November 23, 2006 -- Able Newsflash No.43

Care News

Staff Holidays
The Department of Trade and Industry is expected to publish draft legislation this December regarding employees annual holidays. During 2006 the Government has consulted re increasing, eventually to almost six weeks, the statutory entitlement. The DTI is expected to propose an initial increase to 24 days with effect from 1st October 2007. Currently workers are entitled to 20 days paid annual leave. Some firms include Bank Holidays in the 20 days others give Bank Holidays in addition to the current 20 days. The UK has the lowest annual number of holiday days in Europe. For example, in Finland workers are entitled to 39 days holiday inc. Bank Holidays.

Direct Payments enable people to select and pay for their own care. The payments put people in control and a recent study found that most people in receipt of direct payments liked this method of paying for their care in an independent manner. However, it is published that less than 1% of all people over the age of 65 years receiving community based care are in receipt of Direct Payments. The reason for this low percentage could be several e.g. Local authorities do not always offer this form of paying for care, people do not have an understanding of exactly how this system works and are therefore put off or frightened by it.

In an attempt to make Direct Payments more user friendly, Age Concern have brought out a DVD called "Your Care, Your Choice: Direct Payments Working for You" For details of how to receive a copy contact Age Concern 020 8765 7200.

Nestor Healthcare have won a contract with Hertfordshire Council to provide care services across the county. The annual value of the contract is approx. �10m.

In-House News

David Gifford attended a one day workshop "Understanding Brain Injury". The workshop was held in London by Headway.

Reviews and Risk assessments took place in Bedford and London.

Carer Kim Boyer was awarded NVQ 3.

In the past seven days we have received 20 requests from people wanting to begin a live-in carer scheme for their relatives. This is a very high number and is due to the beginning of the winter weather and worry that a relative will be on their own for Christmas. Unfortunately, the majority of the general public are unaware that to begin instant cover for a person with high, dependency needs is not a process that should be expected to be put in place minutes after a telephone call giving details has ended. Any agency that agrees to do so, without a personal assessment visit or a care plan from another professional that can be used in the interim, should be treated warily. Every year we provide 100% continuous cover over Christmas and the New Year periods and we begin to make these arrangements from October onwards.

At this time of the year, any application form we receive from a potential client receives a personal assessment visit within a short time period. If we can provide cover over Christmas and the New Year we will, but this is not guaranteed. It is more likely that we will provide care up to Christmas and resume cover after the holiday period.

Interesting Information

Domiciliary care agency for sale in Surrey, price �130,000. For further details register with

Scotland � from April 2007 weekly fees paid to nursing homes could increase by 6% to �501.27 pw. Homes without nursing care may rise to �435.30, a 7% increase.

This is due to a �30m injection announced at the Scottish Care Annual Conference by Dep. Health Minister Lewis Macdonald.

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

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.