Tag: Local Authorities
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 »
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), has published a report bringing together key findings and recommendations for change, following the completion of 20 local authority area reviews exploring how older people move between health and adult social care services in England.
Many older people have complex needs, and meeting these needs usually requires more than one professional and more than one agency to work together. CQC’s local system reviews provide a detailed insight into the journey through health and social care for people who use services, their families and carers – and identify where there are gaps which mean that people experience fragmented or poor care.
‘Beyond Barriers’ highlights some examples of health and care organisations working well together – and of individuals working across organisations to provide high quality care. But CQC says the reviews also found too much ineffective co-ordination of … Read More »
Provider representative body Care England has voiced its ongoing concern about Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) used by some local authorities to award social care contracts.
The process, also known as a ‘reverse auction’, requires providers to bid, within a short timeframe, to care for people whose care needs are put online. Care England believes this is being done with the deliberate aim of driving down the price of care, and so risking the quality of social care services.
“People must not be treated akin to commodities,” said Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.
“Choice should be paramount whilst cost should not be the sole factor when allocating care.” Staffordshire is one of the growing number of local authorities to have used DPS for new clients and has only offered a 1% uplift in 2018/19 for existing residential and nursing home placements despite … Read More »
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found Liverpool City Council to be at fault after a woman was banned from visiting her mother in a care home in the district after she complained about her treatment.
The woman, whose mother had been placed in a care home by Liverpool City Council, said she was banned by care staff from seeing her after she raised a number of concerns about the way her mother was fed, washed, and looked after.
The care home told the Ombudsman the ban was because of a previous incident reported to the police because of the daughter and her partner’s behaviour, but it could not provide any evidence that an incident had occurred, or was reported the police.
Ombudsman Michael King said councils and care providers with open, transparent and mature complaints handling processes should welcome the … Read More »
Provider representative organisation Care England has again expressed its disappointment over what it describes as the paltry fee offers from local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said local authorities and CCGs had only recently begun to make their fee offers to care providers.
“It is unbelievable that we are in this position again,” said Prof. Green.
“If the care sector is to plan efficiently to provide the necessary high quality care it is unfathomable as to how this can happen with such a time lag, uncertainty and of course negligible or zero uplifts.”
With the Green Paper on social care yet to be published, Care England says the strain that the health and social care sector is under has never been more apparent, and that a degree of professionalism was needed from local authorities and CCGs … Read More »
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 »
Norfolk County Council has agreed to investigate whether more care home residents have been incorrectly charged a top-up fee, after one family’s complaint was upheld by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
When the family placed their mother in a care home and needed to sell her house to pay for her care, the council should have offered the woman a so-called ‘affordable’ care home. This would not require the family to pay a top-up fee above what the council would contribute, for 12 weeks while the home was being sold.
Instead, the Ombudsman’s investigation found the council charged the family for those 12 weeks, wrongly arguing that because the woman’s capital, including her property, was above the £23,250 threshold, it did not have to offer her an affordable placement.
The council has waived the fee, and has agreed to check if … Read More »
The proportion of care homes rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ increased in one in five local authority areas in 2017.
An analysis by older people’s charity Independent Age has found that a dramatic variation in the quality of care homes at a regional and local authority level across England continues to exist. The North West is the worst performing region, while London and the East of England are the best performing regions.
In some areas such as Tameside or Portsmouth, older people and their families continue to face little choice of quality care, with around one in two homes rated not good enough by the Care Quality Commission. The main regional findings are:
The North West contains five of the eight worst performing English local authorities on care home quality, with more than one in four care homes across the region performing poorly;
The … Read More »
Caring Times, March 2018
Birmingham City Council has denied accusations they will move residents receiving social care services should their provider not complete the tender process.
The chief executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green, has criticised the Commissioning Strategy for Social Care which was approved by Birmingham CC’s cabinet last December.
Prof. Green insisted the new strategy means that should providers of social care for people under 65 years old not complete the tender process, the council will have to stop making new placements and ‘will move existing service users to a new contracted provider.’
He warned providers must be allowed to take decisions that ensure the stability of the service and they should not be ‘pressurised’ to submit tenders ‘they do not feel comfortable with.’
“We need to know urgently if current residents and their families have been warned by the council that … Read More »
Caring Times, February 2018
Responses to a Freedom of Information request to local authorities have revealed a worrying postcode lottery of care, Royal London revealed in mid-December.
The insurance company sent out 150 local authorities, of which 125 responded. The replies show a huge variation in both the amount councils will pay towards care home costs, and the extent to which people have to ‘haggle’ with their local authority to get a good deal.
Elderly people who enter care in a ‘crisis’ situation and do not have family members to advocate on their behalf could lose out when it comes to negotiating care fee packages, according to Royal London. The research identified three different approaches taken by local authorities to funding care:
Authorities which have a fixed ceiling for care home funding which they will not exceed, regardless of actual care costs;
Authorities which have … Read More »