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 »
Between January 2016 and April 2017, local Healthwatch staff and volunteers across England visited 197 care homes across 63 different local authority areas, to find out what day-to-day life is really like for many of those living in care homes.
Most of the residents and relatives Healthwatch spoke with considered the care they received to be good, with innovative homes showing what is possible without breaking the bank.
Local Healthwatch representatives saw staff going above and beyond the call of duty to connect with those they care for and really helping them to live their lives – including one activities co-ordinator from Cheshire who arranged for her own wedding reception to take place in the care home she worked at to enable residents to join in with the party.
However, Healthwatch volunteer visitors said they also witnessed homes not getting the basics right … 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 »
Sector analysts LaingBuisson say their research supports the findings of a BBC Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ report about care home bed shortfalls, which
shows that up to 3,000 elderly people will be unable to find a care home place by the end of 2018, and that the shortage of beds could rise to 70,000 beds by 2026.
LaingBuisson’s research has found that about 2,000 beds a year are lost in the elderly care home market, and that this fall in availability is concentrated in non-affluent parts of the country where there is a greater reliance on state payments.
William Laing, founder of LaingBuisson, and author of its flagship Care of Older People report, responded to the BBC report, saying ‘You and Yours’ had once again found a worrying downward trend in care capacity, largely because council paid fees (and central government funding … Read More »
Person-centred activities combined with just one hour a week of social interaction can improve quality of life and reduce agitation for people with dementia living in care homes, while saving money.
These are the findings from a large-scale trial led by the University of Exeter, King’s College London and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. These results were presented in mid-July at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2017 (AAIC). The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The trial involved more than 800 people with dementia across 69 care homes in South London, North London and Buckinghamshire. Two ‘care staff champions’ at each home were trained over four day-long sessions, to take simple measures such as talking to residents about their interests and decisions around their own care. When combined with just one hour a week of social interaction, … 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 »
Bring Times, September 2017
A report on an investigation into NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) by the National Audit Office has found that there is significant variation between areas administered by different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in both the number and proportion of people assessed as eligible for CHC.
The investigation also found that, owing to the complexity of assessment protocols, there may be differences in the way CCGs are interpreting the national framework to assess whether people are eligible for CHC. The report said there was a shortage of data on CHC, which made it difficult to know whether eligibility decisions were being made fairly and consistently. For example, no data are collected on how many individuals appeal to the CCG against unsuccessful CHC funding decisions, the first stage of the appeals process.
Care provider representative body Care England welcomed the report, saying it … Read More »
Caring Times, September 2017
In its report, published in early July, on the state of adult social care services for 2014 to 2017, the Care Quality Commission said most adult social
services were of a high quality and many were improving, but added that without a proper recognition of the importance of adult social care and a renewed commitment to quality, the numbers of people affected by poor care could increase and this would have a profound impact on their lives.
Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care said that last October, the regulator had given “a stark warning that adult social care was approaching a tipping point”.
“This was driven by more people with increasingly complex conditions needing care but in a challenging economic climate, facing greater difficulties in accessing the care they need,” said Ms Sutcliffe.
“While this report focuses … 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 »