Caring Times, March 2017
The Centre for Welfare Reform has published a new discussion paper outlining the systemic failures of the care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) whose design makes it incapable of effectively protecting people from abuse or improving standards of care.
The author of the paper, John Burton, argues that CQC does more harm than good: “The Care Quality Commission is not effective or responsive; it doesn’t understand how social care works; it rarely uncovers neglect and abuse, and it responds too slowly when they are brought to its attention; its judgements are flawed and its ratings inaccurate and unhelpful; its inspection reports are poorly written and constructed; it costs much more than it should and imposes vast unnecessary costs on social care providers; it dominates and distorts the whole social care sector, and the organisation is blinkered, risk … Read More »
Health and social care integration has been less successful than expected, says the National Audit Office
Caring Times, March 2017
The National Audit Office has warned that progress with integration of health and social care has, to date, been slower and less successful than envisaged and has not delivered all of the expected benefits for patients, the NHS or local authorities. As a result, the Government’s plan for integrated health and social care services across England by 2020 is at significant risk.
In the face of increased demand for care and constrained finances, while the Better Care Fund, the principal integration initiative, has improved joint working, it has not yet achieved its potential. The Fund has not achieved the expected value for money, in terms of savings, outcomes for patients or reduced hospital activity, from the £5.3bn spent through the Fund in 2015-16. Nationally, the Fund did not achieve its principal financial and service targets over 2015-16, its first … Read More »
Despite increasing media attention social care ranks only as the ninth matter for concern in people’s minds, according to the latest Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index.
The poll shows increasing public concern with the NHS, with almost half (49%) of the British public considering it to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain. Concern has risen nine percentage points since December, and is now at the highest level recorded since April 2003.
After the NHS the public rank the following as issues of major concern (in descending priority):
Ageing population/social care
UK families say care services for children and older people have got worse in the last five years, but reserve their harshest criticism for care of older people, particularly homecare services, according to reviews reported to Good Care Guide.
More than 40% of reviews of homecare agencies in 2016 rated them as poor or bad for quality of service and for value for money Based on an analysis of 9,000 reviews left by families on the Good Care Guide website, the latest research shows:
In 2012, 22.7% of homecare agencies were rated poor or bad for quality of service by older people and their families. By 2016 this had almost doubled to 41.6% of homecare services getting poor or bad reviews. The percentage of reviews rating homecare agencies as poor or bad for value for money rose from 23.4% in 2012 to … Read More »
Caring Times, February 2017
A social care leader is calling for the authorities to put prejudice about the private sector in to one side to solve the crisis facing the NHS this winter. Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Forum Wales, stressed the need for everybody to work in partnership following the publication of a report by the Welsh Assembly Health, Social Care and Sport Committee into “winter preparedness”.
According to Mr Kreft, the key findings chimed with what Care Forum Wales had been saying more many years. The report’s first recommendation was that there needed to be more integration between the health and social care sectors and that, crucially, the independent sector needed to be part of the solution The report also highlighted concerns about the financial viability of the sector in the light of the many care home closures which … Read More »
Caring Times, February 2017
The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) calls for everyone who commissions or provides healthcare in care homes to follow the principles of good practice set out in the guidance it published in January, so that every older person who lives in a care home in the UK has access to high quality healthcare which fully meets their needs.
Based on the clinical expertise of its members the updated BGS guidance sets out clinical and service priorities for how best practice can be achieved, and provides clear indicators of what successful delivery looks like for older people, their families and carers.
In the UK 405,000 people over the age of 65 years old currently live in care homes. This represents 16% of older people over the age of 85. Their healthcare needs are complex and the average care home resident has multiple long-term … Read More »
The chief executive of a Shropshire not-for-profit care provider Coverage Care has welcomed a call for more residential homes to implement a pet policy to make the transition into care an easier process for older people.
David Coull says he supported the campaign by the charity Blue Cross for all care homes for elderly people to have a specific pet policy. Blue Cross says its research found that 40% of UK care homes claim to be ‘pet friendly’ but, in practice, this often isn’t clear or consistent. The charity wants care homes to be clear on where they stand regarding residents keeping their pets and the responsibility of residents living with their pet in the home.
Mr Coull said a transparent policy would make moving into care easier for people who don’t want to part with their pets.
“Moving into care is a … Read More »
Self-funding, or private-pay, care home residents are keeping the sector afloat according to the latest figures from healthcare market intelligence provider LaingBuisson.
The latest update to its Care Cost Benchmarks toolkit has found that the average fee per resident paid to care homes falls short of the real costs of service provision by more than £100 a week – a situation which means that those residents who pay from their own finances are filling a funding gap of £1.3bn a year.
Headline figures from the toolkit show that residential care homes in England for older people, which employ average levels of staff at average pay rates, currently need to charge fees of between £648 and £590 per week in order to generate a reasonable annual return on capital (set at 11% in the Care Cost Benchmarks model, a level LaingBuisson says is … Read More »
Caring Times, January 2017
In early December, the House of Lords Committee on the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS met to take evidence from the leaders of the new Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the devolved body which now controls a £6bn annual budget to deliver health and social care in Greater Manchester.
The Committee wanted to explore whether the pioneering devolved model in Manchester could provide lessons that different regions or UK as a whole could learn from when delivering sustainable health services to an ageing population with increasingly complex healthcare needs.
Questions covered the impact of devolution on health and social care in Greater Manchester including how funding is now distributed differently around the system, the effect on workforce planning and what benefits the devolution has produced in integrating health and social care services.
The Committee also sought information about … Read More »
Caring Times, January 2017
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that accompanies ageing, has emerged as a key topic in geriatric medicine and represents a rapidly expanding field of research. Prevalence may be as high as 1 in 3 for frail older people living in care homes.
There is increasing appreciation of sarcopenia’s importance for an ageing population and a growing understanding of its causes. The condition is closely linked to physical frailty and detection of sarcopenia is beginning to be incorporated into clinical practice, and to undergo large clinical trials. To better represent this area the British Geriatrics Society has announced the formation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) focusing on sarcopenia and frailty research.
In addition, to help raise the profile and aid the recognition of sarcopenia, a dedicated session covering diagnosis and treatment of the disease … Read More »