
Caring Times, September 2017
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked the Care Quality Commission to carry out 12 reviews of local areas to consider how well they are working at the health and social care boundary.
Addressing Parliament on July 3rd, Mr Hunt said the reviews would begin immediately, with most being completed by the end of November, with a view to identifying issues and driving rapid improvement. A further eight reviews will be commissioned based on a new performance dashboard and informed by local authority returns due in July.
Mr Hunt said the reviews formed part of the Government’s strategy to reduce delayed transfers of care (DToCs) and free-up hospital beds in advance of this coming winter.
“Last year there were 2.25m delayed discharges, up 24.5% from 1.81m in the previous year,” said the health secretary. “The Government are clear that no-one should stay … Read More »
The Government has indicated that it will start to “increasingly scrutinise” local authority performance and look at putting in incentives – or non-incentives – to encourage them to “step up to the mark” when it comes to effective health and care integration.
The Public Sector Executive has reported that health minister Philip Dunne, speaking at a Health+Care conference on June 29th, told delegates that his department would continue to work “with both the NHS and local authorities increasingly in an integrated way to try to ensure that patients are treated in a setting which most meets their needs”.
Mr Dunne criticised what he termed the ‘blame game’ that often takes place at the interface between health and social care, which he said was exemplified by a recent NHS Providers report that was accused of misinterpreting how social care funding should be used: … Read More »
Caring Times, June 2017
Provider representative body Care England, in the face of opposition from Essex Council, is proceeding to judicial review of the fee rates Essex pays to independent care home providers.
The judicial review brought by Care England seeks to challenge the lawfulness of the Council’s fee setting decision in respect of the ‘old contract’ and its refusal to review the rates under the ‘new contract’. Care England believes the Council’s actions to date to be a breach of its responsibilities under the Care Act 2014.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the association was deeply concerned about the Council’s conduct towards the care home market within Essex and as a result, the sustainability of that market.
“This is an important challenge in support of providers in Essex and those new and existing residents receiving care,” said Prof. Green.
Caring Times, June 2017
Changes to the way residential social care is paid for will widen the £40m a year funding black hole, according to a social care leader.
Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, in principle backs the Welsh Government’s decision to increased capital limit used in charging but says the policy is flawed because it will plunge the sector into a deeper financial crisis.
The changes were announced as part of the Welsh Government’s five year plan, “Taking Wales Forward”. The Minister for Social Services, Rebecca Evans, revealed they were more than doubling the capital limit used in charging for residential social care, from £24,000 to £50,000. The limit will move to £30,000, as part of a phased increase to £50,000.
According to the Welsh Government, these moves are part of a wide range of measures being undertaken to improve … Read More »