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THE CARER

WINTER 2017

25% of Care Homes At Risk Of Failure Due To Government Underfunding over a quarter of care homes at risk of failure due to government underfunding, according to new research. The new report by Opus Business Services, based on research carried out using the database and methodology of the financial health monitoring specialists, Company Watch, reveals a number of key financial problems affecting care home operators, which at best will lead to compromises in care standards and at worst threatens a substantial number of homes with closure or new ownership Opus reviewed the finances of 6,178 care home operators, who collectively run 96% of the UK’s residential care homes, caring for approximately 300,000 people, of these 28% of care home operators (1,718 in all) are considered to be so financially vulnerable that they face the risk of insolvency. This means that approximately 6,000 of the UK’s 21,000 care homes might be forced to close unless they can be rescued. Furthermore according to the report, 12% of operators are ‘zombie’ companies with higher debts than the value of their assets. Business Risk Advisor, Nick Hood comments:

“Every part of the UK adult care system is in crisis. Private sector operators are withdrawing from contracts for domiciliary care services. The NHS is facing an unprecedented bed blocking issue because there is insufficient domiciliary and residential care capacity to deal with patients leaving hospital. “Care home operators are refusing to accept local authority funded residents because the fees are well below the cost of providing care. Sooner or later, privately-funded residents and their relatives will revolt against having to pay sky high fees to cross-subsidise publically funded residents. “The residential care sector, which looks after the most vulnerable in society, was barely profitable, even before the impact of the National Living Wage. Our research shows that far too many operators face a serious risk of failure and a deeply worrying number are in negative financial equity. Debt levels for those who borrow are far too high. “In the Autumn Statement, the Government missed its chance to tackle the residential care crisis and restore the £2bn funding it took away to help plug its deficit. Right now, the UK is sleep walking into a full blown residential care crisis.”

Thank You Georgina, Says Nursing Home a LoNg-serviNg staff member at a Bristol nursing home said an emotional goodbye to her friends and colleagues as she retired.

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Georgina Harriman, Riversway’s quality and performance and training manager, bowed out after a 19-year career with the home. One of the first staff members to join Riversway when it first opened, Georgina, of Hanham in Bristol, helped to establish the home and its reputation for high quality care in her role as a care

Awareness Of Key Patient Safeguarding Legislation In The UK Is Low To Average, Report Health And Social Care Professionals a surveY of health and social care professionals in england and Wales has discovered shortfalls in adhering to key legislation designed to protect vulnerable patients.

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assistant. Working her way up to senior carer, Georgina then joined Riversway’s management team. During her career she made many friends and was a highly respected member of staff. Riversway general manager Jan Wilkins said: “Everyone who met her loved her. There were plenty of tears at her leaving do, and so many gifts and cards. “Georgina really was overwhelmed with the attention and even though we’re all sorry to see her go we wish her all the best for her retirement.”

Over half (56%) consider awareness and application levels of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 to be low to average. An additional 89% state that they would like a better understanding of how to work with patients under the MCA. Desuto, a provider of online decision support and report writing tools for health and social care professionals, carried out the survey* to establish industry attitudes and opinions on implementation of

the Act. Mike Hostick, CEO of Desuto states, “Protecting the rights of patients is paramount to health and social care professionals. Our survey demonstrates, however, that to do so the industry needs more information on hand to help with decision-making. This is matched by an eagerness from professionals to meet their obligations as fully as possible – with the right education and support. A number of barriers are preventing professionals from feeling fully confident in practice which in turn could adversely affect patient care.” For further information visit www.desuto.com today.

The Carer #35 Winter 2017  

Issue #35 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Winter (January) 2017.

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