March 20, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.416

Care News

Research by Care England, the biggest umbrella body for English providers, found that 30 of 34 care homes surveyed were charged ‘retainer’ fees, in one case £2,400 a month, to guarantee GP care for their residents. One fee-paying provider said a GP practice insisted that patients use the pharmacy run by their surgery as a condition of receiving care.

GP practices that charge retainer fees often point to the fact that they are providing an ‘enhanced service’ beyond the ‘core’ duties they are contracted to deliver under the national GP contract. But providers that ran multiple homes told Care England that the service was often “equally good” from GPs that didn’t charge retainers.

Martin Green, the umbrella body’s chief executive, said: “Charging care home residents for healthcare is ageist and totally unacceptable, and we call upon the government, clinical commissioning groups and the regulator [Care Quality Commission] to put a stop to it immediately.”

(Source: Community Care Online)


The number of diabetes cases is outgrowing the number of Diabetes Specialist Nurses being recruited to treat them and the trend looks set to get worse in the near future.

Whilst levels of DSNs are in general increasing, the rate of recruitment is outweighed by the increase in diabetes diagnoses each year. The position statement notes a worrying statistic that a third of hospitals now have no specific Diabetes Specialist Nurses to treat inpatients.

(Source: Diabetes UK)


A hoax email telling people they may have cancer has been sent to thousands of people in the UK.

The messages appear to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), but the organisation’s chief executive has personally warned people that the emails are fake and should not be opened.

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said that the emails were likely to cause distress because they tell the recipient that “test results” indicate they may have cancer.

“This malicious email is not from NICE and we are currently investigating its origin,” he said. “We take this matter very seriously and have reported it to the police.”

NICE are advising people who have received the email, which carries the subject line "important blood analysis result", to delete it without opening it and not to click on any links. The organisation said that it appeared that the spammers had sent thousands of emails and patients who had recently had a blood or cancer test have already been in contact to express their concern.

(Source: The Independent and other national newspapers)

Question of the Week

"Do you know how one can qualify to get items from a food bank?"

Answer : You can only be referred to a food bank by a front line care professional who will identify people they perceive as being in need. The care professionals could be: a doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and the police all of whom can identify people in crisis and subsequently issue them with a food bank voucher.

The food banks partner with a wide range of care professionals who are best placed to assess need in their locality and make sure that a need is genuine. Usually the crisis will mean that food is available for a short time period in the first instance.

Spring Tip of the Week

April Showers... Don’t get wet by making sure that you have a hands free umbrella that you can attach to your wheelchair. Many organisations sell them online, just ‘google’ and type in ‘hands free umbrellas’ for all colours and designs.

In-House News

Potential clients were visited in Dorset and Suffolk.

Monitoring visits took place in Norfolk and Greater Manchester.

Managers attended a Clinical Commissioning Group meeting with reference to future projects.

Interesting Information

Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.


In the third quarter of 2012, it was estimated that 5.3 million people aged 65 had never been online. This was made up of 39.4% of 65-74 year olds and 65.6% of over 75s who have never used the internet.

In 2013 it was estimated that only a fifth of care homes had internet access for their residents.

Client Profile

Rita age 90 in 2012 needed 24 hour care. The choice was a care home or being cared for in her own home. Rita was actively engaged in her community and her church and decided to try a live-in care worker service. Her family choose Able Community Care. Rita has two regular, rotational live-in carers. Both were introduced to Rita in 2012.

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Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.
Telephone 01603 764567