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Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Care Homes : Providers / Agencies : Sector News / Closures / Scandals / Police Investigations

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
124 posts
Another care homes group , Runwood Homes , making the news for a different reason.

The South Yorkshire Star :

https://www.thestar.co.uk/our-towns-and ... -1-8704196

Strike over pay cuts at South Yorkshire care homes set for next month

A strike over pay cuts affecting hundreds of care home staff in South Yorkshire looks set to go ahead next month.

Around 250 workers at seven homes in Doncaster owned by Runwood Homes have been issued with new contracts and told they could be dismissed if they refuse to sign by Thursday, according to Unison.

The union says it has responded by formally notifying the company of its intentions to ballot members over strike action, which, if approved, would take place in late September.

Unison regional organiser Rianne Johnson said: "Runwood Homes is forcing on its entire workforce a package to cut pay and conditions that would cost the average worker thousands of pounds per year.

"Our members are already low paid but the new contracts would take them down to the poverty line. In a civilised society we should not be treating those who care for the most vulnerable people in our communities in such a way."

Runwood Homes has said changes to pay and conditions are needed as the homes, which between them have nearly 300 beds, are not sustainable as things stand.

The firm said its homes in Doncaster were running at a loss, though the company as a whole last year posted a £12 million operating profit.

The GMB union, which previously branded proposed pay cuts 'brutal', said the latest terms being offered represent an improvement from those originally proposed but concerns remain.

It has called on Runwood to extend the deadline pending an 'urgent' meeting between the company and Doncaster Council.

"The GMB believe Doncaster Council bears responsibility for Runwood workers and must intervene to protect our members' terms and conditions," said a GMB spokeswoman.

This moring's Mourning Star :

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-8 ... ds-of-jobs

GMB says attacks on pay and conditions are aimed at making a buy-out more appealing

CARE home company Runwood Homes has been accused of slashing its workers’ wages to fatten up profits to encourage a buy-out.

General union GMB says the firm plans to sell its estate for £350 million, putting hundreds of jobs at risk and creating uncertainty for residents and their families.

The group runs 67 care homes, with some in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, formerly run by Doncaster Council. GMB regional organiser Deanne Ferguson said: “During the past eight months, the terms and conditions of GMB careworker members in Doncaster have been subjected to some of the most savage cuts I have ever seen.

“We believe Runwood is in serious breach of its contract, putting both the residents and workers’ livelihoods at risk.

“GMB will fight tooth and nail for its members who so desperately need our help and support.”

Property Week ... 10 November 2017 :

https://www.propertyweek.com/news/runwo ... 43.article

Runwood’s £350m sale

One of the UK’s largest care home operators, Runwood Homes, has been put up for sale for a price believed to be around £350m, Property Week understands.

Runwood’s owner Gordon Sanders is understood to have mandated Knight Frank to sell the entire share capital of the company.

It is the first time in almost 30 years that the group has been made available for sale. Sanders, who is also the company’s chief executive, bought the business in 1988 for a reported £60,000.

If Runwood is sold for its asking price, the deal would be one of the largest ever in the care home sector and it would be the second major transaction in a matter of months. Bupa sold 122 care homes - almost half of its portfolio - to operator HC-One for around £300m in August.

Runwood, based in Benfleet, Essex, owns 67 residential care homes across England and Northern Ireland and a number of day centres, totalling more than 3,500 beds. It ranks among the top 10 largest care home operators in the country.

The group saw a 10.8% growth in turnover last year, reporting revenues of £117.4m - up from the £105.9m recorded the previous year, according to accounts filed on Companies House.

Sector headwinds

The wider care home sector is facing some headwinds including closures and increasing labour costs, although demand has increased for both beds and occupancy levels within existing care homes.

Recent data from Knight Frank identified a national deficit of 2,612 beds within the sector. Around 280 care homes (7,000 beds) closed down last year, while just 106 new facilities opened.

A nursing shortage triggered by the EU referendum result is also creating concern within the sector. Since July 2016, the number of nurses and midwives coming to the UK from the EU has shrunk by 89%, data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council recently revealed.

Last year, staff costs across the industry increased by 7% - the highest hike since 2009. However, Knight Frank analysis shows that most care home operators mitigated the risk of raising staff costs by increasing their fees. Occupancy rates within the sector were at their highest levels in a decade.

The game of monopoly with care homes continues.

Let loose private capital and this is the result.

Return on capital employed first ... and foremost.

Care ?

A poor second ... every time !
A very interesting one ... Consumer Protection Rights for care home residents :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/a ... -care.html

Britain's care home industry set to face multi-million-pound legal actions if residents fail to receive the care that they're paying for

Care homes across the UK face legal actions if they fail to provide adequate care
The Competition and Markets Authority say residents have full consumer rights
Consumers can withhold payment and demand discounts if homes fail them
Nearly 400 homes have been graded as giving ‘inadequate’ care in the UK

Britain's care home industry could face multi-million-pound legal actions from consumers and councils in the wake of a report by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The regulator has emphasised that care home residents have full consumer rights.

A CMA spokeswoman said it means they have the protection of the full range of consumer law and can ‘act accordingly’ if they do not receive the care they are paying for.

Chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: ‘Of all people it is especially important that care home residents are treated fairly and have the full protections of consumer law.’

The regulator is looking to act against a range of unfair practices such as homes charging after the death of a resident. But the CMA’s declaration on consumer rights has huge financial implications for the industry.

Thousands of homes and many leading care groups have a history of poor care.

More than 2,000 are currently failing to deliver ‘good’ care, with nearly 400 graded ‘inadequate’.

Under UK law, consumers can withhold payment and demand discounts if they do not receive what they have been promised.

The family of severely disabled Gary Lewis – whose leg was broken while living in a home owned by troubled care group Sussex Healthcare – have refused to make payments for his care.

His brother Martyn has urged Camden, the local authority concerned, to consider if its care contract has been breached, in order to recover money. Camden has refused to do so, saying this ‘was not an appropriate use of resources’.

But in a move applauded by the industry, the CMA has backed calls for cash-strapped care firms to be given more money for local authority-funded residents.

Prediction ?

Exodus of private / venture capital leaving thousands of care home residents virtually at the mercy of the Government / LAs.

For most , the straw that really did break the camel's back.

It's only been a question of time ... capital will seek a more profitable home.

Very appropriate comment at the end of the article :

It is vital that local authorities do not give in to the pressure to pay more for social care. As taxpayers we should be lobbying politicians to stand firm in the face of demands to pay fees that support profiteering from vulnerable people.

We should pay only enough to cover decent wages for staff and good quality facilities. In these times of austerity it is simply wrong to allow our hard earned cash to be transferred to investors rather than used to deliver what people need.

Well said !!!
A small chain of Scottish care homes due to close ... and the residents evicted :


Government urged to step in over Bield care home closures.

The Scottish government is being urged to step in and save 12 Bield care homes from being closed.

The firm has said financial constraints means it has to look differently at how the business operates.

Unison has warned that the closures would be a "disaster", with up to 160 elderly people losing their homes.

Bield said it was in advanced talks to secure a new provider for four of the care homes in Edinburgh, Fife and Jedburgh.

Unison also said that up to 200 care workers were facing compulsory redundancy.

'Ridiculously-short timescales'

The union will back calls for government intervention at a public meeting due to take place for family and friends of Bield residents.

The care homes are set to be closed by the spring.

Many of those currently living in the homes need special care such as feeding assistance or 24-hour care.

The homes are spread across Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, the Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.

Families have said the closures are tantamount to eviction and have warned of the detrimental effects of moving frail, vulnerable people.

Unison's Scottish organiser John Gallacher said: "We are disappointed that Scottish government ministers seem content to stand by and let the closures happen, when the lives of vulnerable elderly people are at risk, and the jobs of essential care workers in many Scottish communities are being jettisoned.

"If it goes ahead it will be a disaster."

'New-look organisation'

He said that new integrated joint boards "should be subjected to proper political and public scrutiny and held accountable for allowing such damaging developments to take place within ridiculously-short timescales."

A spokesperson for Bield said that the care homes had been loss-making for a number of years.

"Despite many attempts to research and consider alternative models to address the challenges, Bield have regrettably not been able to find a solution that ensures financial viability while maintaining high standards of care."

Although Bield is withdrawing from the care home market, it insists it has developed a five-year strategy to create a "new-look organisation" which will continue to provide valuable services for older people.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "We recognise how unsettling this decision has been for all the residents, families and employees affected.

"We are working with Bield and all relevant agencies to ensure that residents' care needs continue to be met.

"The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport is due to meet the chief executive of Bield Housing and Care later this month to discuss progress."

Bield web site .... what does the front page portray ?

Who we are

A not for profit organisation and Scottish Charity we are also a Registered Social Landlord. As one of the largest providers of Housing and Care in Scotland with just over 5300 properties and a number of Care Services our customers extend far and wide.

Established in 1971 our core values have not changed over the years.

We would like a Scotland where people of all ages can make their own choices, and are able to lead independent and fulfilling lives. We have a mission to improve the quality of life of older people by offering a diverse range of housing, care and other services.

Our 6 core values:

Caring / Honesty / Equality and Diversity /Dignity / Inclusion /Ambition

Governed by a Board of Management and supported by the Senior Management Team we have strong foundations on which to continue for many years to come.

Sigh ....
Another expose from this morning's Guardian :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... s-too-high

Profit-hungry firms are gambling on social care. Are the stakes too high?

Private equity firms have amassed huge debt buying up care homes. If they collapse, older people will be the losers.

The idea of care homes for older people being traded like financial instruments might be unpalatable, but it is a reality in today’s adult social care sector. In what has been called the “financialisation” of care, private equity investors have pounced on a £16bn industry, attracted by a steady stream of income in the shape of fees from a growing population of older people.

Some 410,000 older people live in care homes in the UK, according to official figures, receiving everything from specialist dementia care to less complex nursing and bed and board. Those numbers are set to rise with lengthening life expectancy.

While these changing demographics are attractive to profit-hungry private equity firms, fears are mounting that some have racked up such huge debts to buy into the sector, they could trigger a financial crisis.

Investment in care homes has gone badly awry in the not-too-distant past. When care home provider Southern Cross imploded in 2011, residents of its 750 homes were plunged into a period of uncertainty. Much of the outrage focused on the firm’s former owner, private equity group Blackstone, which walked away with estimated profits of 500m, leaving cash-strapped local authorities to pick up the pieces.

Today, 95% of the 11,300 care homes for older people are provided by the independent sector (both for-profit and charities). A total of 360 are owned by struggling private equity-backed Four Seasons Health Care. In January, the Clova House care home in Ripon, Yorkshire, closed after Four Seasons said it was no longer financially sustainable. The shock news caused confusion and fear among residents, some already suffering the disorientating effects of dementia. Yet such closures are far from rare. A recent study by healthcare analysts LangBuisson found that 929 care homes, housing more than 30,000 older people, have closed in a decade, some for financial reasons, others due to serious failings in care.

Recent closures include 12 homes owned by Scottish provider Bield, Bupa’s Hillview home in Eston, North Yorkshire and Valley View in Blaydon in the north-east, where residents were given a week to pack their things and leave. According to accountancy firm Moore Stephens, one in six UK care homes is at risk of failure.

A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority warned that some providers “may be carrying unsustainable levels of debt, and therefore may be at risk of financial distress”. In the event of a financial failure, “there could be a risk of disruption to residents while local authorities step in to ensure continuity of care provision.” Within the last few months, cracks have started to show at some of the country’s biggest providers, some laden with high levels of debt thanks to a succession of not-so-careful owners.

While there is no reason to believe any are in danger of imminent failure, there are certainly signs of strain. Loss-making Four Seasons is owned by Terra Firma, the investment vehicle of Guernsey-based financier Guy Hands, who had hoped to extract £890m from the company via costly loans. Rising staff costs, stagnant fee income and crippling interest payments have since destroyed its profits and raised fears about the firm’s survival.

With the business in difficulty, Terra Firma is now under pressure from US investment firm H/2 Capital Partners, which bought Four Seasons’ debt. Ongoing rescue talks aimed at securing a financial future for the company have been acrimonious and protracted, although the care homes appear safe for now.

HC-One, which was created from the ashes of Southern Cross and has more than 300 homes, is another major player with the shadow of high finance hanging over it. Its debts are thought to have shot up to more than £600m last year after HC-One refinanced its debts and bought 122 care homes from Bupa in a £300m deal. The company says its debt is “modest” and that it is “very healthy financially”.

The ownership and debt structure of care home chains would not give cause for concern were other structural issues not becoming more serious. Len Merton, chief executive of healthcare firm Advinia, which owns 38 residential and nursing care homes, says the industry is under strain due to a toxic combination of rising costs and stagnant income due to government austerity. “There’s a desperate shortage of nurses, a situation that has worsened since Brexit was announced because nurses aren’t coming over from Europe,” he says. This has left employers turning to temporary agency staff, who cost more.

Meanwhile, the “national living wage” – and the way it is being applied in care homes – has inflated payroll outgoings. “Costs have gone up and the fee contribution from local authorities has been behind where it needs to be for the past seven or eight years,” says Merton.

The government announced an extra £2bn in funding for social care last year, but the Local Government Association says only a quarter of that is reaching care home companies because the government asked councils to spend most of the money on reducing delays in discharging patients from hospitals.

“Our estimate of the funding gap between what councils pay and what providers say they need right now is £1.3bn,” says Linda Thomas, vice-chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board. Many councils are due to levy a 3% council tax “precept” from April to raise extra cash for the care of older people, but the £548m raised will be wiped out by increased staff costs.

The financial squeeze is most keenly felt in homes that have a high proportion of council-funded residents. On average, in 2016 “self-funders” paid £846 a week, while the council paid just £621 a week for those without the means to pay for themselves.

Nick Hood, a social care expert whose firm, Opus, has restructured the finances of many care homes, says debt-financed businesses have a particular problem. These firms, he says, typically need profit margins of up to 14% to be able to afford their massive debt interest payments. “It’s completely inappropriate to have a financialised business model for a sector that isn’t just low margin, it’s no margin,” says Hood. “The bottom line is that the sector makes no money and will make less and less as the minimum wage goes up. I’m deeply concerned that these heavily over-indebted care providers are underinvesting in homes, with serious implications for residents.”

Research by consumer group Which?, ranking providers of homes for the over-65s by the percentage deemed inadequate or in need of improvement, shows that private equity-backed firms are rated among the worst. HC-One was placed 32nd of 54, with 29% of the 98 homes included in the study deemed not good enough. Four Seasons was 43rd with 35%. Orchard Healthcare, owned by private equity group Alchemy Partners, came in 49th, with nearly 45% of its 44 homes providing care that was not satisfactory.

The Care Quality Commission, which regulates the sector, keeps a close eye on the financial sustainability of care home companies that are so big that they would be difficult to replace. Hood fears that councils, who would have to pick up the pieces if a major provider failed, could not take the strain. “When Southern Cross happened, a lot of local authorities were still running homes and had the capacity and the expertise to bail these things out. That’s not true any more. The capacity has disappeared and expertise has been absorbed into the major private operators. I’m really not sure what the government thinks would happen if any of those businesses went bust.”

Merton, while reluctant to criticise peers in the industry, also has concerns about large debt-fuelled care home companies.

“When you look at the top three or four providers with in excess of 200 homes, it depends on their financial model. If they’re in large debt to buy those homes, they could be at risk.” But if the sector is so unprofitable, why do private equity firms still find it so attractive? Hood says they are “dazzled by demographics ... they look at the market and say there will be another 25% who’ll need care in the next 15 years. They think that sooner or later the government will have to make funding available and those prices will go up. But the numbers don’t work right now because the government won’t put the money in.”

Barbara Keeley, shadow minister for mental health and social care, says: “The financial fragility of larger providers has been made worse by eight years of Tory cuts, raising serious doubts about how equipped councils are to step in in the event of provider failure. Labour would invest £8bn during this parliament with £1bn this year to ease the funding crisis. The social care system urgently needs a longer-term, sustainable funding solution to secure the future of services but questions must also be asked about the care system’s reliance upon care home chains with continually high levels of debt. The piecemeal funding offered by the Tories is not enough to ease the crisis their cuts have caused.”

In response, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman says: “We know the social care system is under pressure due to our growing ageing population — that’s why we’ve provided an extra £2bn and recently announced a further £150mfor next year. We will shortly outline the government’s plans to reform social care to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”

A ticking time bomb if ever there was one.

Even those fortunate enough to pay for their own care.

What safeguards do they have that the care home provider remains solvent ?

Social care : private capital ... NEVER the twain shall meet ???

To end , one from the comments section :

It is vital that local authorities do not give in to the pressure to pay more for social care. As taxpayers we should be lobbying politicians to stand firm in the face of demands to pay fees that support profiteering from vulnerable people.

We should pay only enough to cover decent wages for staff and good quality facilities. In these times of austerity it is simply wrong to allow our hard earned cash to be transferred to investors rather than used to deliver what people need.
Bad news from any readers in Yorkshire needing a care home for their caree ?

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/he ... -1-9063563

‘Unenviable choice’ as a quarter of care homes are rated poorly,

OLDER people are facing an “unenviable” choice between poor care homes, a charity has warned, after its research revealed that more than a quarter of care homes in Yorkshire are rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by the social care watchdog.

The region is the second worst performing in England, behind only the North West, when it comes to the proportion of satisfactory care homes, analysis of Care Quality Commission reports by Independent Age has found.

Across Yorkshire, care homes in the Bradford local authority area performed worst - with 43.6 per cent of homes rated inadequate or requires improvement - the fifth worst performance in England.

Elsewhere, 38.9 per cent of care homes in Wakefield rated poorly, along with 36.5 per cent in Kirklees.

At the other end of the scale, 83.2 per cent of homes in North Yorkshire were rated ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, along with 82.7 per cent in Doncaster.

Chief executive of Independent Age, Janet Morrison, said there was “persistent variation” in the quality of care homes within each region in the country, though overall the percentage of poor care homes has decreased in the past year.

The charity is calling on the Government to address quality of care in the social care market in its forthcoming green paper, and is calling on the Department of Health and Social Care to “demonstrate leadership”on tackling regional variation in care home quality.

It also says local authorities must do more to shape the local care market under its duties under the Care Act.

Ms Morrison said: “Older people and their families are still facing an unenviable choice between poor care homes in some parts of the country.

The market simply does not seem to be able to drive the rapid improvement needed in many areas. While the Government seems happy to deflect all decisions about social care into the vague promise of a green paper, local authorities are having to make difficult decisions now about care in their area. We urgently need both Government and local authorities to demonstrate that they understand the reasons for this variation and that they have the ability to address it.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said it works closely with care home providers that are rated inadequate to tackle performance and has seen a “small but steady” increase in quality.

She added: “Processes are in place to ensure that providers are appropriately identifying weaknesses in their quality systems and measures to ensure that they are given the opportunity to make the necessary improvements.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “81 per cent of care services are rated as good or outstanding and we’re committed to driving further improvements and reducing variation.

“That’s why we’re consulting soon on new measures to do just that, and have provided local authorities with an extra £2 billion funding as well as a further £150 million for next year.”

• Plans for an 86-bed private care home on the site of a former council-run facility in Pudsey, Leeds, are expected to be approved today at the second time of asking. An initial blueprint was deferred last month after a raft of objections.

" The market " ... in this context ... so much for our elderly carees and their needs ?

A commodity like ... cans of beans / bars of soap etc. etc. ... ?

The present system ... based on one's ability to pay !

Even then , yer pays yer money and takes yer chance ?
This morning's second web edition from the Daily Chuckle for this one.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/market ... es-83.html

Number of care home firms entering insolvency rises 83%.

CARE CRISIS : The number of care home firms entering insolvency has risen 83 per cent – from 81 in 2016/17 to 148 in 2017/18, according to accountants Moore Stephens.

It comes as Four Seasons, which has 330 homes, is being handed to creditor H/2 Capital after it became unable to pay its debts.

Short and ... sour ?

I struggle for something fresh to say ... ?

As a business , increase fees and cut costs !

There again , the CQC might not have been a offered a garibaldi in their last visit ?

The capital invested will always find a new home ... where the returns are greater.

Should any collapse , there is always the taxpayer to pick up the tab !

Bottom line ... yet again ?

Social care belongs under the NHS !!!!


A little more from today's Daily Telegraph ... at least this article is free !

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... age-costs/

The number of care home businesses going bust has nearly doubled in a year as experts warn that the new living wage could be putting standards at risk.

Official figures show that the number of residential care businesses entering insolvency during the year to the end of March rose to 148, up from 81 during the previous financial year.

The first quarter of this year had a higher number than in any previous recorded quarter, with provisional data from the insolvency service suggesting 44 businesses were newly insolvent.

Analysing the figures, accountancy firm Moore Stephens said that the cost of providing quality care had risen, in part because of the introduction of the national living wage two years ago.

As of April this year workers aged 25 and over must be paid a minimum of £7.83 an hour following pay reforms introduced in April 2016.

Staffing costs have been identified as one of the pressures on social care, with experts warning that some businesses risk becoming over-reliant on expensive agency staff as they struggle to recruit quality full-time employees.

While higher pay could attract more people to the sector, there is concern that some businesses are struggling to stay afloat as fees paid by local authorities for council-funded residents are too low.

A study by NatWest last year found that staff costs in nursing homes run by small and medium businesses had reached 55 per cent of turnover.

Separate research carried out by Opus Restructuring and Company Watch also found that one in four of the UK's 2,500 home care companies was at risk of insolvency.

Lee Causer, a partner at Moore Stephens, said: "Care homes should be benefiting from the demographics of the UK – an ageing population. But they are not.

“Care homes are not receiving enough local Government funding to sustain the profit margins necessary to run a successful business.

“Many companies are finding it difficult to cope with the rising costs associated with the care industry.

“Without additional income, care homes will not be able to offer the levels of care required whilst remaining solvent."
A late addition ... surfing whilst waiting to put the pies in ... chicked and smoked bacon , each 'alf the size of a dinner plate.

One which crosses over into several other threads :

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... -closures/

Forty per cent rise in care home residents being evicted because of closures.

Care home evictions as a result of closures have risen by almost 40 per cent in a year amid a growing crisis in social care, a new report warns

The audit by the Association of Directors of Social Services reveals that at least two thirds of councils, and thousands of elderly residents, have experienced recent closures.

It follows warnings that such moves can threaten the health of the frail, with higher death rates found among those forced to undergo unplanned changes in accommodation.

The figures show 58 councils have seen residential and nursing homes go out of business within a six-month period, forcing the vulnerable into new accommodation.

In total, 2,492 people had to be re-housed after their provider closed down, the figures show – a 39 per cent rise from 1,793 the previous year.

Over the same period, 48 councils saw the closure of providers of home care services over the period, the survey of all council social services directors shows.

Council chiefs said the sector was becoming “increasingly fragile,” with cuts to social care in recent years fuelling pressures on the NHS, and adding to the burden on families.

Overall, three quarters of those polled said health services were under increased pressure as a result of attempts to cut spending on social care.

Glen Garrod, ADASS president, said the findings were “worrying”, calling on ministers to urgently increase funding for social care, and to make major reforms of the service in a green paper, expected later this summer.

“It is of serious concern that we have such a fragile social care market,” he said. “We cannot go on like this.”

“How we help people live the life they want, how we care and support people in our families and communities, and how we ensure carers get the support they need is at stake – it’s time for us to deliver the secure future that so very many people in need of social care urgently need,” Mr Garrod said.

The annual survey found adult social care is now taking up almost 38 per cent of councils’ budgets – a rise from 30 per cent in 2010.

Richard Murray, Director of Policy at think tank The King’s Fund said: “This latest evidence, from every council in England, lays bare once again the need for, as the Prime Minister put it herself, a proper plan to pay for and provide social care. Older and disabled people and their families and carers continue to be let down by a system that is on its knees.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said the watchdog had repeatedly raised concerns "that the adult social care sector is precarious with mounting pressures continuing to push the sector towards a tipping point.

She said: “With around 1 in 5 adult social care services currently rated as either requires improvement or inadequate, the reality is people cannot always rely on safe, effective and high quality care being available when they need it. That is no way to treat our older citizens and people living with disabilities or in vulnerable circumstances. "

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “When council social care bosses - who tend to issue very measured responses - say the situation with social care is bad you know it’s really bad.”

“Despite the best efforts of councils to protect care for older people the latest ADASS survey highlights the desperate and growing gap between the care needs of pensioners and the help available for them.

“Unless policy makers are willing to invest in care, hundreds of thousands of older people face a bleak future, living without their needs being met. It is a disgrace that there are already 1.2 million older people who need support with daily essentials like getting dressed, going to the toilet, taking their medication or preparing their food, who are missing out. "

A Government spokesman said: “We know the social care system is under pressure — that's why we've provided an extra £9.4 billion over three years. We will shortly set out our plans to reform the system, which will include the workforce and a sustainable funding model supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market.”

Follow that ???

Any reader with a caree having been " Evicted " ... and found that the owners , a private limited company , have gone into receivership ... and fees paid in advance now down low on the list of creditors ... 10p or less in the £ 1 at best ?

Nothing out there ... would be interested to know.

Would open up a whole new but related issue ... advance / " Welcome in " fees being ring fenced ... as they are in the private renting sector ... if the tenant asks nicely ... suspected money laundering concerns aside !

Any area of " Social Care " still standing ... or functioning as it should be ???
Ground zero ... West YorkieLand ... Wakefield / Castleford / Pontefract areas :

https://www.pontefractandcastlefordexpr ... -1-9248805

Care homes who lose their managers are at greater risk of deteriorating quickly, it has been suggested.

Health chiefs in Wakefield have expressed concern at the number of care homes which have seen a drop in standards this year.

A total of three homes in the district have been placed in special measures since the start of May.

One of those, Attlee Court in Normanton, had been given a good rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) less than two years earlier.

At a meeting of Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on Tuesday, the council’s director of public health Anna Hartley said that the local authority was trying help under fire care homes.

She said: “Things can deteriorate if there’s a significant change in the care home, if a manager leaves for example.

“We’ve entered a process where if the manager leaves we (the council) will visit the home straight away to try and support them.

“We’ve been quite reactive so far. I think we could be more pro-active in picking up some of the red flags that might indicate there’s a problem. It’s about making sure you go in at the right time.”

Mrs Hartley said that the council was trying to improve access to training for people who wanted to become care home workers to make it a “more attractive” job.

She added that the industry was a “Cinderella area of employment”, suggesting it needed more attention.

Others suggested that financial pressures could be to blame for the troubles of struggling homes.

CCG chair Dr Phillip Earnshaw said he had sympathy for managers.

He said: “For some of the providers it must be very frustrating because they’re dealing with shifting sands.

“One day they’re caring for somebody and then they’re not there the next, so it changes so quickly.

“It’s quite a chaotic picture and not good for anyone.

“These are very vulnerable people (in care homes). We need to think about how we use our resources to help them as best we can.”

LAs cutting back funding / private capital looking elsewhere for better returns.

Public or private ... makes no difference UNLESS one has the means to buy supporting care.

Time for social care ... in all it's forms ... to rejoin the NHS ... and be funded through general taxation ... FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL.
Interesting ... the CQC get heavy :


" Total chaos " as Sussex care home closed down.

Patients at a care home have been told to "leave immediately" after a health watchdog took urgent enforcement action, the BBC has learned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it had made the decision to shut Horncastle House near East Grinstead after three separate inspections.

But relatives said they were not given a reason, or any information on where residents would be moved.

A county council spokesperson said it was finding alternative accommodation.

A spokesman for the home said it "does not accept the allegations that led to the closure".

" Loved ones crying "

One relative described the situation as "total chaos" and "an unbelievable situation".

Tim Leader, whose father-in-law is cared for at the private home, said: "There are loved ones there now crying not knowing what to do."

"How can the Care Quality Commission make this decision without first ensuring adequate provision has been made for the current residents?

"It's just so sad that vulnerable people like this are being treated so badly."

He added: "You'd expect a care home to be just that, a caring environment for those that need it. It seems that in this case at least, we are a long way from achieving that goal."

The spokesman for Horncastle House, which can take up to 43 patients, confirmed it was being closed by the CQC.

He said: "We do not accept the allegations that have led to the closure and believe that the additional measures our senior management team swiftly put in place would have enabled us to continue to provide high quality care to our residents.

"We have been working constructively with the local authority and CCG throughout the day and have secured alternative accommodation for all our residents, ensuring they continue to receive the support they deserve."

In a statement Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said the home had been inspected in March and August of this year and again on 13 September.

"Following this recent inspection, CQC has taken urgent enforcement action to protect people living in the service and to ensure significant and immediate improvements take place," she added.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said it was working with families, CQC and other agencies to find alternative accommodation for residents.

The CQC said a full report would be published in due course.


Looks inviting on the outside ... trouble was ... what was really going in inside ?

Have to wait for the CQG report.

The residents .... that's where are concern should be ... and them alone.

The Courts can sort the rest out.
A follow on from the last posting :

Sussex care residents '" Left unable to eat, drink or use toilet "

Residents of a care home that closed suddenly were left unable to eat, drink and use the toilet, inspectors say.

The Sussex Health Care-run Horncastle House, near East Grinstead, was closed without warning on Friday by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Sussex Police is liaising with the CQC over "any matters that may require police attention".

Before it shut Sussex Health Care (SHC) said it was providing more support at the home, in response to the report.

The firm is currently under investigation by police over allegations of lack of care involving 43 residents at nine private care homes, 13 of whom have died.

More will follow ... no doubt ?
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