April 19, 2007 -- Able Newsflash No.63

Care News

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 created a statutory, independent advocacy scheme to support and help people who are vulnerable and lack capacity and have no family friends or other advocates to make decisions for them. Decisions such as serious medical treatment, moving into or between care settings such as a hospital or a residential/nursing home, etc.,

The scheme is called the IMCA scheme (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate) and IMCA will appoint an advocate to the person in order to voice their wishes, beliefs and values. The advocate will voice both their current and past wishes.

The IMCA Scheme is now being nationally rolled out. Referral to the IMCA Scheme is normally via a doctor or social worker but referrals can be made by other persons who are concerned about someone.

For further details visit the DOH website

The Commission for Social Care Inspection, when inspecting, awards between one and four marks ( four being the highest) to demonstrate how social care providers are reaching the Standards as laid down. There has been much discussion that Inspectors across the country use differing methods to measure attainment of the standards. For example, an agency in one part of the country might gain a mark of three if they were situated in another part of England they may have been given a four. There is an ongoing consultation/survey about possible differing standards.

However, there are some social care providers, residential care homes included, where the Standards are not met, (We mentioned in the Newsflash some weeks back that Norfolk had 28 Care Homes that did not meet the Standards required). To remedy the problem CSCI has set up seven new enforcement teams to tackle poorly performing services.

Part of their remit will be that local authorities will be advised which care providers are currently failing and the changes required for the care provider to improve to the necessary standards.

For further details go to:

In-House News

Potential new clients have been visited in Dorset, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire.

A client review has taken place in Kent and Buckinghamshire.

A new post has commenced in Sussex. Elderly frail female. Sal. �558.00pw inc. Care Manager Ruth Divey

A new post has commenced in South London. Female with MND. Sal �685.00pw inc. Care Manager Jackie Maasz.

Interesting Information

Figures from Laing and Buisson advise that the average cost of residential nursing care across the UK in 2006 was �570.00pw (�29,600 pa) but in the South East and London average fees were higher. In the London area �1000 pw has become more common.In the last five years the cost of living in a care home has risen by 50% and Help the Aged says in some cases the rise has been as much as 25% in a single year.

Hampshire Care, an organisation that has represented Hampshire Care providers for over 20 years argues that Councils are still not paying care home providers enough. As a result, private care homes are struggling to survive in a time where the demand for places is set to �go through the roof� (Source guide to care �

About two or three times a year, Able Community Care used to receive a letter or phone call from businesses who work as agents for purchasers of domiciliary care companies.

In the last six days we have received two letters and one phone call from such agents.

Many social care chain operators have an active program to purchase domiciliary care companies to add to their portfolio and outside businesses such as Housing Associations, are coming into the market. Foreign buyers are also considering purchasing existing care providers.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.