Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

'Yet another unjustified character assassination' by the regulator
17th December, 2007
Britain's nursing home leaders have reacted with disappointment and frustration at what they call 'yet another unjustified character assassination of the care home sector' by the national regulator, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI). Responding to publication of CSCI's Rights, Risks and Restraints report, which reviews the use of restraint in care homes, the RNHA claims that once again CSCI has ended up creating a negative impression and raising exaggerated concerns.
Is the government really going to give older people the right to decide what is best for them?
11th December, 2007
The government is being challenged by Britain's nursing home leaders to say whether its apparent commitment to allowing individuals in need of social care to have personal budgets - as heralded in its new Putting People First document - means they will be able to choose whatever type of care best suits their needs, or whether ministers' promise is less liberating than it seems. Responding to the claims by ministers that people will be given more choice and control over what happens to them, the RNHA is asking whether that choice extends to purchasing a place in a nursing home or residential care home.
CSCI stars for local councils - not enough substance behind the hype
10th December, 2007
'Too much meaningless waffle about stars and not enough meaningful substance' is the RNHA's verdict on the Commission for Social Care Inspection's (CSCI) report on the performance of local councils' social services. The RNHA concludes that the language used in the report is too abstract and too jargonistic to be of much practical use to the millions of people across the country who rely on social services to provide or fund their care.
Good dementia care costs money
10th December, 2007
The government is being urged to learn one of the key lessons to have emerged from last week's BBC Panorama programme on the treatment of dementia patients - that the right kind of care requires higher levels of staffing, more training and, inevitably, costs more money to provide than is generally available now. Commenting on the content of the programme, which explored problems attributed to the inappropriate use of anti-psychotic drugs, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: "The message that the experts on Panorama were telling us - a lesson apparently confirmed by the case study featured on the programme - is that high quality care costs money."
RNHA welcomes dementia care report and endorses call for more resources
3rd December, 2007
The RNHA has welcomed the Alzheimer's Society's latest report on dementia care, Home from Home, as a major contribution to the development of consistently high quality services for dementia patients in the UK's nursing homes. In particular, the RNHA endorses the Society's call for increased government funding for the training of care home staff, and for improved support to care homes from specialist NHS mental health teams.
RNHA says government's obsession has spawned growing sense of social isolation
25th November, 2007
Too many older people are being allowed to suffer the effects of social isolation, according to the RNHA. Responding to figures published by Help the Aged which show that nearly one in four older people are not receiving the help they need to get out of the house, the RNHA said the government's obsession with keeping people at home at all costs was hurting the very individuals that its policy was designed to help.
RNHA welcomes proposal for single regulator of health and social care
22nd November, 2007
The RNHA has welcomed in principle the government's decision to establish a single regulator covering the whole of health and social care. Following introduction of the Health and Social Care Bill to the House of Commons on 15th November 2007, the RNHA says the proposal to create a new Care Quality Commission opens up a golden opportunity to put right existing problems with the regulation of care. It wants a new regulatory regime to recognise that nursing homes are essentially delivering health care, not social care.
Regulator accused of turning a blind eye to funding shortfalls
16th October, 2007
The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) is yet again under fire for failing to recognise under-funding and the complexity of the social care system as the most fundamental problems that face older people seeking the help they need. The RNHA has criticised CSCI's latest report - A fair contract for older people - for glossing over these structural flaws and for being 'trigger happy' in directing blame at care home managers and staff.
Care associations' joint plea on work permits for senior carers
21st August, 2007
The RNHA has written to Home Office minister Liam Byrne to express serious concerns about changes in work permit procedures for senior carers coming from overseas to work in independent care homes in the UK. The RNHA has also joined forces with the National Care Association (NCA) and the English Community Care Association (ECCA) to protest at what they all consider to be government moves that could be potentially harmful to the continuity and maintenance of care services for vulnerable people.
Culture shift on attitudes towards elderly must come from the top, says RNHA
19th August, 2007
A cultural shift in the attitude of society at large towards older people is essential if older people are to receive the level of help and support they deserve, according to the RNHA. Responding to a recent report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights about older people, the RNHA said the fact that so many of the country's senior citizens had to pay for all or most of their own care out of their own pockets spoke volumes about the priority accorded to them by successive governments.
Government official's comments 'misleading and unhelpful'
1st August, 2007
Comments last week-end by Professor Ian Philp, the government's national director for older people's services, about patients in nursing homes were described today as 'misleading and unhelpful' by the Registered Nursing Home Association, which represents around 1,200 nursing homes across the UK. The RNHA claimed the professor had got his figures wrong when he suggested that there are as many as 300,000 people in nursing homes. The total is nearer to 160,000, it said. The RNHA has also challenged the professor's assertion that patients are given little choice about whether they go into a nursing home or not.
Elderly caught in the big NHS continuing care lottery
22nd July, 2007
The revelation that people living in one area of the country may have a 160 times better chance than those in another area of obtaining full NHS funding for their continuing care costs was described today as a 'mind-blowing indictment of the system' by the Registered Nursing Home Association, which said that the Department of Health's figures confirmed that older people everywhere were at the mercy of a cruel postcode lottery.
Survey confirms RNHA claims of chronic under-funding of care home placements
10th July, 2007
A recent survey supports the long-standing claim by the RNHA that, for individuals who qualify for social services funding of their nursing home placements, many local authorities are paying less than the actual cost of the care provided. Around eight out of ten local authorities responding to a survey for the national charity Counsel and Care pay the same rate of weekly fees for all the nursing home patients regardless of their level of dependency and need.
RNHA calls for 'revolution' in official approach to dementia care
9th July, 2007
Many tens of thousands of dementia sufferers are being forced to pay for care out of their own pockets - or out of their relatives' pockets - rather than receiving financial help from public funds to which they should be entitled, the Registered Nursing Home Association claims.
Continuing care framework - a curate's egg, says RNHA
29th June, 2007
Whilst a new national framework offers the potential for greater consistency in decisions by different primary care trusts about which patients should qualify to have all their continuing care costs met by the NHS, the RNHA foresees a complex, bureaucratic pathway having to be navigated in assessing the merits of individual cases.
RNHA response to House of Lords decision on Human Rights Act
26th June, 2007
Many of the reactions to the House of Lords' decision that private and voluntary care homes are not covered by the Human Rights Act have bordered on the 'hysterical', the RNHA has claimed, stressing that there are plenty of safeguards in place to ensure that the rights and expectations of older people and others in full-time residential care are respected and upheld.
RNHA calls for combined effort to stop abuse of older people in their own homes
25th June, 2007
The RNHA says the study conducted jointly by King's College, London and the National Centre for Social Research has exposed the shocking vulnerability of older citizens in their own homes.
Disappointment at CSCI chief inspector's comments on funding
2nd June, 2007
The RNHA has expressed disappointment at an apparent acceptance by the chief inspector of social care services in England that, in the future, more older and disabled people will have to fund their own care, rely on family or friends, or simply have to do without.
Nursing homes ask local NHS bodies to tap into their knowledge and expertise
2nd June, 2007
The RNHA has called on NHS primary care trusts and local health boards throughout the UK to recognise that nursing homes are a rich source of expertise and knowledge on older people with long-term health needs.
RNHA welcomes £68 million care home grants
1st June, 2007
The RNHA has welcomed news that government grants totalling nearly £68 million are being distributed to around 7,000 care homes to fund a range of minor improvements to their facilities. But the association expressed concern about the way in which some local councils have handled the grant application process.
CSCI challenged on financial abuse report
10th May, 2007
With as many as 88 per cent of care homes for older people already complying with national standards on the handling of their patients' finances, the RNHA is challenging the reasons for and cost of a glossy Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) report on homes' financial procedures.
State of social care review hits some spots but is flawed by failure to address low pay
9th May, 2007
A review of the state of social care undertaken by Dame Denise Platt has been weakened by its failure to look at the level of resources invested, according to the RNHA. Responding to Dame Denise's findings, the RNHA has welcomed proposals for improving the skills base of the social care workforce. However, the RNHA believes her vision is flawed by a failure to acknowledge the link between the resources invested in services, the qualifications and training of staff, and the quality of care provided to service users.
RNHA welcomes Ombudsman's compensation ruling
1st May, 2007
The RNHA has welcomed the decision of the Health Service Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, that the Department of Health should issue 'properly considered national guidance' about how the NHS should compensate individuals previously denied NHS continuing care funding to which they were entitled.
Need to tackle increasing social isolation
24th April, 2007
Recently published government statistics highlighting a projected significant rise in the number of one person households over the next twenty years point to potential problems of social isolation for older people, the RNHA said today.
Call for more balanced approach from regulator
20th April, 2007
The RNHA wants to work with the Commission for Social Care Inspection to get the balance right between promoting best practice and tackling poor practice.
Dementia patients need better deal on care funding
5th April, 2007
The RNHA has joined the call from the Alzheimer's Society for a co-ordinated national plan to meet the needs of dementia patients and for a better deal on the funding of their care in nursing homes.
Care home staff don't deserve bashing from Scottish Care Commission
26th March, 2007
The vast majority of care home staff in Scotland are doing a great job, despite potentially misleading statistics published recently by the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care that give care homes an unfair 'bashing'. The RNHA says the Scottish Care Commission has grossly exaggerated the scale of problems experienced in care homes, and understated the levels of satisfaction among their residents.
Pain management report contradictory and confusing, says RNHA
23rd March, 2007
Contradictory and confusing messages are being conveyed in a Patients Association report (published on 22nd March) on pain management in care homes, the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) claims.
Seven day delay on phone fault
20th March, 2007
The RNHA says British Telecom has let it down badly by not assigning an engineer to deal with a line problem until the end of this week. As a result, temporary numbers are having to be used (see above).
NHS contribution too little too late
19th March, 2007
The RNHA has condemned as 'too little too late' the figures announced by the Department of Health for the NHS contribution to nursing home patients' nursing costs in 2007/08. The government's decision not to increase the lowest rate of £40 per week was described as another sign of 'rip off Britain'.
Government indecision puts nursing homes at risk
1st March, 2007
Government indecision about the amount of money it will pay towards patients' nursing costs in care homes over the coming year could end up forcing thousands of homes across the UK unwittingly to break statutory regulations, the RNHA warns.
One-sided Panorama Programme 'A Missed Opportunity'
15th February, 2007
The Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) said today that it had lodged a complaint with the BBC about the methods of investigation being employed by Panorama even before the programme about care homes was broadcast on Monday night.
Warning that councils could siphon off grants
30th January, 2007
Whilst welcoming Government grants totalling just under £68 million to help care homes make minor capital improvements that will benefit patients, the RNHA has challenged the wisdom of channelling all the funds through cash-strapped local authorities. Most nursing homes have still heard nothing from their own councils, it says.
RNHA support for Dignity in Care
24th January, 2007
The RNHA has welcomed the Care Minister Ivan Lewis's idea of creating networks of dignity champions throughout the country. The association is also calling for older people to be shown greater respect by policy-makers who decide on funding.
Time to recognise efforts of care staff
17th January, 2007
The efforts of hard-working staff in over 4,000 nursing homes across England have been completely ignored in the latest annual report of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the RNHA has claimed. It wants government action to tackle low pay and reward quality care.
How does greater choice square with fewer providers?
16th January, 2007
The RNHA believes that choice is vital if services are truly to match individuals' needs. But, it warns, choice is meaningless if the number of providers offering services is allowed to keep falling and funding cuts prevent people going into nursing homes.
Campaigning for Alzheimer's patients
16th January, 2007
Following a decision by Torbay Care Trust to refund the fees paid by the family of a nursing home patient with Alzheimer's disease, the RNHA has pledged to campaign for justice for other patients who are being denied NHS financial support.

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