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 »
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a public consultation on draft consumer law advice for care homes for elderly people.
Many of the consumer protection issues covered in the draft advice were highlighted during the CMA’s year-long market study into how well the care homes sector was working.
The study identified concerns that some care homes may be treating residents unfairly and potentially infringing consumer law.
Copies of the draft advice and consultation document can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/care-homes-for-the-elderly-draft-consumer-law-advice?=0
The deadline for responses is 12 July.
The impact of an individual complaint in improving care services for others has been highlighted in a new report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman’s Review of Adult Social Care Complaints shows councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people in 2016/17.
As well as putting things right for an individual, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to improve services for others by changing policies and procedures, training staff, or recommending a service be provided.
Within the Ombudsman’s 1,318 recommendations, councils and care providers made nearly 180 procedural changes and committed to train staff on nearly 50 occasions.
In some cases the result of a single investigation leads to the Ombudsman looking at injustices caused to people who haven’t complained. Examples of this over the past year include one person’s complaint about the way a … Read More »
Caring Times, January 2017
The number of councils providing meals on wheels to vulnerable older people has dropped below 50% for the first time.
Research for the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) shows that just 48% of authorities provide a service compared with 66% only two years ago.
The NACC says under-investment is putting elderly people at risk and will place unnecessary pressure on the NHS because meals services help prevent hospital admissions and extend the time residents can live at home.
NICE (the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) has previously identified better nutritional care as the third largest source of cost savings to the NHS.
The study, carried out by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) on behalf of NACC showed:
• The North West of England is doing the least with only 17% of authorities providing a meals on wheels … Read More »
Caring Times, January 2017
In early December, the House of Lords Committee on the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS met to take evidence from the leaders of the new Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, the devolved body which now controls a £6bn annual budget to deliver health and social care in Greater Manchester.
The Committee wanted to explore whether the pioneering devolved model in Manchester could provide lessons that different regions or UK as a whole could learn from when delivering sustainable health services to an ageing population with increasingly complex healthcare needs.
Questions covered the impact of devolution on health and social care in Greater Manchester including how funding is now distributed differently around the system, the effect on workforce planning and what benefits the devolution has produced in integrating health and social care services.
The Committee also sought information about … Read More »
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study into care homes for elderly people, to assess how well the market works, and whether people are being treated fairly.
CMA acting chief executive Andrea Coscelli said that, as well as looking at reports of potentially unfair practices and contract terms being used by some care homes, the study would also evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers, and would also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.
“We want to hear from care home providers about the services they offer and any challenges they face,” said Ms Coscelli.
Views are welcomed on any of the issues raised in the Statement of Scope – https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/care-homes-market-study … Read More »
Care Forum Wales chair Mario Kreft has hit out against what he calls the ‘institutional prejudice’ towards private companies providing services for vulnerable people.
Speaking at a meeting of the Five Nations group, which represents social care providers from the four home countries and Eire, Mr Kreft said outdated attitudes were blighting the sector at a time when the need for collaboration and partnership had never been greater.
“Unfortunately, there is a significant degree of unfair institutional prejudice against the independent sector here in Wales and elsewhere in the UK and Ireland,” said Mr Kreft.
“There are still many people who appear to resent the fact that independent providers need to be financially viable to stay in business and provide high quality services. I was talking to a nurse recently who left the NHS and joined a very reputable private sector organisation and … Read More »
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Following a Business, Innovation and Skills consultation on the appointment of a Small Business Commissioner, care providers’ representative body Care England says there is scope for the proposed Small Business Commissioner to assist providers and thereby avoid high legal costs for both parties.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said independent care providers were heavily dependent on public sector purchasers who are monopoly commissioners.
“As such there is a considerable power imbalance when it comes to contracts being changed by the commissioner or payments from them being delayed,” said Prof. Green.
Care England is adamant that if the Commissioner role is to have teeth it should cover circumstances beyond business-to-business relationships and instead consider the relationship between public bodies such as local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups with private and charitable providers.
“Such providers collectively employ more people than the NHS … Read More »
Caring Times Latest
In the wake of the urgent closures by the Care Quality Commission of the Merok Park nursing home in Surrey last December and the more recent closure of the Old Village School Hall nursing home in Bedfordshire, the charity Action on Elder Abuse (AEA) has called for a change in the law to protect residents affected by urgent closures.
AEA says that, in the case of Merok Park, the transfer arrangement collapsed into confusion and chaos, with 26 residents moved in winter, at night and in the cold. In the case of the Old Village School Hall some 50 residents were moved, many after 6.30pm and some after 10pm, with some relatives describing the process as having caused huge distress to old, vulnerable people.
AEA has written to care minister Alistair Burt, calling for a change in the legal status … Read More »
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Care home operators in the West Midlands say they face a bleak and uncertain future following living wage budget reforms announced by George Osborne. Debbie Le Quesne, chief executive of West Midlands Care Association (WMCA), which represents private sector care providers, warned the industry was at “breaking point.”
An impact survey by the association suggests any benefits found with reductions in Corporation tax – a fall to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020 – will not plug an ever-widening chasm between realistic operational costs and fees paid for care by local authorities. Under the Chancellor’s plans, workers aged over 25 will get a minimum of £7.20 an hour from April next year, rising to £9 by 2020. The Government says this will mean a direct pay rise for 2.5 million workers of an average of £5,000 by 2020.
But … Read More »