Caring Times News


Look East old chap

Posted on May 14th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A certain amount of self-regard is no bad thing, but I can’t say the same about those, usually younger, people who appear to be obsessed with ‘selfies’. Talk about narcissism run riot.

My first camera was a box-Brownie and I could take eleven monochrome exposures before I had to remove the film and send it away for processing – I certainly wasn’t going to waste any of those exposures on a selfie.

I graduated in time to a Nikon 35mm and became absorbed for a while in the then dark art of photography. I even had a darkroom wherein an enlarger glowed in the dull red illumination of the safe light like a bulbous Shinto shrine. Which brings me nicely on to all things Japanese.

Japan has led the way in so many areas: all things electronic including mobile … Read More »


Fees and profitability not necessarily directly linked

Posted on May 11th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Fees and profitability not necessarily directly linked

Healthcare sector specialists Cushman & Wakefield team has examined average weekly fee spreads across the United Kingdom and identified the broad range of fees that care homes charged their occupiers varied according to location.

Tom Robinson, partner at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “the spread in average weekly fees highlights the way in which regional wealth impacts on profile and why so many buyers focus on the south and midlands.

“But underneath the regional zones, every micro location must be considered in detail as wealth pockets exist in all regions of the UK. Location remains a key factor when choosing to invest in a care home, both macro and micro.”

EBITDARM (Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation Amortisation Rent and Management) of care homes by bed is also explored. Scotland, where relatively low fees are charged, realised substantial profits and outperformed much of the regional … Read More »


Stein urges health secretary to let paramedics work with care homes to relieve burden on A&Es

Posted on May 10th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Stein urges health secretary to let paramedics work with care homes to relieve burden on A&Es

Tony Stein, chief executive of Healthcare Management Solutions, has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to

outline how care homes could take some of the strain from busy A&E departments.

Mr Hunt recently called for MPs to come up with ideas for ensuring the NHS and social care are properly funded and fit for purpose.

Mr Stein writes that care homes could look after elderly people requiring care and attention but not medical intervention, freeing up emergency beds for more urgent cases and reducing A&E waiting times.

“When an elderly person has a fall, a dizzy spell or an anxiety attack the immediate solution is to call for an ambulance,” said Mr Stein in his letter.

“Often any alternatives, such as NHS helplines, are useless as the elderly person is too frail, confused or anxious to respond clearly to questions over the telephone. The only … Read More »


Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

Posted on May 9th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Sunrise to pay £2m in compensation to residents

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has secured more than £2m in compensation for residents of care home operator Sunrise Senior Living as part of an investigation into compulsory ‘upfront fees’.

Sunrise has said it will give money back to the vast majority of residents who paid such fees since 1 October 2015. This will apply to residents who have left or leave within two years of moving in to one of the company’s care homes. If the resident dies within this time, their family will receive the compensation.

The move comes as part of the CMA’s ongoing investigation into how some care homes charge for their services. This uncovered that Sunrise’s description of its upfront fee – running to several thousands of pounds per person – and how it would be used, was unclear. Moreover, prospective residents were having to pay … Read More »


The flowers that bloom in the Spring

Posted on May 8th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

We spent the long weekend just gone mainly in our garden and on our allotment, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and so on, and it got me thinking about the role of plants in our lives.

Years ago, when I was a nurse working on the wards I was bemused (and often irritated) by the number of bunches of flowers that people brought in for their ailing relatives and friends. I don’t know how they manage it now, but in those days, each ward had a ‘flower room’ for the storage of vases and as somewhere to store the dozens of arrangements at night.

Honestly, some patients were surrounded by so much greenery that I felt like Harrison Ford beating my way through an equatorial rainforest just to take the patient’s temperature. I’d almost swear they had hanging baskets … Read More »


Citizens’ assembly to consider adult social care funding

Posted on May 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Citizens’ assembly to consider adult social care funding

A ‘citizens’ assembly’ has been commissioned by Parliament to consider the best way to fund adult social care.

The Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care will be formed by 50 people who have been chosen to reflect the makeup of the wider population.

Building on existing public engagement, the assembly is being established as part of the inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care, which is being carried out by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee.

Members of the assembly will hear from expert contributors with different views on how the sector should be funded, before then holding discussions around the issues and reaching a set of recommendations.

The findings and the evidence submitted to the inquiry will then be considered by the committees.

The assembly will be run by Involve, a public participation charity that … Read More »


Allied plans debt restructure to stay in business

Posted on May 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Allied plans debt restructure to stay in business

Homecare provider Allied Healthcare is pursuing a company voluntary agreement (CVA) as part of a plan to restructure its finances due to a ‘highly challenging environment’ that has placed the company under pressure.

A CVA would see Allied agreeing a revised schedule of repayments with its creditors so that the company can continue investing in its services and people. Allied, which has contracts with 150 councils and employs more than 8,500 people, is owned by private equity firm Aurelius.

Rising labour costs , together with a potential £11m bill for backdated ‘sleep in’ payments, have been identified as the chief reasons for Allied’s financial troubles.


Ampersand Care closes two more homes

Posted on May 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Ampersand Care closes two more homes

Ampersand Care is to close two of its care homes in in Manchester May, saying the fees it receives from the local authority, Trafford Council, do not meet operating costs.

The company closed its 62-bed Swinton Hall nursing home in Salford earlier this year after it was rated ‘Inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. Ampersand Care now operates a single care home, the 31-bed Pinewood Manor in Crowborough, East Sussex.

Ampersand also attributes the latest closures, of 41-bed Shawe Lodge nursing home in Urmston and the 33-bed Shawe House care home in Flixton, to a lack of support or willingness to work in partnership from the national care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Operations director Umi Barwell said she hoped the latest closures would act as a wakeup call to Trafford Council.

“Otherwise other care providers may face the same situation,” said Ms … Read More »


EU nurses cite Brexit as top reason for leaving register

Posted on May 1st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on EU nurses cite Brexit as top reason for leaving register

New figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have shown a significant rise in the number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register. Between April 2017 and March 2018, 3,962 people left – an increase of 29%.

There continues to be a dramatic drop in those joining the register from the EU. Over the same period 805 EU nurses and midwives joined the register compared with 6,382 the year before – a drop of 87%.

Following a period of sustained decline the number of UK trained nurses and midwives registered to work appears to be stabilising. Those joining the register for the first time is at its highest level for four years while 4,034 fewer people left the register.

The number of nurses and midwives joining the register from outside the EU has also risen for the fourth consecutive year with … Read More »


Running to stand still

Posted on April 30th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week, in giving evidence to the – wait for it – Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee – Care England’s Professor Martin Green spoke of local authorities and care providers ‘running to stand still’ owing to inadequate resources and the difficulty in recruiting staff.

This put me in mind of a very old chap I regularly see in the town where I live, making his way about with his zimmer frame. His progress is painful to watch; once, while sitting in my car waiting for a friend, I monitored his progress and it took him just under four minutes to cover 40 yards (I paced the distance out later).

I often see him around, in a number of places, so I must assume that wherever it is he wants to … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Look East old chap

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

A certain amount of self-regard is no bad thing, but I can’t say the same about those, usually younger, people...

The flowers that bloom in the Spring

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

We spent the long weekend just gone mainly in our garden and on our allotment, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and...

Running to stand still

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week, in giving evidence to the – wait for it – Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the...