Care England asks that newly appointed councillors get to grips with social care costs | Care Industry News


Care England, a representative body for independent providers of social care, has again expressed its disappointment over the paltry fee offers from Local Authorities (LAs)  and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England says:

“Yet again, Local Authorities and CCGs are only now beginning to make their fee offers to care providers.  It is unbelievable that we are in this position again.   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 looming it has never been more apparent the strain that the health and social care sector is under.  A degree of professionalism is therefore needed from Local Authorities and CCGs where fee offers are made promptly at the beginning of the financial year rather than a month, or more, later.

Whilst most fee rates for 2018/19 remain a mystery, a few LAs and CCGs have issued notices about what they will pay for care home placements this year. Of those known, there is already a worrying trend of rates not keeping pace with rising costs – putting increasing pressure on an already fragile care market. Examples include Bromley CCG (as with many other CCGs) only awarding a 0.1% uplift and Staffordshire County Council offering a 1.0% uplift for existing residents.  However, what is even more worrying is the increasing movement towards reverse auctions, such as that by Birmingham City Council, which drives down prices paid and treats individuals as commodities.

 

Source: Care England asks that newly appointed councillors get to grips with social care costs | Care Industry News

Councils cannot cap personal budgets under Care Act, Ombudsman warns | Care Industry News


Councils cannot set maximum budget levels when calculating the cost of people’s care, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

The Ombudsman has issued the advice after an investigation found Wiltshire Council had a policy of placing people into bands, and paying in line with those banding levels, regardless of need. This is contrary to the Care Act.

The Ombudsman became aware of the council’s system after a woman, whose adult son had substantial and complex health problems and disabilities, had her support cut significantly.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for using an outdated matrix tool to calculate the amount of support offered to the family, and for reducing the support offered immediately, rather than as a staged reduction as the matrix tool said it should. It was also at fault for the way in which it reduced their funding for transport.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:

“Councils cannot put a cap on people’s budgets: the Care Act says eligible needs must be met, regardless of the cost.

“The reduction in support, and the haste by which those changes were introduced, has had a significant impact on the mother.

“Having to care for both her husband and her son has left this woman exhausted. She said she has been treated by her doctor and reported being frequently distressed, tearful and unsettled by the changes.

“I am pleased the council has accepted the formula it used to calculate people’s budgets was not in accordance with current guidance and has now agreed to stop using it.”

 

Source: Councils cannot cap personal budgets under Care Act, Ombudsman warns | Care Industry News

Trafford care homes forced to close as council fees do not meet running costs | Care Industry News


Shawe Lodge Nursing Home in Urmston and Shawe House Care Home in Flixton are to close in May 2018.  The care provider running them cannot be certain that it will be able to meet the care needs of residents in the future, following years of receiving fees from the local authority, Trafford Council, that do not meet operating costs.  In addition, the provider has cited a lack of support or willingness to work in partnership from the national care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Ampersand Care Ltd, the operator of the two homes, made the decision to close Shawe House after unsuccessful attempts, over the past year, to increase the fees in each home. Concerns were expressed by the provider regarding ability to sustain levels of service going forward.  With the intended closure of Shawe House the providers intended to focus their resources on the redevelopment of the larger and more appropriate environment at Shawe Lodge. At the same time, the CQC has failed to support the provider in seeking alternative solutions.  A period of six weeks for this investment was deemed inappropriate by the CQC and consequently the company has no choice but to close both homes.  The priority now is to ensure that residents at both homes are helped to find alternative placements that meet their individual care needs.

 

Source: Trafford care homes forced to close as council fees do not meet running costs | Care Industry News

House of Lords report urges government for clarity on EU healthcare deal | Care Industry News


The House of Lords EU Committee has today published its report Brexit: reciprocal healthcare. The Committee warns that in the absence of an agreement on reciprocal healthcare, the rights of UK citizens to hold an EHIC card for treatment in the EU will cease after Brexit.

Other rights, provided for by the S2 scheme and Patients’ Rights Directive, will likewise come to an end. Without EHIC or an equivalent arrangement it could become much more expensive for UK citizens with chronic conditions – such as dialysis patients and people living with rare diseases – to travel to the EU post-Brexit, for holidays, recuperation or treatment. These people might find it difficult to obtain travel insurance at all.

The Government wishes to maintain reciprocal healthcare arrangements including the EHIC scheme after Brexit, but the current arrangements are designed to support the freedom of movement of EU citizens. The Government intends to stop freedom of movement to the UK, and has not yet set out its objectives for the future UK-EU relationship. The Committee therefore urges the Government to confirm how it will seek to protect reciprocal rights to healthcare of all UK and EU citizens post-Brexit, as part of any agreement on future relations.

The report also argues that it is essential for EU citizens lawfully resident in the UK to have a continuing right to access long-term healthcare, as well as the practical means by which to exercise that right. The Committee therefore calls on the Government to use domestic legislation to clarify the means by which all EU citizens lawfully resident in the UK at the time of Brexit will be able to continue to access essential healthcare.

 

Source: House of Lords report urges government for clarity on EU healthcare deal | Care Industry News

CQC survey shows public find search for care extremely stressful | Care Industry News


Choosing adult social care in England is one of the biggest sources of stress compared to other key life events, according to a survey of 1,000 people carried out for the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The findings come as the quality regulator is raising public awareness about how its inspection findings can help support people in making these important decisions.

The survey findings, out today, reveal that seven in ten (70%) adults who were responsible for choosing care in a care home or at home – either for themselves or a loved one – over the last three years have found it more stressful than choosing their child’s nursery or school, or a venue for their wedding or civil partnership.

52% of people surveyed had cited choosing a care home and 31% had cited choosing care at home in their top three most stressful life decisions.

People’s experiences varied across the country, with the highest proportion of people in the North East (60%), Yorkshire and Humber (56%) and the North West and East Midlands (both 54%) saying that choosing a care home was their most stressful life decision.

 

Source: CQC survey shows public find search for care extremely stressful | Care Industry News

Report reveals looming heart-breaking care crisis for disabled adults and families | Care Industry News


  • 3 in 4 (75%) family carers say they have no long-term plan for what will happen when they can no longer provide support to their loved one, according to the disability charity Sense.
  • Over two thirds (67%) of families caring for disabled adults with complex needs live in fear of what will happen to their loved one when they are no longer able to provide support.
  • 9 out of 10 (95%) family carers say they have little to no trust in local authorities to provide adequate support to their loved one. Only 1 in 3 local authorities know how many disabled adults are being cared for by family and friends at home, with only 1 in 4 councils able to support carers to make contingency plans for future care options.
  • Sense is calling on central government to adequately resource local authorities to provide better support for disabled people and their families, now and in the future.

 

Source: Report reveals looming heart-breaking care crisis for disabled adults and families | Care Industry News

Hunger is just one symptom of deepening social care crisis-ADASS | Care Industry News


Responding to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger’s report on malnutrition in older people, Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said:

“The thought of older people going hungry because they are isolated, have limited mobility, or are depressed is appalling, and social care staff do what they do because they are keen to do anything within their power to help.

“Hunger is a serious issue for older people, but it’s often just one symptom of wider issues, which is why it is our view that social care solutions should be personalised, and focus on the individual needs of the person in question.

 

Source: Hunger is just one symptom of deepening social care crisis-ADASS | Care Industry News

Calls for local authorities to give accurate information on care home costs | Care Industry News


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.

During the investigation, the Ombudsman also found the council had unclear information about care home fees on its website. It has asked the council to review its procedures to avoid similar problems happening again.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:

 

Source: Calls for local authorities to give accurate information on care home costs | Care Industry News

Secretary of State called to act swiftly and tackle the crisis in social care | Care Industry News


A providers’ group has called on Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to act quickly and tackle the crisis in social care.

And they have invited Mr Hunt and his new ministerial team to visit the frontline of social care delivery as soon as possible to see the situation first-hand.

The Independent Care Group says on the face of it adding social care to Mr Hunt’s portfolio gives greater profile to the care of the country’s oldest and most vulnerable.

But it says that will only count if it is backed up by some swift action straight away and not by waiting for the summer’s Green Paper.

The Group’s Chair Mike Padgham said: “Credit where credit is due, the Prime Minister has at least acknowledged the need to address social care by adding it to Jeremy Hunt’s secretarial portfolio in a very high profile manner. On the face of it, social care now also has a dedicated minister again after it was previously downgraded to a Parliamentary Secretary of State post.

“We have to hope that this is an indication that the Government is going to treat the care of our oldest and most vulnerable residents as a greater priority. What we need to see now is the Government bite the bullet, merge health and social care into one department, properly fund social care and get on with creating a system for properly-funded, seamless care.”

 

Source: Secretary of State called to act swiftly and tackle the crisis in social care | Care Industry News