UKHCA

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

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Low Pay Commission calls for evidence on effect of minimum wage risesLow Pay Commission calls for evidence on effect of minimum wage rises

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is calling for evidence of the impact of recent increases to the National Minimum Wage (which includes the National Living Wage) to inform thinking about future upratings. The Government elected after the General Election on 8 June will decide whether to accept or reject the LPC's recommendations.

The details of what evidence LPC is looking for are set out in the consultation dated April 2017, which closes on 7 July 2017. UKHCA members are invited to complete the survey which was included in our policy update email of 20 April 2017.

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New guide on how to achieve a 'good' or 'outstanding' ratingNew guide on how to achieve a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating

A new guide by Skills for Care aims to help social care providers get a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating from the Care Quality Commission. The guide is based on discussions with successful services and an analysis of more than 250 inspection reports. The guide describes what good care and support looks like and how to achieve it. It covers how to prepare for inspection, and includes recommendations from providers related to CQC's KLOE, plus practices to avoid.

There are also three short films of organisations who contributed to the development of the guide. More from here. (Several UKHCA members are featured in the guide discussing good practice.)

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Skills for Care issues guide to help workers deal with pressure and stressSkills for Care issues guide to help workers deal with pressure and stress

Skills of Care has issued practical guidance for adult social care employers on how to develop resilience in their social care workers. The aim is to develop workers' ability to cope with pressure, protect their mental and physical health and wellbeing, and help them deliver quality services consistently.

The guidance covers why resilience matters, who is responsible, what employers can do to help workers cope with stress, what individuals can do to develop their own resilience and finding out more about resilience.

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Guidance on the application of food hygiene law in homecareGuidance on the application of food hygiene law in homecare

The Food Standards Agency has published revised guidance on food hygiene regulations in domiciliary care.

The document supports providers in situations where people receive care at home in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It recommends that if anyone working in a domiciliary care setting has questions after reading the guidance, they should contact the local authority food safety team.

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Snap election not in the national interest says Wales First MinisterSnap election not in the national interest says Wales First Minister

Responding to Theresa May's call for a snap election on Tuesday (18 April), Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones has said her "odd" decision is not in the national interest.

The general election on 8 June will come a month after the 22 local elections taking place across Wales on 4 May.

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General election adds to political uncertainty at StormontGeneral election adds to political uncertainty at Stormont

The Prime Minister's declaration to seek permission from the Westminster Parliament to call a General Election on the 8th of June has added a fresh layer of uncertainty over the negotiations to return an Executive to Stormont. Badly needed reforms to health and social care delivery, and crucial announcements on the budget and rates, may yet be delayed even further by this new development.

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Northern Ireland Audit Office reports on Transforming Your Care ProgrammeNorthern Ireland Audit Office reports on Transforming Your Care Programme

The Northern Ireland Audit Office has released a report looking at whether progress has been made on achieving goals set out in the Transforming Your Care Programme, a review of health and social care delivery published by the Department of Health. The report has found that progress has been slow in all areas of investment, including the total amount spent on reforms and reallocation of resources.

The key findings and full report can be found on the NIAO website.

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General election will provide certainty but poses questions on policy directionGeneral election will provide certainty but poses questions on policy direction

In response to today's announcement that the Prime Minister Theresa May intends to seek a General Election on 8 June, UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel commented:

"Today's surprise announcement will provide greater certainty for the political direction for the next five years, which will include the period when the UK leaves the EU. However, it also throws into question a number of policy initiatives by the current government. We will be looking for manifesto commitments from the parties to proceed with an adult social care green paper and take the urgent action needed to address current issues on funding social care.

"Looking to the future, we anticipate the next government will have a considerable focus on Brexit and its implications for the social care workforce, a critical topic for our sector.

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Skills for Care announces end of apprenticeship frameworksSkills for Care announces end of apprenticeship frameworks

On Tuesday (18 April), Skills for Care announced the planned closure of the current apprenticeships frameworks on 29 December 2017.

The current Health and Social Care and the Care Leadership and Management frameworks will be replaced by the new "employer-led standards", some of which are already open for registration.

Further information on the new standards can be found on the Skills for Care website.

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Skills for Care launch new workforce planning and development toolSkills for Care launch new workforce planning and development tool

The tool, developed in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, aims to tackle recruitment and retention challenges by helping your organisation plan for and implement a new workforce development plan. By answering simple questions relating to your business, the tool will generate a personalised report including recommendations and guidance.

The tool can be accessed on the Skills for Care website.

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900 care workers a day leaving social care900 care workers a day leaving social care

A BBC news report that 900 care workers are leaving social care everyday was given extensive coverage throughout the day on Tuesday 11th April.

Using figures obtained from Skills to Care, the BBC also reported an estimated shortage of 84,320 care workers, meaning around one in every 20 care roles is vacant. The BBC's report however did not distinguish between homecare workers and staff working in care homes or other settings. Across England, the BBC's website stated the turnover rate for care roles is at 27%, somewhat lower than the rate for homecare which, according to Skills for Care, hovers just below 40%.

Reacting to the coverage, UKHCAs Director of Policy, Colin Angel said:

"The amount of media interest in the recruitment challenges for social care providers shows how important this issue is for the public. In the 15 interviews UKHCA staff did on TV and local radio, we emphasised the role that social care plays in supporting people; the importance of a properly funded system in maintaining good terms and conditions for the workforce and the urgency of resolving UK migration policy once the UK leaves the European Union."

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New report outlines the economic value of adult social care in Northern IrelandNew report outlines the economic value of adult social care in Northern Ireland

A recent study commissioned by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council has outlined the important value that adult social care adds to Northern Irelands Economy. It shows that adult social care is a growing sector directly employing over 41,000 people, approximately 5% of all employment in Northern Ireland, and generates over £800m in annual turnover.

Further information and a link to the full report can be found on the NISCC website.

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Low Pay Commission reports on impact of NLW increasesLow Pay Commission reports on impact of NLW increases

The Low Pay Commission has issued an analysis called 'A rising floor: the latest evidence on the National Living Wage and youth rates of the minimum wage Low Pay Commission, April 2017', which looks at the impact of NLW increases. Social care is fourth in the list of sectors whose workers benefit. London has the lowest percentage of workers benefiting from the NLW (4.8%) and Northern Ireland the highest (12.9%), with workers in small firms more likely to benefit than large firms.

This short report also contains a number of informative graphics.

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Wales increases capital limit for residential careWales increases capital limit for residential care

From Monday (10 April), the capital limit for those in residential care has increased from £24,000 to £30,000, meaning more now qualify for financial support towards their care costs.

Welsh Government has given an extra £4.5m to local authorities to support this.

Further information can be found on Welsh Government news.

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Dilnot calls for new tax to fund adult social careDilnot calls for new tax to fund adult social care

At a Resolution Foundation Lecture given on 6 April 2017, Andrew Dilnot condemned Britain's social care system as "the most pernicious means-test in the whole of the British welfare state" and called for a new tax to fund adult social care for everyone who needs it.

Dilnot chaired the commission which reviewed the funding system for care and support in England which recommended that an individuals' lifetime contributions towards their social care costs should be capped. The ideas was that once the cap was reached, individuals would be eligible for full state support. Although welcomed by coalition in 2011, this recommendation has been put on hold by George Osborne until 2020.

During the lecture, available on YouTube, Andrew Dilnot called for the state pension triple lock (which sees pensions rise each year by the highest of the rate of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%) to be rewritten to include a new, non-means tested, social care guarantee.

Going further, Dilnot rejected claims that Britain can't afford a "decent care system". "There's plenty of money," he said. "GDP in real terms is more than 5.5 times as big as it was in 1948. So if anyone says to you, we can't afford X, Y or Z, the appropriate response is: "˜That is not a well-formed formula". We may choose not to afford it but the notion that we can't afford something, given what has happened to our income is striking and quite surprising, and doesn't strike me as correct."

 

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Cuts to adult social care analysed by IFSCuts to adult social care analysed by IFS

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), one in ten councils in England slashed spending on adult social care by more than a quarter.

Across England, spending on adult social care per adult fell by 11% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2015-16.

The research by the IFS shows that spending fell most in London (18%) and metropolitan districts (16%) covering urban areas like Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Tyneside. Cuts in the north of England were greater than those in the south.

The IFS also report that the spending cuts have been accompanied by a substantial fall in the number of people receiving social care, down 25% across England, between 2009-10 and 2013-14 alone.

Researchers from the think-tank found significant variation in councils' social care spending. In 2015-16 a tenth of councils spent £325 per adult resident while other areas spent £445, a difference of almost a third.

 

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Lords Select Committee publish report on long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social careLords Select Committee publish report on long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social care

On Wednesday (5 April), the Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS published a report "slamming" successive governments for not planning effectively for long-term health and social care service needs.

The report calls for the creation of an independent body, the Office for Health and Care Sustainability, to identify the needs of a changing population and plan for the next 15 to 20 years.

The Committee have also produced a short video summary of the report with chairman Lord Patel available on YouTube.

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AM considers "landmark" Act one year onAM considers "landmark" Act one year on

On Tuesday's plenary session (4 April), Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, spoke on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2016 one year on.

Ms Evans stated,

The Act has provided the opportunity to focus on the things that matter to people, and to organise the support that is needed through real conversations that build on the skills, strengths and abilities of the individual.

The Act will mean a number of changes for domiciliary care providers in Wales including the mandatory registration of workers from 2020.

Further information on what the Act means for providers can be found on the Social Care Wales' Information and Learning Hub.

You also have the opportunity to ask the Minister questions at the forthcoming UKHCA Wales Provider Forum on 25 May. Click here to book your free member place.

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Entries open for the 2017 National Continence Care AwardsEntries open for the 2017 National Continence Care Awards

Entries are open for the 2017 National Continence Care Awards, which celebrate the individuals, teams and organisations who are ensuring that people with incontinence receive the highest quality care across health and social care settings in the UK. As homecare providers, UKHCA members and their teams play a vital role in providing continence support which helps maintain people's dignity and independence at home.

UKHCA are delighted to be supporting the Awards this year and would like to encourage members to apply. Information about the awards and Entry form

Entries close on Friday 28 April, 6.00pm and the Winners ceremony will be held in the House of Commons on Tuesday 20 June 2017.

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MPs launch inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation PlansMPs launch inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans

The Commons Health Committee has launched an inquiry into Sustainability and Transformation Plans, 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. The inquiry follows the publication of Next Steps on the NHS Forward View.

The inquiry is accepting written submissions (maximum 3000 words) - the deadline is 9 May 2017. UKHCA is preparing a response on behalf of members. Members are welcome to send their views to policy@ukhca.co.uk by 25 April 2017. 

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UKHCA Wales Provider Forum 2017 - Book your free tickets now!UKHCA Wales Provider Forum 2017 - Book your free tickets now!

Book now for UKHCA's annual provider forum in Wales which is being held on Thursday, 25 May at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel.

The forum is free for members. We are delighted that Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, David Francis, Assistant Chief Inspector of CSSIW, Prof Keith Moultrie of the Institute of Public Care (Oxford Brookes) and a representative of Care Council for Wales have agreed to speak.

As well as wider issues, the event will be a chance to look closely at practicalities surrounding outcomes-based commissioning and new data protection regulations.

Discounts are available for providers of domiciliary care in Wales who are not members. Click here for further information and to book your tickets.

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NISCC working towards full care worker registrationNISCC working towards full care worker registration

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council has reported that approximately 85% of applications for care worker registration have been submitted. We strongly recommend that any unregistered care workers submit their applications as soon as possible, as it is now an offence for a provider to employ any domiciliary care worker who is not registered with NISCC.

Further information on submitting an application can be found on the NISCC website.

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Public satisfaction with the NHS and social carePublic satisfaction with the NHS and social care

While public satisfaction with the NHS in 2016 was widely reported at 63% overall, much less attention was given to results about satisfaction with social care services at 26 per cent. Social care is the only service to have a negative net satisfaction score.

The reasons for such a low level of satisfaction could be because those individuals who were surveyed didn't really know what social care is or who it is for. Or they may be experiencing problems with social care or even possibly feel aggrieved about being charged for social care services in comparison with the NHS which remains free at the point of use.

There is no doubt that the NHS has stayed popular with the public even during a period when funding has risen much more slowly than in the past and at a time when service as a whole is under severe pressure. The huge gap in satisfaction levels between health and social care should worry policy-makers and politicians whose attention is being directed on delivering integrated services to prevent hospital admissions and reduce delayed transfers of care. 

NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes survey has been conducted almost every year since 1983. A selection of health and social care-related questions has been funded by The King’s Fund since 2011. The 2016 survey consisted of 2,942 interviews with a representative sample of adults in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Next Steps for NHS Five Year Forward ViewNext Steps for NHS Five Year Forward View

The NHS has published its next steps on the Five Year Forward View. First published in October 2014, the 'Forward View' set out the direction for the NHS showing why change was needed and what the service would look like. The vehicle for the changes is the Sustainability and Transformation Plans now being implemented in 44 areas (or footprints) across England. The 'Next Steps,' published March 2017, sets out the NHS' main national service priorities over the next two years. They are:

  • Taking the strain off Accident and Emergency Departments
  • Improving access to primary care and GPs
  • Speeding up and improving diagnosis of cancer as well as increasing current capacity
  • Investing in mental health services
  • Helping frail and older people to stay healthy and independent and avoid hospital stays where appropriate.

NHS England admits there are risks to the delivery of what they term a 'stretching but realistic agenda' and they say that while this Plan doesn't seek to be the final word on the future of the NHS, they hope that it charts practical and realistic next steps for the next few years. The view of commentators such as the King's Fund is that while the aim of integrating care is the right thing to do, under the current financial climate, it will be tough to implement.

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Updated National Minimum and Living Wages now in effectUpdated National Minimum and Living Wages now in effect

Increases to the National Minimum and Living wages came into effect on the 1st of April 2017.

The National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over has risen from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour.

The National Minimum Wage has also increased:

  • for 21 to 24 year olds from £6.95 per hour to £7.05
  • for 18 to 20 year olds from £5.55 per hour to £5.60
  • for 16 to 17 year olds from £4.00 per hour to £4.05
  • for apprentices from £3.40 per hour to £3.50

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

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Social Care Wales officially launchedSocial Care Wales officially launched

From Monday (3 April), Care Council for Wales and Social Services Improvement Agency merged into one body, Social Care Wales.

Social Care Wales will oversee the care workforce, improvement and research, including the mandatory registration of domiciliary care workers from 2020.

The new website is not yet live, but further information can be found on the Care Council for Wales website.

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Select Committee publishes final report following adult social care inquirySelect Committee publishes final report following adult social care inquiry

On Friday (31 March), the Communities and Local Government Select Committee published its final report on its inquiry into adult social care, to which UKHCA gave written and oral evidence last year.

UKHCA welcomes many of the Committee's recommendations, which include the suggested extension of CQC's remit to ensure councils comply with fair costs of care when negotiating with providers.

However, a recommendation on regular monitoring of providers' compliance with the National Minimum Wage does not reflect the role that local authorities have in ensuring an adequate price for homecare.

You can find the report on Parliament.uk.

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UKHCA's response to Article 50 notificationUKHCA's response to Article 50 notification

Prime Minister, Theresa May has sent a letter to Brussels to trigger Article 50 and Britain's exit from the European Union. Read UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham's response to this major process.

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Welsh Government wants your say on the future of health and social careWelsh Government wants your say on the future of health and social care

The Welsh Government has launched a website asking the public for their views on health and social care services in Wales.

The survey asks for your opinions on matters such as problems in the system and examples of good practice that could be copied more widely.

You can fill in the ten-question survey on the Welsh Government website.

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Nine out of 10 local authorities will raise council tax in 2017/18Nine out of 10 local authorities will raise council tax in 2017/18

Two-thirds of England's local authorites able to raise social care precept by 3% will do so and overall, nine out of ten authorities will raise council tax in 2017/18.

The Local Government Association (LGA) believe widespread increase in council tax is because councils have been "unable to turn down...desperately needed money".

Details of the level of Council Tax set by local authorities in England for the financial year 2017 to 2018 can be found on the Department of Communities and Local Government website.

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Wales's finance secretary announces further £20m for social careWales's finance secretary announces further £20m for social care

Today (27 March), Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced a further £20m will be put into social care, amounting to £55m additional funding to the sector in 2017/18.

This is on top of the £25m already provided to local authorities through the Revenue Support Grant and the £10m announced earlier this year to meet National Minimum Wage pressures.

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CQC's Equality Objectives for 2017 -19CQC's Equality Objectives for 2017 -19

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published new equality objectives for health and social care for 2017-19. From April 2017, CQC will use the new equality objectives in inspections to check that providers make person-centred care work for everyone.

CQC will be looking at how providers are meeting the new Accessible Information Standard, which applies to disabled people who have information and communication needs, for example, deaf people or people with a learning disability.

As an example of how the objectives will be inspected against, under the objective of person-centred care and equality, in 2017/18, CQC will focus on how providers ensure person-centred care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who use adult social care and mental health in-patient services, for people with dementia in acute hospitals and BME people using GP practices.

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Book now! Final SCiP South East event on MondayBook now! Final SCiP South East event on Monday

The final event by the Social Care in Partnership (South East) strategy group will held on Monday, 27th March.

It will be an opportunity for you to hear updates from key stakeholders including Welsh Government and Care Council for Wales.

Further information and how to register can be found here.

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Funding at core of homecare crisis, says new reportFunding at core of homecare crisis, says new report

Today (21 March), the think-tank Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) has launched a report which finds the £2bn extra funding in the Spring Budget will prove to still not be enough.

The report calls for central and local government to be more aware of costs to provide care and to move towards more outcomes-focused and partnership-style commissioning. 

You can read the full report on the LGiU website. The Financial Times has also looked at the report's findings.

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NI care workers called to register as soon as possibleNI care workers called to register as soon as possible

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) has said that any domiciliary care worker in Northern Ireland not registered by Friday, 31st March 2017 will not be allowed to continue working.

From April 2017, it will be an offence for a provider to employ any domiciliary care worker who is not registered. Care workers have therefore been reminded to apply as soon as possible.

Further information on how your care workers can apply is on the NISCC website.

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Law Commission recommends substantial reform of deprivation of liberty procedures Law Commission recommends substantial reform of deprivation of liberty procedures 

The Law Commission have published a report on reforming the law on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty in England and Wales. They recommend that the much criticised Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), used in residential settings, and authorisation procedure through the Court of Protection, used in care at home and supported living, should be replaced by a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards. The draft bill which accompanies the report also strengthens safeguards for people before they are deprived of their liberty. The Law Commision is now waiting for Government to respond.

Law Commission documents including summary Briefing by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

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MPs debate health and social care budgetsMPs debate health and social care budgets

MPs discussed health and social care funding in a Westminster Hall debate on 14 March 2017 led by Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier. While £2bn additional funding was welcomed, MPs were in no doubt that a longer term solution to the issues facing health and social care was needed, which addressed both sectors and secured public support. The Budget measures were a help but not sufficient, because they were not long-term funding and did not represent a strategy to close the gap between resources and patients' needs. MPs called for more detail about the proposed Green Paper, the timescale for publication and information on what is happening with phase 2 of the Care Act (the Dilnot cap on funding), which has been postponed, possibly to 2020. Hansard report of debate on 14 March 2017.

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Government publishes details of extra money for councilsGovernment publishes details of extra money for councils

Following the announcement in the Budget of an additional £2bn new funding for adult social care over three years, the funding allocations for individual local authorities in England have been published. It appears 90% is being allocated by the improved Better Care Fund method and 10% by the relative needs formula for adult social care. The Local Government Association, which was involved in negotiating the funding package with Government, says its analysis indicates that the methodology is used consistently for all local authorities.

To find out what your local council is to receive over the next three years, see: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/8360142/NEWS

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NHS financial pressures are affecting patient care in the communityNHS financial pressures are affecting patient care in the community

A study investigating the impact of financial pressures on different areas of the health service has found "strong evidence that district nursing services are under pressure and this is negatively affecting the quality of patient care. Demand is growing, while services are facing funding constraints and a critical shortfall in the workforce.' Staff are increasingly rushed and visits have become more task-focused, resulting in a negative impact on patient experience, staff wellbeing and other NHS services, social care providers, informal carers, and voluntary sector organisations like hospices.

King's Fund report 'Understanding NHS financial pressures: how are they affecting patient care?' Summary of report which also looked at genito-urinary medicine, elective hip replacement and neonatal services.

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Lords debate end of life careLords debate end of life care

A debate in the House of Lords on 14 March looked at whether the 2016 National Commitment for End of Life Care was being implemented. The debate was in response to concerns about consistency in implementing the National Commitment and in particular the extent of inclusion of end of life care in Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) in England.

Baroness Findley of Llandaff, who called the debate, said palliative care is not being considered as a core service in some parts of England, and stated that only six of the 44 STPs embed end of life care as a strategic priority. She asked the Government to look again at a funding formula to make sure people can access the care they need rather than depend on the postcode lottery of local commissioning groups.

Lord O'Shaughnessy replied to the debate on behalf of the Government and said that Sir Bruce Keogh, who chairs the national end of life programme board, has been tasked with ensuring STPs include plans for end of life care. He expressed the Government's intention to address unacceptable variations in care and reported that the Governmnet will publish a report on funding for palliative care shortly.

 

 

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Free webinar recording on alternative homecare modelsFree webinar recording on alternative homecare models

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) have published the recording of their recent webinar on "Reimagining homecare".

The hour-long session, hosted by representatives of TLAP and SCIE with Helen Sanderson, looked at alternative models of homecare involving Wellbeing teams and Community Circles.

The recording is available on Youtube with further resources on the TLAP website.

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Comments sought on National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan for ScotlandComments sought on National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan for Scotland

The Scottish Government have published a National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan to ensure they have the right staff for health and social care services now and in the future. A discussion document 'seeks comments and views from individuals and organisations about the issues the National Plan will need to cover. It sets out ideas on workforce planning at national, regional and local level. And it asks questions about a number of key areas, including governance, workforce planning roles, workforce data and recruiting and retaining staff.'

The consultation closes on 28 March 2017. More from: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/health-workforce/national-health-and-social-care-workforce-plan/user_uploads/health-and-social-care.pdf Providers' views will contribute to a National Plan being published in Spring 2017.

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CQC confirm regulatory fee rises for 2017/18CQC confirm regulatory fee rises for 2017/18

The Care Quality Commission has confirmed that it will go ahead with plans to increase fees for care providers for 2017/18 following consultation.

Single location community care providers, including homecare providers, can expect to see their CQC fees rise by £823 to a total of £2,192 a year.

The full breakdown of fees for homecare can be found below:

Number of locations

Fee payable (for health
service bodies or
providers of community
health care services)

1

£2,192

2 - 3

£6,093

4 - 6

£12,184

7 - 12

£24,370

13 - 25

£48,740

More than 25

£97,476

 

UKHCA responded to the CQC consultation on fees and the full response can be viewed on the UKHCA consultation page.

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Extra funding announced for Northern Ireland in the Spring BudgetExtra funding announced for Northern Ireland in the Spring Budget

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced an additional £120m in funding for the incoming Northern Ireland Executive as part of the Spring Budget. An additional £90m in funding will be made available through to 2019/20, with a further £30m available for 2020/21. It will now fall on the new Executive to decide how the additional funds should be allocated, and we hope that they will emulate the Chancellor in allocating new funding for social care services.

The Chancellor's speech and a full PDF of the Spring Budget can be found on the gov.uk website.

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Welsh Finance Secretary pleased with Budget recognition of social careWelsh Finance Secretary pleased with Budget recognition of social care

Welsh Government Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford, says he is pleased the Chancellor has recognised the importance of social care in Wednesday's (8 March) Budget.

Responding to the Spring Budget, which included £200m of extra funding for Wales in 2017/18, the Secretary stated,

Despite the ongoing cuts to our funding, we have prioritised funding for social care in Wales and spending health and social care is 6% higher in Wales than in England. I’m pleased the Chancellor has followed the Welsh Government’s lead and recognised the importance of social care to the health service

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£2 billion for social care good news, if used for front-line services£2 billion for social care good news, if used for front-line services

In the Spring Budget (08 March 2017), Chancellor Philip Hammond announced grant funding of £2 billion for adult social care funding over the next 3 years, including £1 billion available in 2017-18.

UKHCA's Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

"At first sight, the Chancellor's budget appears to be good news for the social care sector in the short term. While councils are expected to spend public money wisely, there are few apparent measures in today's announcement to ensure that this additional funding reaches front-line social care services where it is most needed, rather than plugging gaps in existing budgets.

"It has been encouraging to hear Government acknowledge the pressures on the social care system, and that it will publish a green paper later this year to look at longer term solutions to support care services for older and disabled people. We should be aware, however, that green papers do not themselves create a change in Government policy, so optimism about the long term future must be tempered by an awareness that a sustainable solution is still some way off. For any long-term solution to be effective, government must fully involve provider organisations in shaping a new direction for adult social care."

In relation to the UK's devolved administrations, UKHCA notes that the Chancellor's announcement relates to adult social care in England. As social care in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are devolved matters, governments in each administration will need to decide how to prioritise spending on adult social care from any increases in their spending power announced by the Chancellor today.

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March 2017 Homecarer now available for members to downloadMarch 2017 Homecarer now available for members to download

The March 2017 edition of Homecarer is now available for members to download. In this edition UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham calls for the Spring Budget to throw homecare a lifeline; UKHCA's Veronica Monks considers what's next for commissioning and James Whynacht introduces a new guide to understanding providers' costs; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr discusses maintaining quality homecare; Sarah Knight of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP describes regulatory pressures; we report on taking EU workforce issues to MPs; Duncan White, UKHCA Senior Campaigns Officer, looks at social prescribing; Towergate Insurance consider local authority insurance requirements; Bristol Citizens Advice discuss tackling scams aimed at those receiving homecare; UKHCA Policy Officer Daniel Jones considers the state of social care in Wales; Duncan White analyses the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan in Scotland and James Whynacht hopes politics won't divert from social care in Northern Ireland.

March 2017 edition of Homecarer

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Select Committee calls for action on social care fundingSelect Committee calls for action on social care funding

Before the Spring Budget on Wednesday (8th March), the Communities and Local Government Committee has called on the Government to bring forward money to fill the social care 'funding gap', estimated to be between £1.3 to £1.9 billion in 2017/18.

The interim report, which highlights the pressures on local authority budgets and the financial sustainability of the sector, is an outcome of the Committee’s inquiry into adult social care that UKHCA provided evidence to last year.

The Committee expects the final report to be published in the next few months. Further information can be found on the Committee website.

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'40% of firms know nothing about the Apprenticeship Levy!''40% of firms know nothing about the Apprenticeship Levy!'

UKHCA's human resources advisers, the HR Dept, have produced a blog entitled "40% of firms know nothing about the Apprenticeship Levy!" which will be of interest to our larger members. The blog says if your annual wage bill is below £3 million, this isn’t something you need to be planning for. If your bill is higher, then it is, and the apprenticeship levy comes in from April 2017. If you do need to plan for the levy, the blog has a link to a useful calculator to help you to understand how much you will need to pay - it will vary by industry. The blog discusses what happens to the levy, which is UK-wide, and how businesses, including smaller ones, can benefit in the longer term.

Skills for Care has also set up a dedicated webpage on the new apprenticeship levy for employers in England, and published an E-news item which summarises 'A levy paying employer’s journey'. This describes the path of larger employers who will be paying the levy, including setting up a digital account, choosing a learning provider and deciding on which apprenticeship programme to use, and using funds from the digital account. There is further information for non-levy paying employers here (scroll down).

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Speculation growing about Budget measures for social careSpeculation growing about Budget measures for social care

Speculation is growing about what the Budget may contain to support social care. The Cabinet Office is looking at the long term solutions to the problems facing social care. Speculation in The Times (paywall) suggests the 'death tax' may be revived, whereby the cost of an individual's care is recovered from their estate. Government departments have evidently been told to identify spending cuts of up to 6% to save up to £3.5bn by 2020, with savings made by local government cuts used to ease pressures on social care: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/28/government-departments-told-to-outline-cuts-of-up-to-6-per-cent The Budget is on 8 March. More from: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/spring-budget-2017

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Safeguarding alerts in homecare servicesSafeguarding alerts in homecare services

BBC radio's "File on 4" programme today (28 February 2016) provides figures about allegations of abuse by homecare workers, obtained under Freedom of Information legislation from around half of the UK's local councils (including the health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland). UKHCA has issued a media release in response.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP have also issued a briefing on the programme, in which they discuss the wider context and what neglect means in social care law.

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Act F.A.S.T. campaign returns to encourage people to call 999 at sign of a strokeAct F.A.S.T. campaign returns to encourage people to call 999 at sign of a stroke

Public Health England has relaunched the "Act FAST" stroke campaign, working closely with the Stroke Association. This aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of stroke and encourage people who recognise any single one of the symptoms of stroke, in themselves or others, to call 999 immediately.

This is important for people who are more likely to experience a stroke including people with medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat). The campaign is built around the 'Act F.A.S.T.' (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) acronym. For more information and leaflets go to nhs.uk/ActFast 

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Government risks bouncing from spending crisis to crisisGovernment risks bouncing from spending crisis to crisis

'The UK faces a combination of failing public services and breached spending controls unless urgent action is taken', said the Institute for Government (IfG). Claiming that 'the Government now risks bouncing from spending crisis to crisis against the backdrop of contentious Brexit negotiations', the Insitute's Performance Tracker: Spring 2017, is the first data-driven assessment of the Government's performance in running public services. The IfG teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to produce the Performance Tracker.

Urging the Government to address the direction of travel for social care before the budget in March 2017, the IfG shows the recent decline in the numbers of people receiving social care. Between 2009/10 and 2013/14, its report says that numbers fell by 24% (more recent figures can't be compared because of changes in data collection). That is contrasted with a 2% increase in the number of people who received state-funded social care between 2005/06 and 2008/09. Even more worrying, the report says that (according to the International Longevity Centre), in 2015, up to one in 10 people had unmet care needs - - an increase of 7% since 2006/07.

Interestly, the IfG refer to the average fee paid by local authorities to social care providers saying it has fallen by 6.2% since 2011 and quote figures from the UKHCA costing model. 

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House of Commons briefing on adult social care fundingHouse of Commons briefing on adult social care funding

The House of Commons has published a paper on the current state of adult social care funding in England. The paper outlines funding challenges in social care, the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2017/18, and speculation on the future of adult social care.

The full paper can be accessed on the House of Commons website.

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Local government settlement announcedLocal government settlement announced

The local government settlement has been issued containing the 3% social care precept, as expected. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: "We will bring forward reforms to provide a sustainable market that works for everyone who needs social care." His full statement to the House. Press reaction to the settlement.

There was debate on funding and social care in the House of Commons on 22 February 2017. Hansard report.

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Welsh Government invests in healthcare professionals' trainingWelsh Government invests in healthcare professionals' training

The Welsh Government will be providing a "significant investment" of £95 million to support a range of education programmes around Wales.

In a written statement, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething, stated,

"There are many challenges facing the NHS including the need to ensure patients can be cared for as close to their home as possible, this means a greater degree of care being taken forward within the community through primary care clusters working collaboratively with the hospital sector."

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UKHCA calls for proper engagement with homecare providers on STPsUKHCA calls for proper engagement with homecare providers on STPs

The King's Fund report "Delivering sustainability and transformation plans - From ambitious proposals to credible plans" says STPs offer the best hope for the NHS and its partners to sustain services and transform the delivery of health and care. But plans to reduce capacity in hospitals will only be credible if there are robust plans to provide alternatives in the community. The report warns cuts in social care and public health and a lack of earmarked funds to support transformation will affect the ability of NHS organisations and their partners to implement STPs.

UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel said: "The King's Fund rightly observes that closing acute services without appropriate community-based services is counterproductive. Health and social care leaders must engage properly with independent and voluntary sector homecare providers as they develop their Sustainability and Transformation Plans."

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Council tax rises will not plug local government funding gapCouncil tax rises will not plug local government funding gap

Council tax rises in 2017/18 will not raise enough funds to avoid the need for further substantial cuts to local services next year, including social care. Analysis by the Local Government Association shows that the social care precept could raise £543m but the cost of meeting the National Minimum Wage alone will cost councils £600m. The research found that 147 of England's 151 social care authorities are considering or have approved introducing the social care precept in 2017/18, but with local government facing an overall funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2020, local government leaders called for this month's local government settlement to include new money for social care.

More from: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/8256122/NEWS

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Adult social care in England in danger of collapsingAdult social care in England in danger of collapsing

Age UK has released a new report into the state of social care in England which concludes that the sector is living on borrowed time to avoid collapse. The report states that there are now nearly 1.2 million people over the age of 65 who are living with unmet care needs, an increase of 48% since 2010. Age UK have put forward a number of urgent recommendations to stabilise social care including an urgent injection of funds in the Spring Budget.

The full report can be accessed via the Age UK website.

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Social Care Wales asks for comments on proposed websiteSocial Care Wales asks for comments on proposed website

New social care workforce regulator, Social Care Wales (SCW), has launched a test version of their forthcoming website which will go live in early April.

They ask those trying out the site to complete a 10-minute survey and let them know what they think.

Bringing together Care Council for Wales and the Social Services Improvement Agency, SCW will be responsibile for improving the social care workforce under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.

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Wales will not be introducing a social care preceptWales will not be introducing a social care precept

The minister for social services and public health, Rebecca Evans, has said that raising council tax through a social care precept, as in England, would not be fair.

Although social care is as much a crisis in Wales as it is in England, the Welsh Government does not see a precept as the answer. Ms Evans said:

Some parts of Wales have a much larger proportion of older people than others. And obviously if we were to put the burden on local authorities to raise council tax to pay for that, it would disproportionately affect some parts of Wales more than others.

The full discussion can be heard on BBC Wales's The Wales Report website.

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MSPs ask for stakeholders' views on Scotland's integrated joint boardsMSPs ask for stakeholders' views on Scotland's integrated joint boards

The Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee is consulting stakeholders on whether health and social care integrated joint boards are doing enough to involve patients, carers, the third sector and other stakeholders over the design and future of health and social care in their local area. Commercial providers of social care and non-commercial providers of social care are amongst those asked for their views. The Committee wants to establish how well the vision behind the IJBs is being delivered in practice. More about the consultation: www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/103489.aspx The deadline for submissions is 8 March 2017UKHCA members are invited to send their views to policy@ukhca.co.uk by 1 March to help us compile a submission on behalf of members.

News report: www.holyrood.com/articles/news/health-and-social-care-integrated-joint-boards-be-investigated-msps

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UKHCA has responded to CQC's consultation on the next phase of regulationUKHCA has responded to CQC's consultation on the next phase of regulation

UKHCA has responded to CQC's consultation on the next phase of regulation. Broadly, we set out the concerns of members on the inspection regime and made clear the difficulties facing providers in the current financial climate. The response also refers to the length of time members are waiting for inspection reports, councils commissioning for price and the difficulties members have in trying to delivering a safe service, reservations about combining the current 11 sets of KLOEs into two overarching frameworks, concerns about consistency by inspectors and disruption being caused to providers. Thank you to UKHCA members who helped with our response. Your comments were extremely useful.

CQC will publish a second consultation in Spring 2017, which will focus on how they regulate adult social care and primary medical services.

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Report highlights shifting patterns of income between the generationsReport highlights shifting patterns of income between the generations

Analysis published by the Resolution Foundation for the Intergenerational Commission, set up to explore questions of intergenerational fairness in the UK, has found that pensioner household incomes are higher than those of working age people. The report 'As time goes by: shifting incomes and inequality between and within generations' says rising pensioner incomes are due to occupational pensions, more pensioners being in employment and a rise in state benefits and home ownership. The report warns future generations of pensioners not to assume they will benefit from further gains from these income sources.

Resolution Foundation press release As time goes by report Report in the Independent 

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Care in a post-Brexit climate - 1.6 million workers needed up to 2022Care in a post-Brexit climate - 1.6 million workers needed up to 2022

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) looks at how to raise standards and meet workforce challenges of care in the UK, including chronic underinvestment, the reliance on a low paid, poorly trained workforce and high levels of staff turnover. It considers the challenges of the UK leaving the EU and projects 'the UK will need to have recruited and trained 1.6 million low-skill health and social care workers up to 2022 in order to replace those leaving the profession as well as to meet increased demand. This is the equivalent of two-thirds of the current low-skill health and social care workforce, and is larger than for any other occupation in the UK.'

More from: www.ippr.org/publications/care-in-a-post-brexit-climate

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Majority of councils do not believe precept will close funding gapMajority of councils do not believe precept will close funding gap

A Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) survey of councils in England and Wales found that 52% of councils thought social care was their greatest immediate priority. Eighty per cent of councils in England are likely or very likely to take up all or part of the additional 3% precept but only 4% of councils believe this will close the funding gap.

The report is available at: www.lgiu.org.uk/report/2017-state-of-local-government-finance-survey/ and summary at: www.lgiu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-State-of-Local-Government-Finance-Summary.pdf A press report focuses on hints some local authorities may be forced to declare technical insolvency in the next two years and this could impact on frontline services: Guardian article.

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Progress with integration slower and less effective than expected in EnglandProgress with integration slower and less effective than expected in England

The Better Care Fund has not achieved the expected value for money, in terms of savings, outcomes for patients or hospital activity, says the National Audit Office's report. Sustainability and transformation plans could be a vehicle for joint health and care planning, but unless Government Departments formally align planning, there is a risk of missing the target of integration across England by 2020. However, there has been some success locally in increasing the proportion of people still at home after discharge from hospital receiving reablement or rehabilitation services. Summary of report. LGA response on behalf of local authorities.

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RQIA launch consultation on draft corporate strategy 2017-21RQIA launch consultation on draft corporate strategy 2017-21

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) are seeking views on their latest draft corporate strategy, which sets the strategic direction of RQIA for the next four years. The strategy takes into account objectives outlined in the Department of Health's 'Health and Wellbeing 2026' strategy and promotes the involvement of service providers and users in improving care.

The consultation period ends on the 22nd March and details of how to respond can be found on the RQIA website.

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CSSIW make changes to challenging factual content in inspection reportsCSSIW make changes to challenging factual content in inspection reports

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) have announced that senior inspectors will now consider challenges to factual content in their inspection reports. Previously, challenges were only considered by CSSIW area managers. This is now also the responsibility of senior inspectors.

As part of CSSIW's open reporting policy, registered persons have an opportunity to challenge the factual accuracy of inspection reports before they are made available to the public.

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Review of modern employment practices underwayReview of modern employment practices underway

The Government has commissioned a review of UK employment practices, including the 'gig economy'. The review, which runs for six months from 1 October 2016, is looking at how employment practices should change to keep pace with modern business models like those operating from digital platforms, the growth of zero hours contracts and the rise in self-employment.

There is facility to contribute ideas to the review at: https://beis.dialogue-app.com/matthew-taylor-review, and details of consultative events and making written submissions at: https://beis.dialogue-app.com/matthew-taylor-review#idea-count-container If members do contribute, we would be interested to receive a copy of your submission - please email policy@ukhca.co.uk

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Public Accounts Committee to investigate progress on integrationPublic Accounts Committee to investigate progress on integration

The Public Accounts Committee is carrying out an inquiry into integrating health and social care in England. This is running alongside a study by the National Audit Office into the progress of the Better Care Fund, how integration is working in different localities, what the Department of Health is doing to support local integration and whether the target of 2020 is likely to be achieved for full integration.

The deadline to submit written evidence to PAC is 21 February 2017. There is also an option to submit evidence to NAO - see: www.nao.org.uk/work-in-progress/integrating-health-and-social-care/



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NICE update falls prevention guidance for health and social care practitionersNICE update falls prevention guidance for health and social care practitioners

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have updated their guidance on falls prevention to be used by health and social care practitioners. In addition to existing guidelines, three new standards have been added in this year's review.

The full guidance can be found on the NICE website.

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People have a duty to look after their elderly parents, says MinisterPeople have a duty to look after their elderly parents, says Minister

The House of Commons Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has heard evidence from Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government, and David Mowat MP, Minister for Communities, Health and Care. David Mowat said the government has 'no final answer' to the increasing costs of social care and families may need to take more responsibility. He suggested people have just as much of a duty to look after their elderly parents as they do to care for their own children. Ministers preferred to describe the current social care system as 'stressed' rather than 'in crisis'. 

News report. A transcript of the evidence will be uploaded at: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/adult-social-care-16-17/

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Inside Out North East and Cumbria - feature on homecareInside Out North East and Cumbria - feature on homecare

There is a feature on homecare on BBC One's Inside Out North East and Cumbria programme which looks at the excellent work of homecare workers caring for service users, and financial pressure on providers in these difficult times. It describes local councils as 'the meanest in Britain' in terms of the price they are willing to pay for homecare. Local government representatives explain the pressure they too are under, and the urgent need for more social care funding.

The item is from 1.20 to 11.00 mins. UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel comments on the issues at about 5.00 mins: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0071mnc

 

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Health Secretary sets early priority to secure right to remain for EU nationals in social careHealth Secretary sets early priority to secure right to remain for EU nationals in social care

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has given evidence to the Commons Health Committee's inquiry on the impact of leaving the EU on health and social care. He explained that we will continue to rely on staff from the EU 'in the short term' and that it was government policy to keep the 90,000 EU citizens working in social care where they are. "It is a very early priority for us to secure, as quickly as we can, agreement for their right to remain in the UK and continue their great work."

"... In the social care system, of the approximately 90,000 EU nationals - it is harder to measure in the social care system - 67,000 are lower skilled. Often, they are people working at low wages in care homes or in domiciliary care duties who provide absolutely vital patient care. As we have often talked about in this Committee, that area is under a great deal of pressure at the moment. Making sure not just that we maintain their morale and motivation but that we develop an immigration policy that recognises that we will need to continue to support the social care system with lower-skilled migrants is one set of issues."

Transcript of Health Secretary's evidence, which also saw Brexit as a catalyst for change. See Q9 and Q10.

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Michelle O'Neil replaces Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin leaderMichelle O'Neil replaces Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin leader

As members will be aware, Health Minister Michelle O'Neill has been appointed as Sinn Féin's leader in Northern Ireland, with NI Assembly elections taking place on 2nd March 2017.

In her capacity as Health Minister, Michelle O'Neill recently reiterated her support for working towards the application of a living wage for HSC staff, subject to the constraints of public sector pay policy: www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/health-minister-michelle-oneill-working-towards-living-wage

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Free training available on the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of LibertyFree training available on the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty

In partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council and NHS England, Medical Protection has launched a short course to help healthcare professionals understand mental capacity law and the legal framework around the deprivation of liberty.

The free two and a half hour course contains nine modules, considering: what the MCA is, what you need to know, how it affects you and your service users and how to apply it in practice.

You can register for the course, which applies for those working in England and Wales only, on the Medical Protection website.

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UKHCA calls for workforce strategy to address leaving EU concernsUKHCA calls for workforce strategy to address leaving EU concerns

UKHCA has written to the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee's Inquiry into UK's negotiating objectives for EU withdrawal drawing MPs' attention to the recruitment and retention issues facing the UK homecare sector. The submission highlights the the dependence of some homecare providers on non-British EEA workers to fill gaps in the workforce, in regions like London, the South East, the South West and East of England, and sub-sectors like live in care.

We call for a workforce strategy to build up the domestic labour market, a right to remain for current EEA workers and transitional arrangements for migration from the EU until UK employers can recruit sufficient staff from elsewhere.

More information about the Inquiry  UKHCA's submission

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Supreme Court confirms UK Government will not need devolved legislature approval to trigger Article 50Supreme Court confirms UK Government will not need devolved legislature approval to trigger Article 50

The Supreme Court, as part of its decision requiring the UK Government to seek an Act of Parliament to trigger article 50, has stated that the Government will not need to seek the approval of the devolved legislatures.

A PDF of the press summary released by the Supreme Court can be found here.

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Announcement on Attendance AllowanceAnnouncement on Attendance Allowance

UKHCA members have been concerned about the future of Attendance Allowance given the possibility it might in future be administered by councils. Such a decision was being considered as part of the business rate reforms being undertaken by the Department for Communities and Local Goverment and would potentially have affected the ability of clients to privately arrange homecare with independent providers. However, at an event held at the Local Government Association on 19th January 2017, DCLG Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, confirmed that Attendance Allowance will not be administered by councils but the process of reforming business rates continues. Attendance Allowance will (for the timebeing at least) continue to be paid directly to individuals.

The full text of the speech can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/supporting-local-government

 

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Wales launches dementia care improvement consultationWales launches dementia care improvement consultation

Last week, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething launched a consultation on the improvement of dementia care in Wales. Responses will feed into a national strategic plan, a step towards the Welsh Goverment committment to create a "dementia friendly nation".

Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website. The deadline for responses is Monday, 3 April 2017.

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UK Dementia Research Institute will be based at University College LondonUK Dementia Research Institute will be based at University College London

University College London has been chosen to lead a UK-wide effort to treat, care for and prevent dementias. The institute will be led by Professor Bart De Strooper following a competitive international search. The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is a joint £250 million investment by government and leading Alzheimer's charities.

Professor De Strooper will lead the UK DRI as it takes a cross-discipline approach to pioneer new treatments to tackle dementias which include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's disease and vascular dementia.

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Wales Health Secretary launches consultation on dementia strategyWales Health Secretary launches consultation on dementia strategy

In January, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething, launched a public consultation on their Dementia Strategic Action Plan. Local authorities and health boards are to develop a "team around the individual approach "with services tailored to the individual with dementia and their carers. The Welsh Government will promote and develop research on living with dementia that includes families and carers as co-researchers and looks to address inequalities experienced by people with dementia.

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IPC Programme expands to improve services for millions with complex needsIPC Programme expands to improve services for millions with complex needs

The Integrated Personal Commissionining (IPC) programme is aimed at joining up health, social care and other services to help people, carers and families have more control over their care needs. The programme, in partnership with the Local Government Association, is already working in 12 areas of England and is now being rolled out to Birmingham and Solihull, Nottingham City, Hertfordshire, Islington, Sheffield and Nottinghamshire.

IPC could eventually be the main model of community care for up to five per cent of the population or over 2.5 million people. More information is at www.england.nhs.uk/2016/12/new-care-centres/

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Councils still commissioning 15 minute homecare visitsCouncils still commissioning 15 minute homecare visits

One in five councils in England admitted to ITV News that they are still commissioning 15 minute social care visits. An investigation by ITV News and Leonard Cheshire Disability found evidence that what you get depends increasingly on where you live. A Freedom of Information request was sent to all 152 councils in England and 95 responded. 34 admitted they are still commissioning 15-minute visits for personal care.

See the report and video

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Welsh Government asks for views on charging for social careWelsh Government asks for views on charging for social care

The Welsh Government would like your views on changes to local authority charges for social care and support.

These changes, which include a rise in the maximum charge for non-residential care and support to £70 a week, will take effect in April 2017 under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website. The consultation deadline is Wednesday, 25 January.

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Department of Health publish domiciliary care statistics for 2016 in Northern IrelandDepartment of Health publish domiciliary care statistics for 2016 in Northern Ireland

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland have released their annual figures on domiciliary care for 2016, collected from health and social care trusts during a survey week in September.

The publication details information on the number of domiciliary care clients, statutory and independent providers of care, contact hours and the intensity of care visits.

You can find a full list of the 2016 figures and the full publication on the Department of Health website.



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TUC and British Chamber of Commerce write to the Prime Minister on EU migrants' right to remainTUC and British Chamber of Commerce write to the Prime Minister on EU migrants' right to remain

British business leaders and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have, in an unprecedented act, jointly written to the Prime Minister calling on her to end the uncertainty for workers and businesses by confirming that the government will give current EU migrants a right to remain after Brexit.

The letter, from TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady and BCC Director General Adam Marshall, says that the Prime Minister should make this commitment unilaterally as it is both morally right and also in the interests of the British economy. They say it will also send a signal of goodwill to the EU that will benefit the UK's negotiating position.

According to the office for national Statistics 2.1 million EU nationals were employed in the UK in the first quarter of 2016.

UKHCA were part of the Cavendish Coalition which reported that there are approximately 160,000 EU nationals working in social care and public and independent health organisations across England with additional staff working in services in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

  • 90,000 in adult social care in England
  • 58,000 in the NHS in England
  • 13,000 in independent health sector.

The text of the joint letter can be found at http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/prime-minister-must-%E2%80%98show-leadership%E2%80%99-on-eu-migrants%E2%80%99-right-to-remain-%E2%80%93-says-tuc-and-british-chambers-of-commerce.html

Here is a link to information about the Cavendish Coalition https://www.ukhca.co.uk/mediastatement_information.aspx?releaseID=233517

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A King's Fund report shows how hospital activity and NHS funding has changed over timeA King's Fund report shows how hospital activity and NHS funding has changed over time

The King's Fund report published on 20th December 2016 shows that since 2003/04, demand for hospital activity has increased and funding has slowed significantly.

The King's Fund conclude that despite the NHS developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans, it is optimistic to consider the current pressures facing the NHS and social care will lead to substantial changes. The King's Fund say additional resources made available to the NHS are being used to reduce deficits and, "social care has become a threadbare safety net for some of the most needy and vulnerable service users".

The headline figures from the analysis are:

  • Attendance at A&E from 2003/04 to 2015/16, increased by 18% from 12.7 million to 15 million
  • Admissions via major A&E departments from 2003/04 to 2015/16 rose by 65% from 2.5 million to 4.1 million equivalent to an average increase of 4.3% a year
  • Between 2003/04 and 2015/16 the number of people aged 85 and over increased by nearly 40%
  • Until 2010/11, spending rose at an average of 4.8% a year, but since 2010/11 funding slowed significantly averaging 1.2% a year and is set to average 1.1% a year from 2015/16.

According to the King's Fund, the increase in demand is not solely due to the increase the number of people aged over 85, but they do acknowledge that the rise in the number of people living with multiple long-term conditions may be a significant factor.

The King's Fund report is at https://www.King'sfund.org.uk/publications/hospital-activity-funding-changes

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RISCA Update: further regulations approved by Welsh AssemblyRISCA Update: further regulations approved by Welsh Assembly

Last week, the Welsh Assembly approved a two sets of regulations under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (RISCA) which provide requirements for social care workers in Wales.

The approval is further preparation towards "Social Care Wales", a replacement of Care Council for Wales operational from April 2017. It will conduct the new system of social care workforce regulation.

Further information about the Act and what it will mean for your business can be found on the Care Council for Wales's Learning Hub.

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Call for responses to DCLG provisional finance settlement consultationCall for responses to DCLG provisional finance settlement consultation

Following the Secretary of State's statement to Parliament on the provisional local government finance settlement, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) seeks views on their proposals.

The proposals include the introduction of an Adult Social Care Support Grant and an increase of the social care precept for a temporary basis.

Further information can be found on the DCLG website. Deadline is Friday, 13 January 2017.

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Care Funding - Short term solution not enoughCare Funding - Short term solution not enough

Earlier today, an announcement was made by the Government about proposals for increasing council tax to generate funds for social care services in England. Read our response to what the Government has said.

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Survey reveals little understanding of looming legislation in WalesSurvey reveals little understanding of looming legislation in Wales

A survey of around 100 delegates at a recent Social Care in Partnership South East (SCiPse) conference has revealed the worrying lack of understanding of forthcoming changes under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act.

The subsequent report, published in partnership with UKHCA, reveals that 53% of delegates did not fully understand the new responsibilities of Responsible Individuals and that 45% had minimal understanding of RISCA over all.

Click here to read the report. Further information about the Act can be found on the Care Council for Wales's Information and Learning Hub.

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List your festive activities on Community Christmas websiteList your festive activities on Community Christmas website

Charity Friends of the Elderly is calling on people to organise Christmas Day activities, so no older person in the UK will be alone unless they want to be. The charity says if you're organising an activity, or know of one in your area, contact FOTE partners Community Christmas so the event can be listed on the Community Christmas website making it easier for people to know what's happening in their area. For more, please see: www.fote.org.uk/christmas or telephone Community Christmas on 0800 063 9285.

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Reminder - care at home supervisors must apply to register by 31 December 2016Reminder - care at home supervisors must apply to register by 31 December 2016

The Scottish Social Services Council is reminding supervisors in care at home and housing support services that they need to apply to register with the Council by 31 December 2016, so they can be formally registered by the deadline of 30 June 2017. If people apply by 31 December 2016, SSSC say they are guaranteed to be registered by 30 June 2017. The deadline applies to workers who were in post before 1 July 2014. Any worker who started after 1 July 2014 must apply for registration with SSSC as soon as possible after they start employment and must be registered within six months of starting in their role. More about the deadline at: http://ssscnews.uk.com/2016/11/29/deadline-supervisors/

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House of Lords debate highlights unsung role of careworkersHouse of Lords debate highlights unsung role of careworkers

The skilled role of careworkers has been highlighted in a House of Lords debate on social care. Baroness Cavendish made her maiden speech and said: "When I conducted a review of support workers in health and social care for the Department of Health in 2012 I met far too many care workers who said, "Well, I'm only a carer". Actually, to go into an elderly stranger's home and cope with whatever you find there, to feed someone who cannot swallow properly and to lift someone with dignity is a hugely skilled task that requires considerable maturity. Too often we still refer to those tasks as "basic" when actually they are anything but."

Lord Prior, for the Government, replied that being a carer was in many ways, "the noblest profession, very much unsung". He hoped over time the care certificate and living wage would transform these roles and give them greater status, as well as more pay. 

A transcript of the debate is at: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2016-12-01/debates/C1C0E019-BB75-4613-8C14-E86D9D67D690/SocialCare

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UKHCA looks forward to annual forum in Northern IrelandUKHCA looks forward to annual forum in Northern Ireland

It's just one week until our Northern Ireland Forum in Belfast, set to be an interesting afternoon with an exciting line-up and lots of opportunities for networking. Lunch, refreshments and an evening reception will also be provided.

Speakers include: Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland; Olive MacLeod, Chief Executive of RQIA; Paula Bradley, Chair of the NIA Health Committee with a panel session on information governance with Rachael Gallagher from the Information Commissioner's Office NI and Clare Bates, Legal Advisor at NISCC.

The event is free for members. There's still time to book your tickets if you haven't already. Further information can be found on the event website.

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Time to put winter plans into effectTime to put winter plans into effect

With temperatures falling, providers will need to put their winter plans into effect. There is information at:

Public Health England: Cold Weather Plan for England: protecting health and reducing harm from cold weather (see pages 36 and 37 for action lists for care providers and frontline staff)

Age UK Winter wrapped up

Scottish Government guidance for local authorities and others on preparing for winter. Ready Scotland advice

Northern Ireland Winter help and advice Staying warm in winter

Wales: Preparing for cold weather Winter weather advice

NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign

Met Office Get ready for winter

RAC Winter driving advice

 

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Government announces details of National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage from April 2017Government announces details of National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage from April 2017

Following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on 23rd November 2016, the Government have now released further details of increases to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage from April 2017 as follows:

The National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over will increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour.

The National Minimum Wage will also increase:

  • for 21 to 24 year olds from £6.95 per hour to £7.05
  • for 18 to 20 year olds from £5.55 per hour to £5.60
  • for 16 to 17 year olds from £4.00 per hour to £4.05
  • for apprentices from £3.40 per hour to £3.50

A round-up of the Autumn Statement announcements, including National Minimum Wage, can be found here.

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The Autumn Statement 2016 disappoints adult social careThe Autumn Statement 2016 disappoints adult social care

To the dismay of the social care sector, the Chancellor's Autumn Statement was silent on social care, meaning that the many calls for increased funding have gone unheeded. There was a brief mention of social care in the preceding PMQs when the Prime Minister was challenged on provision for homecare by Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Theresa May stuck to her line that £10bn funding has already been committed to the NHS under the Five Year Forward View, and adult social care has access to extra support via the Better Care Fund and funds raised by the social care precept. The Chancellor confirmed that the National Living Wage will rise to £7.50 per hour for workers of 25 and over from April 2017.

See our response to the Autumn Statement

The Chancellor's speech is here and the details are in the 'Green book'.
There are summaries on the BBC website at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38075649 and in the Guardian at: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/23/key-points-autumn-statement-at-a-glance

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Welsh Minister heralds new approach to ensure personalisation of careWelsh Minister heralds new approach to ensure personalisation of care

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, has published a new approach aimed at local authorities to support those with care and support needs to achieve their goals and progress towards their personal outcomes.

This guidance comes over six months after the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force in April 2016. The Act focuses on well-being and the personalisation of care for people in Wales.

Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website. Care Council for Wales also has an Information and Learning Hub.

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Video presentations from ESN conference 2016 available nowVideo presentations from ESN conference 2016 available now

Presentations from this year's European Social Network (ESN) Social Services in Europe Conference 2016 are now available.

The conference, which included a presentation from Northern Ireland Social Care Council Chief Executive, Colum Conway, explored the role of new technology for planning and training, joint work between professionals, and the social care workforce's role in quality.

The presentations are available on the ESN website.



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NI Public Health Agency calls for antibiotic wisdomNI Public Health Agency calls for antibiotic wisdom

After the recent annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18th November) the Public Health Agency has released a statement urging the careful use of antibiotic treatments this winter.

In an effort to reduce anti-microbial resistance, exacerbated by inappropriate antibiotic use, public health officials have instead recommended that people treat winter colds and flu with alternate remedies including rest and taking plenty of fluids.

Not only will this reduce demand for ineffective antibiotics, but will also reduce pressure on GP surgeries during the winter months.

Further information on antibiotic awareness in Northern Ireland, and details on how to become an Antibiotic Guardian, can be found on the Health and Social Care NI Public Health Agency website.

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November Homecarer 2016November Homecarer 2016

The November Homecarer 2016 is now available for members to download. In this issue: We say it is time to take action as winter is coming, Mike Padgham states that the government must target investment in homecare; CEO Bridget Warr CBE reports on how UKHCA is working hand in hand to push homecare to the forefront; We review the recent UKHCA England Conference; Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, discusses negotiating homecare contracts with the local authority; We report that the CQC warns that spending cuts could push social care to a tipping point.

Download from http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=530

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Scottish Government consults on National Health and Care StandardsScottish Government consults on National Health and Care Standards

The Scottish Government is consulting on draft National Health and Care Standards which apply to all health and social care services, not just regulated services, and extend to planning, assessment, commissioning, and delivery of care from the perspective of the person using care.

The seven new care standards replace the 23 previous sets of standards for specific services. Developed with input from service users and with a social justice approach, the draft standards use 'I' statements, for example, 'Standard 1.17 - I am supported to live in my own home if this is possible for me.' The standards set out important characteristics of how care providers should design, deliver and improve their services. Care at home providers will want to review the draft standards carefully.

The consultation closes on 22 January 2017, see: www.newcarestandards.scot UKHCA has submitted a response on behalf of UKHCA members. Consultation document.

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SCIE publish further report into building the future social care workforceSCIE publish further report into building the future social care workforce

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has published the latest in a series of reports on ways of developing the social care workforce to meet current and future care needs.

Key messages include co-ordinating local recruitment campaigns across health and care, developing 'portfolio' careers and flexible working in care, and introducing user-led training for care workers.

The report also outlines several scenarios on how Brexit might impact on recruitment and retention within the care sector.

Further information, and the full report, can be found on the SCIE website.

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UNISON calls on Government to spend business rates surplus on social careUNISON calls on Government to spend business rates surplus on social care

UNISON have released a report, Investing in Social Care, which urges the Government to spend any surplus funding generated by business rates on social care services.

The report states that the Government is expected to receive a surplus of £2.4 billion of funding from business rates next year.

The full report can be viewed on the UNISON website.

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Barbara Keeley MP calls on Government to bring forward funding for social careBarbara Keeley MP calls on Government to bring forward funding for social care

Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care, has called on the Government to bring forward promised funding for social care for 2019-20, in a recent House of Commons debate.

The funding crisis for social care, delayed discharge and the care of vulnerable people with unmet care needs were all discussed during the course of the debate.

A full transcript of the debate can be accessed here.

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First step towards reconfiguration and transformation of health and social care announcedFirst step towards reconfiguration and transformation of health and social care announced

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill has announced a consultation on the criteria to be used to improve and reconfigure health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

The consultation, Consultation on Criteria for Reconfiguring Health and Social Care Services, which is now accepting responses, will run until 20th January 2017.

The full consultation questionnaire can be found online at the Department of Health website.

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Department of Health release clinical and social care negligence figures for 2015/16Department of Health release clinical and social care negligence figures for 2015/16

The Department of Health has published data for 2015/16 on clinical and social care negligence cases in Northern Ireland, including figures collected from Health and Social Care Trusts and Health and Social Services Boards.

Key findings and figures can be found on the Department of Health website.

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New Political Studies Association report into the state of care in EnglandNew Political Studies Association report into the state of care in England

Towards a New Deal for Care and Carers outlines the key challenges facing the care sector in England, including changes to demand, public expectations and funding, as well as recommendations for improving the stability of the homecare market.

The full report can be found on the Political Studies Association website.

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NICE seek feedback on social care quick guidesNICE seek feedback on social care quick guides

UKHCA members will be familiar with the Quick guide on home care developed by NICE and SCIE. NICE are seeking feedback on what users would like included in social care quick guides for the future. Please could you comment through a short homecare survey NICE say feel free to circulate the survey to anyone else you think may be interested. (A parallel survey is taking place on Oral health for adults in care homes)

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Local Government Ombudsman's Adult Social Care Complaints Review 2015-16Local Government Ombudsman's Adult Social Care Complaints Review 2015-16

See our response to the Local Government Ombudsman's Adult Social Care Complaints Review 2015-16 which has investigated complaints about homecare.

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Warning on state of social care financesWarning on state of social care finances

A joint statement by the Health Foundation, The King's Fund and the Nuffield Trust in the run up to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement warns that adult social care in England will be facing a £1.9 billion funding gap in 2017/18. The health charities call for Government to bring forward Better Care Fund monies.

Separately, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said in a briefing the outlook for UK's public finances has worsened by £25bn since March 2016.

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NHS England publish guide on health, housing and independent livingNHS England publish guide on health, housing and independent living

NHS England's Quick Guide: Health and Housing provides further information on the link between health and housing, and how housing can support people to remain independent in the community.

It includes case studies from across England providing insight into innovative projects designed to support self-care and improve social inclusion.

The full guide can be accessed on the NHS England website.

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Health Select Committee releases full report on winter pressures in A&EHealth Select Committee releases full report on winter pressures in A&E

The report identifies improving adult social care and community services and shortening care package delays as key components for reducing pressure on accident and emergency services.

The Committee included written evidence by UKHCA stating that investing in short-term community reablement services could reduce costs and minimise the potential for readmission.

The full report, including a statement from UKHCA, can be found on the Health Select Committee website.

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Social Care Commitment Week beginsSocial Care Commitment Week begins

This week (7-11 November) is a full week to encourage adult social care employers to publically declare their commitment to provide high quality services.

The Commitment is made up of seven "I will" statements with tasks for every provider who signs up to promise to stick to.

Further information about the Commitment and how you can sign up can be found on the Social Care Commitment website.

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New guide assists people who arrange their own homecareNew guide assists people who arrange their own homecare

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have co-produced a quick help guide for people who wish to arrange their own home care packages.

The guide outlines what service users should expect to receive from good homecare services, where further information can be found to arrange homecare, and what to do if they are not happy with the standard of care received.

The full guide, and further information on care services, can be found on the SCIE website.

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EHRC publish guidance for UK employers recruiting foreign-born workersEHRC publish guidance for UK employers recruiting foreign-born workers

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have published a check-list of important requirements to help UK employers improve recruitment practices.

The report provides assistance and advice for employers who wish to advertise jobs to foreign-born workers and ensure compliance with advertising standards.

Full access to the checklist and report can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

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'Don't be left in the dark: Adult Social Care' a quick guide to social care'Don't be left in the dark: Adult Social Care' a quick guide to social care

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a useful beginner's guide to adult social care services.

It outlines the various services available as part of social care packages, the challenges facing the social care sector, and the differences between social care and the NHS.

You can access and download the full report on the LGA website.

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LGA paper on transforming social care through information and technologyLGA paper on transforming social care through information and technology

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a paper on transforming social care through the use of information and technology.

It highlights the benefits of greater sharing of information between organisations, and outlines key areas where current and future technology innovations can support service users to maintain their independence, live at home for longer, and improve interaction between providers and service users.

Further information and a copy of the report, Transforming social care through the use of information and technology, can be found on the LGA website.

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Leonard Cheshire Disability publish 2016 report on the state of social care in BritainLeonard Cheshire Disability publish 2016 report on the state of social care in Britain

Leonard Cheshire Disability has published its The State of Social Care in Britain in 2016. It outlines key recommendations for Government to improve the stability and quality of the social care sector, including bringing forward planned investment through the Better Care Fund.

The views of over a thousand users of social care services were collated to give an overview of the state of care across England, Scotland and Wales.

A full report and list of recommendations can be found on the Leonard Cheshire Disability website.

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LGA publishes 2016 state of the nation report on adult social care fundingLGA publishes 2016 state of the nation report on adult social care funding

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published its 2016 State of the Nation report on adult social care funding in the UK which includes snapshot articles from key individuals across the sector.

UKHCA Chief Executive, Bridget Warr, outlines the historic funding shortfall in the homecare sector and concerns over the current sustainability of the sector.

You can access the full report, including contributions from the UKHCA, on the LGA website.

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Bridget Warr receives her CBE award for social care and voluntary sector servicesBridget Warr receives her CBE award for social care and voluntary sector services

Read our news release on UKHCA's CEO, Bridget Warr receiving her Commander of the British Empire (CBE) award from Her Royal Highness, Anne, the Princess Royal, on 27 October 2016.

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Review of the fees charged and frequency of inspections by RQIAReview of the fees charged and frequency of inspections by RQIA

The Department of Health has launched a consultation on the fees RQIA will charge regulated providers in Northern Ireland from April 2017. At present there is variation between the fees charged different types of service, with domiciliary care rates currently nil. RQIA plans to introduce fees for domiciliary care agencies from 1 April 2017 as follows: Registration fee: Provider £952, Manager £261; Annual fee: £215; and Variation fee: £100, £25 minor variation. A similar approach is planned for other services that do not pay fees currently. The consultation also includes proposed new minimum frequencies for inspections. The proposed statutory minimum number of inspections for a domiciliary care provider is one per year, the same as presently.

The consultation closes on 30 December 2016. UKHCA will be preparing a response on behalf of members, so please email your views to policy@ukhca.co.uk by 2 December 2016. Letter to consultees Consultation paper Respond to consultation

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Revised SSSC Codes of Practice and fitness to practise issuedRevised SSSC Codes of Practice and fitness to practise issued

The Scottish Social Services Council issued revised the Codes of Practice for regulated workers on 1 November 2016, following an earlier consultation. The Codes of Practice set the standards of behaviour and practice expected of workers and employers in social services and include the fitness to practise model of regulation which came into effect on the same day. Codes of Practice Fitness to Practise model

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New voluntary Living Wage rates announcedNew voluntary Living Wage rates announced

The Living Wage Foundation revealed on 31 October 2016 that the London Living Wage has risen 3.7% from £9.40 to £9.75 an hour and the UK Living Wage rate has increased 2.4% from £8.25 to £8.45 an hour. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the London rate and First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, and the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones announced the UK-wide Living Wage rate in Scotland and Wales. More at: www.livingwage.org.uk/news/new-real-living-wage-rates-announced-london-uk-0 The Living Wage is voluntary for accredited employers and not statutory, unlike the National Minimum Wage.

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MPs write to Chancellor about NHS funding and social care crisisMPs write to Chancellor about NHS funding and social care crisis

The Chair of the Commons Health Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, has written to the Chancellor in advance of the Autumn Statement to say that Government claims of an extra £10bn being allocated to the NHS in England over the next five years do not stand up to scrutiny and in reality are more like £4.5bn. MPs are calling for additional funding for the NHS and urgent action to tackle the crisis in social care. The Government continues to state the £10bn figure is accurate and social care is benefitting from extra funding via the social care precept and Better Care Fund to 2020. BBC News item. Evidence given to the Committee in its brief inquiry into the current state of NHS finances. Kings Fund comment.

A separate survey reported in the Daily Telegraph has found that almost half of clinical commissioning groups are planning to cut hospital beds and a third intend to close Accident & Emergency departments: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/30/almost-half-of-nhs-authorities-to-cut-hospital-beds-and-third-to/ (paywall)

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CSSIW publishes national review of domiciliary care in WalesCSSIW publishes national review of domiciliary care in Wales

Today, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has published a 223-page review setting out its findings of data drawn from the domiciliary care sector between August 2015 and March 2016.

The review assesses the type and scale of domiciliary care in Wales, identifying what is working and what is not. It is hoped the report will inform Wales' forthcoming five-year domiciliary care strategy and how CSSIW will inspect domiciliary care in future.

You can read the report on CSSIW's website along with inspection reports of six local authorities.

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UKHCA gives oral evidence for inquiry into adult social care fundingUKHCA gives oral evidence for inquiry into adult social care funding

Yesterday, UKHCA's Policy and Campaigns Director, Colin Angel, gave oral evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee as part of an ongoing inquiry into local authority funding of adult social care in England.

Evidence given focussed on demand and supply, cost pressures and fees, commissioning practices, the workforce and integration between health and social care services.

You can watch the session on ParliamentLive.tv and also read UKHCA's written response to the Committe's inquiry. A transcript of the session is available at: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/communities-and-local-government-committee/social-care/oral/42401.html

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Accessible Information Standard now mandatoryAccessible Information Standard now mandatory

A reminder the new accessible information standard (AIS) became mandatory on NHS providers and adult social care providers of publicly funded care from 31 July 2016. This reinforces providers’ legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to supply accessible information, and requirements in CQC Provider Guidance to support people to make decisions about their care. UKHCA has prepared a briefing for members, to help them check their compliance with the AIS (updated in August 2016). Although aimed at homecare providers of 'publicly-funded care' the briefing will be of interest to providers of privately-funded care and assist with their Equality Act and CQC compliance.

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