UKHCA

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

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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 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, free for members, includes keynotes speeches from Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health and David Francis, Assistant Chief Inspector of CSSIW.

As well as wider issues, it will also 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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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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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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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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Book now for the Northern Ireland Provider Forum 2016Book now for the Northern Ireland Provider Forum 2016

Book now for UKHCA's annual provider forum in Northern Ireland which is being held on Thursday, 8th December 2016 at The Ramada Plaza, Belfast. The forum, which is free for members, includes keynotes speeches from Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People and Olive MacLeod Chief Executive of RQIA. Discounts are available for providers of domiciliary care in Northern Ireland who are not members. Contact Daniel Jones to find out more.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for updates on the agenda and new speakers.

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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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The Homecare Deficit 2016 - Latest analysis of state-funded homecareThe Homecare Deficit 2016 - Latest analysis of state-funded homecare

UKHCA exposes the under-resourcing of state-funded homecare using information obtained under Freedom of Information enquiries to all 211 councils in Great Britain and the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland in a major report "The Homecare Deficit 2016" , along with a media release and infographics from the report.

Our new report demonstrates the funding gap between what councils pay for homecare and the costs of services which must meet the National Living Wage. We reveal that the average price councils paid for homecare in the UK in April 2016 was just £14.58 per hour, compared to UKHCA's Minimum Price for Homecare of £16.70 per hour.

The rates that so many councils are paying independent and voluntary homecare providers illustrate the root cause of instability of local homecare markets and unacceptably low pay and conditions of the homecare workforce supplying care through contracts with councils and Health and Social Care Trusts.

The Homecare Deficit 2016 - Latest analysis of state-funded homecare

Selected media coverage: BBC News online  BBC Radio 4 BBC social affairs correspondent Alison Holt at 6.46 am, and Dr Jane Townson of Somerset Care and Ray James of ADASS at 7.34 am.

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Bengoa Report issued in Northern IrelandBengoa Report issued in Northern Ireland

The much anticipated report by Professor Rafael Bengoa on the future of Northern Ireland's health and social care system has been published, along with the Health Minister's 10 year vision to reform health and social care to meet the needs of Northern Ireland's growing population. More reaction to the report and plan when we've considered the contents. BBC News item Belfast Telegraph 

Bengoa Report: "Systems, Not Structures, Changing Health and Social Care - expert panel report"
Bengoa Report: Executive Summary
Health Minister's 10 year vision statement: Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together
Department of Health (NI): Press release

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CSSIW update registration application formsCSSIW update registration application forms

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has updated all registration application forms to make completion and submission easier.

The forms now include details of financial information that are required to support the application.

Further information can be found on the CSSIW website.

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Launch of "dementia champion" training for health and social care staff in Northern IrelandLaunch of "dementia champion" training for health and social care staff in Northern Ireland

The "Dementia Champions" training has been launched with the aim to recruit and train up to 300 people to support people living with dementia, up-skilling social care staff across the sector.

"The programme is designed to attract and engage Health and Social Care Sector stakeholders who deal with dementia sufferers on a daily basis", says Director of Connected Health, Ryan Williams, "and empower these key personnel to champion positive change in the way the sector responds to the condition."

Although the programme has begun, it may still be possible to nominate staff for training by contacting Catriona Donnelly of Connected Health at catriona@connected-health.co.uk.

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How can homecare staff help people manage medicines at home?How can homecare staff help people manage medicines at home?

New draft guidelines have been issued by NICE which set out how homecare staff can help adults who are receiving social care support at home manage their medicines safely and correctly. The draft guidelines:

  • Suggest staff should discuss individual's needs and preferences and record decisions about the support needed in the personal homecare plan.
  • Adopt the view that staff should encourage people to take direct responsibility for their own medicines wherever possible, with help from family or carers if needed.
  • Outline how to approach helping people who need support and deals with issues such as ordering prescriptions, administering medicines and what records to take.

The draft guideline is open for consultation until 11 November. To comment, you will first need to register as a stakeholder. More at: http://bit.ly/2epyFFt UKHCA will be commenting on behalf of members. To send us your views, email policy@ukhca.co.uk by 2 November. NICE news item.

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October 31st deadline for Wales to retrospective claims for careOctober 31st deadline for Wales to retrospective claims for care

The Welsh Government is reminding those who think they, or someone they care for, may be eligible for Continuing NHS Healthcare (CHC) retrospective funding to register their intent to claim by Monday, 31 October.

CHC, a package of services that provides free-of-charge packages care for those with complex and primarily health-based needs, can be received in any setting including in the person's own home.

Claim forms and further information can be downloaded from the Welsh Government's dedicated webpage.

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UKHCA's response to CQC's substantial fee increases from April 2017UKHCA's response to CQC's substantial fee increases from April 2017

Read our response to the Care Quality Commission's proposed fee increases from April 2017, where as members you are encouraged to present your views to UKHCA.

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Funding increase for Welsh local authorities, but will be worse off in real-termsFunding increase for Welsh local authorities, but will be worse off in real-terms

The BBC reported this week that a number of local authorities will receive a funding increase of up to 0.9% in 2017/18 - 'the first cash increase in years'.

However, as pointed out by Media Wales chief reporter, Martin Shipton, all councils will be worse off with inflation estimated at 1.5%.

Mark Drakeford, Finance and Local Government Secretary, also warned that this brief period of "relative stability" should be used by councils to prepare for "difficult decisions that lie ahead."

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75,000 older people affected by financial abuse in Northern Ireland, says report75,000 older people affected by financial abuse in Northern Ireland, says report

A recent report by the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland has revealed that one in five older people have experienced financial abuse, often from someone they know or trust.

'Shocked and saddened', Eddie Lynch, appointed Commissioner earlier this year, said he was 'committed to taking action to tackle this appalling crime.'

The Commissioner believed the results, drawn from over 1,000 interviews, were more reason to press the government for the introduction of an Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland, one of the Commission's draft priorities for action.

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CQC State of Care ReportCQC State of Care Report

Read our response to the CQC's State of Care Report issued today, which addresses the serious threats to the quality, safety and stability of England's social care services. The publication also provides further evidence that Councils do not have enough financial support in order to manage social care effectively.

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Weaker than forecast pay growth likely to impact on NLWWeaker than forecast pay growth likely to impact on NLW

Weaker than predicted pay growth, following the Brexit vote, will mean that the National Living Wage (NLW) is likely to rise to around £7.50 an hour in April 2017, 10p lower than anticipated last March, according to a press release from the thinktank the Resolution Foundation. The report Low Pay Britain 2016 also predicts that the NLW is unlikely to reach £9 by 2020, as forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in March, with £8.60 being a more realistic prediction. The actual rate of the NLW from April 2017 is due to be announced by Government around the time of the Autumn Statement on 23 November 2016. (Low Pay Britain 2016 report not live yet - will update when published.)

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Public Health Agency calls for people to get flu jabPublic Health Agency calls for people to get flu jab

Northern Ireland's Public Health Agency is encouraging people to get the free flu vaccine in preparation for this winter's viruses. People over 65 are particularly at risk, making a flu more likely to turn into a severe illness, such as pneumonia. It takes about two weeks to develop maximum protection, so the Agency urges people to get vaccinated early. Further information specifically for health professionals can be found on the Agency's dedicated website, FLU Aware NI, and includes a weekly surveillance bulletin and FAQs: http://www.fluawareni.info/faqs-healthcare-workers Workers are advised to contact their employer if they work in primary care or for a private healthcare organisation. The FAQs say no matter where the person is working, if they are already in an 'at-risk' group because of their own health status, their GP should get in contact to offer the flu vaccine.

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CQC asks for views on current inspection systemCQC asks for views on current inspection system

CQC are reviewing the way they inspect homecare following the new approach to inspections they adopted in October 2014. CQC would like feedback on how their existing methods can be improved and new ideas from providers. To comment, providers will need to visit the CQC online community and complete a webform Providers will need to be registered with the community to share feedback - sign up here: https://communities.cqc.org.uk/provider/user/register The deadline for responses is 11 October 2016.

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NMW increases for apprentices and under 25s from 1 October 2016NMW increases for apprentices and under 25s from 1 October 2016

The current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will increase from Saturday, 1 October 2016. The new rates will be:

  • £6.95 per hour, for workers aged 21-24 years old
  • £5.55 per hour, for workers aged 18-20 years old
  • £4.00 per hour, for workers aged 16-17 years old
  • £3.40 for apprentices aged under 19 or aged 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 years and over remains at £7.20 per hour. This is the last time rates will change in October as they will now change every April starting April 2017.

Further information on applying National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates can be found in our National Minimum Wage Toolkit.

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Western Trust awards 27 contractsWestern Trust awards 27 contracts

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has finished its procurement process and awarded 27 contracts to independent domiciliary care providers. According to the Director of Primary Care and Older Peoples Services, the contracts, which will last for at least three years, will complement the Trust's internal 'Homecare Service' and will aim to increase productivity. The Trust assured existing providers and service users that they will ensure an uninterrupted service during the transitional phase.

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CSSIW appoint new Chief InspectorCSSIW appoint new Chief Inspector

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) have appointed a new Chief Inspector, Gillian Baranski. Ms Baranski is currently Chief Executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and will be taking over from current Chief Inspector, Imelda Richardson, on October 10. Ahead of her departure, Ms Richardson has published her last annual report saying, "A solid social care system also means we must have strong commissioning practice, especially in adult social services - where we see the biggest risk."

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UKHCA responds to Health Committee's Brexit health and social care inquiryUKHCA responds to Health Committee's Brexit health and social care inquiry

UKHCA has given evidence to the Commons Health Committee's inquiry to set priorities for health and social care in our EU withdrawal negotiations, following their pre-referendum inquiry into the impact of EU membership on health and social care. The Committee is looking at 'the most important issues to which attention will need to be paid in the withdrawal negotiations and what outcomes should be sought from them.' It is also considering the risks and opportunities for health and social care and how the Government should mitigate them, to take advantage of the opportunities. The deadline for submissions has now closed. Evidence given as the inquiry progresses will appear here.

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NI health minister gives views on direction of travel for domiciliary careNI health minister gives views on direction of travel for domiciliary care

Northern Ireland's health minister, Michelle O'Neill, has been expressing her views on the future role of domiciliary care, as she reads the Bengoa report due to be published this month.

O'Neill stated that key issues in the sector were recruitment in rural areas, rates of hospital discharge and the place of the independent sector:

"... We have to be real about investment in primary care, and domiciliary care workers are obviously part of primary care. There are particular challenges around trying to recruit people to work in domiciliary care in rural areas. Hospital backlogs are created because people cannot be discharged from hospital because there is no care package in place. These are the things that we seriously need to address. The expert panel's work and my response to it, and my vision of transformation, will address how we are going to deal with social care.

"... All the trusts employ so many domiciliary care workers in-house who are paid directly by the trust. They will also buy in so much domiciliary care service from the independent sector. That is not a good enough position. I want to see trusts employing more people in-house. Domiciliary care workers are the lowest-paid workers in the health service. Quite often, those who work for the independent sector will not get travel costs. They are expected to go onto every rural and country road to go and see people who need their support, but they are expected to do that without any mileage payment. That is not acceptable. If we want to provide better outcomes, support people closer to home and allow older people to stay in their homes and not have the need for residential care etc, we should be supporting the workforce to be there to do it all. That is certainly where I want to go. That is the direction of travel that I intend to take in making sure that we support domiciliary care workers, which, in turn, will obviously benefit the patient."

A full transcript can be found on the Northern Ireland Assembly website (3.15 pm). UKHCA will be responding appropriately when we have seen the Bengoa report.

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UKHCA responds to King's Fund 'Social care for older people- home truths' reportUKHCA responds to King's Fund 'Social care for older people- home truths' report

Read UKHCA responses to The Kings's 'Social care for older people - Home truths'  report which was published earlier today. The report examines in depth the factors (including demands for services and shortages of staff) which are putting extreme pressure on the social care system.

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RaISe consider how Brexit will affect health and social care in NIRaISe consider how Brexit will affect health and social care in NI

Although "not an area of significant EU competence", the Northern Ireland Assembly's Research and Information Service (RaISe) has published a number of health and social care areas of significance that "need to be resolved" after the EU Referendum result. The areas include: employment matters, procurement of goods and services, cross-border services and projects, development of medicines and research. Further information about RaISe can be found on the Northern Ireland Assembly website.

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Welsh Government funds Age Cymru to deliver advocacy programmeWelsh Government funds Age Cymru to deliver advocacy programme

The Welsh Government is to fund Age Cymru to deliver its Golden Thread Advocacy Programme in partnership with Age Connects and Diverse Cymru. The programme will support Part 10 of the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act and will ensure individuals are able 'to have their rights upheld, to express their views and opinions, to make decisions about things that affect them, and if necessary to represent [their] views at meetings.'

The news story was published in the first edition of Age Cymru's new bi-monthly newsletter, Advocacy, which offers readers training, updates and useful documents among other useful information on advocacy issues.

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Belfast ICPs propose better integration of community health and social care through new servicesBelfast ICPs propose better integration of community health and social care through new services

Belfast's four Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) are soon to put new services in place to support frail older people and individuals with long-term conditions. The proposed services focus on a range of areas including health and wellbeing, respiratory conditions, frailty, strokes and diabeties.

ICPs are deemed a means to the realisation of Transforming Your Care. A collaboration between key sector stakeholders, including care providers, they exist to create a new way of working to "transform how care is delivered." Click here to find out more about ICPs. The webpage also comes with a handy short animation.

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Care Council for Wales publish resources on Regulation and Inspection ActCare Council for Wales publish resources on Regulation and Inspection Act

The Care Council for Wales has launched a set of new resources to raise awareness and understanding of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2014 which became law in January this year. Developed by the Institute of Public Care, the materials will be the first part of an "Information and Awareness" pack due to be published soon.

The Information and Learning Hub has been designed to be a "one-stop-shop" for resources on social care legislation in Wales with useful resources for the Regulation and Inspection Act, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

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NI health minister creates Forum to discuss future of health and social careNI health minister creates Forum to discuss future of health and social care

Northern Ireland's health minister, Michelle O'Neill, announced last month that the Department will be creating a 'strategic Health Partnership Forum' to discuss the future direction of health and social care.

"Since I took up the post of Health Minister, I have made it clear that I want to listen, I want to hear ideas from the grass roots and where I can, I want to make changes that reflect those ideas. I am looking forward to chairing the first meeting of this forum and hearing from members."

The minister hopes the regular meetings, the first of which will be held in late September/early October, will be an opportunity to engage with key sector stakeholders and seek agreement on ways to forge a better health and social care system.

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Care services face a 'triple whammy threat' says Care Forum Wales chairCare services face a 'triple whammy threat' says Care Forum Wales chair

Speaking to the BBC last month, Mario Kreft, Chair of Care Forum Wales, called for urgent action to tackle threats to the care home and domiciliary care sectors. He believed that a lack of funding, recruitment issues and an ageing population meant social care was facing a "tipping point".

Welsh Government responded that although most care is deemed good, there would be "a focus over the next five years to complete the transformation of care in Wales for generations." Further information on Care Forum Wales with other social care news in Wales can be found on their website.

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Care and health providers highlight importance of overseas workersCare and health providers highlight importance of overseas workers

Read our 'Care and health providers highlight importance of overseas workers' news release, where we welcome the formation of the Cavendish Coalition of social care and health representatives, created to ensure that sufficient numbers of workers are available following Britain's exit from the EU.

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Homecarer September 2016 now available for membersHomecarer September 2016 now available for members

The September 2016 edition of Homecarer is now available for members to download. In this issue: We ask if the market for homecare is sustainable; Mike Padgham says homecare deserves a gold medal and Olympic-style funding; CEO Bridget Warr looks at opportunities in challenging times; Julie Vale of Musgrove Park Hospital considers depression in older people; Donna Holmes of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP discusses building your company and long-term stability; Towergate Insurance describe their legal support system; Policy Officer Jonathon Holmes describes a day spent with All Care (South Wales) in Wales; We report on CQC's approach to integration and concerns about delayed discharges in England; Senior Campaigns Officer Duncan White describes health and social care committees in Scotland; and include a pull out summary of UKHCA's Impact Statement for 2015-16. Download from: www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=520

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A Brief Guide to the Commission for Older People for Northern IrelandA Brief Guide to the Commission for Older People for Northern Ireland

The Commission for Older People for Northern Ireland has published a brief guide on its work, powers and responsibilities.

Drawing from the Commissioner for Older People Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, the Commissioner has 'a responsibility to advise and influence Government, focusing on the rights and interests of older people.'

The guide sets out the legal duties and powers of the Commissioner which includes "Keep under review effectiveness of services provided to older people by relevant authorities" and "Encourage best practice in the treatment of older people".

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NISCC Event: The Social Care Manager's ForumNISCC Event: The Social Care Manager's Forum

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) has organised a forum for social care managers on Monday, 12 September 2016 with registration at 9am.

The website states the morning will include updates on:

  • NISCC on key areas such as registration and the introduction of Fitness to Practise;
  • RQIA on quality improvement;
  • safeguarding issues for managers and
  • how the forum will move forward.

The event is free to attend. Email Jordan Adair to register.

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UKHCA responds to Care Council for Wales consultation, Social Care Wales Registration Rules and Fitness to Practise RulesUKHCA responds to Care Council for Wales consultation, Social Care Wales Registration Rules and Fitness to Practise Rules

UKHCA has responded to Care Council for Wales' consultation on future rules for those who will be registered with Social Care Wales (the Council's forthcoming name).

UKHCA was in agreement with most of the rules, offering some slight amendments and corrections to allow for greater clarity.

Click the link below to read UKHCA's full response.

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Board Member opportunity - Health and Care Research WalesBoard Member opportunity - Health and Care Research Wales

Health and Care Research Wales is looking for a member of the public to become a new member of their Social Care Delivery Board and the Strategy Subgroup of the Board that together provide advice to Health and Care Research Wales and Care Council for Wales (soon to become Social Care Wales). The person will assist Social Care Wales to fulfil its remit in relation to supporting research capacity building, research activity, knowledge mobilisation, and the promotion of best practice.

Main responsibilities include:

  • Contributing to the work of the Social Care R&D Delivery Board and subgroup by providing a public perspective towards the work;
  • Expressing views verbally at meetings and providing written comments when necessary;
  • Preparing for Board and subgroup meetings by reading meeting papers;
  • Regularly attending and participating in Board and subgroup meetings (4 times a year each) and
  • Liaising with the Board secretariat team regarding the work of the Board and subgroup and any administrative issues.

Apply on the Health and Care Research Wales website. Closing date is 7 September 2016.

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An early look into the effect of the National Living Wage on social careAn early look into the effect of the National Living Wage on social care

On 30 August, the Resolution Foundation published its latest report which looks closely at early evidence on the effect of the National Living Wage (NLW) on the social care sector. Rising to the challenge revealed that although there was evidence for wider positive effects, such as providers not being forced to reduce working hours, it was apparent the problems facing the sector were set to grow with NLW costing the sector an extra £2.3 billion per year by 2020.

The Foundation concludes that although the NLW should not be watered-down, there should be sufficient and sustainable funds for providers to ensure they can continue in a sector facing falling public funding and rising demand for services.

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Last chance to have your say on adult social careLast chance to have your say on adult social care

Friday, 2 September will be the last day to respond to the Communities and Local Government Committee's forums on the provision of adult social care. There are two forums: one on individuals and carers and the other on the social care workforce.

They ask for your thoughts on a number of issues ranging from what you think works and what doesn't work about the current system to whether you think there is sufficient funding available for adult social care. Responses can be sent by simply filling in a three-box form on the webpage. You are also able to read what others have said as comments beneath the form.

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Online new provider registrations have a greater chance of successOnline new provider registrations have a greater chance of success

CQC are encouraging those applying as new providers to use the online application system if they wish to register with the Commission. CQC's online guidance points out common errors and how to avoid them, and results in more successful applications than posted application forms. CQC have also issued guidance on withdrawing an application submitted by a provider or manager to register, vary, cancel or remove conditions of registration: www.cqc.org.uk/content/withdraw-application

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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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