Our monthly insight series provides summaries of the most significant news items in social care. With a significant amount happening in the sector currently, we hope that the following will help you focus on some of the key issues and narratives that you may need to be aware of to support your business and clients. Read the latest developments below. 

The effect of leaving the European Union on the UK's health and social care sector

Local Government Association, 18 March

The £30,000 per annum salary threshold proposed in the Government’s future immigration system will impact the recruitment of care staff. Many social care and health jobs do not meet the requirements for the minimum skills or salary threshold. EU laws such as data and information sharing impact on public health. Therefore, a review of EU laws will need to consider the impact on councils’ public health duties.

Spring Statement ushers in potential for years of delay to social care funding settlement

    Care Home Management, 14 March

    The Chancellor’s Spring Statement has announced further delays to funding and reform of social care. A three-year Spending Review will now align with the Autumn Budget two years since the government announced its intentions to publish a green paper. 

    CQC: New guidance on relationships and sexuality in adult social care services

      CQC, February 2019

      It covers a diverse range of often complex issues, including supporting people to form and maintain relationships, while also helping them to understand risks. It also highlights the importance of offering an environment that is welcoming to LGBT+ people, as well as looking at how to support those with physical disabilities.

      Ombudsman issues good practice guide for care providers

        Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, March 2019

        Based on the Ombudsman’s lengthy experience of investigating complaints about independent providers, the guide gives real-life examples of the common problems the organisation sees – and offers some ways to avoid the pitfalls. Common issues the Ombudsman sees in its complaints include a lack of clear information about fees, charges and contracts, problems with billing and invoices, ensuring people’s belongings are looked after properly, and dealing with challenging behaviour from friends and relatives.

        Guidance on lift door unlocking keys

          Care Home Management, 4 March

          There have been several serious accidents, and at least one fatality, over the past few years involving opening the landing doors on lifts and lifting platforms. All of these particular incidents were caused by the unauthorised use of ‘unlocking keys for lifts and lifting platforms’ by untrained people. Care homes with lifts need to understand how to use lift access and release keys properly, and how to stay compliant with HSE regulations on unlocking keys.

          FUTURE OF CARE: ‘The future will come from us,’ Care England CEO tells conference

          Care Home Professional, 20 March

          The solution to the future of social care will not come through a Green Paper,” Martin said. The Care England CEO urged providers to counter silo mentalities by building partnerships across the system and “focus on people who will work with us”. The Care England chief urged financially stressed care homes to diversify their services offered to the local community in order to thrive, highlighting how day centres offered valuable new income streams for the sector.

          400 care home operators collapse in five years as cuts bite

            The Guardian, 11 March

            UK care home firms are buckling under the pressure of funding cuts, crippling debt and rising costs, according to research by the accountancy firm BDO. It found that in the period between 2014 and 2016 there were an average of 69 care home company insolvencies per year. The number rose sharply to 123 in 2017 and another 101 collapsed last year.

            Social Care Workforce Study

              Care Association Alliance, March 2019

              Findings include: The care sector has one of the highest staff turnover rate of all sectors in the UK, with one in three workers leaving the sector every year; the effect of Brexit will affect the South of England more as it us much more dependent on foreign workers than the north; vacancy rates are highest in the most senior positions with 11% of registered manager roles vacant.

              Closing the gap: Key areas for action on the health and care workforce

                King’s Fund, 21 March

                In this joint report with the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, we set out a series of policy actions that, evidence suggests, should be at the heart of the workforce implementation plan. We focus on nursing and general practice, where the workforce problems are particularly severe.

                Cross-party group launched to tackle social care crisis

                  Care Home Professional, 1 March

                  A new All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care (AGGP Social Care) has launched in Westminster to examine the care system, funding and the state of staffing in the sector. Sponsored by GMB Union, it is a cross-party group of MPs who have come together to tackle a care sector that is ‘in crisis’.