Caring Times News


Spending wisely on research

Posted on August 20th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Organisations dealing with dementia often lament the relatively modest sums spent on research to combat the disease, compared with the amounts which other conditions, say cancer or heart disease, attract.

On one level it’s easy to see why; cancer and heart disease can strike any of us at almost any stage of our lives, certainly by the time we reach early middle-age. Dementia, on the other hand, with some uncommon exceptions, is an overwhelmingly age-related illness.

I’m not saying that any sort of ageism is operating; it’s just that most of us would like to live to a ripe old age with a modicum of health, and if the price of that is dying of dementia in our ninth or tenth decade, well, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof if we can keep cancer and … Read More »


Specialist providers alarmed by HMRC’s latest communiqué on sleep-in payments

Posted on August 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Specialist providers alarmed by HMRC’s latest communiqué on sleep-in payments

Following the Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake Court of Appeal judgement on sleep-in payments, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) and wider sector bodies, have called on government to make a decision and to be clear about what changes it is proposing ahead of wider consultation.

VODG says the latest communication from HMRC, which VODG understands is reaching a large number of social care providers, is adding confusion and raising more unanswered questions. A HRMC communication seen by VODG includes the following points:

“HMRC have decided that it is appropriate to continue to operate the Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) allowing participating employers to complete a self-review, taking the judgement into consideration, and make a declaration to HMRC. All original timeframes and requirements of the scheme remain in place;
Employers must complete their self-review and submit their declarations to HMRC by no later … Read More »


Elmbridge redevelopment completed

Posted on August 16th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Elmbridge redevelopment completed

Retirement Villages Group (RVG) has completed the £4.5m regeneration of the Elmbridge Village site in Cranleigh, Surrey.

The recently opened apartments at Arun House comprise six one and fourteen two bedroom, high-spec apartments, including two penthouses. This, along with the completion of communal facilities, marks the completion of the Elmbridge Village redevelopment.

After taking just 15 months, the project was completed in July, in conjunction with Castleoak, specialist development and construction partners to the retirement living and care sector.

“This follows our recent work at both Elmbridge Manor and Charters Village,” said Castleoak managing director Doug Jones.

“Our specialist team understands the customer’s exacting requirements, and work collaboratively to deliver. Our purpose as a business is to create quality living space, and I believe we’ve achieved this again at Arun House.”

The initial phase of the build saw a new central clubhouse, Elmbridge Manor, constructed, … Read More »


A deal of uncertainty

Posted on August 13th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Apart from death, taxes and a messy Brexit we live in a world of uncertainty. In social care we’ve got uncertainty in spades, with the ace being the big curly question mark poised above a green paper on funding which the Government might get around to publishing sometime soon.

Then there’s recruitment: continuing the playing cards image, let’s call that the king.

Next in the honours list is the queen, representing the £400m Sword of Damocles which remains hanging over specialist care providers now that UNISON has appealed to the Supreme Court over payments for sleep-in shifts.

Let’s make health and social care intergration the jack – high on the agenda, but not so high that there’s been any real progress with truly joined-up service provision for the past decade or so.

Then there’s all the other uncertainties around … Read More »


Unison appeals to Supreme Court over sleep-in shift payments

Posted on August 8th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Unison appeals to Supreme Court over sleep-in shift payments

Following last month’s decision at the Court of Appeal to overturn the sleep-in shift ruling Unison, the trade union acting on behalf of care worker Claire Tomlinson-Blake, has now lodged an official appeal to the Supreme Court.

Following the Court of Appeal ruling, specialist care providers now face a further period of uncertainty as the Supreme Court might take eight weeks or more to decide on whether to grant permission for the appeal to be heard.

The Court of Appeal ruling meant the £400m allegedly owed to care workers who had been deemed to be underpaid for overnight shifts is no longer considered to be due under current legislation – a decision that could now be under threat if leave to appeal is granted and the case is considered by the Supreme Court.

Matthew Wort, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said Unison’s appeal … Read More »


Cheyne provides £51m funding to Country Court Care

Posted on August 7th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Cheyne provides £51m funding to Country Court Care

Cheyne Capital has provided £51m in a refinancing package for Country Court Care, with Cheyne now the provider’s senior lender, replacing Barclays, Santander and AIB.

The funding will help Country Court Care grow its portfolio of 30 homes, which currently stretches from Brighton to York and includes seven new builds acquired in the past 24 months.


Away with words

Posted on August 6th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

Most organisations have a way with words – PR. “We are an open and honest organisation and the welfare/happiness/satisfaction/safety of our customers/users/stakeholders/the public is our first priority. Please tell us about your experience. We are a learning organisation.” And so on. Think of the banks and the energy suppliers, the rail and water companies. Honest and open as the day is long . . . always have been. They have only their customers at heart.

On July 24th CQC posted an article on their website: “Review of safeguarding alerts”. On July 18th “CQC identified a technical issue within our data management system that may have delayed or prevented the timely referral of some safeguarding information to local authorities.” [https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/review-safeguarding-alerts] The article goes on to say that there were 96 such “concerns” since last July and none of … Read More »


Community Integrated Care joins Age Exchange in dementia partnership

Posted on August 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Community Integrated Care joins Age Exchange in dementia partnership

Blackheath-based Age Exchange, a national centre for reminiscence arts, has merged with one of the UK’s largest health and social

care charities, Community Integrated Care.

The partnership enables Age Exchange to benefit from Community Integrated Care’s infrastructure to grow its organisation and increase its reach. It will also enable Community Integrated Care to elevate its existing dementia services and expand its offer to include Age Exchange’s reminiscence and dementia services to the people they support.

The merger arose following an internal review of Age Exchange’s sustainability in 2016/17, which revealed an opportunity to extend the reach and impact of its services by partnering with a national social care charity. Community Integrated Care was selected for its national infrastructure and commitment to delivering exceptional specialist dementia services.

Community Integrated Care chief executive Mark Adams described Age Exchange as a “beacon of best practice in reminiscence … Read More »


LGA launches own green paper on adult social care

Posted on July 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on LGA launches own green paper on adult social care

The Local Government Association (LGA) has today launched a nationwide consultation to kick-start what it says is a desperately-needed debate on how to pay for adult social care and rescue the services caring for older and disabled people from collapse.

The consultation – the biggest launched by the LGA – is seeking the views of people and organisations from across society on how best to pay for care and support for adults of all ages and their unpaid carers, and aims to make the public a central part of the debate. The LGA will respond to the findings in the autumn to inform and influence the Government’s green paper and spending plans.

Years of significant underfunding of councils, coupled with rising demand and costs for care and support, have combined to push adult social care services to breaking point, says the LGA.

Since … Read More »


Social care’s other users

Posted on July 30th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

I wish I understood more about how government policies get made, but I suspect that happenstance plays a bigger part than is generally allowed for. On 24 July, for example, Matt Hancock, the recently appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced that ‘the green paper will cover adult social care as a whole’. This reversed the previous position, which was that the green paper would deal only with services for older people, while a so-called ‘parallel’ exercise would address the situation of younger people with disabilities.

The change surfaced not in a formal statement but in an apparently casual answer to an oral question at a session of the Select Committee on Health and Social Care. Would we have known about it if that MP had not expressed his fear that ‘working age social care … Read More »





Latest blog posts

Spending wisely on research

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Organisations dealing with dementia often lament the relatively modest sums spent on research to combat the disease, compared with...

A deal of uncertainty

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Apart from death, taxes and a messy Brexit we live in a world of uncertainty. In social care we’ve...

Away with words

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

Most organisations have a way with words – PR. “We are an open and honest organisation and the welfare/happiness/satisfaction/safety of...