Category: Caring Times


Guides launched to help providers deal with complaints

Posted on July 20th, by geoff in Caring Times. No Comments

Councils and care providers are being encouraged to adopt a new statement which sets out best practice in receiving and dealing with comments, complaints and feedback about their services.]

Launched this week by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and Healthwatch England, the ‘single complaints statement’ has been drafted to help adult social care providers set out what service users, their families and representatives can expect when making a complaint.

Alongside the complaints statement, a second document has been launched, aimed at service users to help them better understand the complaints process. An accessible ‘EasyRead’ version is also available.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King said he wanted to encourage all service providers – whether independent or council run – to adopt the single complaints statements into their own complaints policies, and highlight them in any information they give to … Read More »


Three Peaks Challenge raises more than £20k for Care Workers Charity

Posted on July 19th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Three Peaks Challenge raises more than £20k for Care Workers Charity

On Friday 13th July, five of the Countrywide team took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for their chosen charity; The Care Workers Charity.

The charity raises funds to support care workers in financial hardship. As one of their dedicated sponsors, Countrywide Healthcare relished the opportunity to take on such a difficult challenge to help raise money and awareness for their cause.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge which includes Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside is 24 miles and 5,200ft of ascent, which is no easy task. The British weather made things even more difficult as it rained for the duration of the challenge. From misty peak to peak, the views over the Yorkshire Dales were still spectacular. With the support of each other and fellow walkers, the team made it to the finish line. Overall, the event has so far … Read More »


East Midlands care group contributes more than £5.5m to local economy

Posted on July 18th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on East Midlands care group contributes more than £5.5m to local economy

A family business which owns and operates five care homes across the East Midlands has released figures

supporting a recent report commissioned by Skills for Care and Development about care homes’ contribution to local economies.

The report showed that adult social care employers contribute £46.2bn to the UK economy. For the 2017/18 financial year, Milford Care contributed just over £5m in total gross payroll costs for all their homes.

Milford Care has five care homes across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with a sixth set to open later this year, further highlighting the success of the sector and providing even more job opportunities in the area.

“The care sector does a lot for our economy and it is positive news that this is being recognised.” said Milford Care director Pierre Falleth.

“These positive stories are important as there are too many negative stories out there. As a … Read More »


Court of Appeal tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

Posted on July 17th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Court of Appeal tells care providers that ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not subject to the National Minimum Wage

Last week, the Court of Appeal delivered specialist care providers a life line, saying that they do not have to pay staff the National Minimum Wage when working ‘sleep-in’ shifts.

The decision lifts an estimated £400m burden from care providers that would have pushed many into insolvency.

James Sage, head of the social care team at Royds Withy King who specialise in advising care providers in England and Wales, said the court’s decision reversed an earlier decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal that found that sleep-in shifts in a care setting were working time for the purposes of national minimum wage laws.

“It is very welcome news for care providers and was a crucial outcome for the sector,” said Mr Sage.

“But it is possible that the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will continue the uncertainty and anxiety felt by … Read More »


The NHS and all that jazz

Posted on July 16th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. No Comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week the National Health Service marked its 70th anniversary. The irony is that, when this all too human institution was inaugurated in 1948, average human life expectancy in the UK was still reckoned to be the biblical ‘three score years and ten’ or thereabouts. But this weekend, up and down the land, politicians could not officially open village fetes and the like without bringing in the phrase ‘let’s look forward to the next 70 years’ (they didn’t add ‘with growing apprehension’).

As an amateur musician, I did my bit at our local hospital fete before bunking off to the Swanage Jazz Festival (audience only – I’ll never be that good) and listened to real musicians work their magic with the classic jazz standards of the 1920s and ‘30s.

It occurred to me that, while music has moved … Read More »


Care Protect expands into Australia

Posted on July 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care Protect expands into Australia

Care home camera monitoring company Care Protect is expanding into Australia in response to occurrences of abuse in the country’s care homes.

The Australian Federal Government has announced plans to set up a powerful new watchdog as part of a review of the care system, sparked by a scandal in Adelaide’s Oakden nursing home, which was followed by other similar incidents being reported. As in the UK, some families in Australia have installed secret cameras to check up on the quality of care their relatives are receiving.

Care Protect’s Australian operation will be headed up by former City broker Scott Sterling. Belfast-born Scott, who graduated from Kingston University with a Business Management degree, will work from a Sydney base with care providers across the country to introduce the Care Protect system.

Care Protect’s monitoring system employs the latest sound and motion sensitive technology which, … Read More »


The bland leaving the bland?

Posted on July 9th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

The headline for an interview which Sir David Behan, the Care Quality Commission’s departing chief executive, gave to The Guardian last week was ‘May must be bold to fix social care’. Well, there’s an original thought! With his expert knowledge and the freedom of impending retirement, Sir David could have weighed into the Government for delaying the publication of the Green Paper on funding, spelled out how it and its predecessor have dramatically cut care’s resource base over the last decade, or – if one must be politically even-handed – noted how successive governments over many years claimed that social care reform was vital but did nothing about it. In short he could have been bold.

Instead, we got the vagueness of ‘unmet need is increasing’, social care’s problems are ‘difficult and challenging’, older people should be … Read More »


Fairhome to invest an initial £25m in public provision in Northern Ireland

Posted on July 6th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Fairhome to invest an initial £25m in public provision in Northern Ireland

Specialist social care developer Fairhome Group have announced a £25m investment in the Northern Ireland care sector as part of its plans to bring a new funding model to the province.

The group has been working with major stakeholders for the last nine months to create an investment package for the development and provision of care facilities and services.

Fairhome Group has worked with representatives from the province’s five health trusts and various leading health care experts to replicate the group’s privately funded model in Northern Ireland.

The group is now working with funders to provide investment for new care facilities. It will then develop the properties, via new build or redevelopment of existing buildings, and then work with housing and care providers to manage the assets for the long term.

The initial £25m will be invested in a number of schemes across Northern … Read More »


Care manager is appointed ‘employee director’ at Mears Group

Posted on July 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Care manager is appointed ‘employee director’ at Mears Group

A care quality manager who started her career with Mears on their graduate management programme has been

appointed to the board of directors.

In June, Amanda Hillerby was confirmed as the company’s first employee director: a post which aims to ensure that the interests of the staff who make up the business’ 12000-strong workforce are represented at the very highest level.

Mears, a major provider of care and housing services, is one of only a handful of UK companies to create a position for an employee on its board and the first listed company in the care sector to do so.

Director Alan Long said that, in the 30 years Mears has been in business, the best ideas had always come from the workforce: those on the frontline who work with customers and service users every day and have the insight into what works … Read More »


National Audit Office reports on the health and social care interface

Posted on July 4th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on National Audit Office reports on the health and social care interface

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report assessing the challenges preventing health and social care from working together effectively.

In a move to encourage the Government to create a long-term plan for a sustainable, joined-up care sector, the head of the NAO, Amyas Morse, has urged further and faster progress towards a service that centres on the needs of individuals, meets growing demands for care and delivers value to the taxpayer.

“No one across government or the civil service would disagree that health and social care have to be in balance to give people quality of life, and to use the available national and local resources as efficiently as possible,” said Mr Morse.

“The hard part is agreeing how that balance is to be achieved and maintained, and who is willing to sacrifice what to bring it about.

“The NHS did not … Read More »



Latest blog posts

The NHS and all that jazz

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week the National Health Service marked its 70th anniversary. The irony is that, when this all too human institution...

The bland leaving the bland?

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

The headline for an interview which Sir David Behan, the Care Quality Commission’s departing chief executive, gave to The Guardian...

IT comes to CQC

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

This month, IT is coming to CQC in person. David Behan is leaving, and DB’s replacement is IT, Ian Trenholm...