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Stockport care provider takes part in World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Borough Care, the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Each of Borough Care’s eleven homes hosted a coffee morning for residents, their families, healthcare professionals and staff.  Staff at Borough Care’s head office also got in on the act by bringing in cakes for their own fundraising coffee morning.  The Borough Care coffee mornings raised over £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer.  The first Coffee Morning took place back in 1990 and since then the annual event has raised over £200 million.    

Chester care centre appoints activity coordinator to encourage better wellbeing

Fast growing care home operator New Care has appointed Lisa Forth from North Wales as activities coordinator at its flagship care centre Grosvenor Manor on Heath Lane in Chester.

 

In her new role, Lisa is responsible for delivering a purposeful and meaningful activities programme for the residents at Grosvenor Manor.  From musicians, singers and entertainers to physical, therapeutic and wellness activities and day trips, celebrations and parties, Lisa will ensure the weekly programme of events is fun and engaging and provides every resident with a better quality of life, a sense of purpose and something to look forward to each day.

 

Before joining New Care, Lisa held a similar activities role within another local care centre where she managed the activities team and built up a strong activities programme over a seven year period. 

 

It was New Care’s reputation for excellent care and its person-centred approach that attracted Lisa to Grosvenor Manor.  She said: “I had heard about New Care’s absolute focus on individual care and attention for each of its residents across all of its homes and its commitment to developing its employee team and am so proud to have joined such a forward thinking and caring business.

 

“I love working in care, especially with the elderly and aim to delight our residents each day with an exciting activity or excursion that gets them talking, engaging and socialising with each other and our team of carers.  We want to fill each day with smiles and laughter.”

 

Chief operating officer at New Care, Cath Fairhurst, commented: “Lisa is a valuable addition to our great team at Grosvenor Manor.  In the short time she has been with us, she has made a great impression on our residents and their families who are always delighted with her well planned programme of events, activities and days out.”

 

Age 50, Lisa has enjoyed a long career in care and holds a number of relevant qualifications including Healthcare Diploma 2 and End of Life.  She is a proud wife, mum of three and grandmother to four granddaughters and when not working enjoys spending time with her family, her two dogs and cross stitching.

 

New Care is one of the UK’s fastest growing development-led care home operators.  Catering for the aspiring needs of its residents, homes provide high quality, person-centred care and an exceptional clinical offering, including residential, general nursing and specialist dementia care services, in an expertly designed purpose-built environment.

 

In addition to communal lounges, formal dining rooms and gardens, residents enjoy the privacy of their own well appointed and restful bedroom, complete with en suite wet rooms, and a host of hotel-style services including fine dining, a hair salon, nail bar, concierge and a busy and varied programme of activities and events

200 mile round trip to Yorkshire to celebrate 100th birthday

Marjorie Fisher (Madge) turned 100 last week and celebrated by travelling to York with five friends from Smalley Hall in Derby to visit her sister Phyllis aged 95 in a Yorkshire nursing home.

 

The group travelled over 200 miles to enable the sisters to reunite after a long six years without seeing each other, Madge was delighted to show her sister the card she received from the queen and they spent time looking through old photographs and reminiscing about the time they both worked as bus conductors for Trent.

 

Hannah Froggatt, deputy manager at Smalley Hall said “It has been a pleasure to organize this trip and our staff were really happy to drive and accompany Madge and her friends on this special day”

 

The Ashmere group who operate Smalley Hall also have seven other care homes in Derbyshire; are making a pledge to make birthday wishes come true, Managing Director David Poxton said “It is important for us to celebrate with each and every one of our residents, if we can make it happen-we will. We go the extra mile and are passionate about person centred care”

Solving a medical mystery: Cause of rare type of dwarfism discovered

Care News - REHACARE press release - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 01:00
For children born with Saul-Wilson syndrome, and their parents, much of their lives are spent searching for answers. First defined in 1990, only 14 cases are known worldwide. And the cause of the syndrome - characterized by short stature, microcephaly (small head), hearing loss and early developmental delays - remained unknown. Today, these individuals have answers.

Inverted exoskeleton for early rehabilitation after stroke

Care News - REHACARE press release - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 01:00
Robotics scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University together with physicians from Tomsk Oblast Clinical Hospital are developing a robotic complex for early rehabilitation of immobilized patients after stroke.

Admiral Nurse team puts Colten Care at ‘forefront of dementia expertise’

The new Colten Care Admiral nurse team. Adam Smith, Kay Gibson and Tracy Logan.

A south coast care home provider has tripled its investment in highly specialist nurses to help support more people and families living with dementia.

Colten Care has welcomed two more Admiral Nurses to its team, including one at consultant level, under an expanding partnership with Dementia UK.

The move follows the success of a first Admiral Nurse, Kay Gibson, in developing a group-wide dementia care strategy.

Kay’s ongoing input will be strengthened by new appointees Adam Smith and Tracy Logan with the trio working together to support residents, families and communities at Colten’s 20 nursing homes, including its five dementia-specific settings.

Adam is one of only a handful of Consultant Admiral Nurses nationally and the first to be appointed by a private care home provider.

An Admiral Nurse for several years, he has moved to Colten from Dementia UK where he had consultant responsibility for the South of England and Wales.

He previously worked for the Royal British Legion, being operationally responsible for developing its Admiral Nurse teams in Hampshire and Somerset under an independent living support programme.

At Colten, Adam will lead the development and clinical supervision of the Admiral Nurse team. He will be based at St Catherines View in Winchester and also have direct responsibility for Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, Dorset.

Adam said: “Getting to know Colten Care over the years I have been amazed by the skills, talent and passion of the care and nursing staff at all levels.  I’ve been inspired by what they are doing as an organisation and wanted to be part of it. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

“This further investment in Admiral Nurses really puts Colten Care at the forefront of dementia expertise in the care home sector. As a highly specialist team we will be able to drive forward strategy and keep pushing boundaries.”

Tracy joins Colten with extensive experience as a learning disability nurse, helping people with complex mental health needs.

Based at Linden House in Lymington, one of her first tasks will be helping the families of residents settling into a newly opened floor of 15 bedrooms.

Tracy said: “Colten Care has a great reputation for helping people to live well with dementia. Dementia care is becoming more person-centred and family-focused all the time and our new team will see us ideally positioned to reach out to the wider communities served by our homes as well as the residents actually living with us.”

Since Kay was appointed in 2016, Colten has evolved a dementia care strategy focused on clinical care, companionship and other parts of the care mix.

To support families, she has run regular community drop-in sessions, something the wider team will continue.

Kay will now be based at The Aldbury in Poole and also have responsibility for Fernhill in Longham.

Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Operations Director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Tracy and Adam to our team, building on Kay’s great work. By investing in our Admiral Nurse provision we are delivering on our promise to help residents and relatives overcome the challenges associated with dementia. It is fantastic news for our continual journey of improvement for the benefit of residents, families and communities.”

Admiral Nurses are part of Colten Care’s wider commitment to dementia awareness which has seen more than 80% of its entire staff join the Dementia Friends programme.

Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through Admiral Nurses. When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need.

Community groups transform wasteland into dream garden

A green-fingered group of Optalis customers have been out in force with gardening gloves and hedge trimmers transforming a wasteland into a garden, which is now flourishing.

The garden at Turgis Farm, near Basingstoke, has been transformed over the years by the Conservation Group at Optalis’ Learning Disability Day Services using donations and upcycled objects.

Optalis’ Senior Support Worker, Kelly Story, said: “I’m so proud of what our customers have achieved. They’ve created something out of nothing.

 

“People can now sit in the garden and enjoy the beauty of nature in a quiet and special place. Turgis Court Farm is also home to ‘Growing Places’ where Optalis’ customers can grow fruit and vegetables, that they can take home to eat; as well as plants that are nurtured from seedlings, which are then made available for sale at the Acorn Community Centre in Wokingham and other local events.”

 

A celebration took place last week, to recognise customers for their hard work and invite parents and carers to view the garden.

 

As well as Optalis customers, other community groups had also contributed to the day. There was an array of crocheted tree decorations from the Berkshire Hookers, a collection of pebbles from Wokingham Rocks and 36 cakes generously donated by a Wokingham resident.

Family members, carers, customers, colleagues and the original inspiration for the Conservation Group, David Lonsdale attended the day.

Conservation is just one of the many themed activities on offer in Learning Disabilities Day Services managed by social care provider Optalis.  They offer a whole range of activities including Drama, IT skills, Horticultural therapy, Community Fundraising and much more, including specialised activities for individuals with complex needs in and around Berkshire.

 

Company and cuddles for care home residents with dementia

Reach Sled Dog Rescue recently visited Stocks Hall Care Home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire to meet all the ladies and gentlemen living at the Home.

 

REACH is a sled dog rescue founded in November 2015 focusing mainly on Huskies and Malamutes. Its five founders are all experienced sled dog owners with prior experience in animal rescue.

 

The rescue relies heavily on the dedication of its community members with help fostering unwanted dogs, assisting with events and fundraising, as well as spreading the word concerning these unique and often misunderstood breeds.

 

These gorgeous dogs were able to visit those that wanted to spend time enjoying pet therapy, whether that be walking the dogs around the gardens at the care home or simply enjoying a cuddle from the comfort of their own bed or an arm chair.

 

Mark Clintworth, Activities Staff at the Home says “These gentle giants use their special skills to bring comfort to residents and take their work very seriously. Younger family members also came along for many cuddles, whilst spending quality time with their relatives.”

 

“It was just wonderful to see the faces of the ladies and gentlemen brighten up and their eyes sparkle.”

 

As the event has been so successful, Stocks Hall Nursing & Care Group have now organised that the Rescue Dogs return on a monthly basis.

Safe in Tees Valley National Citizenship Service engages with the elderly

A BELLY dancing display and inspirational messages were used by young volunteers to cheer up elderly care home residents.

 

Students from the Safe in Tees Valley National Citizenship Service (NCS) took part in activities at The Beeches Care Home, in Stockton-on-Tees.

 

As well as putting on entertainment, such as belly dancing, they also designed and created canvases with inspiring messages to be displayed in the home.

 

The group, all aged 15-to-17-year-old, also repainted the brickwork in the garden and tidied up the flower beds as part of the community engagement project.

 

Ellie Farmer is the activities coordinator at The Beeches Care Home, on Green Lane, and a former NCS facilitator.

 

She said: “The residents and staff all enjoyed watching the garden being given a makeover.

 

“They all said the belly dancing was great and the thoughts and sayings were lovely.”

The NCS group, which is based in The Robert Atkinson Centre, in Thornaby, had to pitch their community engagement project to a Dragon’s Den style panel from Safe in Tees Valley before being approved.

 

The independent community safety partnership’s NCS programme has worked with several Hill Care Group homes across Teesside previously.

 

Helen Wood, home manager at The Beeches Care Home, said: “We were delighted to be chosen by the Safe in Tees Valley NCS group.

 

“The artworks of inspirational messages will act as keepsakes for the residents to remember their visit. We look forward to seeing them again in future.”

Snowboard meets the desert!

Care News - REHACARE press release - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 01:00
The snowboard season will kick off in the most unexpected of places in less than a month’s time – the desert! Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will host an official winter sport competition for the first time when the world’s best riders compete in the opening World Cup from 7 to 8 November.

Cold Weather Priority Initiative Aimed at Tackling Winter Deaths

According to The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), each year in the UK, there are 40,000 so-called ‘excess winter deaths’ as a result of cold. 82.5% of these are among the elderly (aged 75 and over). Based on ONS data, in England alone there were as many as 1,724 extra deaths during the ‘Beast from the East’ (22 February to 3 March 2018). Across the UK the number the number may even be as high as 2000.

In response to this and with winter approaching off grid energy trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers, whose members supply up to 1.5 million rural homes in the UK and 733,000 homes in the Republic of Ireland with heating oil, is urging members of the public who are 75+ and who use heating oil to sign up to the Cold Weather Priority Initiative.

The CWP initiative will assist in identifying and help those most at risk so they are prioritised for delivery when it comes to heating oil supplies throughout the winter months, especially during periods of extreme cold weather or fuel shortages.

FPS Chief Executive Guy Pulham comments: “Cold Weather Priority is an important industry initiative that was launched in 2017 and played a key role in the heavy snow ‘Beast From The East’ we experienced earlier this year. Many of our members implemented the CWP scheme to help prioritise elderly and vulnerable customers during that bad weather period. Thankfully, situations where supplies of fuel are short and the cold is extreme are rare but before the winter sets in we are asking members of the public who are aged 75 and over to get in touch with their FPS member heating oil supplier if they believe they should be part of the CWP initiative.

“FPS members will also over the next few months be employing various methods to identify customers who they believe fall into the ‘CWP’ category, so that deliveries can be prioritised to these people during the winter months.”

The CWP initiative has also received support from The Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who comments: “The last 12 months have shown the problems that severe conditions can cause and for those using heating oil and liquified petroleum gas to heat their homes this can be particularly challenging. The Cold Weather Priority Initiative is a welcome effort by industry to provide security and comfort to thousands of those most in need.”  

If you would like to know more about the scheme visit Cold Weather Priority

Lytham St Annes primary school children forge friendships with older people

A local primary school in Lytham St Annes has forged an ongoing link with a recently opened care centre and will be delighting residents with regular visits.

 

The junior school children (aged between eight and 10) from Heyhouses Church of England Primary School on Clarendon Road North in Lytham St Annes will be visiting the The Hamptons care centre, off Heyhouses Lane, two or three times each month for an uplifting afternoon of fun and interaction with the residents.

 

Each visit will take a different theme and encourage the residents and children to work together on a stimulating activity that involves them working as a team, taking turns and communicating with each other.  Visits will last for around an hour and aim to provide interaction, engagement, laughter, conversation and entertainment for all involved.

 

For the children, a visit to the care home links to the personal, social and health education element of Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum building the children’s understanding of the world around them and their knowledge of citizenship.

 

For the residents, it continues their connections with young people in society, builds confidence and their ability to interact with others.  It is also a good opportunity to encourage independence and mobility – all while having fun.

 

Pastoral care manager, Sara Richardson said: “It’s great to be involved with the local community and we’re delighted to be making regular visits to our new friends at The Hamptons.  With visits such as these we have the opportunity to help children gain a better understanding of the world around them and gain confidence and awareness about the needs of others.  It’s such a positive experience for all involved.”

 

Home manager, Lorraine Disley, added: “Our residents enjoyed their first meeting with the children from the primary school and we’re really looking forward to our regular visits.  Bringing children and the elderly together has so many benefits, these will be wonderful afternoons for all involved.”

Borough Care participate in Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk

Borough Care staff recently took part in an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, which took place at Heaton Park in Manchester.  The group of twelve, along with one of the team’s dog, walked a total of seven kilometres around the park.  So far, the group has raised over £500 for Alzheimer’s Society. Alzheimer’s Society is a charity for anyone affected by dementia.   

Borough Care staff have been participating in the Memory Walk for the past four years.  Kate Oliver, Personal Assistant to the Executive Team at Borough Care, who coordinated the company’s entry, says: “It was a great day, with lots more people taking part in the walk this year.  The weather was also on our side, as unlike last year it stayed dry so there was no need for wellies.”

Eachstep Blackburn delighted with CQC inspection!

The Care Quality Commission has rated the care being provided at Eachstep Blackburn, operated by Community Integrated Care, to be Outstanding following an inspection August this year.

CQC inspectors revisited the service to check whether improvements, identified at the previous inspection in 2017, had been made. Inspectors found that the service had taken the previous concerns seriously and addressed them, as well as making further improvements.

Previously Eachstep Blackburn was rated Good overall with a rating of Requires Improvement for safe services. At the latest inspection safe improved  to Good and well-led improved to Outstanding. Effective, caring and responsive services maintained their previous ratings of Good and Outstanding. Eachstep Blackburn is now rated Outstanding overall.

The service is situated on Infirmary Road, Blackburn, and provides accommodation, personal and nursing care for 61 people at the home.

A full report of the inspection has been published on the CQC website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-2650123827

Debbie Westhead – Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care said:

“It is fantastic to see that this service has maintained its focus on high quality person-centred care but also taken our concerns about safety seriously, and addressed them. In doing so they have improved the service overall.

“Staff recognised the continuing need to support people individually and worked with them to make sure their needs were met fully. The people we spoke to, and their relatives, all spoke highly of the home and talked about how far the service would go to provide care.  

“We found the service had continued to work on implementing and developing best practice, alongside other organisations, to enhance people’s care experiences. Staff were extremely complimentary about the leadership of the service and were often recognised and rewarded for their achievements. An excellent example of quality improvement, well done to everyone involved.”

Social care at tipping point as quality of care dependent on postcode

This year’s State of Care shows that most people are still getting good care – when they can access it.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual assessment of the quality of health and social care in England shows that overall, quality has been largely maintained, and in some cases improved, from last year. This is despite continuing challenges around demand and funding, coupled with significant workforce pressures as all sectors struggle to recruit and retain staff. The efforts of staff, leaders and carers to ensure that people continue to receive good, safe care despite these challenges must be recognised and applauded.

However, it is clear that people’s experience of care varies depending on where they live; and that these experiences are often determined by how well different parts of local systems work together. Some people can easily access good care, while others cannot access the services they need, experience ‘disjointed’ care, or only have access to providers with poor services.

CQC’s reviews of local health and care systems found that ineffective collaboration between local health and care services can result in people not being able to access the care and support services in the community that would avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital, which in turn leads to increased demand for acute services.

The most visible impact of this is the pressure on emergency departments as demand continues to rise, with July 2018 seeing the highest number of attendances on record.  Emergency departments are the core hospital service most likely to be rated requires improvement (41%) or inadequate (7%). A struggling local hospital can be symptomatic of a struggling local health care system. This indicates that – although good and outstanding primary care is more evenly distributed – there are parts of the country where people are less likely to get good care.

And there is a less immediately visible impact when health and care services do not work well together – on people, like those who use mental health services, who may already have more difficulty accessing support or to have to travel unreasonable distances to get it. For example, inappropriate out of area mental health placements – with some people being placed hundreds of miles from their homes – vary considerably by region. And CQC’s review of children and young people’s mental health services found that some children and young people were ‘at crisis point’ before they got the specialist care and support they needed, with average waiting times varying significantly according to local processes, systems and targets.

Posing a threat to effective collaboration between health and social care is the continued fragility of the adult social care market, with providers closing or ceasing to trade and contracts being handed back to local authorities. Unmet need continues to rise, with Age UK estimating that 1.4 million older people do not have access to the care and support they need. In two years, the number of older people living with an unmet care need has risen by almost 20%, to nearly one in seven older people. While the government made a welcome NHS funding announcement in June 2018, the impact of this, and last week’s short term crisis funding for adult social care, risks being undermined by the lack of a long-term funding solution for social care.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:

“This year’s State of Care highlights both the resilience and the potential vulnerability of a health and care system where most people receive good care, but where access to this care increasingly depends on where in the country you live and how well your local health system works together. This is not so much a ‘postcode lottery’ as an ‘integration lottery’.

“We’ve seen some examples of providers working together to give people joined-up care based on their individual needs. But until this happens everywhere, individual providers will increasingly struggle to cope with demand – with quality suffering as a result.

“There need to be incentives that bring local health and care leaders together, rather than drive them apart. That might mean changes to funding that allow health and social care services to pool resources; for example, to invest in technology that improves quality of care. Like the digital monitoring devices for patients’ clinical observations that have saved thousands of nursing hours, the e-prescribing in oncology that’s helping people directly, and the electronic immediate discharge summaries that have improved patient safety.

“The challenge for Parliament, national and local leaders and providers is to change the way services are funded, the way they work together and how and where people are cared for and supported. The alternative is a future in which care injustice will increase and where some people will be failed by the services that are meant to support them, with their health and quality of life suffering as result.”

Peter Wyman, Chair of the Care Quality Commission said:

“The fact that quality has been broadly maintained in the face of enormous challenges on demand, funding and workforce is a huge testament to staff and leaders.

“But we cannot ignore the fact that not everyone is getting good care. Safety remains a real concern: although there have been some small improvements 40% of NHS acute hospitals’ core services and 37% of NHS mental health trusts’ core services were rated as requires improvement on safety. All providers are facing similar challenges – in acute hospitals, the pressure on emergency departments is especially visible – but while many are responding in a way that maintains quality of care, some are not.

“Our other big concern is the fragility of the adult social care market. Two years ago, we warned that social care was ‘approaching a tipping point’ – as unmet need continues to rise, this tipping point has already been reached for some people who are not getting the good quality care they need. It is increasingly clear without a long-term funding settlement for adult social care, the additional funding for the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions for whom care in the community would have been more effective both in terms of their health and wellbeing and use of public money.”

This year’s State of Care draws on quantitative analysis of inspection ratings of almost 30,000 services and providers, in addition to other monitoring information including staff and public surveys, and performance. It also draws on qualitative analysis of interviews with people who use services, Experts by Experience and CQC inspection staff.

Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

 

“This report raises important concerns and highlights the brilliant work across the system to maintain quality of care, something that becomes harder each year as the consequences of pressures build further. It also provides yet more evidence of a system under significant pressure and in desperate need of securing a more long-term and sustainable solution for how, as a country, we pay for social care.

 

“Councils across the country are working closely with their counterparts in health for the benefit of people requiring services, however with people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point and its potential for helping people to live the lives they want to lead is at risk.

 

“Over recent years, councils have protected adult social care relative to other services. But the scale of the overall funding picture for local government as a whole means adult social care services still face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care. The likely consequences of this are more and more people being unable to get quality and reliable care and support, which enable them to live more fulfilling lives.

 

“Action is needed, which is why, following government’s decision to delay its green paper on adult social care, the LGA published its own green paper consultation to drive forward the public debate on what sort of care and support we need to improve people’s wellbeing and independence, the need to focus on prevention work, and, crucially, how we fund these vital services.

 

“The Government must use the Budget and Spending Review to inject desperately needed funding into adult social care and use the green paper to secure the long-term sustainability of the system.”

Call for urgent action to end ‘fragility’ of social care system

Care providers are calling for urgent action to end the ‘fragility’ of the social care system which has seen a 20% increase in the number of people living without the care they need.

The Independent Care Group has called on the Government to bring forward its Green Paper on future funding of social care so that more older and vulnerable adults can get care.

Responding to today’s publication of the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report, the Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “The talking has gone on long enough, it is time for some meaningful action to address the crisis in social care.

“Today we have the Government’s own inspection body, the Care Quality Commission, talking about the fragility of the adult social care market and warning that unless a funding solution is found, money being pumped into the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions who should have been picked up by social care earlier.

“We need an end to the situation where the care you get depends on where you live and action taken to stem the rising number of people who just aren’t getting care at all.

“The harsh reality is that social care has reached – and in many cases – gone beyond tipping point. 1.4m people are living without the care they need, that’s a 20% rise in two years, to one in seven.”

Mr Padgham said the fact that social care providers were managing to maintain standards was down to their ‘superhuman efforts’.

“It is amazing that where you can get access to care, that care is remaining good quality. That is down to the incredible commitment of those delivering care,” he added. “But that is not sustainable and it hides the fact that in many areas you cannot get access to care at all because funding for social care has fallen by £7bn in the past eight years. The CQC itself highlights social care providers closing, ceasing to trade or handing back contracts. Enough is enough, something has to be done and done quickly.”

Major report into state of national care and health services must drive further improvement

Today’s influential report into England’s care and health services reflects the high quality of provision, but also underlines the urgent need to sustain and protect the embattled social care sector. VODG (the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), the national body representing leading not-for-profit disability support providers, welcomes the comprehensive picture as well as the warnings about future services in State of Care, the annual analysis from regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC).

VODG has long highlighted the precarious financial state of the social care sector and the growing demands placed on it, most recently in its report Stitch in Time. VODG’s report warns that successive governments’ failure to properly fund social care leaves millions at risk of losing essential support and may negatively impact on the NHS due to increased demand for emergency care. CQC have now explicitly recognised that a tipping point has been reached as some people do not receive the care they need.

VODG believes that the CQC’s annual focus on care and health should extend further to include full independent performance assessments of local health and social care commissioning. This is crucial in cases where councils are in financial difficulties, so inspection can ensure that statutory social care duties are fully met.

VODG also hopes that today’s authoritative analysis will encourage the government to expedite the publication of the long-awaited green paper, which needs to set out government’s vision and funding for disability and older people’s services alike.

VODG chief executive Dr Rhidian Hughes said:

“We welcome CQC’s continued spotlight onto quality issues in the sector and its unique perspective which gives us a broad view across health and social care. The review of how local systems are working, and must join up, is especially welcome, as are CQC’s clear statements about the consequences of underfunding in social care. It is deeply concerning that a tipping point in the sector has been reached and that some people are not having their care needs met.

Social care is suffering from decades of underfunding at the same time as demand for such provision is increasing. Today’s evidence adds to warnings from across the sector and government must now act swiftly to invest in and protect vital services.”

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

“CQC’s report makes it clear that there is no room for complacency.  It recognises that tipping point has been reached for some people who are not getting the care that they need; however the fortunes for next year are ominous”.

Care England’s analysis has identified that over a third of councils (56 in total) will lose access to £739 million ring fenced funding for adult social care due to exhausting their social care precept flexibility and the ending of the adult social care support grant.  This comes at a time of great uncertainty and perpetrates the post code lottery being experienced by vulnerable people across the country.  CQC’s report can be found at https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care

Martin Green continued;

“If health and social care really are hand in glove as the Government purports it is important to offer the same opportunities in terms of recruitment, retention and training to all staff whether in health or social care.  Otherwise we are in danger of an integration lottery and this is all the more concerning with the perpetual winter pressures impacting on the acute services and beyond”.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Carers UK Director of Policy and Public Affairs said:

“A rising tide of demand for acute services is being fuelled by the lack of consistent accessible community health and care services. Today’s report shows many areas are struggling with the challenge of delivering good quality and joined up care in this environment.

The experience of families is that it can be a battle to get the right support through their GP, from a care worker or from a district nurse. Many feel forced to turn to acute accident and emergency services because of a lack of alternatives in the community.

The growing funding gap for social care services, the pressure on acute hospitals to discharge patients back into the community and the disjointed approach of health and care services evidenced in this report all add up to family and friends picking up more intensive and complicated caring roles at home. This increasing reliance on unpaid care to pick up the pieces of a fragmented and inconsistent system is not sustainable.

We urge the Chancellor to use the forthcoming budget to invest in care now to close the £2billion funding gap expected by 2020[1] and to put social care on a sustainable footing for the future. Without this the impact will continue to be felt by families already seeing a strain on their own health, careers and relationships from caring without access to breaks and support.”

The annual State of Care report, which found that the quality of health and social care in England has been largely maintained over the past year – but that people’s experience of care varies depending on where they live and how well different parts of local systems work together.

The report shows that some people can easily access good care while others experience ‘disjointed’ care, only have access to poor quality services or cannot get the help they need at all. A clear impact of this is pressure on emergency departments, with demand continuing to rise when local health and care systems fail to protect vulnerable people. The CQC warns that recently announced funding injections for the NHS and adult social care risk being undermined by the lack of a long-term solution.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “People with dementia are the biggest users of adult social care and yet they experience poorer quality care than everyone else, with more than a fifth of dementia care providers failing CQC inspections – a higher proportion than care providers generally.[i] Families call our Helpline in despair because a loved one with dementia needs support but there is nothing available locally or the only care home they can get into is inadequate.

“In 2016 the CQC warned social care was at a tipping point, and this adds to our evidence that the system has clearly passed that point now, leaving 850,000 people with dementia at the mercy of a potentially unsafe system and putting yet more pressure on the NHS. People with dementia have a right to care, and their postcode should not affect that.”

Neil Tester, Deputy Director of Healthwatch England said:

We know from our conversations with the public that people recognise the challenges health and social care services are facing.  

“Today’s report offers some reassurance that, despite the pressures, our country’s hospitals, GP surgeries and social care services are usually coping and providing good quality care. However, we must also acknowledge that some people are struggling to get the help they need.  

“As the CQC found earlier in the year in its local system reviews, the best and most efficient care happens when the NHS and councils work together with people and their families to provide joined-up support. The best way of assessing this is to track people’s experiences of the support they receive, underpinned by payment mechanisms and regulation that incentivise care designed around people’s needs rather than systems.

Responding specifically on the concerns raised about social care:

“The regional variation in quality of care highlighted by the CQC is being made worse by the lack of proper advice and information out there to help people understand and plan for potential care needs. So even where services are outstanding the process of accessing help can still be incredibly distressing for people and their loved ones.

“Councils are facing growing demand for social care services, and are struggling to cope. By developing better information and advice services they can help people plan earlier and therefore reduce the urgent, ‘crisis point’ needs they currently have to deal with.

“Helping people to prepare for something that may not happen, but will have a huge impact on quality of life if it does, is the very real and very human challenge that the Government’s forthcoming proposals for the social care sector will need to address.

“Politicians and policy makers need to hear CQC’s words today and address the capacity issues in social care, but this alone will not create an environment that enables people to get the best out of life. We need to build a system that encourages earlier planning, starting with the lowest level of need and creating a culture where accessing care and support becomes a normal part of the ageing process.”

 

 

Care injustice as social care reaches tipping point and access to services sporadic country-wide

This year’s State of Care shows that most people are still getting good care – when they can access it.

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual assessment of the quality of health and social care in England shows that overall, quality has been largely maintained, and in some cases improved, from last year. This is despite continuing challenges around demand and funding, coupled with significant workforce pressures as all sectors struggle to recruit and retain staff. The efforts of staff, leaders and carers to ensure that people continue to receive good, safe care despite these challenges must be recognised and applauded.

However, it is clear that people’s experience of care varies depending on where they live; and that these experiences are often determined by how well different parts of local systems work together. Some people can easily access good care, while others cannot access the services they need, experience ‘disjointed’ care, or only have access to providers with poor services.

CQC’s reviews of local health and care systems found that ineffective collaboration between local health and care services can result in people not being able to access the care and support services in the community that would avoid unnecessary admissions to hospital, which in turn leads to increased demand for acute services.

The most visible impact of this is the pressure on emergency departments as demand continues to rise, with July 2018 seeing the highest number of attendances on record.  Emergency departments are the core hospital service most likely to be rated requires improvement (41%) or inadequate (7%). A struggling local hospital can be symptomatic of a struggling local health care system. This indicates that – although good and outstanding primary care is more evenly distributed – there are parts of the country where people are less likely to get good care.

And there is a less immediately visible impact when health and care services do not work well together – on people, like those who use mental health services, who may already have more difficulty accessing support or to have to travel unreasonable distances to get it. For example, inappropriate out of area mental health placements – with some people being placed hundreds of miles from their homes – vary considerably by region. And CQC’s review of children and young people’s mental health services found that some children and young people were ‘at crisis point’ before they got the specialist care and support they needed, with average waiting times varying significantly according to local processes, systems and targets.

Posing a threat to effective collaboration between health and social care is the continued fragility of the adult social care market, with providers closing or ceasing to trade and contracts being handed back to local authorities. Unmet need continues to rise, with Age UK estimating that 1.4 million older people do not have access to the care and support they need. In two years, the number of older people living with an unmet care need has risen by almost 20%, to nearly one in seven older people. While the government made a welcome NHS funding announcement in June 2018, the impact of this, and last week’s short term crisis funding for adult social care, risks being undermined by the lack of a long-term funding solution for social care.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said:

“This year’s State of Care highlights both the resilience and the potential vulnerability of a health and care system where most people receive good care, but where access to this care increasingly depends on where in the country you live and how well your local health system works together. This is not so much a ‘postcode lottery’ as an ‘integration lottery’.

“We’ve seen some examples of providers working together to give people joined-up care based on their individual needs. But until this happens everywhere, individual providers will increasingly struggle to cope with demand – with quality suffering as a result.

“There need to be incentives that bring local health and care leaders together, rather than drive them apart. That might mean changes to funding that allow health and social care services to pool resources; for example, to invest in technology that improves quality of care. Like the digital monitoring devices for patients’ clinical observations that have saved thousands of nursing hours, the e-prescribing in oncology that’s helping people directly, and the electronic immediate discharge summaries that have improved patient safety.

“The challenge for Parliament, national and local leaders and providers is to change the way services are funded, the way they work together and how and where people are cared for and supported. The alternative is a future in which care injustice will increase and where some people will be failed by the services that are meant to support them, with their health and quality of life suffering as result.”

Peter Wyman, Chair of the Care Quality Commission said:

“The fact that quality has been broadly maintained in the face of enormous challenges on demand, funding and workforce is a huge testament to staff and leaders.

“But we cannot ignore the fact that not everyone is getting good care. Safety remains a real concern: although there have been some small improvements 40% of NHS acute hospitals’ core services and 37% of NHS mental health trusts’ core services were rated as requires improvement on safety. All providers are facing similar challenges – in acute hospitals, the pressure on emergency departments is especially visible – but while many are responding in a way that maintains quality of care, some are not.

“Our other big concern is the fragility of the adult social care market. Two years ago, we warned that social care was ‘approaching a tipping point’ – as unmet need continues to rise, this tipping point has already been reached for some people who are not getting the good quality care they need. It is increasingly clear without a long-term funding settlement for adult social care, the additional funding for the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions for whom care in the community would have been more effective both in terms of their health and wellbeing and use of public money.”

This year’s State of Care draws on quantitative analysis of inspection ratings of almost 30,000 services and providers, in addition to other monitoring information including staff and public surveys, and performance. It also draws on qualitative analysis of interviews with people who use services, Experts by Experience and CQC inspection staff.

#StateOfCare

Bradford care home enjoys ‘Outstanding’ result after CQC inspection

The Care Quality Commission has rated the care being provided at Mill View to be Outstanding following an inspection April this year. The service is operated by Anchor Carehomes Limited and part of Anchor Trust.

Mill View, on Bolton Lane, Bradford is a care home that provides accommodation and personal care for up to 50 people. It was previously in special measures after a CQC inspection in March 2016 rated the service Inadequate. Inspectors returned to the service in the following November and reported on improvements. It was rated Requires Improvement overall, and was removed from special measures.

At this inspection, in April this year, further improvements were seen and it was rated Outstanding overall, and for services that are responsive and well-led. Safe, effective and caring services were rated Good. At the time of the inspection there were 46 people using the service.

A full report of the inspection has been published on the CQC website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-1477142310  

Debbie Westhead – Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care said:

“What a fantastic story of improvement. After initially having concerns and later entering the service into special measures, we returned and found improvements and now find an Outstanding service.

“Clearly this improvement could not have happened without strong leadership and committed care staff. We found the care to be highly personalised, staff really listened to people’s needs and desires. The service was passionate about making a positive difference to people’s lives. 

“A wonderful achievement, congratulations to everyone at the service.”

2018 award winners announced at NACC gala dinner

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) announced the winners of the 2018 NACC Awards at a gala dinner.

 

The innovation, achievements and dedication of teams and individuals that make an exceptional contribution in the specialist field of care catering were rewarded and celebrated by the association’s members, industry partners and guests at the awards dinner held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.

 

The 2018 winners are:

·         Care Establishment of the Year: Primrose Bank Care Home

The judges were in no doubt that Primrose Bank is a care home where lives are enriched and residents have fun, while benefitting from a focused approach to nutrition that ensures their wellbeing.

 

·         Meals on Wheels Award: Harrogate Food Angels, Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association Ltd.

The judges described the service, which last year delivered up to 500 meals via more than 70 well-trained volunteers, who also receive dementia friendly and safeguarding training, as having: “Outstanding achievements from humble beginnings in such a short time.”

 

·         Catering Team of the Year Award: Catering Team, Avery Lodge, Brighterkind

The high-performing, professional catering team at Avery Lodge champions person-centred dining. The judges agreed that the hardworking, dedicated and creative team are well deserving of the award.

 

·         Catering Manager of the Year Awards: Jane Parke, County Enterprise Foods, Nottinghamshire County Council

Jane has worked within the meals service for Nottinghamshire County Council for more than 20 years. As team manager at County Enterprise Foods, she manages 70 people, 24 of whom are supported employees with physical or learning disabilities. Her expertise, dedication and positivity make her, in the judges’ words, an outstanding manager who has contributed so much over so many years.

 

·         Our Care Catering Hero Award: Debbie Wright, Cook-in-Charge for Norse Catering, Munhaven Care Home

Munhaven is a specialist home for people living with dementia. Debbie, who is also a Brownie leader, connects her Brownies and residents through activities, giving the residents a sense of purpose and changing perceptions of dementia within the community. The judges felt that Debbie was a worthy winner among this year’s most excellent entries.

 

·         Region of the Year: Northern Region

In what is always a hotly contested category, the Northern Region was victorious. The judges were impressed by the region’s reinvigorated approach, which has led to increased membership, good attendance at events and a sound financial position.

 

·         Pam Rhodes Outstanding Achievement Award: Mark Taylor

The Pam Rhodes Award recognises the work and commitment of an individual that has made a lasting contribution to the NACC. Mark Taylor has been proactive within the NACC since 2012. He is regional chair for the South East and has played a valuable role in key initiatives, including championing Meals on Wheels and the launch and development of the qualification, Level 2 Specialist Award for Chefs in Health and Social Care. His support and commitment to exceptional standards of care and services has gained the respect of his colleagues and the wider care industry.

 

·          Chairman’s Award 2018: David Barker

Neel Radia, the NACC Chairman, awarded this special recognition to David Barker for his unwavering support of the association since the 1990s. Popular and respected among his colleagues, David is described as having a big heart. He is always willing to lend a hand, supportive of his peers, and has been instrumental in key NACC events and campaigns. As chairman of the Northern region, David has worked very hard with his team to create the vibrant, fun and successful region that it is today.

Neel Radia also presented three dedicated NACC members with Honorary Membership of the NACC for their longstanding and outstanding services to the association.  The three worthy recipients were Roger Kellow, Sue Hawkins and Vivien Rose.

 

Neel Radia, the NACC’s national chair, said: “What a night! Huge congratulations to all our winners. Everyone knows that the NACC Awards are a personal highlight of the year for me. It’s such an honour to recognise the exceptional work that takes place in care catering across the UK every day. All our finalists are inspirational, and we have a huge amount of respect for them.

 

“Catering for the vulnerable and elderly, who can have a wide range of special dietary and dining needs, requires specialist knowledge and skills, and carries immense responsibility.  And, for caterers impacted by the ongoing squeeze on social care budgets, it’s even more challenging. It’s heartening and humbling to see that care catering professionals work tirelessly to overcome the challenges and continually raise standards of excellence, with their sights always on the health and wellbeing of those that matter the most; the people entrusted to their care. It’s therefore right that their unwavering dedication is celebrated for all to see. They are fantastic ambassadors for the NACC and the care catering sector.”

 

New geriatrics research offers roadmap to 'revolutionary change' for person-centered care

Care News - REHACARE press release - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 01:00
Published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), two new research articles and a corresponding commentary from preeminent geriatrics leaders describe ways to make person-centered care more actionable for older people.

Sleeping too much or too little may affect stroke risk differently based on race

Care News - REHACARE press release - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 01:00
How many hours people sleep at night may affect their risk of stroke differently based on race, according to a study published in the online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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