August 01, 2013 -- Able Newsflash No.384

Care News

Independent Age has launched a new report on care home ‘top-up fees’ – the supplementary amounts paid by relatives to improve the quality of council-funded residential care - which has implications for the Care Bill currently going through Parliament.The report is the most comprehensive ever published on top-up fees and is drawn from:The report concludes that most councils are failing to carry out their legal obligations to ensure that families are financially able to pay top-up fees – which can be several hundred pounds a week - and to ensure that they are genuinely voluntary.

Three quarters (72%) of councils did not know about all top-up fee payments in their area – and so cannot possibly have made sure that all relatives were ‘able and willing’ to pay them, as they are legally required to do. Only 36 councils said they knew about all top-up fee contracts in their area while 36 said they had no information at all and 57 had only incomplete information. Some councils appear to have a blanket policy of leaving residents to negotiate top-up fees directly with care homes, even though this is clearly contrary to statutory guidance. The report voices the concerns of care homes that top-up payments are being paid by relatives because the care home fees paid by councils are too low.

To read the full report visit: www.independentage.org


The recent speculation that GP appointments should be paid for to encourage people to turn up after they have made an appointment has come about after an estimated 15 million people annually fail to attend for GP appointments and a further 4.6 million visits to Practice Nurses are missed in addition.

The survey results have come from The Doctor Patient Partnership and The Institute of Healthcare Management.

The survey was based on 577 GP practices throughout the UK.


The UK Civil Aviation Authority has taken formal steps to ensure Pakistan airline AirBlue stops discriminating passengers with disabilities.

Pakistan's second largest airline AirBlue operates a direct flight from Islamabad to Manchester three times per week. Airlines flying to and from the UK must comply with British and European regulations. The airline’s management confirmed not welcoming disabled guests in a shocking interview with The Express Tribune. A spokesperson for AirBlue told the Pakistani newspaper that main problem with carriage of passengers with disabilities is the cost of renting wheelchairs and other equipment to help them on and off the aircraft.

The full report can be found at: www.reducedmobility.eu

Question of the Week

"I have a disabled, young relation and often there are things he needs that his parents cannot afford. Often you see in our local paper fundraising events to help purchase a piece of disabled equipment but is there a directory of possible, available grants anywhere rather than having to organise a local campaign? Like all children, he would like a bike and this is what we are seeking help to purchase."

Answer : Visit the website Disability Grants and go to the section on Bikes and Trikes. The website has much more information that you may also find of interest and it is found at: www.disabilitydiscounts.co.uk

Summer Days

The last few weeks have given details of days out that can be enjoyed where accessibility is user friendly. This week I came across the following cottages which are based here in Norfolk and are classed as ‘accessible self catering accommodation’.

The cottages, King Line Cottages, are based at Horning on the Norfolk Broads and have been awarded an English Tourist Board accessibility rating of 2: step free approach, level or ramped access, wide doorways, mid-height switches, adapted bathroom, roll in shower/wet room, wheeled shower chair available, lowered hanging space in wardrobes, clearance under bed for mobile hoist, etc.

The 6 cottages are near the waters edge, perfect for fishing, bird watching, etc. For details phone to: 01692 630297 or visit www.norfolk-broads.co.uk where you can watch an online video.

In-House News

A Provider Forum was attended by Able Community Care in Cornwall.

Monitoring visits were carried out in Hertfordshire.

Two potential live-in carers were interviewed in Norwich.

A new post has started in The Channel Islands for an older lady who has dementia. Care Manager is Sam and weekly wage is £550.00 plus travel.

Interesting Information

Between the years 2009-12 the number of people who received council-funded care dropped from 985,000 to 802,000.


Eskimos use refrigerators to stop their food from freezing.

Client Profile

Kenneth came to Able Community Care three years ago at the age of 97. He had lived in his home and village for many years and wished to stay there for as long as possible.

Kenneth did not wish for continuous help in 2010 just as and when he felt he or his family felt he needed some support.

Since earlier this year, Kenneth has however had continuous care and he has a regular live-in carer rota.


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Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.