UKHCA

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

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Latest News

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announces funding breakdownSecretary of State for Northern Ireland announces funding breakdown

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, has made an announcement regarding allocations to government Departments in Northern Ireland. Initial figures suggest that the Department of Health will be receiving additional funding. It is to be hoped that some of this additional funding will be allocated to front-line social care services.

The full written statement can be found here.

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Mencap raise concerns about costs of back pay for sleep-insMencap raise concerns about costs of back pay for sleep-ins

There has been media coverage about learning disability services provider Mencap's concerns that HMRC enforcement measures may result in a £400m bill for back pay for the charity and about 200 other organisations, who have been found to be non-compliant with National Minimum Wage rules on sleep-ins.

There is background information for members in briefings by Anthony Collins Solicitors, issued in April 2017 and June 2017.

UKHCA members should consult the revised UKHCA NMW Toolkit, which explains that there appear now to be differences in how HMRC treat sleep-ins (Mencap above) and live-in care on an unmeasured basis.

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Reminder - CQC Consultation - next phase of regulationReminder - CQC Consultation - next phase of regulation

Members are reminded that CQC are carrying out a consultation exercise on the next phase of regulation. The consultation closes on Tuesday 8th August 2017. If you do respond directly to CQC, please send a copy to UKHCA at this address: policy@ukhca.co.uk. The consultation documents are available here .

 

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Social care funding 'could well affect .. life expectancy' in EnglandSocial care funding 'could well affect .. life expectancy' in England

Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College, London, has suggested that a flattening off of rises in life expectancy in England could be caused by austerity and an increase in the number of those with dementia. Sir Michael said part of the problem could be '"miserly" funding settlements for the NHS and social care, which meant the quality of life for older people would have deteriorated and could well affect their life expectancy.'

More about Sir Michael's analysis of Office for National Statistics data: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40608256

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Dr Sarah Wollaston elected chair of Health CommitteeDr Sarah Wollaston elected chair of Health Committee

Dr Sarah Wollaston has been elected Chair of the Commons Health Committee for the 2017 Parliament. Members of the Committee now have to be elected by their parties and approved by the House, before the Committee can begin work. Dr Wollaston was chair in the previous parliament.

More from: www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/news-parliament-2017/chair-election/

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Nominations for Care Accolades 2018 now openNominations for Care Accolades 2018 now open

Skills for Care have opened nominations for the 2018 Care Accolades, awards which recognise the great work of the care sector. The Accolades are open to adult social care organisations of all sizes and individual employers in England and the closing date for entries is 21 September 2017. Winners will be announced at Skills for Care's awards ceremony in London in March 2018. To find out more and enter, see: http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Getting-involved/Accolades-awards/Accolades-awards.aspx

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Getting ready to register - care at home and housing support servicesGetting ready to register - care at home and housing support services

The Scottish Social Services Council's new monthly newsletter aims to assist care at home providers in Scotland as they prepare for staff registration from 2 October this year.

The first newsletter covers how to explain to your staff who SSSC are and what registration means, with a Powerpoint presentation and video you can use for staff training purposes. There is also a section on which employees to put forward first for registration, and a spreadsheet to help employers work out the most effective time for registration, with a description of rules which oblige new employees, who start after 2 October 2017, to register withiin six months of starting employment.

An important part of registration for employers is having the right countersignatories and enough countersignatories to endorse applications. The newsletter has guidance on preparing for this aspect of registration.

There are also tools on SSSC's website at: www.sssc.uk.com/registration/employers-responsibilities/care-at-home-and-housing-support-getting-ready-to-register? and a section on the qualifications staff need to hold, or be working towards, to register at: www.sssc.uk.com/registration/what-qualifications-do-i-need/find-out-about-qualifications

To sign up for the newsletter, go to: www.sssc.uk.com/news-and-events/the-latest-from-sssc/newsletter

 

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Health and social care pose risks to fiscal sustainabilityHealth and social care pose risks to fiscal sustainability

The Office for Budget Responsibility's first Fiscal risks report, which prompts Government to review the risks to tax receipts and public spending posed by unexpected shocks and uncertainties, including demographic changes and Brexit, has identified health as the biggest risk to fiscal sustainability in the long term.

The report notes that health and adult social care spending are subject to significant medium and long term financial pressures, which if not addressed or offset, will become very large indeed. See paragraphs 6.47 to 6.85 for a detailed analysis. The report comments on the position in the four UK nations, including where responsibilities are devolved.

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New campaign on loneliness and disabilityNew campaign on loneliness and disability

From 10 July to 13 August there is a campaign on disability and loneliness, which aims to start a debate involving both the public and politicians on this important topic. To coincide with the campaign, charity Sense have produced a report 'Someone cares if I'm not there' for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, which looks at why disabled people experience loneliness and includes suggested solutions, like better awareness of disability and accessibility, in order to promote inclusion in society.

The report has sections on the effect of particular conditions, such as sensory impairments, learning disability and autism which would be useful for training purposes, or to stimulate discussion about loneliness.

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Call for dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses in WalesCall for dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses in Wales

Tomorrow (14 July) is the deadline for nominations for the Social Business Wales Awards. The awards exist to 'celebrate the success and achievements of social businesses in Wales.'

One of the award categories is "Health and Social Care Enterprise" for businesses that provide care and support.

You have until tomorrow to make an expression of interest to enter via the Wales Co-operative Centre website.

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Welsh Parliament Review publishes interim reportWelsh Parliament Review publishes interim report

On Tuesday (11 July), the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care published their interim report.

The review panel, created to assess and make recommendations on the improvement of Wales' health and social care systems, lays out their case for change and initial findings.

The final report will be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary by the end of 2017.

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New report on domiciliary care managers in WalesNew report on domiciliary care managers in Wales

Yesterday (12 July), Social Care Wales published a report on domiciliary care managers, one of four annual reports that provide an overview of those on the Register.

The report found there has been a rise in registered managers, but a decline in the number of managers working in the private sector.

Further information can be found on the Social Care Wales website.

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Wales develops guidance for homecare workersWales develops guidance for homecare workers

Social Care Wales is inviting managers with one of their domiciliary care workers to assist them in developing guidance.

This is in preparation for the registration of care workers from 2018, with it becoming mandatory in 2020.

Workshops will take place on:

  • 16 August – Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff
  • 17 August – Optic Centre, St Asaph/

Places are still available to book on the Social Care Wales website.

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Nearly 1 in 5 older people are likely to be experiencing financial abuseNearly 1 in 5 older people are likely to be experiencing financial abuse

The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, spoke at a Southern Health and Social Care Trust Adult Safeguarding event in June to highlight the worrying prevalence of financial abuse of the elderly.

The Commissioner also called for a single piece of adult safeguarding legislation so that older people who may be at risk of abuse are better protected and afforded the same legal protection which exists for their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.

Further details can be found on the COPNI website.

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Good work - the Taylor review of modern working practices publishedGood work - the Taylor review of modern working practices published

'Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices' has now been published. The report looks at the implications of new forms of work, like the gig economy, on workers' rights and responsibilities, as well as on employers' freedoms and obligations in the UK.

UKHCA is studying the report, and its recommendations, from the point of view of the homecare sector.

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July 2017 Homecarer now available for members to downloadJuly 2017 Homecarer now available for members to download

July 2017 Homecarer is now available for members to download. In this issue UKHCA urges the Government to keep social care at the forefront; UKHCA Chair Mike Padgham says we need unity and purpose to achieve social care reform; we explore how apprenticeship funding has changed and how this could affect homecare providers; Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP looks at law and governance; UKHCA celebrates the achievements of CQC 'Outstanding' members; Towergate Insurance tells members how to keep insurance premiums down; UKHCA CEO Bridget Warr discusses the priorities of social care following the General Election and we explore homecare from the LGBT perspective.

July Homecarer 2017

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CQC regional analysis shows considerable variation in ratings across EnglandCQC regional analysis shows considerable variation in ratings across England

The Care Quality Commission's new report has found that 77% of adult social care services in England are currently rated 'Good' and 2%, 'Outstanding'. Domiciliary care performed better than average with 80% of services rated 'Good', and 2% 'Outstanding'. CQC ascribe the success of organisations to strong leaders - both at provider and registered manager levels, a positive culture and a focus on person-centred care.

Importantly, the report looked at adult social care ratings by local authority area, an analysis that revealed considerable regional differences in provider performance, results that CQC is continuing to analyse in discussion with partner organisations to try and explain the variations. 

The results came at the end of CQC's initial comprehensive programme of more than 33,000 inspections, which followed the regulator's overhaul of regulation in 2014.

More from www.cqc.org.uk/publications/state-adult-social-care-services-2014-2017

 

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CQC to review health and social care in 12 local authority areasCQC to review health and social care in 12 local authority areas

The Health Secretary has confirmed that CQC will be undertaking local system reviews of health and social care in 12 local authority areas in England, as part of its strategy to address delayed transfers of care, with a further 8 reviews to be commissioned on the basis of returns due this month.

The reviews will look at commissioning across the interface of health and social care, governance in place for managing resources and how people move between health and social care, including delayed transfers, with a focus on people over 65.

UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel said: "The Secretary of State's announcement is a step in the right direction. There is a strong link between areas with high delayed transfers of care and local authorities who are failing to shape their local care markets effectively. This also shows a willingness, resisted by previous administrations, to intervene in any appreciable way in fragile local care markets.

"UKHCA and others have consistently argued for effective oversight of local care markets by a statutory regulator, such as the Care Quality Commission. It was an issue which we raised in our recent open letter to the Prime Minister, and we will continue to argue strongly for an organised system which holds local authorities to account for their market shaping duties under the Care Act 2014."

CQC news item: www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-conduct-12-local-system-reviews-health-social-care

 

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New minister for care is Jackie Doyle-Price MPNew minister for care is Jackie Doyle-Price MP

Jackie Doyle-Price MP, who is MP for Thurrock, is the new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Care and Mental Health). She served as Assistant Government Whip from 2015 to 2017, and was elected as an MP in 2010 after a career in public service.

The new minister has experience of government spending issues, as a previous member of the Public Accounts Committee from 2010-2014. She will lead on care for the most vulnerable, mental health, adult social care, community care, injustices and vulnerable groups, women and children's health, health and work and blood and transplants. Her biography is available at: www.gov.uk/government/people/jackie-doyle-price

We wish her well in her new post and will be taking steps to brief her on the serious issues affecting homecare, including the commitments we would like to see taken by the new government, set out in our Manifesto.

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Launch of £1 million scheme to support older people in the community in NILaunch of £1 million scheme to support older people in the community in NI

A new partnership programme to provide community-based care for frail older people in the Mid and East Antrim area, was officially launched on 1 June. The funding awarded to Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP), will support the development of six health and wellbeing hubs, partnering with 6 GP practices, community pharmacists and staff from the health and social care sectors to deliver 1,100 older people with a variety of alternative care prescriptions.

Further details can be found here.

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ADASS publishes Budget Survey results for 2017/18ADASS publishes Budget Survey results for 2017/18

The Association for Directors of Adult Social Services have published their annual survey of local authorities in England, looking at social care budgets, expenditure and additional pressures on social care services. Some key findings are as follows:

Only 31% of respondents were fully confident that planned savings for 2017/18 will be met;

74% of respondents believe that providers are facing quality challenges;

Unit price of care was identified as the greatest concern in terms of financial pressure;

79% of respondents agreed that providers are facing financial difficulty.

The full report and figures can be found on the ADASS website.

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Northern Ireland set to receive extra funding as part of Government negotiationsNorthern Ireland set to receive extra funding as part of Government negotiations

Northern Ireland is on course to receive at least £1bn of extra funding as a result of negotiations between the Westminster Conservative Party and the DUP. This funding will be allocated outside of the Barnett formula, and details of how the funding will be spent will be confirmed after power sharing negotiations have concluded.

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We want your views on CQC's Next Phase of Regulation ConsultationWe want your views on CQC's Next Phase of Regulation Consultation

UKHCA and Anthony Collins solicitors are jointly holding a free workshop in Birmingham to hear your views on CQC's next phase of regulation consultation.

Date: Monday 10th July 2017

Time: 10.00am to 1.00pm

Place: Anthony Collins Solicitors, 134 Edmund Street, Birmingham, B3 2ES.

This is an important consultation for members as there are a number of issues you will have views on including CQCs proposals to:

  • Register parent companies, carry out inspections at headquarter level and report on the quality of care across a company
  • Set the limits within which a provider can operate which might mean the registration process limits the geographical area a homecare agency can cover
  • Monitor and inspect complex providers that deliver services across hospitals, primary care and adult social care sectors
  • Assess and/or rate an organisation at the highest level at which an organisation delivers a service
  • Encourage improvement in the quality of care across a local area by focusing on leadership, governance and collaboration between providers and commissioners
  • Increase the period between comprehensive inspections for services rated as good or outstanding 
  • Share provider information with key stakeholders as a single shared view of quality
  • Introduce a more flexible approach to inspection of homecare services to be supported by a more extensive toolkit for evidence gathering
  • Take action at provider level (including head office) when an overall rating of requires improvement is given more than once
  • Address concerns relating to the fit and proper persons requirement
  • Use new guidance for interpreting serious misconduct and serious mismanagement.

For a successful event, a minimum of 10 delegates are needed. We will allocate up to 30 places from a mix of members from smaller and larger companies.

For a free place, send an email to policy@ukhca.co.uk no later than noon on Tuesday 4th July 2017.

Click here for a map and directions

N.B. Members can still send their views to UKHCA at policy@ukhca.co.uk by Tuesday 25th July 2017. The consultation itself closes on Tuesday 8th August 2017 and members may wish to respond directly. You can read the consultation document and how to respond here.

 

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Proposals to safeguard rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK Nationals living in the EU publishedProposals to safeguard rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK Nationals living in the EU published

Proposals to safeguard the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK Nationals living in the Eu have been published by the Government. The 15-page document consists of a summary and detailed proposals, setting out a plan which will see all EU Nationals living in the UK lawfully for at least five years at a date yet to be determined, between 29 March 2017 and the date of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, being granted "settled status" and able to bring their spouses and children into the UK. BBC news coverage. The proposals will form the starting point of the Government's negotiations with the EU.

The paper says the Government are considering a range of options as to how EU migration will work for new arrival post-exit, after free movement ends, and will publish proposals as soon as possible.

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Welsh Government praises social care workers positive statisticsWelsh Government praises social care workers positive statistics

On Thursday (22 June) Health Secretary, Vaughan Gethin, thanked health and social care workers in Wales for "the tireless work they do to deliver first class services across the country."

Latest statistics show that delayed transfers of care, a consistent problem for NHS England, "remained close to record lows, despite increase in service demand. Mr Gethin continued, "Together, we will continue to do everything we can to drive up performance so that every patient receives timely, quality care."

You can read the full article on the Welsh Government's website.

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WLGA appoints new leaderWLGA appoints new leader

Today (23 June), the Welsh Local Government Association has appointed Cllr Debbie Wilcox as its Leader.

The Labour councillor is currently Leader of Newport City Council and in January this year called social care cuts 'disgraceful' saying it was 'absolutely appalling that the level of wealth in this country is not distributed evenly.'

You can read Mark Drakeford's announcement on the Welsh Government website.

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Welsh Government launches older people safeguarding guidanceWelsh Government launches older people safeguarding guidance

Yesterday (23 June), Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant launched information and guidance on domestic abuse and safeguarding for professionals working with older people in Welsh public services, including domiciliary careworkers.

The document, created in partnership with the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, assists careworkers to work more effectively with older people experiencing, or have experienced, domestic abuse.

The Guidance is available on the Welsh Government website.

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Coalition welcomes PM's offer of settled status for EU workers in the UKCoalition welcomes PM's offer of settled status for EU workers in the UK

The Cavendish Coalition has issued a statement welcoming the Prime Minister's offer of 'settled status' guarantees for EU citizens on remaining in the UK. The Coalition did, however, echo concerns of other sectors that if the cut-off date for entitlement to remain was set prior to the actual date of Brexit, this would disadvantage workers who have come to the UK more recently. The government is expected to release more details of the offer shortly.

The Cavendish Coalition is a group of 35 health and social care organisations, of which UKHCA is a member, working to ensure the migration system continues to meet the sectors' workforce needs after the UK leaves the EU.

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UKHCA responds to the Queen's SpeechUKHCA responds to the Queen's Speech

Read our response to the social care proposals outlined in today's Queen's Speech where we urge the Government to address the crisis in care.

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Open letter to the Prime Minister from the Homecare sectorOpen letter to the Prime Minister from the Homecare sector

The recent election campaign showed the importance of social care to the electorate. However, with the risk of a long-term solution to social care funding becoming a political issue that is too hot to handle for a minority Government, United Kingdom Homecare Association and its members have written an open letter to the Prime Minister. UKHCA media release

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Accountable care systems announcedAccountable care systems announced

At a conference in Liverpool, Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, announced nine areas in England will be the forefront of nationwide action to provide joined up, better coordinated care. The aim is to break down the barriers between GPs and hospitals, physical and mental healthcare, social care and the NHS [i].

Eight accountable care systems' (ACSs) will bring together local NHS organisations, often in partnership with social care services and the voluntary sector.

The King's Fund describe ACSs as a body that can involve a provider or, more usually, an alliance of providers that collaborate to meet the needs of a defined population. Second, these providers take responsibility for a budget allocated by a commissioner or alliance of commissioners to deliver a range of services to that population. And third, ACSs work under a contract that specifies the outcomes and other objectives they are required to achieve within the given budget, often extending over a number of years.[ii]

The most ambitious plans for ACSs in England extend well beyond health and social care services to encompass public health and other services. In Greater Manchester, for example, the aim is to use all public resources to improve health care while also tackling the wider determinants of health.

The announcement also included a new devolution agreement in Surrey Heartlands, similar to the existing one in Greater Manchester. This agreement will bring together the NHS locally with Surrey County Council to integrate health and social care services and give local leaders and clinicians more control over services and funding.

The eight accountable care systems are:

  • Frimley Health including Slough, Surrey Heath and Aldershot
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw, covering Barnsley, Bassetlew, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield
  • Nottinghamshire, with an early focus on Greater Nottingham and Rushcliffe
  • Blackpool & Fylde Coast with the potential to spread to other parts of the Lancashire and South Cumbria at a later stage
  • Dorset
  • Luton, with Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire West, covering Reading, Newbury and Wokingham
  • Buckinghamshire


 


[i] http://tinyurl.com/ybndk7d8

[ii] http://tinyurl.com/yadjp7to

 

 

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Changes to KLOEs Changes to KLOEs 

CQC's inspection teams will use an updated framework to assess adult social care services, using the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and prompts where they are appropriate from November 2017.

This replaces the previous separate versions for different types of service, published in 2015, which, according to CQC, duplicated many of the KLOEs and prompts. CQC say they have designed this to simplify the process for organisations that provide more than one type of service.

The changes to KLOEs and prompts are the result of feedback following CQCs Next Phase consultation. They have merged the two previous versions for residential and community care, added new content to strengthen specific areas and reflect current practice, and made some changes to the wording to improve and simplify the language to aid understanding.

CQC have also aligned, as much as possible, the wording of KLOEs and prompts between the two assessment frameworks for healthcare services and adult social care services.

To help providers update their own internal assessment and training materials, CQC have mapped the changes against the current frameworks and highlighted them.

See the new KLOE framework here

 

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Advice on supporting people in a heatwaveAdvice on supporting people in a heatwave

With temperatures reaching 30C in some parts of the UK, there are resources on staying cool in hot weather and advice for health and social care staff on caring for people in a heatwave, including leaflets and posters, at:

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Welsh Government announces plans to curb zero-hour contracts and tackle call-clippingWelsh Government announces plans to curb zero-hour contracts and tackle call-clipping

On Monday (12 June), Welsh Government announced proposals to curb zero-hour contracts and tackle 'call-clipping' in homecare.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said that while she realised some prefer zero-hour contracts, their uncertainty and insecurity "can have a hugely detrimental impact on [careworkers'] lives."

The Minister proposes that after three months' employment on zero-hours, care workers would be able to choose "alternative contractual arrangements."

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Free Social Care Wales workshops across WalesFree Social Care Wales workshops across Wales

Social Care Wales will run workshops across Wales to hear employers and careworkers thoughts on domiciliary care, careers, recruitment and retention.

The workshops will run from 19 June (Bangor) to 6 July (Swansea) across eight locations.

Further information can be found on the Social Care Wales website.

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Wales registration of domiciliary careworkers FAQsWales registration of domiciliary careworkers FAQs

Social Care Wales have published a list of frequently asked questions to assist in the registration of domiciliary care workers in Wales from 2018.

Questions include,

  • What responsibility do employers have?
  • Can workers register if they don’t have qualifications?
  • When will domiciliary care workers need to register?

A full list of questions can be found on the Social Care Wales website and more will be added over time.

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New Health and Social Care Standards for ScotlandNew Health and Social Care Standards for Scotland

Scotland's new Health and Social Care Standards: My support, my life have been published, following a lengthy consultation process. They apply to the NHS as well as Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland regulated services and focus on improving people's experience of care, to achieve five outcomes:

  • I experience high quality care and support that is right for me.
  • I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support.
  • I have confidence in the people who support and care for me.
  • I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support.
  • I experience a high quality environment if the organisation provides the premises.

The new Standards will be taken into account by the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and other scrutiny bodies from 1 April 2018 in the inspection and scrutiny of services. The aim is that non-registered services also use the Standards as a guideline for how to achieve high quality care. The standards are underpinned by the five principles of dignity and respect; compassion; be included; responsive care and support and wellbeing; which reflect the way that everyone should expect to be treated. They are available from: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/06/1327

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CQC next phase of regulation: consultation 2CQC next phase of regulation: consultation 2

The Care Quality Commission has issued a second consultation on its next phase of regulation. This consultation has proposals that apply to all regulated sectors, including how CQC registers, monitors, inspects and rates new models of care and large or complex providers. There are also proposals on how CQC use their knowledge and capability to encourage improvements in the quality of care in local areas; and how they carry out their role in relation to the fit and proper person's requirement.

Other proposals focus on changes to how primary medical care services and adult social care services are regulated.

Members are invited to send their views to UKHCA at policy@ukhca.co.uk by Tuesday 25th July 2017, to contribute to UKHCA's response on behalf of members. The consultation itself closes on Tuesday 8th August 2017 and members may wish to respond directly. You can read the consultation document and how to respond here.

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EU nurse applicants drop by 96% since Brexit voteEU nurse applicants drop by 96% since Brexit vote

Figures suggest there has been a sharp drop in nurses registering to work in the UK since the EU referendum.

According to figures published on the BBC News website, last July, 1,304 nurses from the EU joined the Nursing and Midwifery Council register. In April this year, 46 nurses applied to join the register - a fall of 96%. The NMC said the introduction of English language testing for EU nurses is also likely to have played a role.

In May, research by the Royal College of Nursing found one in nine posts in England was vacant. The union said it meant the NHS was 40,000 nurses short of what was needed.

Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation, said the drop since the Brexit vote could not be more "stark".

"Without EU nurses, it will be even harder for the NHS and other employers to find the staff they need to provide safe patient care.

"The findings should be a wake-up call to politicians and health service leaders."

 The BBC report is here

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Registration opens 2 October 2017 for care at home and housing support workers in ScotlandRegistration opens 2 October 2017 for care at home and housing support workers in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament has approved Regulations to open the register maintained by the Scottish Social Services Council to social service workers in care at home services and housing support services from 2 October 2017. Workers in either role as at 2 October 2017 have until 30 September 2020 to register, the mandatory registration date. Workers new in their role after 2 October 2017 should achieve registration within six months of taking up employment in this role. There is information about qualifications at: http://bit.ly/2rdi5gA. SSSC anticipate the fee to apply will be £25 per worker. 

Around 45,000 workers are expected to register. SSSC are developing tools to help employers including a monthly e-newsletter, leaflets and posters, a new registration app, a Powerpoint presentation, and a spreadsheet to plan when workers should apply for registration.

SSSC will be emailing housing support and care at home services and countersignatories or you can sign up for their e-newsletter at: www.sssc.uk.com/news-and-events/the-latest-from-sssc/newsletter There are also questions and answers about SSSC's work at: www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/what-do-we-do-for-you/did-you-know

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Department of Health publishes quarterly carer's statistics for Northern IrelandDepartment of Health publishes quarterly carer's statistics for Northern Ireland

The Department of Health has released this quarter's carers statistics that report on figures relating to assessments and re-assessments of carer needs.

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

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Welsh Government launches consultation and information events on workforce issuesWelsh Government launches consultation and information events on workforce issues

The Welsh Government has announced plans to require providers of domiciliary support services to distinguish between travel time and care time in careworkers' schedules, and offer domiciliary care staff on zero hours contracts the choice to move to a minimum hours contract after three months of continued employment, if there is continued demand for the work. The consultation also asks for views on opening the register of social care workers to those employed in regulated domiciliary support services from 2018 and how the Welsh Government can address current challenges in the recruitment and retention of trained social care managers.

The Welsh Government is holding information events on Cardiff - 21 June 2017 and Wrexham - 13 July 2017. To attend please contact RISCAct2016@wales.gsi.gov.uk by 19 June (Cardiff event) or 30 June (Wrexham event). Spaces are limited and subject to availability. 

The deadline to respond to the consultation is 7 August 2017. UKHCA members are invited to send their views to policy@ukhca.co.uk so we can take these into account when preparing a response on behalf of members.

More on "Welsh Government launches consultation and information events on workforce issues" Opens in new window

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Jeremy Hunt remains Health SecretaryJeremy Hunt remains Health Secretary

Jeremy Hunt has retained his role as Health Secretary in Theresa May's post-election Cabinet reshuffle. Junior ministerial positions have yet to be announced. A number lost their seats in the election, for example, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Care and Support David Mowat. The sector will be hoping for a full ministerial post this time, to reflect the Prime Minister's wish to concentrate on the social issues facing the nation, as well as leaving the EU. www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40243023 List of Cabinet and ministerial appointments (will be added to as names are announced.)

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Election result and homecare servicesElection result and homecare services

A rapid resolution of the political leadership of the UK is urgent, so that a new Government can build a consensus to secure proper funding of care services and to ensure there is a sufficient social care workforce following exit from the European Union, according to the United Kingdom Homecare Association, as the result of the UK's 2017 general election was announced. UKHCA full media release.

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The King's Fund say NHS Performance has deterioratedThe King's Fund say NHS Performance has deteriorated

The King's Fund publish quarterly reports on the NHS performance. Their June 2017 report says that across 2016/2017 as a whole, NHS performance has deteriorated in a number of key areas:

  • 2.5 million patients spent longer than four hours in A&E, an increase of 685,000 on the year before
  • 362,000 patients waited longer than 18 weeks for hospital treatment in March 2017, an increase of almost 64,000 on the previous year
  • 24% increase in bed days lost as a result of delayed transfers of care, compared to the previous year.

The King's Fund report assesses the underlying financial position as gloomy with many trusts having relied on one-off actions such as land sales and Sustainability and Transformation Funds to improve their position. NHS Finance Directors are said to be very concerned about finance and subsequent performance, particularly in A&E, mental health or general practice.

The King's Fund note there are some grounds for optimism; the final quarter of 2016/17 saw a sharp improvement in A&E performance and the expected impact of the additional social care funding could free up resources which could then be redirected towards more 'profitable' elected work.

Read the report here

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Main manifestos fall short on addressing social care funding crisisMain manifestos fall short on addressing social care funding crisis

A pre-election briefing published by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) suggests that the main political parties have fallen well short in addressing the crisis in adult social care in their manifestos. The think tank says 'the share of GDP which goes into public funding of social care for older people each year in England is less than 0.5%', in contrast to the 0.7% spent on foreign aid and 2% spent on armaments and defence, and warns there could be serious consequences if the funding crisis is not properly tackled by politicians.

Briefing: https://chpi.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CHPI-Election-Briefing-Note-May-2017.pdf

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Taylor review into modern employment practices has now concludedTaylor review into modern employment practices has now concluded

The Government commissioned review into the modern economy and working practices has now ended following a lengthy consultation phase. The review looked 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.

You can see UKHCA's response to this consultation on the consultation page.

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Information events to be held on Phase 2 of regulation consultation in WalesInformation events to be held on Phase 2 of regulation consultation in Wales

The Welsh Government are holding two information events as part of the public consultation on Phase 2 of implementation of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. The Welsh Government are currently consulting on improvements to the regulation of social care and draft statutory guidance developed under section 29 of the Act on compliance with requirements. The information events are at:

  • Cardiff 21 June 2017
  • Wrexham 13 July 2017

To attend contact RISCAct2016@wales.gsi.gov.uk by Friday 2 June. The Welsh Govenrment says spaces are limited and subject to availability.

The consultation is at: https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/phase-2-implementation-regulation-and-inspection-social-care-wales-act-2016 Deadline for response 25 July 2017.

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Skills for Care launch new career pathway toolkitSkills for Care launch new career pathway toolkit

Skills for Care have launched a new toolkit, 'Social Care: a Rewarding Career' to tackle some of the misconceptions on working in adult social care.

The toolkit can be used by employers, training providers and employment professionals to promote the wide range of careers available and help more people understand how they can develop and progress in social care.

Access to the toolkit and further information can be found on the Skills for Care website.

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UKHCA calls for debate on what people pay for care and on incentives to support themUKHCA calls for debate on what people pay for care and on incentives to support them

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that Conservative Party manifesto plans for social care will now include a cap on how much people will pay for care, as well as a £100,000 threshold below which people's assets would be preserved. The level of the cap will appear in the adult social care green paper due out after the election, if the Conservatives win. www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40005257

UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director Colin Angel commented:

"Since the Conservative Party manifesto set out proposals for a threshold for state-funded assistance for homecare services at £100,000, including housing equity, Theresa May has said there will be an absolute limit on the amount people will pay for their care. This clarification appears to amount to a proposed cap on the costs of care.

"Discussion about proposals contained in the Conservative Party manifesto and the announcement of a cap shows that social care, and the overall costs to individuals is an important issue for the public.

"There needs to be a genuine consultation with stakeholders and experts on a policy for England which aims to combine a £100,000 asset protection scheme and a cap on total spend to protect some individuals from 'catastrophic' costs of care, where they have extremely complex or long-lasting needs.

"In UKHCA's Manifesto 2017 we called for people to be encouraged to make financial plans for their future care costs by incentives through the tax system. This should be included in a consultation by the next government, of whichever party, when planning reform of social care funding".

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Green Party promises 'major investment in social care'Green Party promises 'major investment in social care'

The Green Party has launched a Green Guarantee in its manifesto with policies that include major investment in social care for the elderly and all those who need it. The party wants to roll back privatisation of the NHS and scrap Sustainability and Transformation Plans, while bringing mental health care into line with physical health care. Proposals include increasing funding for local authorities and forming a single budget for health and social care. The Green Party 2017 for a Confident and Caring Britain.

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£100,000 threshold for homecare services£100,000 threshold for homecare services

The Conservative Party election manifesto has been distributed today and UKHCA has published its news release (which contains several comments) in response to proposals to set the threshold for state-funded assistance for homecare services to £100,000, including housing equity.

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Welsh Minister announces further investment in social careWelsh Minister announces further investment in social care

Today (17 May), Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, announced further investment in social care saying, 'The domiciliary...care workforce [plays] a crucial role in society, and the Welsh Government is playing its part in addressing current challenges.'

Of the £20m made available by the UK Government's March budget, £9 million will be made available to manage workforce costs, and promote the stability of the social care market.

Further information can be found on the Welsh Government website.

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Liberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax for health and social careLiberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax for health and social care

The Liberal Democrats are expected to say, in their imminent manifesto, that they are 'the only party with a fully costed plan to deliver £6bn more per year for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax'. Their manifesto will contain a raft of measures to benefit young people and children, and call for the government to give people a vote on the final deal negotiated with Europe on Brexit. More from: www.libdems.org.uk/liberal-democrats-manifesto-2017-general-election-launch

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Labour Party commits to an additional £8 billion for social care over five yearsLabour Party commits to an additional £8 billion for social care over five years

The Labour Party Manifesto has been issued, with an associated paper on funding. The manifesto includes a return to the idea of a National Care Service, an extra £8bn for social care, with £1 billion in the first year, an Ethical Care Charter, and a cap on the fees people will spend on their social care. More from: www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017 BBC News summary

We will be examining the manifestos of other political parties as they are published.

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Guidance following cyber-attack on NHSGuidance following cyber-attack on NHS

NHS England has issued guidance for NHS organisations on protecting against cyber-attack. Although aimed at NHS organisations, the guidance contains advice which is of general interest, and links to further specialist advice. Businesses will want to take advice from their own IT specialists on how best to protect their organisations from cyber-attack. The National Cyber Security Centre has also issued a statement and guidance, including how organisations and individuals can protect themselves from ransomware, at: www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/latest-statement-international-ransomware-cyber-attack-0

There is advice for people about accessing NHS services in the coming days for planned treatment, outpatient appointments and in an emergency (with alternatives) at: www.nhs.uk/alerts/Pages/reported-NHS-cyber-attack.aspx

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Bringing Home Care in ScotlandBringing Home Care in Scotland

A new report, 'Bringing Home Care', looks at the Scottish homecare sector's preventative role, its recent development (including the effect of Free Personal Care), and vision for the future. The report suggests that care at home and housing support are a sustainable, high quality form of care provision which needs to be recognised as an essential part of the whole system.

The report is by Scottish Care and was launched at the Care at Home & Housing Support Conference in Glasgow on 12 May 2017.

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A voice for social care clients at election 2017A voice for social care clients at election 2017

UKHCA members Jewish Care have issued a guide 'General electon 2017 - A voice for social care clients' which contains top tips for social care staff on supporting people to register to vote and vote. It also looks at people living with dementia and their right to vote, decisions about capacity to vote and whether having power of attorney covers voting.

The guide was originally for Jewish Care staff and the charity has now kindly shared it across the sector. The focus is on residential care, but the guide is also relevant to other settings, like homecare.

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UKHCA's general election call for social care changeUKHCA's general election call for social care change

Read the news release on the recent publication of our Manifesto 2017 for political parties and candidates standing for election, to commit to ensuring that older and disabled people can continue to live independently in their own homes.

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May 2017 Homecarer now available for members to downloadMay 2017 Homecarer now available for members to download

May 2017 Homecarer is now available for members to download. In this issue UKHCA strongly urges the political parties to take action on social care; UKHCA Chief Executive Bridget Warr discusses how high quality sustainable homecare needs the energy and commitment of us all; Veronica Monks, UKHCA Policy Officer explores how older workers could be a key resource for homecare; Jane Burns of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP announces how new data protection law is coming soon; UKHCA's Dan Jones explores whether it is the end of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS); Towerage Insurance advises on using personal vehicles for work; Duncan White, UKHCA Senior Campaigns Officer comments on an ever-changing agenda as Scotland moves forward with social care; The Young Dementia Network discusses how a new tool will help GPs diagnose dementia in younger people; UKHCA's James Whynacht looks at how stability and long-term vision is urgently needed for adult social care in Northern Ireland. This edition also contains a directory of consultants and suppliers to the homecare sector. The UKHCA Manifesto 2017 referred to in Homecarer is available from: www.ukhca.co.uk/manifesto

May 2017 Homecarer edition

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CQC publish report - Celebrating good care, championing outstanding care.CQC publish report - Celebrating good care, championing outstanding care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have produced a report which aims to share good practice and to celebrate services that are getting it right. The report says that, "Some of the best care we have found is in services that acknowledge there is always room for improvement - they are proactive about seeking feedback and they learn from concerns and complaints. We want to celebrate outstanding care where we have found it and share good practice for others to learn and improve from it." Featuring a homecare provider, the report is a collection of case studies chosen to illustrate some of the qualities that have led to an overall rating of outstanding.

 

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Cardiff University to be UK dementia centreCardiff University to be UK dementia centre

By 2022, up to 60 scientific researchers will be employed by Cardiff University to find new ways of diagnosing and treating dementia, according to a recent BBC article.

The university will be given £13m as part of a £250m initiative, the biggest investment Wales has been given to study the disease.

You can find further information about the project on the BBC website.

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Welsh councils' social care issues are getting worseWelsh councils' social care issues are getting worse

Drawing from a recent report by Wales Public Services (WPS), the BBC believe social care will be an issue newly-elected councillors 'will have to quickly get to grips with.'

The projected cost pressures of adult social care in Wales will almost double by 2030, reaching £2.3bn.

The WPS believe a long-term approach is needed to prepare for an impending "crisis...in a couple of years' time."

You can read the full article on the BBC website.

 

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Better Care Fund 'little more than a complicated ruse' says Select CommitteeBetter Care Fund 'little more than a complicated ruse' says Select Committee

Last week (27 April), the Public Accounts Select Committee published a report on the integration of health and social care services.

It concluded the Better Care Fund had failed to achieve any of its objectives and was 'little more than a complicated ruse' to transfer money and so funding pressures from health to local government.

It recommended that integration should would best be delivered via sustainable and transformation planning processes, or STPs.

Further information about this report can be found at Parliament.uk.

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MPs recommend providers should be able to recruit the best from across the world, post BrexitMPs recommend providers should be able to recruit the best from across the world, post Brexit

MPs on the Health Committee have reported on the effect of Brexit on health and social care recommending the Department of Health list all issues that need contingency planning and make sure they are included in the UK's EU negotiating team when health issues are discussed.

The Committee made clear the value they place on the health and social care workforce from EU nations and called for the Government's post-Brexit plan to give them security regarding their right to remain and ensure that providers can recruit and retain the best and the brightest from across the world. An audit of the extent of the NHS's and adult social care workforce's dependence on overseas workers should be carried out and the Government should recognise the need for a streamlined migration system post-Brexit and set out how this should be managed. The Committee hoped their successor committee, appointed after the General Election, would carry on with this work.

Report conclusions and recommendation

Full report Brexit and health and social care - people & process

UKHCA contributed to the Inquiry through the Cavendish Coalition and by submitting independent evidence.

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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 pressureSkills for Care issues guide to help workers deal with pressure

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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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.

More on "Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care" Opens in new window

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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.

More on "Next Steps for NHS Five Year Forward View" Opens in new window

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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.

More on "CQC's Equality Objectives for 2017 -19" Opens in new window

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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