Latest Care News
15th February 2018

Social care allowances are confusing – the government must offer clarity


8th February 2018

Fears over pressure on care system as National Audit Office warns staff and funding are not sustainable 


28th January 2018

Social care at ‘tipping point’ as back pay crisis grows, warn councils


23rd January 2018

Dementia sufferers 'wiped out' financially in 'unfair' care system, says Jeremy Hunt


19th January 2018

6 reasons why we need dementia-friendly financial services


18th January 2018

Dementia study adds to calls for more funding of music therapy

Music can help reduce symptoms but only 5% of care homes are using it effectively, finds report


12th January 2018

Warning over 'trust' schemes supposed to help families avoid paying for care


11th January 2018

Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs


10th January 2018

We need a new care deal to tackle the challenges of an ageing population


3rd January 2018

Social care in 2018: time to think about the future workforce


25th December 2017

Voucher plan to help pay for elderly care


20th December 2017

Government warned against using council tax to 'plug gap' in social care funding


16th December 2017

Social care postcode gap widens for older people


13th December 2017
The state of social care shames us all

6th December 2017

David Cameron admits 'we didn't solve' problem of funding social care for Britain's ageing population


1st December 2017
Sleep-in pay crisis:
should you join HMRC’s new Social Care Compliance Scheme?

30th November 2017

Care homes: Public 'pay unfair fees to plug £1bn shortfall'


28th November 2017

Care workers 'exhausted' by staff shortage


14th November 2017

We can't fix social care if we think it's just for older people 


10th November 2017
Care 'will take up most of our council tax within three years': Rapid rise in costs could see fresh curbs on bin rounds, road repairs and street lighting

9th November 2017

How to design websites for older people


2nd November 2017

Social care funding can't take any more setbacks. It needs reform now


2nd November 2017

Overnight carer back pay scheme 'unaffordable'


29th October 2017

Why care costs are spiralling at up to twice inflation 


27th October 2017
Lack of choice means families have to settle for poor care homes: Nearly a fifth are forced to leave loved ones in a home they have reservations about because of a shortage of places

23rd October 2017

A job in care – what’s it worth?


20th October 2017

CQC - Changes to how we regulate adult social care services


20th October 2017

What is lasting power of attorney?

 


13th October 2017

Discrimination and misplaced stoicism: why older people's mental health gets overlooked 


12th October 2017

NHS leaders unveil action to boost flu vaccination and manage winter pressures


10th October 2017

CQC's annual assessment of health and social care in England now available


3rd October 2017

Most councils will not have enough care home places


30th September 2017

Dementia is a terrible word. Why do people still use it? 


29th September 2017

Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts


2nd September 2017

Will UK consumer law destroy the care home market?


31st August 2017

Care home creates lasting legacy by 'moving in' nursery children to end 'age apartheid'


24th August 2017

Care home inspections are not fit for purpose. Providers need support, not more scrutiny


14th August 2017

Infection outbreaks in care homes: prevention and management

Outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes can have grave consequences, so staff must be well trained in outbreak prevention, preparedness, detection and management


7th August 2017

Alzheimer's Society Forum 


27th July 2017

Employers can't foot £400m care worker back pay bill. Government must act - fast


19th July 2017

Pay row threatens overnight care for vulnerable


13th July 2017

Too many care homes fail to get the basics right


11th July 2017

'It made me feel like I mattered': learning disability arts – in pictures


28th June 2017

Painless flu jab patch for people scared of injections


26th June 2017

Spotting the earliest signs of Alzheimer's


20th June 2017

Funding alone won't fix the social care system


14th June 2017

Worries over care home fees and funding


6th June 2017

'Compatible flexibility': the answer to social care's recruitment crisis?


8th May 2017

The apps taking on social care's 'broken' business model


26th April 2017

Councils and health boards dispute £250m care costs


16th March 2017

The NHS-funded nursing care standard rate is being reduced to £155.05 from 1 April 2017.!

Read the full story and access the report 


10th March 2017

Care home managers play a pivotal role in raising quality standards, and more are needed


10th March 2017

The prime minister’s confirmation of a review must be considered progress, but the sector is still in for a rough ride...... read more


6th March 2017

A four day Safeguarding Supported Learning Programme (PACT0920-17AA) course for £200, on the 26th April, 23rd May, 21st June, 19th July 2017 at Mercure Wessex Hotel in Winchester.


27th February 2017

"Public bickering" between the prime minister and the NHS is an "insult to taxpayers" who want clear information on health funding, MPs have said.


20th February 2017

Council leaders are warning of deep cuts to services despite nearly every local authority in England planning to raise council tax in 2017. 


17th February 2017

Coffee Mornings at the West End Centre, Aldershot 

For people with learning disabilities and their carers


15th February 2017

Dear Debbie Corti-Young,

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Theresa May: Seek an urgent cross-party solution to the health and care crisis”.

Government responded:

The Government recognises the pressures on the health and social care system. It is supporting the NHS’s own plan for the future and going further than ever before to integrate health and social care.

The Government knows that the NHS is facing many challenges and there are increasing pressures on all parts of the health and care system. It is important to remember that the pressures faced by the NHS are common to most developed health systems and are due to, amongst other things, an ageing population, changing public expectations and the cost of new drugs. However we have more doctors, more nurses, more paramedics all delivering more treatments than ever, funded by a budget at record levels.

The NHS and wider health system has already examined what needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of the health and care system. This is why in the Spending Review in November 2015, the Government committed to increase funding for the NHS in England, with funding to be £10 billion higher in real terms by 2020-21, compared to 2014-15. This is the money that the NHS in England asked for and will support the NHS’s own plan for its future – the Five Year Forward View – which set out what needs to change and how this can be achieved of this new funding. £6 billion will be provided by the end of this year, kick starting the process of change, and enabling the Government to deliver Government objectives including seven day services and improved access to cancer treatments and mental health services. The Five Year Forward View is available on NHS England’s website – https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf.

We are making progress towards strategic system changes and new models of care. There is emerging evidence that the vanguards have had a significant impact, reducing pressure on busy services at local level since their launch. In the Fylde Coast Local Health Economy vanguard for example, early figures show that bringing different health professionals under one roof to support older patients with multiple conditions reduced A&E attendance by 13%. We will continue to support this work to design a world class health system, fit for the future.

Alongside this, we are giving local authorities access of up to £3.5 billion of new support for social care by 2019-20, through the social care precept and the Better Care Fund. And aware of the more imminent pressures on social care, the Government took the necessary steps in the recent Local Government Settlement to help in the shorter-term, making available almost £900 million of additional social care funding over the next two years.

The Government believes that the answer to the challenges faced by the health and social care system lies in delivering more integrated services and keeping people well and independent for longer, and in working with the NHS in implementing its own plan for the future of the NHS – the Five Year Forward View.

Department of Health

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177055?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament


10th February 2017

Partner Update 


10th February 2017

Safeguarding Basic Awareness Course 

 


3rd February 2017

CQC Feedback - A Summary 

Sharing Best Practice

 


15th February 2018

Social care allowances are confusing – the government must offer clarity

Anew report details an expert panel’s solution to the care crisis: for national insurance to be replaced with a new, ringfenced tax dedicated to health and social care. It contends that few people would argue with reforming and raising tax, given the severe financial and capacity pressures on services.

8th February 2018

Fears over pressure on care system as National Audit Office warns staff and funding are not sustainable 

Fears have been raised over the pressures on the care system as the National Audit Office warned that funding and staffing levels are not sustainable. 
 
In a damning report the public spending watchdog said the lack of prestige associated with working in care, poor career progression and low pay meant the sector struggled to retain staff. 
28th January 2018

Social care at ‘tipping point’ as back pay crisis grows, warn councils

A crisis in social care will lead to the imminent closure of providers across the country unless ministers step in to fill a £400m black hole in back pay, councils have warned today.

23rd January 2018

Dementia sufferers 'wiped out' financially in 'unfair' care system, says Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has pledged to reform the “unfair” system of care for the elderly which sees those with dementia “wiped out” financially.
 
The Health Secretary said social care in England was currently “random”, with the financial burdens on families drastically different depending on the nature of their loved-one’s illness.
19th January 2018

6 reasons why we need dementia-friendly financial services

Being able to manage our money and deal with financial services is a fundamental aspect of life. But when a person develops dementia, this can become extremely difficult and lead to feelings of lost independence.
 
There are currently over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This number continues to rise, with another person developing dementia every three minutes. The cost of dementia is £26 billion a year (based on 2013 cost data).
18th January 2018

Dementia study adds to calls for more funding of music therapy

Music can help reduce symptoms but only 5% of care homes are using it effectively, finds report

The symptoms of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with dementia could significantly improve by listening to and playing music, according to a report.
 
The study, which compiled existing evidence as well as talking to experts, found music can help people with dementia recall information and reduce symptoms such as anxiety, agitation and aggression.
12th January 2018

Warning over 'trust' schemes supposed to help families avoid paying for care

Families are being put at risk by unregulated firms promising to help them avoid care fees and inheritance tax, lawyers and financial advisers have warned.

With average nursing care home fees now exceeding £1,000 a week for the first time last year, more families are having to navigate the maze of care funding.

11th January 2018

Ombudsman calls for councils to be clear on care home costs

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is reminding councils across England they must give families accurate information when placing relatives in care homes, following an investigation into a complaint against Lincolnshire County Council.
 
The investigation found a family was not told about the possibilities available to them when their father was placed in a care home as an emergency. They were left with no option but to pay a ‘top-up’ fee, when the council should have offered them the choice of a home which did not require the additional amount. When they struggled to pay the fees, their father was threatened with eviction.
10th January 2018

We need a new care deal to tackle the challenges of an ageing population

I hope this year will mark a step change for adult social care; without decisive action, the gap between those in need of care and the provision of appropriate services will widen further. It’s time to agree a new approach to ensure older people can remain active and well for as long as possible. Investment in technology is also urgently required to better promote independent living and communities designed for mobility and age.

3rd January 2018

Social care in 2018: time to think about the future workforce

The government’s forthcoming green paper on care and support for older people, and the parallel workstream on working age adults, is an opportunity for us to recognise the work of 1.45 million adult social care workers across England – and to really think about what the future workforce will look like.

25th December 2017

Voucher plan to help pay for elderly care

Tax-free vouchers like those used by parents to pay for childcare should be offered to encourage people to save towards long-term care costs, a company has proposed.
 
Eldercare vouchers could be used to build up a pot of savings to pay care home fees in later life or for domiciliary care at home under the plan.
20th December 2017

Government warned against using council tax to 'plug gap' in social care funding

Hiking council tax should not be used to "plug the gap" in social care funding, local authorities have warned the Government.
 
Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, told Sky News' All Out Politics that councils should be able to raise the tax by as much as they like to fund services.
16th December 2017

Social care postcode gap widens for older people

Council funding cuts have reduced help for the old in deprived areas, study shows

 

Older people in England’s most deprived areas are twice as likely to lack the help they need for basic acts, like using the toilet or taking medicine, compared with those in the richest neighbourhoods, according to figures that expose gross inequalities in access to social care.

13th December 2017
The state of social care shames us all

Why are people on the left so exercised about how we pay for social care? After all, better-off care home residents who pay their own way are each quietly subsidising to the tune of £12,000 a year those with fewer assets who are funded by councils that negotiate lower fees. What could be more socialist?

6th December 2017

David Cameron admits 'we didn't solve' problem of funding social care for Britain's ageing population

David Cameron has expressed regret he was unable to do more to deal with the “huge” challenge funding social care for Britain’s ageing population.
 
The former prime minister – who has since become president of Alzheimer’s Research UK – said a way had to be found to meet the “catastrophic” costs of caring for people with dementia.
 
1st December 2017
Sleep-in pay crisis:
should you join HMRC’s new Social Care Compliance Scheme?
The Government’s latest response to the sleep-in pay crisis is the introduction of a new Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS).
 
Under the scheme, providers who have not paid sleep-in shifts in compliance with the National Minimum Wage can self assess their non-compliance and repay workers with protection against HMRC enforcement action.
30th November 2017

Care homes: Public 'pay unfair fees to plug £1bn shortfall'

Care homes have been applying unfair charges and over-the-top fees for self-funders, an official review shows.
 
The Competition and Market Authority found some homes had applied large upfront costs and charged families for weeks after their relatives had died. 
 
The watchdog also highlighted how those paying for themselves were charged much more than council-funded residents.
 
The average weekly charge for self-funders was £846 - 40% more than local authority rates.
 
28th November 2017

Care workers 'exhausted' by staff shortage

A care worker in Northern Ireland has said she feels like a "workhorse" because a shortage of staff means she often has to work 80 hours a week.
 
Her comments follow a BBC investigation into the current state of social care.
 
It reveals that on one day this month, 88 people had to stay in hospital unnecessarily, due to a wait for a suitable home care package.
 
The Department of Health said care demand has risen "considerably" and it is reviewing its domiciliary workforce.
 
14th November 2017

We can't fix social care if we think it's just for older people 

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest challenges facing Britain is how we deal with our ageing population. The countless warnings about the crisis in social care leave no room for doubt. Over the last seven years, budgets have decreased by more than £6bn (pdf) in real terms, and more than 1.2 million older people are struggling to get by without proper care.

10th November 2017
Care 'will take up most of our council tax within three years': Rapid rise in costs could see fresh curbs on bin rounds, road repairs and street lighting
Most of our council tax will be needed to pay for the care of vulnerable children and the elderly within three years, councils declared yesterday.
 
They said the rapidly rising price of social care will mean fresh curbs on bin collections, road repairs, street lighting, buses and food safety checks.
 
The warning about the cost of care for the elderly and protection of children at risk was designed to pile pressure on Chancellor Philip Hammond in advance of the autumn budget. It follows a series of attempts by public sector leaders, including police chiefs and NHS managers, to extract more cash from the Chancellor.
9th November 2017

How to design websites for older people

Why it’s important to us
 
Dementia currently affects 850,000 people who are diagnosed. However, a dementia diagnosis also directly affects about 700,000 informal primary/family carers.
 
The average age of a family carer in the UK is between 60 and 65 years old. This is about 10 years older than the age where we typically begin to experience an acceleration in age-related physiological changes to our bodies.
2nd November 2017

Social care funding can't take any more setbacks. It needs reform now

For a short while, it seemed like the issue of social care funding would finally be addressed after years of government procrastination. The Conservatives promised a consultation on social care reform, U-turned on the so-called dementia tax and, instead, confirmed their intention to cap the amount people pay towards care. 
 
But now that plans to introduce such a cap have been scrapped and the social care consultation is rumoured to have been delayed until next summer, it seems that the government has followed previous administrations and kicked social care funding into the long grass.
2nd November 2017

Overnight carer back pay scheme 'unaffordable'

Care providers have dismissed a government scheme to tackle a problem over back pay for overnight shift staff as a "suicide note".
 
The charity Mencap said the government was sacrificing the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in society and putting the jobs of low-paid staff at risk.
 
Ministers said the scheme had been designed to help ensure workers were paid what they were owed.
But charities say the bill for six years of extra pay is unaffordable.
29th October 2017

Why care costs are spiralling at up to twice inflation 

The average cost of a care home place has almost doubled over the past two decades and is now nearing £1,000 a week, according to the latest data. 
 
A cruel combination of short supply, care home operators falling into financial difficulty and tightening local authority budgets means private payers – those who get no assistance with fees – are especially hard hit.
 
Research carried out earlier this year by industry experts LaingBuisson found that the average weekly fee for residential care with nursing had risen from £445 in 1998 to £845 this year.
 
27th October 2017
Lack of choice means families have to settle for poor care homes: Nearly a fifth are forced to leave loved ones in a home they have reservations about because of a shortage of places
  • 'Systematic failures' mean half of those needing care have to wait for a bed 
  • The lack of places meant 17 per cent of families were forced to move their loved ones into care homes that they had reservations about  
  • And 16 per cent of families had to opt for a home away from friends and family

 

23rd October 2017

A job in care – what’s it worth?

While the Cavendish Coalition, with formidable representation of both the NHS and private social care sector, lobbies to protect the position of EU workers in a post-Brexit Britain, the biggest worry must be that these workers will vote with their feet.
 
When I last looked, 89 pence buys one Euro and many financial wallahs are predicting that the two currencies will continue to edge closer to parity. The incentive then, for EU citizens to come to the UK, or even remain here, and work is likely to dwindle; why work in an isolationist UK when similar wages can be earned in other western european countries?
 
But recruitment difficulties in health and social care go much deeper than Brexit and the question of overseas workers. The perception persists that care work is unskilled (it’s not); that it is a dead-end job (it’s not), and the unvarnished truth is that the low-pay status of care workers contributes significantly to these workers’ self esteem, and to how they are perceived by others.
 
Current wisdom is that only those care providers who truly value their staff will be successful in the long run. I hold that to be true but I think there are plenty of the Old Guard left who give lip service to valuing their staff while paying them little, enticing them with false promises of flexible working and not so much as providing even basic staff amenities.
 
These recruitment difficulties will not go away until some means is found to elevate care workers above their current position and to give them a fairer slice of their nation’s wealth.
 
The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

 

20th October 2017

CQC - Changes to how we regulate adult social care services

We will begin to implement changes to how we regulate adult social care services.
 
From 1 November 2017:
 
•We will regulate services using a single assessment framework for adult social care. This will strengthen our assessment by reflecting changes to the sector, the new best practice guidance, and how providers may develop their services in future. It will also simplify the process of assessment by aligning the questions we ask of different sectors and the characteristics that reflect a rating.
 
•New, simplified guidance on how CQC monitors, inspects and regulates adult social care services is available on the 'Guidance for Providers' area of our website. This guidance will replace the Provider and Inspector Handbooks, and will ensure both providers and inspectors use the same guidance documents.
 
•We will ask providers that are repeatedly rated as requires improvement to complete an improvement action plan to show how and by when they will improve their overall rating to good.
 
•We will introduce more proportionate and targeted inspections. Every service will receive a comprehensive inspection which considers all five key questions. We will also conduct focused inspections, targeted on areas of concern, risk or improvements, informed by Insight and information collection.
 
Phased implementation from January 2018:
 
•We will introduce an online process for collecting information from providers via a statement of quality about the five key questions and how providers are supporting continuous improvements. We will require providers to update this at least once annually, although more frequent updates can be made to record changes in quality, including improvements. This process will first be used with a small number of providers, gradually rolling out to all providers. Our aim is for full implementation by early 2018/19.
 
•During the transition providers will continue to use the current system for submitting information and will gradually be invited to start using the new online process. At the same time we will continue to test and improve the questions we ask and the process we use.
 
From April 2018:
 
• We will introduce a maximum inspection interval of 30 months for comprehensive inspections for services rated as good and outstanding. Until then, we will maintain current inspection frequencies of within 24 months, underpinned by ongoing monitoring using a broader range of information sources. We will continue to follow up and respond to risks and concerns through the use of focused inspections at any time. We will engage with stakeholders in advance of extending further the inspection interval for services rated as outstanding.
 
20th October 2017

What is lasting power of attorney?

 

For a person with a diagnosis of dementia, there may come a time when they are unable to make decisions about their care and their finances. A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document appointing one, or more, trusted people to be their attorney(s). An attorney is a person responsible for making decisions on their behalf.

 

There are two types of LPA. It is possible to draw up one, or both. The same attorney(s) can be appointed for both, or someone different can be appointed for each. They are:

 

Health and welfare, which appoints an attorney to make decisions regarding medical care, future care needs such as moving into a care home, and life-sustaining treatment. It can only be used once the person can no longer make their own decisions.

 

Property and financial affairs, which appoints an attorney to make decisions regarding managing a bank or building society account, paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension, or buying and selling a house. This can be used immediately if the person making it gives their permission.

 

An LPA is only valid in England and Wales. People in Northern Ireland can contact the Office of Care and Protection for advice on 028 9072 5953 (or visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/managing-your-affairs-and-enduring-power-attorney).

 

People in Scotland can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) on 01324 678398 (website: www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk).

13th October 2017

Discrimination and misplaced stoicism: why older people's mental health gets overlooked 

“There is age discrimination, but I don’t think it’s deliberate,” England says. “We’ve become fixated on dementia in older adults as the one mental health issue to focus on, and common mental health problems of anxiety and low mood get neglected.”

 

One in five older people suffer from depression, yet their mental health problems often go unrecognised and they are much less likely to get psychological help than younger people. A government target, set in 2011 – for older people in England to make up 12% of referrals to psychological therapies – was missed by a mile.

12th October 2017

NHS leaders unveil action to boost flu vaccination and manage winter pressures

NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health and NHS Improvement have today unveiled measures to boost the uptake of flu vaccinations along with package of new contingency actions to respond to pressures on frontline services this winter. Intensified preparations include:
 
•Providing free flu vaccines for hundreds of thousands of care home staff at a cost of up to £10m as well as increasing the number of jabs for young children in schools and vulnerable people
•Directing NHS trusts to ensure they make vaccines readily available to staff and record why those who choose to opt out of the programme do so
•Writing to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers reminding them of their professional duty to protect patients by being vaccinated
•Setting up a new National Emergency Pressure Panel to provide independent clinical advice on system risk and an appropriate regional and national response
•The biggest expansion in training for A&E consultants ever with hundreds more doctors over the next four years and other healthcare staff
 
10th October 2017

CQC's annual assessment of health and social care in England now available

The report looks at the trends, highlights examples of good and outstanding care, and identifies factors that maintain high-quality care.

3rd October 2017

Most councils will not have enough care home places

Care of the elderly, or social care, has rarely been so high up the political agenda. Indeed, it blighted the Conservatives’ manifesto launch at the last election.  Now a new report seen exclusively by Channel 4 News reveals that in five years’ time, nine out of ten local authorities in England will not have enough care home places to match the demand of the growing elderly population.

30th September 2017

Dementia is a terrible word. Why do people still use it? 

Dementia is a word with a horrific impact.
 
I’m talking about the word and its origins, not the disease. I have observed people living well with dementia and this antiquated and negative term belittles the contribution to society that they can make. I am in my third year of a PhD and my research is based in care homes where I get to observe good care that challenges, includes and promotes a sense of purpose for residents with dementia. Before this I worked as a community nurse. 
 
29th September 2017

Carrying the shopping can improve strength in over-65s, say experts

Carrying the shopping, gardening, or vacuuming, can help older people to lead healthier lives for longer, according to leading physiotherapists. 
They warn that millions of older people risk falls because they are failing to maintain their strength.
Nearly a quarter of over-65s don't do any strength exercises, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) says.
And it warns that the rise of internet shopping means fewer people carry home their groceries. 
Physiotherapists say not enough people realise the need to maintain strength as we age. 
 
2nd September 2017

Will UK consumer law destroy the care home market?

Adult social care is on the financial ropes. Last year it was the introduction of the “national living wage”, this year it’s the requirement to backdate pay for sleep-in shifts. In both cases, the government is being urged to step in to prop up care providers.

31st August 2017

Care home creates lasting legacy by 'moving in' nursery children to end 'age apartheid'

The recent Channel 4 experiment ‘Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds’, which saw a group of four-year-olds ‘move in’ to a retirement village for six weeks, has proved that children really can give older people a ‘new lease of life’ and prompted researchers to ask 'why should we let our older people slide into deterioration and into a place where they feel hopeless?'

24th August 2017

Care home inspections are not fit for purpose. Providers need support, not more scrutiny

Inconsistent assessments and an inflexible appeal process make a mockery of care quality regulations. Now even the CQC recognises the need for change

A recent report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) states the need for improvement in the UK care system. While 77% of care providers were rated as good, almost a fifth required improvement and 343 organisations were described as inadequate.

14th August 2017

Infection outbreaks in care homes: prevention and management

Outbreaks of infectious diseases in care homes can have grave consequences, so staff must be well trained in outbreak prevention, preparedness, detection and management

Care home residents share air, space, food and equipment, so they also share organisms that can easily cause infection outbreaks, such as viruses and bacteria. They are also more prone and vulnerable to infections, which can lead to death. Care home staff therefore need to be adequately trained to prevent, detect and manage an outbreak of infectious disease, and care homes must have an outbreak plan ready, to minimise the number of people affected and the harm done. This article summarises the principles of outbreak prevention, preparedness, detection and management, highlighting key practical guidance.

7th August 2017

Alzheimer's Society Forum 

Alzheimer's Society's online community for anyone affected by dementia. Ask for advice, share information, join in discussions and feel supported.

27th July 2017

Employers can't foot £400m care worker back pay bill. Government must act - fast

Time is running out to tackle the crisis over pay for sleep-in shifts, which will cause problems for providers, their staff and the people who rely on care

After months of unsuccessful efforts to get the government to take the issue of sleep-in shifts seriously, last week Mencap began a public campaign to try to avert a looming crisis in the learning disability sector, and prevent Southern Cross type failures on a multiple scale across the country.

19th July 2017

Pay row threatens overnight care for vulnerable

Vulnerable people with learning difficulties could lose overnight supervision, disability charity Mencap warns.
 
The HMRC has ruled carers sleeping overnight to provide safety and reassurance should be be paid the national minimum wage for all hours.
 
Mencap says the total bill for back pay - due by September, and in some cases dating back six years - could be £400m.
13th July 2017

Too many care homes fail to get the basics right

Headlines saying that one in three care homes has failed official inspections made tough reading for the social care sector, not to mention those with loved ones receiving care.

 

And while the main message from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about the majority of care being good got lost in the furore, it is understandable that people focus on the bad bits. After all, poor care should not be tolerated.

11th July 2017

'It made me feel like I mattered': learning disability arts – in pictures

To celebrate its 30th birthday, creative arts charity Heart n Soul, which harnesses the talents of people with learning disabilities, has produced a series of portraits of some of the individuals it supports
 
This project is part of a wider festival of events. Find out more about what’s on, including live music performances, here
28th June 2017

Painless flu jab patch for people scared of injections

A 'painless' sticking plaster flu jab that delivers vaccine into the skin has passed important safety tests in the first trial in people.
 
The patch has a hundred tiny hair-like microneedles on its adhesive side that penetrate the skin's surface.
 
It is simple enough for people to stick on themselves.
26th June 2017

Spotting the earliest signs of Alzheimer's

Work is about to begin on a new study to find the earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease, many years before symptoms like memory loss and confusion become obvious.
 
Scientists believe this is the best time to be using drugs to stop Alzheimer's from developing further.
20th June 2017

Funding alone won't fix the social care system

Alzheimer’s Society is investing in three new research centres of excellence that aim to find ways to improve quality of life and care

The election campaign led the public to the misconception that the “dementia tax” is a new issue. The reality is that decades of squeezed government funding have left people with dementia and their families enduring inadequate care, crippling costs and impossible choices.

14th June 2017

Worries over care home fees and funding

Care homes may be charging families for extended periods after a resident has died as well as large upfront fees, a competition inquiry   has revealed.
 
The concerns emerged from the initial findings of a review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which began in December
6th June 2017

'Compatible flexibility': the answer to social care's recruitment crisis?

Care work is billed as local and family-friendly, but the reality is unpredictable rotas and unsociable hours. This must change to stop the system collapsing

 

For those of us who have long been concerned about the state of social care, it’s a relief to see the sector so high on the political agenda. But while much of debate has centred on how future care will be funded, there is another critical issue: how to attract and retain enough care workers to keep the system working in an age of austerity.

 

8th May 2017

The apps taking on social care's 'broken' business model

Leila Karim* started doing care work two years ago, earning £8 an hour. It was, she says, a “chaotic” experience. There was a different manager every two to three weeks, the systems were all paper-based and “it was difficult getting to clients on time because we weren’t told when our next shift was”, says the 19-year-old student. “Sometimes you’d get a call at 6am to cover a call in the next hour or two.”

26th April 2017

Councils and health boards dispute £250m care costs

A £250m dispute over who pays for nurses delivering social care in residential homes in Wales has been heard by the Supreme Court.
 
The NHS pays for 24-hour healthcare, while general care needs are funded privately or by the council.
16th March 2017

The NHS-funded nursing care standard rate is being reduced to £155.05 from 1 April 2017.!

Read the full story and access the report 

10th March 2017

Care home managers play a pivotal role in raising quality standards, and more are needed

Janet Gilder has spent 42 years working in social care, more than half of that time as a manager. Today she runs a care home in Highgate, north London, where she is responsible for 41 older people with an average age of 93. Gilder has seen the manager role change over the past two decades as the sector has expanded and the culture of regulation and inspection has developed. “I think it’s a very different world today,” she says. “I came in as a qualified nurse but I think now it’s more about being an administrator – people aren’t necessarily coming in from a caring background.”

 

To read more click here

10th March 2017

The prime minister’s confirmation of a review must be considered progress, but the sector is still in for a rough ride...... read more

6th March 2017

A four day Safeguarding Supported Learning Programme (PACT0920-17AA) course for £200, on the 26th April, 23rd May, 21st June, 19th July 2017 at Mercure Wessex Hotel in Winchester.

If you wish to secure places on this, or any other course, then please visit the Learning Zone and log-in to online booking.

27th February 2017

"Public bickering" between the prime minister and the NHS is an "insult to taxpayers" who want clear information on health funding, MPs have said.

The House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised a dispute between Theresa May and NHS England boss Simon Stevens over finances.

 

Its report also censured the government for "plundering" NHS funds.

 

The Department of Health said the hospital sector had £1.3bn more compared with this time last year.

 

A spokeswoman said: "We are united behind the ambition to make the NHS the safest, highest-quality healthcare system in the world."
 

To read more click here

20th February 2017

Council leaders are warning of deep cuts to services despite nearly every local authority in England planning to raise council tax in 2017. 

Increases of up to 4.99% are expected across the country, but libraries, bin collections and other services will still face funding gaps.

 

The Local Government Association says the cost of care for increasing numbers of elderly people is forcing up bills.

 

The government insists it is giving more money to councils.

To read more click here

17th February 2017

Coffee Mornings at the West End Centre, Aldershot 

For people with learning disabilities and their carers

Starts Friday 17th February 2017 

10.30 to 12.30pm  costing 70p 

For more information phone Debbie 07702973039 or the West End Centre 01252330040

 

If you will need support with personal care or behaviour please bring someone to help you, as we are unable to do so. 

15th February 2017

Dear Debbie Corti-Young,

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Theresa May: Seek an urgent cross-party solution to the health and care crisis”.

Government responded:

The Government recognises the pressures on the health and social care system. It is supporting the NHS’s own plan for the future and going further than ever before to integrate health and social care.

The Government knows that the NHS is facing many challenges and there are increasing pressures on all parts of the health and care system. It is important to remember that the pressures faced by the NHS are common to most developed health systems and are due to, amongst other things, an ageing population, changing public expectations and the cost of new drugs. However we have more doctors, more nurses, more paramedics all delivering more treatments than ever, funded by a budget at record levels.

The NHS and wider health system has already examined what needs to be done to ensure the sustainability of the health and care system. This is why in the Spending Review in November 2015, the Government committed to increase funding for the NHS in England, with funding to be £10 billion higher in real terms by 2020-21, compared to 2014-15. This is the money that the NHS in England asked for and will support the NHS’s own plan for its future – the Five Year Forward View – which set out what needs to change and how this can be achieved of this new funding. £6 billion will be provided by the end of this year, kick starting the process of change, and enabling the Government to deliver Government objectives including seven day services and improved access to cancer treatments and mental health services. The Five Year Forward View is available on NHS England’s website – https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5yfv-web.pdf.

We are making progress towards strategic system changes and new models of care. There is emerging evidence that the vanguards have had a significant impact, reducing pressure on busy services at local level since their launch. In the Fylde Coast Local Health Economy vanguard for example, early figures show that bringing different health professionals under one roof to support older patients with multiple conditions reduced A&E attendance by 13%. We will continue to support this work to design a world class health system, fit for the future.

Alongside this, we are giving local authorities access of up to £3.5 billion of new support for social care by 2019-20, through the social care precept and the Better Care Fund. And aware of the more imminent pressures on social care, the Government took the necessary steps in the recent Local Government Settlement to help in the shorter-term, making available almost £900 million of additional social care funding over the next two years.

The Government believes that the answer to the challenges faced by the health and social care system lies in delivering more integrated services and keeping people well and independent for longer, and in working with the NHS in implementing its own plan for the future of the NHS – the Five Year Forward View.

Department of Health

Click this link to view the response online:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177055?reveal_response=yes

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

10th February 2017

Partner Update 

Dress code policies, top tips on tendering and more.. 

Each month we will send you an update filled with, opinion pieces on hot topics, legal updates as well as all the latest news from Citation.

 

10th February 2017

Safeguarding Basic Awareness Course 

 

Safeguarding Basic Awareness (ASAS/PACT1012-16AG + ASAS/PACT1012-16AH) course on 9th March 2017 at Havant Plaza, in Havant.

If you wish to secure places on this, or any other course, then please visit the Learning Zone and log-in to online booking; or alternatively, reply to sam.manning@hants.gov.uk with participant details

3rd February 2017

CQC Feedback - A Summary 

Sharing Best Practice

 

The latest summary of postives and areas for improvement from a selection of CQC Inspection Reports as up to February 2017.

 

The Grey Matter Group provide this document to support the sharing of best practice within the Adult Social Care sector.

 

Download the document here: CQC Feedback – A Summary – February 2017

 

We welcome your feedback, and would be interested to know if you find the summary useful, or if there are any improvements that we could make to it.

 

If you missed the first edition, it is available for download here

HCA Patron
HCA Patron

 

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