UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
Raising the standard for homecare for over 25 years

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Independent Age guide on Home SafetyIndependent Age guide on Home Safety

Independent Age have produced a guide for older people living at home on Home Safety.  This guide can help people identify some of the common hazards in their home and advise on preventive measures. It includes some simple checks people can do for themselves and also advises how people can get help to keep safe and well.

Providers may want to give this very readable guide to service users which has a quick quiz to see how safety-conscious they are.

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Care for people with learning disabilities should be close to home wherever possible, says NICECare for people with learning disabilities should be close to home wherever possible, says NICE

NICE is urging councils and health bodies to make sure that people with learning disabilities can access well-designed services and staff with the right skills so they do not need to move away for care or treatment.

In a new guideline, NICE says children, young people and adults with learning disabilities, who have behaviour that challenges, should have the right support to live their lives in the community like everyone else. The guideline aims to promote a lifelong approach to supporting people and their families and carers, focusing on prevention and early intervention and minimising inpatient admissions.

 

 

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Opposition Day debate on social careOpposition Day debate on social care

Today, 25 April 2018, there will be an Opposition Day debate on social care in the House of Commons. To watch or listen to the debate, see: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/09fded12-9698-4d15-8c33-3367e149abb1

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Joint inquiry into long term funding gathers more evidenceJoint inquiry into long term funding gathers more evidence

The joint Health and Social Care Committee and Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has been hearing more evidence in its review into the long-term funding of social care. Leading figures from the care, professional and regulatory sectors told Committee members about the challenges facing social care, including recruitment, funding, maintaining quality, and training.

To hear the evidence given on 24 April 2018, see: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/10d4edc6-5831-4bc3-86eb-cc2d65cdd9d2?agenda=True

UKHCA's written evidence to MPs is at: https://www.ukhca.co.uk/pdfs/UKHCA_funding_inquiry_2018.pdf

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New CQC guidance on pre-employment checks - Regulation 19(3)(a)New CQC guidance on pre-employment checks - Regulation 19(3)(a)

CQC have published new guidance and FAQs relating to evidence providers must retain to show CQC they have carried out the necessary pre-employment checks for all staff carrying out personal care.

Regulation 19(3)(a) of the Health and Social Care Act (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 requires providers to make available to CQC the information set out in Schedule 3. CQC Inspectors may ask for this information at any time in relation to each "person employed for the purposes of carrying on a regulated activity". The guidance lists the type of information providers must keep and an explanatory note.

Members are strongly advised to read the guidance and to review their recruitment polices to ensure they are completing the employment checks required and can provide the evidence CQC set out in the guidance.

Download the guidance : http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/20180412_9001403_FAQ-CQCs_employment_requirements%20_Regulation_19_v1.pdf

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Ten principles for long-term funding of NHS and social careTen principles for long-term funding of NHS and social care

Nick Boles MP, Liz Kendall MP and Norman Lamb MP have joined forces to issue ten principles for long-term funding of the NHS and social care, in a cross-party initiative ahead of tomorrow's Opposition Day debate on social care. This move comes as Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP is reported to have written to Tory MPs promising that solutions for the NHS and proposals on social care will be settled by the summer. More from:

www.facebook.com/notes/nick-boles-mp/ten-principles-of-long-term-funding-for-nhs-and-social-care/1522885904504144/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43875246

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Court challenge to Accountable Care OrganisationsCourt challenge to Accountable Care Organisations

A court challenge has begun to the Government's plans to bring in Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) as part of the reform of the NHS, and move to more integrated care between hospitals, mental health and community services. Campaigners claim the plans will lead to more privatisation in the health service, and cuts to services.

https://news.sky.com/story/nhs-reorganisation-could-threaten-patient-safety-11344619

There is more about ACOs, now known as integrated care systems, and what they mean for health and social care, at: www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/accountable-care

 

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Men still receive larger pensions than womenMen still receive larger pensions than women

Research by the Consumers' Association has shown that men in the UK are still receiving a better state pension than women, an average of £153.86 a week, which is £27.88 more than the average woman, who receives £125.98 a week. The difference amounts to almost £29,000 over the course of a typical 20-year retirement, but the disparities have lessened slightly since the last analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data in 2015. More from: https://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/mind-the-state-pension-gap-latest-data-shows-men-still-get-a-better-deal-than-women/

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Citizens' Assembly to tackle social care fundingCitizens' Assembly to tackle social care funding

A Citizens' Assembly of up to 50 people will consider how care should be paid for in the future in England, as part of the inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee. Assembly members will hear presentations from experts, before considering the arguments and devising recommendations for the inquiry. More from: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/housing-communities-and-local-government-committee/news/citizens-assembly-faq-17-19/

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Free information sharing workshop on 8 June 2018 in LeedsFree information sharing workshop on 8 June 2018 in Leeds

The UK Caldicott Guardian Council (NW and NE regional network) is holding a free one-day workshop on information sharing with relatives and others in Leeds on 8 June 2018. The event is for small-scale settings like as domiciliary care agencies, care homes, and hospices, with the presentations from professional trainers. The organisers say this is part of a drive to introduce Caldicott principles (confidentiality of patient data). Workshop details and how to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/northern-caldicott-guardian-event-information-sharing-in-small-scale-orgs-tickets-43880537870

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Allied Healthcare bids to restructure its financesAllied Healthcare bids to restructure its finances

UKHCA understands that Allied Healthcare has submitted a proposal for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in order for it to restructure its financial arrangements without impacting on the day-to-day operations of its business.

Partner organisations will be working to ensure that people's care and support needs continue to be met. UKHCA are in contact with the Local Government Association (LGA), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Department of Health and Social Care while Allied Healthcare are in negotiation with their creditors.

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New code of practice for inspection in WalesNew code of practice for inspection in Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales have published a new code of practice to inform their inspection of social care services in Wales. The frameworks are outcomes focused and help to inform what good care looks like.

The full document can be downloaded from the Care Inspectorate guidance page.

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New requirements for zero-hours contractsNew requirements for zero-hours contracts

As of 2nd April 2018, providers are required to give domiciliary care workers a choice between remaining on a zero-hours contract and a guaranteed hours contract after a three month period of employment.

Further details can be found on the Welsh Government website.

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New legislation now in force in WalesNew legislation now in force in Wales

A number of changes in domiciliary care in Wales are now in force, having come into effect on the 2nd April. Registered managers will no longer be required to register with Care Inspectorate Wales, however, providers will still need to appoint registered managers and they must be appropriately qualified and registered with Social Care Wales.

All domiciliary care providers will need to re-register with Care Inspectorate Wales, and should have received written instructions from CIW on how to do this. Once registration is complete, providers will be able to give notifications to CIW via a new online service.

Full details can be found on the Care Inspectorate Wales website.

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Local authority chief calls for social care to be recognisedLocal authority chief calls for social care to be recognised

The new president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Glen Garrod, has called for social care to have parity of esteem with the NHS. In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph he said 'the health service was "mythologised" and had become "totemic" in many people's minds, which meant social care was underfunded and found it harder to recruit': https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/12/social-care-loses-mythologised-nhs-says-head-adass/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

In his inaugural speech, Glen Garrod, who is Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing of Lincolnshire County Council, said helping the public recognise the importance of social care will be the most essential task for the social care sector.

https://www.adass.org.uk/public-debate-on-social-care-most-essential-task-new-adass-president-outlines-in-inaugural-speech

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NICE Guideline on care and support of people growing older with learning disabilitiesNICE Guideline on care and support of people growing older with learning disabilities

NICE has produced new guidelines on how organisations, including social care providers, can provide for the care and support needs of people growing older with learning disabilities and their families and carers. As they grow older, people with learning disabilities have many of the same age-related health and social care needs as other people but they also face specific challenges associated with their learning disability. The new guidance covers identifying changing needs, planning for the future, and delivering services including health, social care and housing.

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MPs condemn NHS Digital for sharing confidential informationMPs condemn NHS Digital for sharing confidential information

The Health and Social Care Committee looked into the Memorandum of understanding on data-sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office, and have raised serious concerns about NHS Digital's ability to protect patient data.

The report examined the arrangements agreed between the Home Office, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Digital regarding tracing immigration offenders using patient information. MPs were alarmed by the increases in sharing non-clinical data such as addresses and were worried that passing on information to immigration authorities could deter people from seeking treatment. The committee has called for the arrangements to be suspended while a review is carried out which would look at the implications for public health and the expectation that health and social care data, including addresses will be regarded as confidential.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/news/mou-data-sharing-report-publication-17-19/

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'500 miles' film teaches people to do CPR'500 miles' film teaches people to do CPR

A new online film teaches people to do CPR to the tune of the Proclaimer's hit '˜I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)'. The film, which features Carole Smillie and is funded by the Scottish Government, is part of Scotland's Strategy for Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest - a five-year plan to equip 500,000 people with CPR skills and save an additional 1,000 lives by 2020.

More from: https://news.gov.scot/news/getting-scotland-cpr-ready-1

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New NHS Digital resources for GDPR complianceNew NHS Digital resources for GDPR compliance

Data Security and Protection Toolkit - This replaces the Department of Health and Social Care Information Governance Toolkit. Care providers operating under a NHS Standard Contract have to complete the new Data Security and Protection Toolkit by 31st March 2019. It is also recommended other social care providers use the Toolkit to assist their compliance.

To register to use the Toolkit, providers need an organisation code assigned by ODS. NHS Digital say the process is:

  • Go to https://digital.nhs.uk/organisation-data-service/our-services/download-forms
  • Download and complete the Organisation code request form - tick DSP Toolkit in section 6.
  • Submit the completed form to exeter.helpdesk@nhs.net
  • Once you have been allocated a unique organisation code by ODS, the DSP support team can register your organisation on the DSP Toolkit. This may take a few days as NHS Digital are just completing development work.
  • Organisations that have NHS contracts, or have tendered for one, may have an organisation code already.

Guidance for health and social care providers - written by the Care Provider Alliance with the Social Care Programme in NHS Digital: www.careprovideralliance.org.uk/information-governance.html

Department of Health and Social Care guidance on information sharing at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-security-and-protection-for-health-and-care-organisations

The above guidance applies in England, but may be of interest to providers in other parts of the UK.

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Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into effectCarers (Scotland) Act 2016 comes into effect

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into effect from 1 April 2018 to strengthen support for family carers, and give them a new right to be offered or request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carer Statement (YCS).

The Act imposes a duty on local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer's needs which meet the local eligibility criteria and there is also a power to provide support to meet carers' needs which don't meet these criteria. The responsible local authority will be required to consider support in the form of a break from caring, and whether there should be planned breaks.

For a list of provisions in the Act, and useful links, see: http://www.careinspectorate.com/index.php/news/4333-carers-scotland-act

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New posters and leaflets to promote SSSC Codes of PracticeNew posters and leaflets to promote SSSC Codes of Practice

The Scottish Social Services Council is sending out a resource pack to providers this month which includes posters and leaflets about the Code of Practice. The pack features photographs of social service workers from a range of services, and is intended to help services promote the Codes widely.

More information or extra copies of the pack from communications@sssc.uk.com

SSSC news item: http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/press-releases/new-resources-to-support-the-sssc-codes-of-practice

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Minister hints at funding boost for social careMinister hints at funding boost for social care

Social Care Minister Caroline Dinenage MP is reported as hinting there is a possibility of more funding for councils to make the current social care system sustainable, before the Government looks into reform for the future.

Innovation appears to be being contemplated. The Minister is quoted as saying to directors of adult social services - even with all the money in the world, we may not necessarily choose to keep things the way we are doing them'.

https://www.lgcplus.com/services/health-and-care/minister-raises-possibility-of-social-care-funding-boost/7024048.article (registration required to view).

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Comments on CQC's new fee scheme - deadline extended to 18 April 2018Comments on CQC's new fee scheme - deadline extended to 18 April 2018

We've had a really good response to our request for comments from members on CQC's new fee scheme, but still have time for more replies. The extended deadline is now close of business on Wednesday, 18 April 2018.

To have a compelling argument to present to CQC, we need as many responses as possible to show just how widespread the impact of the fee scheme could be.

Please see our email alerts of 6 and 11 April for the information we would like members to send us. If you would like a copy, please email policy@ukhca.co.uk

Thank you to those who have responded. We will be sharing our analysis with CQC on a no-names basis, so they understand the effect of the change of fee calculation on our members.

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FAQs describe how Trusted Assessment affects providersFAQs describe how Trusted Assessment affects providers

New FAQs are available on Trusted Assessment, following webinars on the topic, developed by NHS Improvement with the assistance of the Care Provider Alliance (including UKHCA).

Hospitals and councils are under considerable pressure to develop Trusted Assessment, particularly where there are high numbers of DTOCs.

There is also guidance which describes how local systems can implement such schemes to reduce the number and wait of people awaiting discharge from hospital.

A trusted assessment is where a trusted assessor - someone acting on behalf of and with the permission of multiple organisations - carries out an assessment in a health or social care setting. The aim is to speed up the process so the person being assessed can move to the next stage of their care (for example, from acute hospital to support at home with homecare).

The guidance, 'Developing trusted assessment schemes: essential elements' is available at: https://nhsicorporatesite.blob.core.windows.net/blue/uploads/documents/Trusted_assessment__FINAL_2.pdf

The questions and answers about the scheme, and how it affects providers, are at: https://nhsicorporatesite.blob.core.windows.net/blue/uploads/documents/Trusted_assessment__FAQs_FINAL.pdf

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Messages on the future of domiciliary care servicesMessages on the future of domiciliary care services

The Institute of Public Care have published a discussion document looking at the future of domiciliary care services. Written by Professor John Bolton and Vice Chair of UKHCA, Dr Jane Townson writing in a personal capacity, the paper explores the main messages to be heeded by commissioners and providers if homecare is going to be sustainable. UKHCA contributed to the document by reflecting on the realities of the true costs of homecare, while other sections look at how to take forward innovation and move towards outcome-based commissioning.

Colin Angel, UKHCA Policy Director said;

"Jane Townson and Prof John Bolton have combined their different perspectives on the homecare sector to provide a thoughtful reflection on the issues facing providers and commissioners. The document highlights live issues for the sector, and thoughts about changes needed for the future."

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Consultation on personal health budgetsConsultation on personal health budgets

The Department of Health and Social Care together with NHS England have launched a consultation which contains proposals to extend legal rights to personal health budgets and to combine personal health budgets with personal social care budgets. At the moment, only those with a specific right to personal health budgets are those in receipt of continuing healthcare. The consultation closes on 8th June 2018

 

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New digital 'right of work' serviceNew digital 'right of work' service

The Home Office has launched a 'beta' trial of a new digital service to help individuals and employers to check work eligibility. The service will help holders of a Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) to prove their right to work, and will help employers to demonstrate compliance with eligibility checks.

This service is an optional additional step and does not replace the existing requirements on checking worker eligibility. More details will be announced after the conclusion of the 'beta-phase'.

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Consultation about regulation of nursing associatesConsultation about regulation of nursing associates

The Nursing and Midwifery Council are consulting on their approach to the regulation of nursing associates in England. The Council say this is an exciting step on the road to regulation for this new profession and they would like to hear from those with an interest in the role, before approving final standards in September 2018.

NMC will be holding consultative workshops for registered nurses, healthcare professionals, employers, patients and the public, with regular Twitter chats and webinars. There are further details on NMC's website. The consultation runs until 2 July 2018.

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Low Pay Commission consultation and visitsLow Pay Commission consultation and visits

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) are consulting on the idea of a higher minimum wage for non-guaranteed hours (at the Government's request) and a review of youth rates, as well as NLW and NMW rates. They are planning a programme of visits and are keen to speak to homecare providers, particularly on the premium idea, as they expect homecare to be one of the sectors most affected.

25-26 April - Kendal and South Lakeland
23-24 May - Barnstaple and North Devon
13-14 June - Newry, Northern Ireland
13-14 June - Perth, Scotland
4-5 July - Anglesey, Wales
8-9 August - Birmingham

If UKHCA members would like to meet the LPC at any of the locations above, please contact Joe Cooper, LPC Policy Adviser and Communications Lead on 020 7211 8772 or email joseph.cooper@lowpay.gov.uk

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Deadline for reporting gender pay gap data arrivesDeadline for reporting gender pay gap data arrives

Employers in Britain with 250 or more employees in the private or voluntary sector have until today, 4 April 2018, to publish their gender pay gap figures on the Government online reporting service. ACAS have guidance on reporting and dealing with a gender pay gap.

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Minimum wage increased from 1 April 2018Minimum wage increased from 1 April 2018

From 1 April 2018, the National Living Wage rate for those aged 25 and over increased from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 per hour.

The National Minimum Wage for those aged 21 to 24, increased from £7.05 per hour to £7.38 per hour, and the rate for those aged 18 to 20 rose from £5.60 per hour to £5.90 per hour. The rate for those from school leaving age to 17 increased from £4.05 to £4.20 per hour and the apprentice rate rose from £3.50 per hour to £3.70 per hour. Current and future rates: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

For how a rate increase applies in a pay reference period, see: www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-living-wage-nlw/national-living-wage-nlw#rates

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Improving equality in social care to provide better care - free workshops for social care leaders and managersImproving equality in social care to provide better care - free workshops for social care leaders and managers

Skills for Care and the Care Provider Alliance are carrying out a project to explore challenges for employers when drawing on the talent of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff. The project includes free workshops aimed at leaders and managers from social care including social workers, registered managers, and those involved in workforce planning and recruitment, to explore good practice and produce practical proposals to overcome obstacles. There are two remaining workshops for social care:

16 April 2018 - Chelmsford - Booking details https://events.skillsforcare.org.uk/skillsforcare/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=93278&eventID=320

30 April 2018 - Wakefield - Booking details https://events.skillsforcare.org.uk/skillsforcare/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=99617&eventID=341

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Prime Minister promises 'multi-year' funding plan for NHSPrime Minister promises 'multi-year' funding plan for NHS

Speaking to the Commons Select Committee chairs on 27 March 2018, the Prime Minister promised to outline the details of a long-term funding plan for the NHS before Easter 2019. This follows an earlier call by the Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP for a 10-year funding deal for the NHS.

Colin Angel, UKHCA's Policy Director, said: "Any long-term funding plans for the NHS must be developed alongside those for social care, as the two systems are highly dependent on each other. Government has been using the forthcoming social care Green Paper as its method to address the long-term funding solution for the sector. However, the Green Paper by itself will not deliver Mrs May's plan within the timescale she proposes, and if the NHS plan doesn't include social care, it will not be successful."

You can listen to the Prime Minister being questioned by the Select Committee here.

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Tax rises could fund health and social care say MPsTax rises could fund health and social care say MPs

The Prime Minister is being urged to set up a Parliamentary Commission to examine the long-term demand for health and social care across the UK, and to consider a broad range of funding options, including a hypothecated tax or contribution. In a letter to Teresa May signed by over 90 MPs from the main political parties, Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee suggests the Commission should take into account the emerging proposals from the Social Care Green Paper and report before Easter 2019. Calling for a whole system approach to funding the NHS, social care and public health, the letter urges the Prime Minister to set up the Commission to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

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Public Accounts Committee finds NHS finances in a perilous statePublic Accounts Committee finds NHS finances in a perilous state

"The National Health Service continues to scrape by on emergency hand-outs and funds that were intended for essential investment", said Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in her statement on the Committee's latest report. Examining the Sustainability and Transformation of the NHS, the report found that The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement are too focused on propping up the system and balancing the books in the short term and have not paid enough attention on transforming and improving patient services in the long term.

Read the report from the Public Accounts Committee here.

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NHS facing court action over continuing healthcare policiesNHS facing court action over continuing healthcare policies

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has taken its first steps in legal proceedings against 13 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). If the CCGs fail to provide evidence to demonstrate that their continuing healthcare (CHC) policies are lawful, or do not take steps to review them, they will be taken to court.

The dispute concerns the legality of blanket policies that limit the amount that the CCGs spend on people's continuing healthcare in their own homes, resulting in some people having to be supported in a care home against their wishes.

The Commission consider the actions by the CCGs to be a serious breach of the Human Rights Act, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Department of Health and Social Care's own NHS CHC framework.

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Local authority funding panels refusing and delaying care packagesLocal authority funding panels refusing and delaying care packages

Community Care has carried out research about how funding panels are being used by local authority adult social care services. Their findings suggest that the majority of panels are used to review funding decisions made by social workers on new and existing cases on all types of social care support. The most common reason given to social workers for a care package being refused or delayed was that it cost too much money. 

 

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Brexit negotiation update for EU citizensBrexit negotiation update for EU citizens

The UK and the EU have reached an agreement on what happens during the period immediately after Brexit, known as the implementation period, but also referred to in the media as the transition period. The agreement means that EU citizens living in the UK before 29 March 2019 will be able to continue to live and work in the UK. The Government has provided more information here: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know.

The agreement also covers EU citizens and their families arriving in the UK during the implentation period which is from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020. More information is available at UK leaving the EU: what you need to know.

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Pay rises expected for NHS StaffPay rises expected for NHS Staff

BBC news is reporting today that over a million NHS staff, which includes nurses, porters and paramedics, can expect pay rises of over 6% over three years.

Although the deal has yet to be agreed by unions and ministers, it is likely to go through and could cost as much as £4bn. The lowest paid are expected to receive the highest rises, and, if approved, workers in England could see their pay increase almost immediately.

The agreement will cover all staff on the Agenda for Change contract - about 1.3m across the UK, which is the entire workforce with the exception of doctors, dentists and senior leaders.

Colin Angel, UKHCA Policy Director said:

"I am sure that the pay rises announced for NHS will be welcomed by staff, especially those who are in lower paid jobs. However, I am deeply concerned about the impact this will have on recruitment and retention of staff in social care, particularly those in the independent sector. The promise of a social care Green Paper is not going to attract new staff to homecare when local authorities are not reflecting the real costs of care in their contracts with homecare providers."

Read the BBC report here.

 

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Brexit threats to health and social care in ScotlandBrexit threats to health and social care in Scotland

Scotland's Health Minister, Shona Robinson MSP, has stated that Scotland can protect its health and care services from the effects of Brexit. Speaking ahead of giving evidence to the Health and Sport Committee inquiry she commented:

"I am clear that the only way to protect patients, our health and social care services, and our research and pharmaceutical industries is to retain our membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.

This would ensure we continue to benefit from recognition of qualifications and free movement of staff within the EU, the rights of Scottish patients to have treatment in the EU, and access for Scotland to pan-European research, medicines and clinical trials."

More information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

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Jeremy Hunt sets out principles for the social care Green PaperJeremy Hunt sets out principles for the social care Green Paper

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social care set out the seven key principles that will guide the development of the social care green paper due to be published in summer 2018. These are:

  • Quality
  • Whole-person integrated care
  • Control
  • Workforce
  • Supporting families and carers
  • A sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market
  • Security for all.

Amongst the highlights of the speech were references to the possibility of independent Ofsted-style ratings for commissioners, a consultation on Personal Health Budgets and the announcement of an NHS 10-year workforce strategy with the needs of the NHS and social care sectors considered together and fully aligned.

On sustainable funding, Jeremy Hunt said that the Green Paper will 'jump start' the debate about funding for the future and stated that the Government is clear that there has to be a partnership between the state and individuals, and also the system needed to include an element of risk-pooling.

Read the full speech here.

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Scottish Government publishes summary of health and social care experiencesScottish Government publishes summary of health and social care experiences

The Scottish Government has published a summary of the free text responses that were given by the public about health and social care services, as part of a survey in 2016. Comments highlighted the need for continuity of care, with regular workers at consistent times, to suit individual need rather than resource priorities.

The summary can be accessed via the Scottish Government's publications page.

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Does homecare need more support from pharmacists?Does homecare need more support from pharmacists?

NHS England has announced a plan to recruit and deploy hundreds of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to carry out reviews for residents in care homes to ensure people are prescribed the right medicines, at the right time, in the right way to improve their health and overall quality of life.

UKHCA welcomes initiatives which ensure optimum management of long-term conditions for people living in care homes. However, we would like to hear the views of members on whether a similar plan is needed to support people receiving care in their own homes.

Please write and tell us about your experiences of dealing with community pharmacists by emailing us at policy@ukhca.co.uk.

Read the pharmacist announcement from NHS England here.

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CQC looks to hire 100 more inspectors after £10m underspendCQC looks to hire 100 more inspectors after £10m underspend

The National Health Executive, an independent management magazine for the health sector, has reported that CQC is planning to hire an additional 100 inspectors to decrease the current workload on its staff, specifically for those investigating the adult social care sector. The report goes on to say that a recent staff survey pointed to workload pressures as one of the key issues faced by the organisation, which - coupled with a reported £10.2m underspend largely down to pay - has prompted CQC to push for greater recruitment. It is expected that there will be increased pressure on the inspectorate's finances in the future, with a warning that continued reduction of expenditure will be necessary as the budget drops from £223m to £217m.

Read the National Health Executive article here.

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DOLS system will be replacedDOLS system will be replaced

Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, announced in Parliament the Government's final response to the Law Commission's report on mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The government has accepted (or accepted in principle) 42 of 47 recommendations, with only one rejected “ the proposed statutory codification of the law in relation to mental capacity and children" and four others deferred for consideration as part of the separate independent review of the Mental Health Act. However, legislation to replace DoLS will only happen when parliamentary time allows.

Read the Minister's announcement here.

Announcement posted on:

Manchester City Council increase to homecare businesses will not cover costs of careManchester City Council increase to homecare businesses will not cover costs of care

Manchester City Council announced via their website, that from April 2018, homecare workers would receive a pound an hour increase in their pay. Acknowledging that careworkers are often the lowest paid people in the city, the council's announcement said that careworkers will receive £8.75 an hour, which is Manchester's Living Wage.

UKHCA's Policy Director, Colin Angel, responding to the announcement on Twitter said that the aspiration from Manchester City Council that careworkers should receive UK Living Wage should be applauded, but the rhetoric isn't supported by the £15.20 per hour rate the council intends to pay, which doesn't come close to covering providers' costs. UKHCA's minimum price for homecare services from April 2018 is £20.03 per hour where the employer is paying the (voluntary) UK Living Wage of £8.75.

Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council Executive Member for Adult Services, replied that the announcement on the increase was made after proper conversation with homecare providers and providers had agreed to the rate of £15.20 an hour, which is an increase from £13.20 an hour.

UKHCA would be interested to hear the views of members who supply homecare services to Manchester City Council, particularly about the level of engagement that they experienced. Please write to us at policy@ukhca.co.uk.

Announcement posted on:

Social care and health could benefit from a £14bn boostSocial care and health could benefit from a £14bn boost

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has called for the proportion of centrally collected taxes going to social care and health to increase from 22% to 24%. "Public funding has not kept pace with the demographic demands", and "the right long-term investments are not being made to the extent required", CIPFA wrote to the health and communities and local government inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care.

"For example, setting the tax take dedicated to social care and health at 24% rather than the current 22% would enable an extra £14bn to be invested, which is in line with CIPFA's assessment of what the system is likely to need," the submission stated.

Read more from CIPFA here

Announcement posted on:

Additional funding for health and social care in Northern IrelandAdditional funding for health and social care in Northern Ireland

As part of a new budget for Northern Ireland, the Department of Health is set to receive an additional 2.6% in funding in real terms for this year. There has also been £100m allocated from the budget to implement the recommendations of the 'Bengoa Report' on changes to health and social care services. However, the Department is facing a reported shortfall of £160m so it is unclear how much of this funding will be used on adult social care directly.

The report on the budget can be found on the BBC website, and the Bengoa recommendations can be found here.

Announcement posted on:

Social Care Wales online services temporarily unavailableSocial Care Wales online services temporarily unavailable

All of Social Care Wales' online functions will be offline from 16th March as planned maintenance and improvements to the system are carried out. All of the online features will be up and running from the 9th of April. People wishing to register with SCW for the first time are being encouraged to wait until after this date to do so.

Further information can be accessed via the Social Care Wales news page.

Announcement posted on:

Social Care Wales seek views on draft equality planSocial Care Wales seek views on draft equality plan

Social Care Wales has launched a consultation over its draft equality plan and objectives. The four year plan is based on a principle of promoting equality and valuing diversity. It sets out:

-The six equality objectives;

-How SCW will identify and collect equality information;

-How SCW will publish equality information;

-How SCW will carry out impact assessments; and

-How SCW will promote knowledge, and understanding, of the equality duties to their staff.

The consultation period will run until 27th April. The draft equality plan and the short survey can be accessed on the Social Care Wales website.

Announcement posted on:

Advice for social care staff in raising work concerns available in Northern IrelandAdvice for social care staff in raising work concerns available in Northern Ireland

NISCC has published a short guide which aims to help social care staff to raise concerns in the workplace about putting service users or the public at risk, or affecting the quality or safety of care provided.

The full guide can be downloaded from the NISCC website.

Announcement posted on:

New Dementia strategy launched in WalesNew Dementia strategy launched in Wales

The Welsh Government announced a new dementia strategy in February 2018. The new document 'The Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018-22' seeks to improve on many aspects of dementia care, including living as well as possible with dementia for as long as possible. The overall aim is to make Wales a dementia-friendly nation.

The full strategy and action plan can be accessed on the Welsh Government website.

Announcement posted on:

Local Government Association responds to Spring StatementLocal Government Association responds to Spring Statement

The Local Government Association has responded to the Spring Statement to urge the Government to pass on any extra funding to local authorities. They argue that this funding should be used to address the growing gaps in local authority funding.

The full statement can be found on the LGA website.

Announcement posted on:

Nothing for Social Care in Chancellor's Spring Statement Nothing for Social Care in Chancellor's Spring Statement

Although the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, recognised the pressures facing the NHS and local authorities, he didn't make any new spending commitments for social care in his Spring Statement to Parliament. Despite forecasting a small current surplus for 2018/19, the Chancellor said public spending and investment will be increased in the years ahead, but only if public finances continue on the improved path and borrowing continues to fall.

Although no new spending was announced, Philip Hammond confirmed that £80m is being released to support small businesses in engaging an apprentice. He also said that business rates revaluation would be brought forward 12 months to 2021. There was a call for evidence to eliminate late payments to small businesses, and he made the first allocations of the £190 million local full-fibre challenge fund announced at the Autumn Budget while also confirming £25 million for the first 5G testbeds.

No doubt pressures for more spending on public spending will increase as we head towards the 2018 Autumn Budget. However, given that in his Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced a multiyear Whitehall spending review, the real battles over public spending will come in 2019.

You can read the full Spring Statement here.

Announcement posted on:

Councils raiding reserves to fund adult social careCouncils raiding reserves to fund adult social care

The report from the National Audit Office (NAO) on the Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities 2018 confirms what the social care sector already knew about funding vital adult social care services. With two thirds of local authorities with social care responsibilities drawing on their financial reserves in 2016-17 it's not surprising that the NAO finds current trends are financially unsustainable over the medium term.

The NAO reports on increasing demand for services together with increased costs and says that one in 10 councils with social care responsibilities will have exhausted their reserves within the next three years if the current rate of expenditure continues. Given that local authorities have been delivering savings since 2010, the NAO concludes they are nearing the end of their ability to make further service savings without impacting on front-line services.

Announcement posted on:

CQC should speed up publication of inspection reportsCQC should speed up publication of inspection reports

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has improved significantly since 2012 said the Public Account Committee (PAC) which is responsible for scrutinising the value for money of public expenditure. However, the PAC considers CQC needs to improve its current performance. It does not make inspection reports available to the public quickly enough and it needs to improve how it interacts with and regulates GP practices. With health and care providers under severe financial pressure, CQC's workload is likely to increase if services deteriorate. CQC needs to monitor this closely and understand the impact on its staff requirements. CQC must improve its information systems and has more work to do to ensure it has the wide range of intelligence it needs to identify early warning signs of poor care.

Read the PAC report here.

Announcement posted on:

Cuts to trading standards putting older people at risk of fraud, warns Age UKCuts to trading standards putting older people at risk of fraud, warns Age UK

Age UK have warned that budget reductions of up to 60% over the last seven years have undermined the ability of local authorities to tackle scams among older people. It is calling on the Government to ensure that all local authorities have the resources needed to meet their safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014.

In their new report, Applying the Brakes, Age UK says trading standards services have a key role to play in tackling fraud yet severe budget cuts are damaging their ability to act.

While this report is focused primarily on England, it will be of interest to members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Announcement posted on:

Low Pay Commission considering impact of minimum wage premium for non-guaranteed hoursLow Pay Commission considering impact of minimum wage premium for non-guaranteed hours

The Low Pay Commission have opened their annual consultation on the levels of the National Minimum Wage rates, including the National Living Wage, which this year contains extra questions.

The LPC is looking at a recommendation in the Taylor review of modern working practices and considering the impact of a higher minimum wage for hours that are not 'guaranteed', as well as alternative means for tackling one sided flexibility - some workers experiencing uncertain and unpredictable work schedules.

LPC are also reviewing minimum wage structure, including a review of youth and apprenticeship rates.

The closing date for submissions is 1 June 2018. Details and consultation questions can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/low-pay-commission-consultation-2018 

Please send your views to terry.donohoe@ukhca.co.uk by 11 May 2018 for consideration in UKHCA's consultation response.

Announcement posted on:

Staff crisis in Scotland could worsen post-BrexitStaff crisis in Scotland could worsen post-Brexit

Members of the Scottish Parliament are currently looking at the potential impact of Brexit on the care sector in Scotland. An evidence gathering session will take place with the Health Committee on 20 March 2018.

Further details can be found on the Health Committee page.

Announcement posted on:

New Care Standards currently on trackNew Care Standards currently on track

The Care Inspectorate has announced that they are on track to roll out the new care standards from April 2018 across Scotland. The standards will be implemented incrementally throughout 2018, starting with care homes for older people, before expanding into other care settings through 2018/19.

Further information can be found on the Care Inspectorate website.

Announcement posted on:

IRISS hold 'portrait of care' eventIRISS hold 'portrait of care' event

Coinciding with World Social Work Day, the exhibition aims to celebrate the great work of the sector, understand practitioners' views, as well as provide an opportunity to share key insights from the public.

Dates and venues can be found on the IRISS website.

Announcement posted on:

Joint inquiry launched into long-term funding and provision of adult social careJoint inquiry launched into long-term funding and provision of adult social care

The Commons Communities and Local Government and Health Committees have launched a joint inquiry on the long-term funding and provision of adult social care in England, which will contribute to the Green Paper. The deadline for written submissions, which should be no more than 3000 words and submitted online, is 7 March 2018. The inquiry will examine:

  • How to fund social care sustainably for the long term (beyond 2020), bearing in mind in particular the interdependence of the health and social care systems; and
  • The mechanism for reaching political and public consensus on a solution.

How to send a written submission to the long-term funding of adult social care inquiry

UKHCA members are invited to send us their views by 23 February 2018, for consideration in our response. Please email policy@ukhca.co.uk

 

Announcement posted on:

New Data Protection Bill introduced in ParliamentNew Data Protection Bill introduced in Parliament

The UK's third generation of data protection law has entered Parliament. The Data Protection Bill updates data protection laws in the UK, supplementing the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), as well as extending data protection laws to areas which are not covered by the GDPR. It is intended to provide a comprehensive package to protect personal data.

The Information Commissioners Office has published a document, 'An Introduction to the Data Protection Bill'. It is intended as an introduction to the content and structure of the Data Protection Bill for organisations and individuals who are already familiar with data protection law and the GDPR.

Announcement posted on:

Skills for Care launch National Careers and Apprenticeship WeekSkills for Care launch National Careers and Apprenticeship Week

Skills for Care have launched National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week - a week of celebrating high quality careers education, information, advice and guidance.

Skills for Care say this is an excellent opportunity for adult social care organisations across England to work closely with young people and students, to break down some of the negative stereotypes about working in care and inspire them to consider a career in the sector.

To mark this occasion, Skills for Care have launched new online guidance about how providers can support people who are new to the sector, to start work in your organisation.

Find out more from their website.

Announcement posted on:

Government responds to CMA study of care homes marketGovernment responds to CMA study of care homes market

The Government has published its response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) study of the care homes market in England. The CMA has asked each of the Devolved Administrations to respond to their recommendations.

All of the recommendations made by the CMA have either been accepted or accepted in principle by the Government in Westminster and will feed into the social care Green Paper expected in summer 2018. The Government said, "The Green Paper will consider the fundamental issues facing the care system, including future sustainability of the market, capacity planning and market shaping responsibilities."

UKHCA members will wish to note that in their response, the Government has signalled it would welcome a CMA study into the homecare market. Read the Government's response to the CMA study here.

Announcement posted on:

CQC need volunteers to test digital registration toolCQC need volunteers to test digital registration tool

CQC is transforming its approach to registration with the aim of streamlining and improving processes to reduce some of the burden and time costs for providers. They are looking for providers to help develop their approach.

CQC are asking for expressions of interest to be involved from aspiring or new registered managers of existing personal care providers, this includes registered managers of domiciliary care services, extra care housing, shared lives and supported living services.

Please email providerengagement@cqc.org.uk if you are interested in getting involved.

 

Announcement posted on:

Social Care Wales host qualifications engagement sessionsSocial Care Wales host qualifications engagement sessions

Social Care Wales are hosting a number of events across Wales to engage with providers and other over the new qualifications requirements.

A full list of dates and locations can be found on the Social Care Wales website.

Announcement posted on:

UKHCA Workshop - end of life care: train the trainerUKHCA Workshop - end of life care: train the trainer

UKHCA will be holding a workshop on end of life care in Cardiff in September 2018. UKHCA's end of life - train the trainer workshop has been designed to ensure you can train your care staff to a high standard, giving them the skills and confidence to care for people at the end of their life.

Delegates attending this workshop will receive a copy of UKHCA's end of life care training pack. The pack includes a resource guide, trainer's handbook, a PowerPoint presentation and a CD containing the entire course.

More information can be found on the UKHCA events page.

Announcement posted on:

Department of Health publish annual inequalities reportDepartment of Health publish annual inequalities report

The Department of Health has published a report into health inequalities in Northern Ireland, Published annually, this report presents a comprehensive analysis of regional health inequality gaps between the most and least deprived areas of NI, and sub-regional gaps within Health & Social Care (HSC) Trust and Local Government District (LGD) areas across a range of health indicators.

The full report can be access on the Department website.

Announcement posted on:

UKHCA Workshop - Medication: train the trainerUKHCA Workshop - Medication: train the trainer

UKHCA will be hosting a medication training event in Belfast in October 2018. UKHCA's Medication - Train the Trainer workshop is designed to enable homecare providers to train staff flexibly and cost-effectively, in-house.

Further information can be found on the UKHCA events page.

Announcement posted on:

Minister thanks care providers for dedicated serviceMinister thanks care providers for dedicated service

The Minister for Social Care in Wales, Huw Irranca-Davies, has written a letter thanking care providers for their hard work and dedication over the winter period.

The letter can be accessed here.

Announcement posted on:

March 2018 Homecarer is now available to downloadMarch 2018 Homecarer is now available to download

March Homecarer is now available to download. In this issue: UKHCA looks at ringfencing health and social care; Bridget Warr, UKHCA CEO, discusses how the green paper is an opportunity to put homecare on a firm footing; Anthony Collins Solicitors provides homecarers with 12 top tips for GDPR; Karen Reid, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate tells members how recruitment and retention is vital for high quality care in Scotland;James Whynacht, UKHCA Policy Officer provides written commentary on planning for the future of social care in Wales and Lesley Megarity, UKHCA Board Member for Northern Ireland writes about the priorities in health and social care for any incoming Minister. 

Announcement posted on:

Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2017Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2017

Since 1983, NatCen Social Research's British Social Attitudes survey has asked members of the public about their views on the NHS and health and care issues generally. The latest survey was carried out between July and October 2017.

  • Satisfaction with GP services fell to 65% in 2017 - a 7 percentage point drop from the previous year.
  • Satisfaction with outpatient services was also 65% in 2017. The change from the previous year was not statistically significant.
  • Satisfaction with inpatient services was 55% in 2017, down by 5 percentage points from 2016.
  • Satisfaction with accident and emergency (A&E) services was 52% in 2017. The change in satisfaction from 2016 was not statistically significant.
  • Satisfaction with NHS dentistry services was 57% in 2017. The change from the previous year was not statistically significant.
  • Satisfaction with social care services was 23% in 2017. The change from the previous year was not statistically significant. At the same time, dissatisfaction with social care services increased by 6 percentage points in 2017 to 41%.

You can download a copy of the results of the survey here.

Announcement posted on:

Social workers should have done more to ensure man received appropriate careSocial workers should have done more to ensure man received appropriate care

Social workers in Northamptonshire did not do enough to ensure a care home implemented a vulnerable man's care plan, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found. Despite a protection plan having been drawn up for the man, the council failed to check that the home was implementing the man's plan or that it was communicating the plan effectively with staff.


Additionally the investigation found the council did not do enough to ensure his care bills were going to the correct address, which meant by the time he received them, a large invoice had built up.

In a ruling that has read-across for homecare provision, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:

Councils cannot contract out responsibility for care when they contract out the provision: poor quality care by a council-funded provider is poor quality care by the council itself.

Although the questionable care this man received from his care home was not provided by the council, Northamptonshire County Council is directly responsible for ensuring the quality of care delivered by providers acting on its behalf.

I'm pleased that by the end of the investigation, the council had agreed to improve its policies and procedures and provide the remedy I have recommended.

https://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/news/2018/feb/social-workers-should-have-done-more-to-ensure-man-received-appropriate-care

Announcement posted on:

New guidance on information sharing and data protectionNew guidance on information sharing and data protection

New guidance is available for health and social care providers on information governance written by the Care Provider Alliance with the Social Care Programme in NHS Digital. The guidance, and Data Security and Protection Toolkit due to be launched in April 2018, will help providers comply with CQC KLOEs and the General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect on 25 May 2018. 

The Department of Health and Social Care have also issued guidance on information sharing for social care providers, including contractual requirements: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-security-and-protection-for-health-and-care-organisations. (Providers operating under a NHS Standard Contract will have to complete the Toolkit by 31st March 2019; this is recommended for other providers.)

More from: www.careprovideralliance.org.uk/information-governance.html The guidance applies to England, but may be of interest to other UK providers.

Announcement posted on:

Know your ACO from your STP, ICS and ICPKnow your ACO from your STP, ICS and ICP

Keen observers of the NHS will have seen that NHS England has recently changed the name of accountable care systems to integrated care systems. The King's Fund have helpfully provided a briefing which examines the reasons for the changes and explains some of the new organisations and revised names emerging as the NHS transforms following the Five Year Forward View first published in 2014 and updated as the Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View in 2017.

Read The King's Fund briefing here.

 

Announcement posted on:

Council tax increases will not stop cutbacks in servicesCouncil tax increases will not stop cutbacks in services

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that council tax rises will not prevent the need for continued cutbacks to all local services this year. With an overall funding gap that will exceed £5 billion by 2020, LGA Chairman Lord Porter, said that the extra income from the social care precept, "will be wiped out by the significant costs pressures of paying for the Government's National Living Wage and extra general council tax income will only replace a third of the central government funding they will lose this year".

Read the full statement from the LGA here.

Announcement posted on:

Duty of Candour implementationDuty of Candour implementation

From 1 April 2018, the requirements for Duty of Candour will come into effect in Scotland. The requirements are contained within The Health and Care (Scotland) Act 2016, which received Royal Assent on 1 April 2016.

The details of this procedure will be set out in regulations which will be published prior to 1st April 2018. Organisations will have a new requirement to publish an annual report on when the duty has been applied. This will include the number of incidents, how the organisation has complied with the duty and what learning and improvements have been put in place.

More information can be found on the .gov.scot website.

Announcement posted on:

Lord Darzi Review of Health and Social CareLord Darzi Review of Health and Social Care

The independent Lord Darzi Review, for the Institute for Public Policy Research, aims to examine the state of quality in health and care services on the NHS's 70th birthday in 2018 and make recommendations for future funding and reform of the system.

The Lord Darzi Review is aiming to:

  • examine the quality - meaning safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency and equitability - of care in the NHS and social care service today
  • establish the funding settlement and reforms needed to drive improvements in the quality of care in the coming decade.

As part of the research programme, Lord Darzi and his advisory panel are particularly keen to hear from organisations or individuals who are working on the frontline of health and care.

The deadline for responses is 19 March 2018. Read more about the review here.

Announcement posted on:

NICE Guideline: Improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care servicesNICE Guideline: Improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services

NICE has published a new guideline covering the care and support of adults receiving social care in their own homes, residential care and community settings. It aims to help people understand what care they can expect and to improve their experience by supporting them to make decisions about their care. The Guideline is for:

  • Practitioners working in adult social care services in all settings
  • Service managers and providers of adult social care services
  • Commissioners of adult social care services
  • People using services (including those who fund their own care) and their families, carers and advocates.

For more information about the new NICE Guideline, click here.

Announcement posted on:

NICE Quick guidesNICE Quick guides

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have co-produced a number of quick guides with The Social Care Institute for Excellence. The guides provide key information for social care topics in a simple format. 

They are designed for people who don't have the time to read large guidelines and quality standards. They may prove useful to homecare providers across the UK as training aids and for people who are receiving or looking for a homecare service.

Topics include:

  • Helping to prevent infection
  • Discussing and planning medicines support
  • Understanding intermediate care, including reablement
  • Moving between hospital and home, including care homes
  • Recognising and preventing delirium
  • Building independence through planning for transition
  • Improving oral health for adults in care homes (useful also to homecare workers)
  • Better home care for older people
  • Building independence through planning for transition

The NICE quick guides are available to down load from their website.

Announcement posted on:

Learning points from the prosecution of a care homeLearning points from the prosecution of a care home

Anthony Collins LLP, our preferred solicitors, have published a briefing following the Care Quality Commission's prosecution of a care home in Essex. The care home failed to act on concerns raised about the deterioration in a service user's posture and as a result the service user suffered a life changing injury while being showered in a commode shower chair.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) states that it continues to receive reports of injuries and fatalities because posture/safety belts on assistive technology devices aren't used, fitted or adjusted properly or they haven't been maintained correctly. See the alert issued by MHRA on posture or safety belts fitted to supportive seating, wheelchairs, hoists and bathroom equipment. MDA/2015/018.

Read the full briefing from Anthony Collins here.

Announcement posted on:

King's Fund Publish report into social care fundingKing's Fund Publish report into social care funding

The King's Fund has published a full length report into social care funding. The report outlines the current financial system for social care as well as evaluating the positives and negatives of other potential means for funding care.

The full report can be downloaded from the Kings Fund website.

Announcement posted on:

New strategy for social care research launchesNew strategy for social care research launches

Social Care Wales have launched a new initiative aiming to improve research into matters of importance for social care in Wales. The new 5 year plan seeks to develop research in developing the social care workforce, improving the collection and use of data, and involving the public in social care research.

The full report can be accessed via the Social Care Wales website.

Announcement posted on:

New domiciliary care worker registration guide for employersNew domiciliary care worker registration guide for employers

Social Care Wales has published a short guide for employers on the new domiciliary care worker registration requirements. The guide explains who needs to be registered, when they need to be registered by and what this will mean for you as an employer.

The full guide can be accessed via the Social Care Wales website.

Announcement posted on:

Apologies - UKHCA emails blocked by third-party softwareApologies - UKHCA emails blocked by third-party software

Some of UKHCA's out-going e-mails are being blocked by third-party software. This has affected a number of other organisations since 12 February 2018 and we are working with the provider to get this resolved. If you have been expecting e-mail correspondence from UKHCA on an urgent matter and have not received the information you expected, please accept our apologies and contact us on 020 8661 8188.

Announcement posted on:

Online registration now available with Care Inspectorate WalesOnline registration now available with Care Inspectorate Wales

Care Inspectorate Wales (formerly CSSIW) are now offering online registration and re-registration as required under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. Domiciliary care agencies will be required to re-register with CIW by the 2nd April. CIW will be sending out information to providers directly in phases throughout the next few months.

More information on registration and re-registration can be found on the CIW website.

Announcement posted on:

BEIS launch consultation on enforcement of employment rightsBEIS launch consultation on enforcement of employment rights

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation looking at implementing recommendations on enforcing employment rights as highlighted in the Taylor Review into modern working practices. BEIS are seeking views on a number of recommendations including simplifying the enforcement process, who should be responsible for enforcement whether the burden of proof should be reversed.

The consultation document can be found on the BEIS website. The deadline for responses will be 16th of May 2018.

Announcement posted on:

Government criticised for inaction on England's social care workforceGovernment criticised for inaction on England's social care workforce

UKHCA welcomes today's NAO report which criticises Government inaction on England's social care workforce. Colin Angel, Policy Director at the UKHCA, commented:

'The National Audit Office rightly calls time on the Department of Health and Social Care's consistently 'hands-off' approach to the social care market and its workforce. The absence of a published strategy for the social care workforce highlighted by NAO should be an embarrassment to Government, but a strategy is only useful if it leads to decisive action.'

The NAO report adds weighty evidence to repeated calls for Government to establish how much funding the social care sector needs and to produce a robust and properly funded national workforce strategy that will support the growth in careworker numbers required to meet increasing demand. Full UKHCA press release.

Announcement posted on:

Government launches consultation on workforce transparency and zero-hours contractsGovernment launches consultation on workforce transparency and zero-hours contracts

In response to last year's 'Taylor Review' of modern work practices, the Government has launched a consultation on the workforce, including zero-hour contracts. The consultation seeks views on whether employees on flexible, or zero-hours, contracts should have the right to request a more stable contract of employment from their employer.

Full details of how to respond to the consultation, and the consultation document, can be found on then Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) website.

Responses must be submitted before 23rd May 2018.

Announcement posted on:

New consultation launched on Employment StatusNew consultation launched on Employment Status

To help formulate Government strategy on the workforce, the Government have launched a consultation into how Employment Status could, or should, be clarified and communicated to employers and workers. The consultation seeks to inform legislation aiming to identify, and codify, the differences in status and rights between employees and workers.

Full details of how to respond to the consultation, which closes on 1 June 2018, and the consultation document, can be found on then Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) website.

Announcement posted on:

BEIS launch consultation on agency worker recommendationsBEIS launch consultation on agency worker recommendations

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a consultation looking at implementing recommendations on agency workers as highlighted in the Taylor Review into modern working practices. Areas for consideration include clarity on rates of pay and any deductions made to worker pay, and clarity on who is responsible for paying temporary workers for the work they have done.

The consultation document can be found on the BEIS website. The deadline for responses will be 9th of May 2018.

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Government set to improve rights of flexible workersGovernment set to improve rights of flexible workers

The Government is to adopt most of the recommendations of the Taylor review of employment practices, according to its response issued today on improving the rights of flexible workers. The Government is to ask the Low Pay Commission to look into setting a higher National Minimum Wage for workers on zero hours contracts. UKHCA will give evidence on behalf of members to the LPC, in the usual manner.

More about the proposals, and associated four consultations, which will need to be studied carefully, from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices BBC news article

Announcement posted on:

Additional £150 million for adult social careAdditional £150 million for adult social care

In a written ministerial statement issued 6th February 2018, Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) announced further funding for adult social care.

He said there would be an additional £150 million in 2018-19 in the Adult Social Care Support Grant - money from the anticipated underspend in existing departmental budgets. He added that this will not affect existing revenue commitments made to local government.

The funding will be allocated according to relative needs and the Government expects councils use it to build on their progress so far in supporting sustainable local care markets.

Read the full statement here

 

 

Announcement posted on:

New care standards coming into effect from April 2018New care standards coming into effect from April 2018

The Care Inspectorate has announced that they are on track to roll out the new care standards from April 2018 across Scotland. The standards will be implemented incrementally throughout 2018, starting with care homes for older people, before expanding into other care settings through 2018/19. UKHCA will pass on more details on the care standards in relation to care at home when they become available.

Further information can be found on the Care Inspectorate website.

Announcement posted on:

Update on CQC registration requirementsUpdate on CQC registration requirements

Members will be aware that as part of their Next Phase of Regulation consultation held in 2017, CQC proposed to revise the criteria for defining a provider that will need to be registered with CQC.

As a result of the consultation, as well as registering services at location level, CQC will begin to register entities are that are 'accountable' for care.

CQC have defined accountable entities as those that are accountable (either directly or through other legal entities or contractual arrangements) for the carrying on of regulated activities, where that direction or control has the effect of rendering the organisation accountable for the quality and safety of those activities, even where responsibility for delivering care sits with others.

CQC plan to implement the new registration requirements starting with homecare providers in 2018/2019.

CQC have confirmed the new requirements will not apply to franchisors.

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MPs launch inquiries into small businessesMPs launch inquiries into small businesses

Two new inquiries have been launched on small businesses. The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee are investigating whether there is enough government support for small businesses to boost productivity. MPs want to know if there is sufficient access to good quality management training and protection from unfair treatment by large companies, like late payment. The deadline for responses is 8 March 2018.

Separately, the Treasury Committee is looking at SME finance - competition in the market, funding sources, including crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, and current regulatory protection.

More from: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/business-energy-industrial-strategy/news-parliament-2017/small-business-inquiry-17-19/ 

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Social Care Wales publish response to major consultationSocial Care Wales publish response to major consultation

Social Care Wales has published a summary of responses to their recent consultation, 'Transforming Care in the 21st Century', as well as providing information on next steps for registration fees and care worker qualifications. Social Care Wales will be increasing their fees as set out in the consultation, but will be increasing the registration fee for care workers at a lower rate than was initially proposed. The proposals for care worker qualifications will be going ahead as outlined in the document.

The response by Social Care Wales can be found on their website.

UKHCA's response to the consultation can be accessed via our consultations page.

Announcement posted on:

CQC update medication FAQ'sCQC update medication FAQ's

The CQC have updated their bank of resources on medication administration and training. There are a number of individual documents dealing with the most frequently asked questions with regards to medication issues, including administration, disposal, storage, controlled drugs and training.

All of the medication FAQs can be accessed via the CQC website.

Announcement posted on:

CQC - New guidance on assessing financial viability of providersCQC - New guidance on assessing financial viability of providers

CQC is changing how it will assess the financial viability of providers. From 12 February 2018 they will ask all providers to submit a statement of financial viability in the form of a statement letter from a financial specialist. This could be an accountancy, bank or financial services firm. CQC say this has been introduced to provide high level consistency and transparency in the way they assure themselves that providers are meeting Regulation 13 of the CQC (Registration) Regulations 2009. They also say it will support their proportionate risk based approach to registration.

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Ban on credit card charges now in forceBan on credit card charges now in force

Businesses in the UK are no longer allowed to surcharge customers for paying with credit and debit cards as of the 13th of January. This ruling also applies to paying for items with companies like PayPal.

Further information can be found on the gov.uk website.

Announcement posted on:

Issues facing providers of social care at home to older residents in rural EnglandIssues facing providers of social care at home to older residents in rural England

Rural England has published a research paper looking at the issues facing providers of homecare. The paper covers the following areas:

  • Analysis of the current and future homecare needs of older people in Rural England in the context of demographic and health trends;
  • Summarising some of the key elements of The Care Act and other selected legislation relating to Social Care;
  • Exploring the perspectives of Local Authorities and other care providers in the context of case studies of three contrasting rural areas (Cornwall, Shropshire and North Yorkshire).

A link to the paper from Rural England can be found here.

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Social care leaders highlight risks from lack of funding for sleep-in liabilitiesSocial care leaders highlight risks from lack of funding for sleep-in liabilities

UKHCA has joined with other social care leaders to highlight the significant financial risk posed by the absence of funding to meet back pay liabilities, resulting from a change in the law concerning sleep-ins. A joint letter published in the Observer says the situation is causing widespread anxiety for carers and those who use care services. Letter to Observer published 29 January 2018.

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Care Workers Charity is making an impactCare Workers Charity is making an impact

The Care Workers Charity (CWC) supports the basic welfare of current, former and retired care workers. That's anyone who works in a registered care service in the UK. The charity has a vision that no care worker will ever face financial hardship alone. Support is offered in the form of hardship grants, and online information and advice.

For more information about CWC and how to get involved, see: www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk/ or read their first impact report

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Caroline Dinenage MP confirmed Care Minister, as social care role is upgradedCaroline Dinenage MP confirmed Care Minister, as social care role is upgraded

Caroline Dinenage MP is Minister of State for Care, with a brief that includes overseeing all aspects of adult social care, including dementia, loneliness and disabilities, hospital care quality and patient safety, community health services and health and social care integration. This represents a welcome upgrading of the care brief, formerly held by a junior minister. We understand the new Care Minister will take forward the green paper on adult social care, with a team that has transferred to DHSC from the Cabinet Office.

Jackie Doyle-Price MP becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities. Stephen Barclay MP is Minister of State for Health, and Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care.

Department for Health and Social Care ministerial responsibilities: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

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Councils must meet all assessed care needs of service usersCouncils must meet all assessed care needs of service users

In a recent decision, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in England has said councils should not ask people which of their needs should be met. An investigation by the Ombudsman found a man was placed in this situation, incurring him more than £17,000 in costs, by Northamptonshire County Council.

The Ombudsman is now asking the council to accept its faults and put things right, while reminding all councils in England of their duty to meet all service users' eligible needs. Read more about the Ombudsman's decision here.

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NISCC launch easy-read standards of conductNISCC launch easy-read standards of conduct

NISCC have published an easy- read version of the Standards of Conduct and Practice for Social Workers and Social Care Workers. The easy read standards have been specifically developed for service users, to enable them to understand the level of care they can expect to receive from their social care worker and what to do if they are not happy with their standard of care.

The new documents can be downloaded from the NISCC website.

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Department of Health warns of intense pressure on health and social careDepartment of Health warns of intense pressure on health and social care

Senior Department of Health officials have given a briefing to MLAs on the intense pressures and challenges facing the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland. The officials stressed the need for transformation in the sector, although this seemed to be primarily focused on health services.

Further details can be found on the Department of Health website.

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Report finds transformation funds used for day-to-day pressuresReport finds transformation funds used for day-to-day pressures

The National Audit Office has issued a report on NHS sustainability and transformation which concludes that £1.8bn additional funding for financial stability has been spent on current pressures instead. The NAO suggested that "Repeated short-term funding-boosts could turn into the new normal, when the public purse may be better served by a long-term funding settlement that provides a stable platform for sustained improvements". More from: Sustainability and transformation in the NHS (pdf - 1248KB) and Sustainability and transformation in the NHS Summary (pdf - 141KB) NAO Press Release Comment in Guardian

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January 2018 Homecarer is now available to downloadJanuary 2018 Homecarer is now available to download

In this issue: UKHCA writes about a recent webinar for council commissioners; Trevor Brocklebank, UKHCA's new Chair formerly introduces himself; Bridget Warr, UKHCA's CEO, discusses how homecare issues are being moved forward to shape the future of care; a special sensory impairment section featuring articles written by RNIB, British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists and Sense offering advice to carers on how they can help service-users; UKHCA's Policy Director, Colin Angel talks about recruitment and retention: Towergate Insurance writes about reducing risk and the costs of your insurance; Anthony Collins Solicitors explains what procurement is and what it could mean for homecarer providers and we present a round-up in the national reports of announcements and developments related to homecare.

January 2018 Homecarer edition

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CQC prepared to postpone routine inspections where services have winter pressuresCQC prepared to postpone routine inspections where services have winter pressures

CQC have said they will pause some routine inspections where hospital staff are busy coping with respiratory illness and influenza. Inspections responding to concerns about quality or safety will go ahead as planned. CQC say 'the majority of Adult Social Care inspections are carried out on an unannounced basis in response to risk and to follow up concerns. As such, the planned inspection schedule will not change but will be kept under constant review and if CQC receive a notification of a flu or norovirus outbreak at a location it will be amended accordingly.'

Normal service is expected in February, subject to system review. More from: http://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-responds-increased-pressure-health-social-care-pausing-some-routine-inspections

Announcement posted on:

Ministerial lead for loneliness appointedMinisterial lead for loneliness appointed

Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch MP has been appointed ministerial lead on loneliness. The Prime Minister said the new minister would work with the Jo Cox Commission, businesses and charities and lead a cross-government group which would develop a first strategy on preventing loneliness. The initiative will include a dedicated fund for government to work with charitable trusts, foundations, and others to stimulate innovative solutions. Up to 9 million people in Britain say loneliness affects them, including older people, family carers and those who have been bereaved.

More from: www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-commits-to-government-wide-drive-to-tackle-loneliness

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MPs call for improvements in NHS continuing care application process and fund oversightMPs call for improvements in NHS continuing care application process and fund oversight

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee say Government should improve the process for qualifying for, and oversight of, NHS continuing care. The PAC's report said 'too often people's care is compromised because no one makes them aware of the funding available, or helps them to navigate the hugely complicated process for accessing funding.' There is unacceptable variation between areas in the number of people assessed as eligible for funding, caused partly by clinical commissioning groups interpreting assessment criteria inconsistently. Oversight of funding has been poor and NHS England's call for large efficiency savings add to the financial pressure. Report

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Major review recommends a "revolution" in the way health and social care is delivered in WalesMajor review recommends a "revolution" in the way health and social care is delivered in Wales

Nine leading international experts, chaired by the former chief medical officer for Wales Dr Ruth Hussey, have published a report recommending ways to try to put the Welsh health and social care system on a stronger footing and advocating a new national transformation programme to drive forward changes.

Key recommendations include:

  • Shifting resources away from big hospitals, investing in new technology and giving patients more choice about how and where they want to be cared for.
  • Urgent action to address "critical" staff shortages.
  • More to be done to protect the wellbeing of those working in health and care.
  • More sophisticated methods" of listening to patients and those being cared for and more shared decision making with those it affects.
  • Building on the many great examples of quality improvements at local level with "many driven by heroic individuals in isolation due to lack of support and coordination".

Ministers have said that a new plan will take into account the review's recommendations.

You can read the full report here:

Announcement posted on:

Caroline Dinenage MP reported to be social care ministerCaroline Dinenage MP reported to be social care minister

The BBC News website is reporting that Caroline Dinenage MP has been appointed social care minister in Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt's team, a move that reinforces the importance of the adult social care green paper, due in summer 2017: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42663223

The precise split of ministerial responsibilties has not yet been confirmed on the DHSC website after the Cabinet reshuffle, but should appear here shortly: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care 

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Staffing and funding pressures in the NHS over the past decade must be addressedStaffing and funding pressures in the NHS over the past decade must be addressed

A blog by Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at the King's Fund, examines what the latest national data says about how A&E departments are coping compared with previous winters.

In December 2017, A&E attendances were 3.7 per cent higher than in December 2016, and emergency admissions to hospital 4.5 per cent higher. Christmas Eve was the only day when the NHS met the target of the bed occupancy rate of below 85%.

Siva argues that the cumulative staffing and funding pressures in the NHS over the past decade should be addressed if A&E departments are to be given a fighting chance of maintaining performance over winter and throughout the year.

Read the King's Fund blog here

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CQC chief executive to step down in the summerCQC chief executive to step down in the summer

Care Quality Commission Chief Executive Sir David Behan has announced his intention to step down in summer 2018. He has spent six years at the helm of the regulator and now wishes to move on and make a contribution in a different way. CQC will be taking steps to recruit a replacement shortly, to oversee the organisation in the next stage of its development.

More from: www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/sir-david-behan-announces-intention-step-down-summer

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Views sought on document naming standard for NHS digital recordsViews sought on document naming standard for NHS digital records

The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB and the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit have published a survey seeking views from patients, carers, health and care professionals and industry representatives on a proposed model for document naming in the NHS.

The aim is to develop a standard for naming digital healthcare documents, so they can easily be found by clinicians and patients when accessing health records.

Care providers are asked to comment on the draft model in a survey that takes 10 minutes to complete and closes on 2 February 2018, before the PRSB seek endorsement of the final version.

Any questions to Lindsay Dytham, project manager, at informatics@rcplondon.ac.uk or email info@theprsb.org.

 The survey URL is: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PRSBdocumentnaming

Announcement posted on:

Health and Social Care Secretary defends record on NHS winter planningHealth and Social Care Secretary defends record on NHS winter planning

In a debate on the NHS winter crisis on 10 January, Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended the Government's record on preparation for winter. On planning funding he said: "..as we come to the end of the five year forward view, we need to seek a consensus on the next stage for the NHS. We will need significantly more funding in the years ahead, and we need to build a national consensus on how to find that funding. My view is that we should try to do that for a 10-year period, not a five-year period". On social care, he said: ... "Monday's decision [on including social care explicitly in his job title and brief] means that policy leadership will come back to the Department of Health, which will help us to make even faster progress." Hansard

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Jeremy Hunt MP becomes Secretary of State for Health and Social CareJeremy Hunt MP becomes Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

As part of a Cabinet re-shuffle in Westminster, Jeremy Hunt MP now has explicit responsibility for both health and social care services, a change that probably signals his Department will take forward the green paper on adult social care, rather than the Cabinet Office.

Caroline Dinenage MP and Stephen Barclay MP were both appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, ministerial duties to be confirmed. Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Steve Brine MP and Lord O'Shaughnessy keep the role of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, as it is now named. Philip Dunne is no longer a health minister.

See Our Ministers at: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

Announcement posted on:

Care Inspectorate open annual return processCare Inspectorate open annual return process

The Care Inspectorate has asked all providers to return an annual form to help them plan and carry out their inspections. They will be accepting submissions between 5th of January and 16th February 2018.

Further details, and the online form, can be accessed via the Care Inspectorate website.

Announcement posted on:

Scottish Government publish annual domiciliary care figuresScottish Government publish annual domiciliary care figures

The Scottish Government has published annual statistics relating to domiciliary care services in Scotland. The figures for 2016/17 include the number of people receiving homecare, total hours of care purchased by local authorities, and the number of, and expenditure on, direct payments.

The report can be accessed via the publications page.

Announcement posted on:

Welsh Government confirms domiciliary care worker registrationWelsh Government confirms domiciliary care worker registration

The Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies, has confirmed that the Register of Social Care Workers will open to domiciliary care workers in April 2018.

All domiciliary care workers will be required to be registered with Social Care Wales by April 2020. UKHCA will send out further details once they become available.

The Social Care Wales press release can be accessed via their website.

Announcement posted on:

Social Care Wales launch report on national care needsSocial Care Wales launch report on national care needs

Social Care Wales have published a report that aims to identify common care needs across Wales. The regional reports were jointly produced by the local authorities and local health boards with the support of communities, and the third and independent sectors.

The reports look at a wide range of age groups and seek to identify what is being done to meet care needs and how they can be further improved.

The full report can be downloaded from the Social Care Wales publications page.

Announcement posted on:

CSSIW will be changing its name to Care Inspectorate WalesCSSIW will be changing its name to Care Inspectorate Wales

From 15th January, CSSIW will be going by the name of Care Inspectorate Wales. Registration will not be affected by the change in name. The website and online resources will be updated over the coming months.

Announcement posted on:

Department of Health release domiciliary care figures for 2017Department of Health release domiciliary care figures for 2017

The Department of Health has published their annual report looking into domiciliary care in Northern Ireland. The bulletin presents information on the numbers of clients receiving domiciliary care, contact hours, domiciliary care visits and intensive domiciliary care provision.

Key facts and figures include:

-An estimated 261,652 contact hours of domiciliary care were provided by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland, a decrease of 3% (7,231) from the survey week in 2016 (268,883).

-493,700 domiciliary care visits were provided to clients, 28% from the statutory sector and 72% from the independent sector.

-Over half (51%) of all domiciliary care visits provided to clients were between 16 and 30 minutes long. Over three in ten (31%) visits were 15 minutes or less and under one in five (18%) were more than 30 minutes long.

The full report can be accessed via the Department of Health website.

Announcement posted on:

Draft guideline on dementia assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and carersDraft guideline on dementia assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and carers

NICE is consulting on a draft guideline which looks at dementia assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and carers. Aimed at healthcare and social care professionals, commissioners, providers and people with dementia and their families, the draft guideline covers diagnosing and managing dementia, medication, palliative care and staff training. Short version of the guideline (33 pages)

The consultation page has the full version, plus information and supporting documents. The consultation closes on 13 February 2018. There is more information including an economic model which accompanies the guideline. NICE intends to produce resources to help implementation once the consultation is over.

Announcement posted on:

NHS England consulting on ending prescriptions for some OTC medicinesNHS England consulting on ending prescriptions for some OTC medicines

NHS England is consulting on ending prescriptions for some 'over the counter' remedies, such as dandruff, indigestion, mouth ulcer and travel sickness treatment. The consultation, which runs until 14 March 2018, lists 33 minor illnesses which have been identified as self-limiting or more suitable for self-care. There will also be four national engagements events for patients and the public plus webinars for representatives of patient groups and charities (details will be published in January at website).

NHS England says it is likely to publish guidance on OTC medicines, after the consultation. 

More on "NHS England consulting on ending prescriptions for some OTC medicines" Opens in new window

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UKHCA's response to the local government provisional settlementUKHCA's response to the local government provisional settlement

Read our Chief Executive's response to the local government provisional settlement which was announced on Tuesday 19 December.

Announcement posted on:

Changes to local authority finance announcedChanges to local authority finance announced

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has announced changes to the way local authorities in England are funded in the provisional local government settlement. The proposals would permit councils to keep 75% of the business rates they raise and grant a 1% increase in their powers to increase council tax. There is more information in Department for Communities and Local Government documents and Hansard, on Sajid Javid announcement and MPs' questions. A selection of responses and commentaries is below:

*Public Finance article

*Local Government Association: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/councils-responds-local-government-finance-settlement

* CIPFA: www.cipfa.org/about-cipfa/press-office/latest-press-releases/cipfa-responds-to-the-provisional-local-government-finance-settlement

* NHS Confederation: www.nhsconfed.org/media-centre/2017/12/missed-opportunity-local-government

* Guardian, includes quote from ADASS: www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/19/council-tax-bills-could-rise-100-a-year-government-relaxes-cap-sajid-javid

* BBC News: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42418402

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Interim report on first six local system reviews reveals a fragmented systemInterim report on first six local system reviews reveals a fragmented system

CQC have published an interim report of findings from the first six local system reviews, namely Halton, Bracknell Forest, Stoke-on-Trent, Hartlepool, Manchester and Trafford. The reviews look at whether health and social care commissioners are working together successfully and concludes more should be done to foster integration.

The findings show there is not enough social care capacity, including homecare, and commissioners are lacking robust planning systems to predict demand and shape markets. The report said people find moving between health and social care services confusing, and while staff are committed to providing the best experience for older people in their care, their efforts can be compromised by competing priorities of employing organisations and hinder the delivery of a 'whole system approach'.

Members are urged to participate in local reviews that will be carried out in 2018 so ministers receive the clearest possible picture of the reality of providing homecare in the current financial climate. More from: www.cqc.org.uk/publications/themes-care/our-reviews-local-health-social-care-systems

 



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First national health and care workforce strategyFirst national health and care workforce strategy

Health Education England has published a draft national health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 and set out the significant challenges the NHS will face in meeting demand pressures over the next decade.

The strategy suggests that better productivity and transformation of services will be necessary if the NHS is to reduce the effect of substantial staff shortages by 2027. The draft strategy includes a section on adult social care from page 67, which looks at the shape of the workforce, the demand for social care, maximising recruitment and facing the challenges of the future.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future - A draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027

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Government responds to MPs' report on Brexit and health and social careGovernment responds to MPs' report on Brexit and health and social care

The Government has issued a response to the Health Committee's 'Brexit and health and social care - people and process' report, issued in April 2017. Written before the Government's 'breakthrough' deal with the European Commission in December 2017, the response attempts to reassure MPs that the Department of Health is undertaking sufficient contingency planning for the UK leaving the EU, and is suitably represented in negotiations. The response also acknowledges the importance of future staffing arrangements, and confirms the Department is working with the Migration Advisory Committee on this key issue.

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A Good Retirement: Public attitudes to the role of state and individual in retirementA Good Retirement: Public attitudes to the role of state and individual in retirement

Research by think tank Demos has found that 57% of the public in the UK believe the individual has greater responsibility than the Government in meeting care costs in retirement and a third believe the Government should cover the cost of care. By contrast, only 56% are saving for retirement costs, and only 5% are financially prepared for care costs in later life, and one in four social care is free. Demos called for a public awareness campaign and development of insurance models. Full report

Announcement posted on:

New Cyber Security Guide for social care providersNew Cyber Security Guide for social care providers

A new Cyber Security Guide is available for social care providers, developed by the Care Provider Alliance with the Social Care Programme at NHS Digital, with help from the Home Office (Cyber Aware Team) and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The guide covers safeguards that can be taken to avoid or reduce disruption from an attack on data, computers or mobile devices, and includes safeguarding confidentiality and privacy, and the availability and integrity of data.

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NHS England warns of increased risk of heart attack and stroke in the days immediately following a cold snapNHS England warns of increased risk of heart attack and stroke in the days immediately following a cold snap

As temperatures reach below freezing, NHS England is advising the public on ways of staying well this winter, as the number of people being admitted to A&E is likely to increase significantly due to the cold weather.

Keith Willett, NHS England National Director for Acute Care, said: "What the public are unaware of is the immediate knock on effect of the cold weather. Patients who have pre-existing conditions may not be aware that they are most at risk of falling ill in the days after temperatures drop."

The NHS is advising the public to take sensible precautions to ensure they minimise the after effects of extreme cold weather. Older people are advised to keep warm, both indoors and out. They should heat their homes to at least 18C, and there is still time to get their flu jabs. .

More information about how to stay healthy during winter can be found on NHS Choices website.

Announcement posted on:

Expert Advisory Panel for Adult Care and Support publishes reportExpert Advisory Panel for Adult Care and Support publishes report

The Expert Advisory Panel for Adult Care and Support has released a long-awaited report into the future of social care in Northern Ireland. The report, postponed up until recently, outlines a number of recommendations aimed at improving services including:

-The care and support sector should, at least, be a Living Wage sector in the short-term;

-Charging arrangements should be changed so that those who can afford to contribute towards the cost of their care do so;

-Commissioners and providers should work together to introduce a framework based on an agreed true cost of care that includes a 'sustainable return' for providers;

-RQIA could be given powers to regulate the professional care market including the oversight of a fair and agreed return; and

-Need for an explicit commitment from Trusts for improving the planning and supply of care and support services.

Further details, and the full report can be found on the Department of Health website.

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Regulations to prepare for the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016Regulations to prepare for the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016

Draft Regulations have now been laid before the Assembly and will be voted upon by Assembly Members. The new regulations cover requirements for provider registration, Responsible Individuals (RIs), and statutory guidelines for service providers and RIs on meeting service standard regulations.

Information and guidance has been compiled by CSSIW and can be accessed via their website. UKHCA will be sending out more information when available.

Announcement posted on:

CSSIW seek feedback on Code of Practice for InspectionCSSIW seek feedback on Code of Practice for Inspection

CSSIW have stated that they are looking for feedback from providers on their Code of Practice for Inspection. The document sets out the principles which CSSIW apply to inspection of services. As it currently stands, the Code of Practice for Inspection, and the Responding to Inspection Reports policy, are due to come into effect in April 2018.

The window for feedback closes on the 19th January. Further details can be accessed via the CSSIW consultation page.

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New qualifications for health and social careNew qualifications for health and social care

Qualifications Wales (QW) has commissioned the development of a new set of qualifications for people working in the health, social care and childcare sectors. From September 2019, these will replace what are currently levels 1, 2, 3 and 5 QCF diplomas.

QW have produced a short video to answer some commonly asked questions on the new qualifications.

More details can be found on the Social Care Wales website.

Announcement posted on:

MSPs to investigate impact of leaving the EU on health and social careMSPs to investigate impact of leaving the EU on health and social care

The Scottish Government's Health and Sport Committee is holding an inquiry into the impact of leaving the EU on health and social care in Scotland. MSPs will consider what the NHS and social care in Scotland could look like after the UK leaves the EU, how potential risks could be mitigated and how potential opportunities could be realised.

The Committee has drawn up a list of areas which may impact on health and social care, for example workforce issues, which are set out at: www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/107148.aspx

The call for written evidence runs until 25 January 2018. Details of call for views MSPs intend to hear oral evidence from witnesses in March 2018.

Announcement posted on:

Department of Health publishes quarterly carer's statisticsDepartment of Health publishes quarterly carer's statistics

The Department of Health has published this quarter's statistics for carer assessments and re-assessments in Northern Ireland. A carer's assessment looks at each carer as an individual with their own personal circumstances, and will identify any particular needs they may have as a result. Both assessments and re-assessments have seen an increase since the last quarter.

Full figures and analysis can be found on the Department of Health website.

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Social Care sector in Northern Ireland worth almost £1bn to the economySocial Care sector in Northern Ireland worth almost £1bn to the economy

NISCC, along with providers and key employers, have produced two reports looking at the economic value of the social care sector, and how a shared vision of social care can be achieved. It is widely acknowledged through both reports that the sector is currently undervalued and that a new approach to creating a sustainable workforce is needed.

Both reports can be accessed via the NISCC information page.

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Cavendish Coalition reacts to breakthrough on EU negotiationsCavendish Coalition reacts to breakthrough on EU negotiations

Responding to the breakthrough in Brexit negotiations, Cavendish Coalition co-convenor, Danny Mortimer, said:
 
"We welcome the confirmation that the rights of EU citizens will be protected and that there will not be a hard border in Northern Ireland. This will give reassurance to the vital 165,000 EU health and social care workers currently dedicating their professional lives to our health care system.
 
"The next step is to ensure that any future immigration system uses public service value to assess skill levels and set entry requirements, rather than earnings. This would help to tackle the misleading assumption that the salary paid to a foreign-born worker is the main indicator of their value to the social care and health system."

UKHCA is a member of the Cavendish Coalition of health and social care organisations working to ensure the health and social care system can continue to meet its staffing needs following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

 

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Health minister drops social care cap in favour of new limit in summer green paperHealth minister drops social care cap in favour of new limit in summer green paper

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price MP made a statement on social care in the House of Commons on 7 December which contained the Government's response to the Opposition day debate on 25 October.

The minister confirmed the Government's plans for a Green Paper on care and support for older people by summer 2018.

The social care cap of £72,500, due to be introduced in England from April 2018, has been dropped. The minister said: 'The Prime Minister has been clear that the consultation will include proposals to place a limit on the care costs that individuals face. To allow for fuller engagement and the development of the approach, and so that reforms to the care system and how it is paid for are considered in the round, we will not take forward the previous Government's plans to implement a cap on care costs in 2020.' Hansard report BBC News item

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EU breakthough may allow more investment in home prioritiesEU breakthough may allow more investment in home priorities

The Prime Minister, announcing the deal on leaving the EU recently, indicated the breakthrough would allow more to be invested in 'priorities at home', such as the NHS. 16-page joint report issued by EU negotiators and the UK Government.

The Prime Minister's comments about domestic priorities come as NHS Providers issue a winter briefing which shows hospitals are close to full stretch with Christmas approaching.

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Discussing and planning medicines supportDiscussing and planning medicines support

NICE and SCIE have issued a practical resource for managers of homecare services that provide medicines support based on the NICE guideline on 'Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community'.

The guide covers discussing, planning and reviewing medicines support, including developing a medicines policy and how services can meet CQC's requirement for proper and safe medicines management.

*NICE and SCIE Guide: Discussing and planning medicines support
*NICE Guideline: Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community
*Other guides are available at: NICE and SCIE quick guides

UKHCA Senior Campaigns Officer Duncan White commented: 'The guide should be useful for training purposes, particularly where it notes Medication Administration Records should contain accurate, up-to-date and accessible details of the support given for each medicine on every occasion it is provided, something CQC will be checking at inspection time.'

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MPs resume inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation PartnershipsMPs resume inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships

The Commons Health Committee have resumed their inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans (now Partnerships), the five year plans for local health and social care services in England which point the way to integration by 2020. The inquiry addresses a range of points including how effective STPs have been in joining up health and social care, whether the demands on them are deliverable and what barriers there are to effective governance and implementation, and follows the publication of Next Steps on the NHS Forward View.

The Health Committee's earlier inquiry was cut short by the general election. The closing date is now 19 January 2018. UKHCA welcomes members' views on STPs - please email policy@ukhca.co.uk by 5 January 2018.

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CMO in Northern Ireland urges people to stay well this winterCMO in Northern Ireland urges people to stay well this winter

The Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has urged the public to take precautions over the winter period to stay well. In a statement released by the Department, some simple, practical steps were given to help people to prepare:

-wear warm clothes - layers are best; if outside in icy conditions, wear boots or shoes with suitable grips;

-Keep sufficient stocks of food and medicines;

-Check the weather forecast regularly;

-Take care outdoors, especially if roads and pavements are icy;

-Eat a balanced diet, including at least one hot meal a day;

-Heat all rooms used during the day - living room to around 18-21°C (65-70°F) and the rest of your house to at least 16°C (61°F);

-Service boilers and appliances annually by a registered engineer to protect from the dangers of carbon monoxide;

-Maintain contact with trusted callers, friends and relatives should you need assistance; keep your mobile phone charged;

-One simple step you can take to keep well this winter is to get the flu vaccination. For those who are 'at risk', flu can be a very serious, even life-threatening illness, which could result in hospital admission. Getting vaccinated against flu helps protect you and others around you. I encourage those in 'at risk' groups to avail of the free flu vaccination; and

-If you can, check in on an elderly or vulnerable friend or neighbour, look out for them during the winter months to make sure they are safe, warm and well. Older people and those with long term illnesses are particularly susceptible to the cold.

The full statement can be found on the Department of Health's website.

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