Category: Caring Times


Do as you would be done by

Posted on September 24th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I have been contacted by a man who is unhappy about the “administration fee” which some providers charge when someone becomes a resident in a care home. In this man’s case the provider charged the family an adminstration fee of £980 – the exact equivalent of one week’s care fees.

The man has written to the provider asking for an explanation of the direct relationship between one week’s care fees and the adminstration charge, requesting a detailed breakdown of administration performed. I do not know whether he has received a reply.

While I am sure that providers do incur some additional costs when admitting someone as a resident, £980 seems a bit steep and the equivalence to one week’s care fees does smack of the kind of rapacious commercial practice which has given the private sector a … Read More »


Public/private integration of social care is the first challenge

Posted on September 20th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on Public/private integration of social care is the first challenge

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I think the phrase ‘put your own house in order first’ comes from the Bible; whatever its provenance, it certainly comes to my mind whenever I hear talk of health and social care integration.

Being one big household would bring a lot of benefits but each side, health and social care, should try to avoid bringing problems with them.

The NHS is not entirely without problems, some of which are only likely to go away once it begins to look at social care as an equal partner, but I think it is yet to cotton-on to the idea of systems with flexibility to meet people’s needs, rather than people having to fit in with a rigid system.

Social care is in no better position, but with us it’s more about commissioning and public funding, with private providers pragmatically focusing … Read More »


Continued concern over Continuing Healthcare

Posted on September 13th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Continued concern over Continuing Healthcare

Provider representative body Care England has expressed continued concern about NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding for care home residents.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said CHC was an essential means of ensuring the primary health needs of individuals within community settings were met and much of this care was provided in independent nursing homes.

“Yet too many Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are offering increases to CHC fees for 2018/19 of only 0.1%, arguing that they are required to do so by the NHS National Tariff Payment System Rules,” said Prof. Green.

“Yet care homes face many increases in costs not least the need to pay nurses and all staff a fair wage and provide quality training to ensure they can recruit and retain good staff.”

In a recent interview with the Health Service Journal, NHS Improvement chief executive Ian Dalton implied that … Read More »


Christie & Co’s social care report shows continued pressure on recruitment and fees

Posted on September 12th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Christie & Co’s social care report shows continued pressure on recruitment and fees

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has published its fourth annual report on adult social care.

The report highlights the sector’s continued funding and staffing challenges, as well as the causes and impacts of winter 2017/18 which saw unprecedented levels of pressure on NHS hospital trusts, with 24 trusts reporting a ‘Code Black’ state across the UK.

The report, ‘Adult Social Care 2018: Funding, Staffing and the Winter Crisis’, also presents data gathered from surveys of local authorities and more than 200 leading operators across elderly and specialist care in the UK, particularly looking at the use of agency staff, costs and fees, and how the Government’s additional funding has been used.

Recruitment

The 2018 report outlines the continued challenges the sector faces in both recruiting and retaining trained staff. Whilst the removal of the cap on Tier 2 visas for overseas nurses … Read More »


Evasion comes naturally – caring too, but we need to work at it

Posted on September 10th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Who remembers the ‘Peanuts’ cartoons in which Lucy is forever snatching the football away just as the ever-trusting Charlie Brown is about to kick it?

Well, you know the green paper which, after two deferrals, the Government said it would publish in the autumn? That’s right; the one on social care funding? Well, it’s no longer clear which autumn the Government has in mind.

Speaking at Age UK’s Late Life conference last week, care services minister Caroline Dinenage, in a ministerial masterpiece of vague assurances and resolute non-committal, admitted there was “a chance that publication of the green paper would be further delayed’”.

“Publishing of the green paper is entirely our aspiration,” Caroline cooed, stressing that the document had an important place in creating a fair care system and was “high up on the Government’s agenda”. Then she … Read More »


Providers call for a rethink as Parliament considers new liberty protection laws

Posted on September 5th, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Providers call for a rethink as Parliament considers new liberty protection laws

Care providers are concerned about the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill which will introduce the Liberty Protection Safeguards, replacing the existing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

The Bill had its initial Committee Stage in the House of Lords yesterday. Provider representative body Care England said that, while there was a general consensus that the existing DoLS arrangements are unwieldy and should be replaced, there were some major concerns about the very premise of the new legislation.

Care providers say aspects of the proposals erode the safeguards that currently protect people who lack capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment, and that such elements sit uncomfortably in services with a culture focussed on respecting the rights and choices of people receiving support.

“As providers we are very concerned about the inherent conflict of interest associated with placing Liberty Protection Safeguards assessment responsibilities on … Read More »


Punish these guilty parliamentarians!

Posted on September 3rd, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By guest blogger JEF SMITH

Eighty-four per cent of Members of Parliament agree that local authorities should get additional funding for social care. Great news! At least that’s how it was greeted by the Local Government Association (LGA) which commissioned the survey. ‘The overwhelming majority’, ’far reaching cross-party support’, ‘now even MPs and peers agree that social care funding … must be increased’, its press release crowed.

But hang on a minute. Extra funds for care is pretty much a no-brainer these days, so how come that as many as 16% of our elected representatives oppose it? Can it really be that out of a House of Commons with 650 members, more than 90 believe that social care needs no additional resources? It gets worse. An even higher percentage of peers, 24% – that’s getting on for 200 – want to deprive care … Read More »


Demand for care set to double by 2035

Posted on August 31st, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on Demand for care set to double by 2035

Over the next 20 years the number of adults aged 85 years and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to 446,000 in

England , according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

The overall numbers of over-65s requiring 24-hour care will rise by more than a third to over a million by 2035. This is according to new estimates that predict an increase in the number of people living into old age with multiple long-term conditions.

The study found that the majority (80%) of older adults living with dementia who need substantial care in 2035 were likely to have two or more other diseases.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said the new estimates painted a challenging future, with the number of people needing constant care – the majority of whom would be living with dementia – starkly increasing in the … Read More »


CQC ratings – a seasonal shift?

Posted on August 28th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By guest blogger ANNE SMITH

I want to offer a thought on the adverse affect summer holidays can have on the CQC rating if care homes are inspected over this period.

Having inspected and been inspected over the summer holidays, it seems to me that this holiday period can seriously affect a care home’s CQC rating. Even a home with good annual leave management only needs a few extra staff absences. A leaver or two and some staff sickness can render it short of staff and/or left exposed to the inconsistent supply of agency staff, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Outcomes can become poorer as a result. If inspectors visit, they may learn of longer waiting times for care, resident and staff reports of staff shortages and perhaps a lesser standard of cleanliness. The scores on the doors can be slowly chipped … Read More »


CareTech to buy Cambian

Posted on August 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times. Comments Off on CareTech to buy Cambian

Social care operator CareTech Holdings has agreed to buy children’s services provider Cambian Group in a share transfer deal said to be worth up to £372m.

CareTech executive chairman Farouq Sheikh said CareTech and Cambian were highly complementary businesses and the deal would create the opportunity to improve outcomes for existing and future service users, to better serve care commissioners, to enhance opportunities for staff and to drive the focus on quality.

The executive directors of CareTech will remain in post of the enlarged group. Cambian chairman Christopher Kemball said that, while the Cambian board felt that the business already had a promising future as the largest independent provider of childcare, the deal with CareTech represented an attractive proposition for Cambian shareholders and broader stakeholders.

“Like Cambian, CareTech has an excellent reputation for the quality of its specialist education and behavioural health services … Read More »



Latest blog posts

Do as you would be done by

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I have been contacted by a man who is unhappy about the “administration fee” which some providers charge when someone...

Public/private integration of social care is the first challenge

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I think the phrase ‘put your own house in order first’ comes from the Bible; whatever its provenance, it certainly...

Evasion comes naturally – caring too, but we need to work at it

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Who remembers the ‘Peanuts’ cartoons in which Lucy is forever snatching the football away just as the ever-trusting Charlie Brown...