Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

Regulator wins five stars for gobbledegook
12th December, 2008
Five stars for gobbledegook have been awarded to the Commission for Social Care Inspection by the RNHA, which says the regulator's 2008 report on the performance of councils' adult social services has hit new heights of 'management speak'.
Better co-ordination of end of life care is vital - RNHA response to NAO report
27th November, 2008
The need for better local co-ordination of specialist end of life care for people in their last weeks or months of life is a key message to emerge from the National Audit Office (NAO) report on end of life care, says the RNHA, which thinks the government should intervene to ensure greater consistency across the country in the amount of resources devoted to end of life care by NHS primary care trusts.
Call for Dame Joan to extend her remit
18th November, 2008
The RNHA has welcomed the government's appointment of Dame Joan Bakewell as an 'independent advocate' for older people. Chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: "We think this is a role that Dame Joan will fill admirably. But we hope that her remit will not be restricted to a very specific agenda set by the government. From some of the statements made so far, we believe there may be a risk that her role is designed to focus exclusively on the rights and needs of active, healthy older people. Important though this may be, it is also essential to remember the older people who are frail, ill and highly dependent on others to care for them. Their needs are even greater than those of the healthy majority."
A CSCI report of 'mixed messages'
12th November, 2008
A report by CSCI on the outcome of its recent review of eligibility criteria for social care has been dubbed 'a mish-mash of mixed messages' by the RNHA, which says the regulator has failed to map out a clear vision for the way in which people's entitlement to public funding towards their care costs is determined.
A fair price for care
10th November, 2008
Local authorities that refuse to pay an economic rate for older people's nursing home care should be forced to do so by the government, the RNHA has urged. The call for drastic action is made in the light of yet another independent assessment of nursing home costs that suggests most councils are paying below a fair market price for the care that is provided to their frailest older residents. According to figures published recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a fair price for nursing home care in England ranges from £700 to £776 per resident per week in London and from £589 to £665 per resident per week outside London.
RNHA questions County Council's low funding for elderly care
14th October, 2008
The RNHA has suggested there could be a direct link between the extraordinarily low rates paid by Northamptonshire social services department and the problems that some local nursing homes have had in meeting national standards. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "The funding deficit in Northamptonshire is possibly one of the largest we have seen anywhere in the country."
Wirral's smash and grab raid on funds for elderly care
9th October, 2008
Wirral Council's department of adult social services has come under fire from the RNHA for a unilateral cut it has made in the fees it pays to nursing homes caring for elderly patients who qualify for financial support from the local authority. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "We regard this action as totally unacceptable. In effect, it means taking money out of the elderly care system at a time when food and fuel costs are going through the roof."
Older people in nursing homes will lose out if government goes ahead with restrictions on senior care workers from overseas
10th September, 2008
Vulnerable people in nursing homes will be the big losers if recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee to stop senior care workers from outside the European Union getting jobs in the UK unless they are paid at least £8.80 an hour are accepted and implemented by Home Officer ministers.
RNHA welcomes appointment of Cynthia Bower at Care Quality Commission
28th July, 2008
The RNHA has welcomed the appointment of Cynthia Bower as chief executive of the new Care Quality Commission, which will take over regulation of both health and social care providers next year. RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said Ms Bower was admirably suited to the gigantic task of bridging the gap between health and social care, given that she had previously worked in both local government social services and the NHS, where she is currently chief executive of the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.
Nursing homes can play their part in implementing new end of life care strategy
21st July, 2008
The RNHA has called for extra financial help from the government to ensure that nursing homes can play their full part in implementing the new national end of life care strategy just published by the Department of Health. "There are significant training implications for nursing homes in the strategy," said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell. "We would therefore hope and expect that a proportion of the new funding pledged in the strategy for end of life care improvements will be made available to us."
Survey on demand for migrant workers in social care. Latest guidance on employment of senior care workers from overseas
20th July, 2008
The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPA) at the University of Oxford is co-ordinating international research on the demand for migrant workers in social care for older people. UK nursing homes are invited to complete an on-line questionnaire. In January 2008, the Border and Immigration Agency published updated guidance on changes to transitional measures regarding the employment of senior care workers from overseas.
RNHA welcomes government's review of antipsychotic drugs in dementia care
22nd June, 2008
The RNHA has welcomed a proposed government review of the use of antipsychotic drugs for elderly dementia patients, saying the time had come for a new consensus on the approach to their treatment and care. The association, which represents around 1,200 nursing homes across the UK, already recommends all its members to comply with best practice guidance on antipsychotic drugs issued in 2006 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
Care regulator acknowledges link between resources and quality
17th June, 2008
The RNHA has welcomed what it calls 'a long overdue acknowledgement' from the Commission for Social Care Inspection that there is a link between the level of resources invested by public bodies and the quality of the services that care providers can offer. This follows publication of a new CSCI report on the quality of dementia care in England. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "It is perhaps ironic, as well as not a little frustrating, that it is virtually only when CSCI is about to go out of existence that it has explicitly accepted the fact that finance and quality are linked."
Quality assurance could make all the difference to star ratings
15th June, 2008
Nursing homes across England have been advised to use a robust quality assurance assessment tool to prepare for future inspections under the new star rating system being introduced this year. The RNHA believes that carrying out rigorous self-assessment prior to formal visits by CSCI inspectors is vital.
Research on night-time care is 'devoid of common sense'
29th April, 2008
A research project on night-time care in three Scottish care homes has been dubbed as 'devoid of common sense' by the RNHA, whose chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: "It seems that care staff stand accused in this report of making too many checks on residents during the night to check, for example, on their breathing and to see whether anyone has fallen over in their room or has a continence problem that needs sorting out. Yet staff are equally pilloried when things go wrong, such as a continence pad not being changed when it needs to be. Is this not yet another example of ivory tower research that cannot see the wood for the trees?"
RNHA response to All Party Parliamentary Group report on dementia care
28th April, 2008
Responding to an All Party Parliamentary report on dementia care, the RNHA said the treatment of patients with dementia should be person-centred in all cases, with each and every individual having a care plan that is specific to their needs, regularly reviewed, and flexible enough to respond to changes in their condition. As far as the use of neuroleptic drugs is concerned, the RNHA recommends its member nursing homes to abide by the 'best practice' guidance issued by NICE and SCIE, which says that pharmacological interventions should be considered only if the patient is severely distressed or there is an immediate risk of harm to the person or others.
National Care Homes Week
23rd April, 2008
The RNHA is supporting the National Care Homes Week, which will take place in the first week of June and celebrates the fact that the sector is made up of hard-working, dedicated staff who genuinely care for the well-being of their residents.
RNHA criticises MP's dementia report
3rd April, 2008
The RNHA strongly supports adherence to the most up-to-date clinical guidance on dementia care from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), and specifically NICE's recommendations on the caution needed in using antipsychotics to help treat severe behavioural problems in some dementia patients. But it questions whether Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow's latest report - Keep Taking the Medicine 4 - will add anything but political hype to the genuine debate about the appropriateness of different forms of treatment.
Checking practice against CSCI 'clinical triggers'
26th March, 2008
The RNHA is urging all nursing homes to double-check that they are complying with CSCI inspectors expectations against five clinical triggers, as well as the vital area of medicines administration.
Six out of ten West Midlands nursing homes rated excellent or good
25th March, 2008
Around six out of ten nursing homes in the West Midlands are likely to be rated as 'excellent' (three star) or 'good' (two star) under a new star rating scheme being introduced nationally during 2008. Preliminary figures obtained by the RNHA from CSCI show that 53 (12%) out of the region's 435 nursing homes inspected so far under the system have won three stars, whilst a further 201 (46%) nursing homes have been awarded two stars.
RNHA praises Minister for defending older people against penny-pinching councils
21st March, 2008
Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis has won praise from Britain's nursing home leaders for condemning local authorities that are trying to get away with zero percentage increases in the fees they pay for care provided to the country's most vulnerable older people.RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said today: "The Minister has shown a great deal of understanding and common sense, which is a lot more than can be said of those local authorities, such as Kent County Council, that have turned their backs on the elderly by offering no increase at all towards the cost of nursing home care in the next twelve months."
Give real choice back to older people
4th March, 2008
While the government ruminates behind closed doors on the future of social care funding, the RNHA has called on it to give back to older people the same freedoms to make decisions that they enjoyed before the restrictions imposed on them in 1993 by the NHS and Community Care Act. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "There are two fundamental issues at work here – one is choice and the other is equity. We hear a lot about people being able to choose this hospital or that hospital if they need an operation. So why is it that older people with a multiplicity of enduring and often irreversible health problems associated with the ageing process are treated differently?"
Annual roadshow to spotlight star ratings
4th March, 2008
This week sees the RNHA launch its annual roadshow to discuss and debate significant current issues impacting on the nursing home sector throughout the UK. Star ratings, quality assurance, nutrition, restraint, overseas recruitment and the Mental Health Capacity Act are the six top topics that will be put under the microscope by nursing home owners, managers and staff at eight whole day events taking place around the country during March and early April.
RNHA calls for better resourcing of dementia care
12th February, 2008
More investment is needed from the government to ensure that dementia patients receive the right help and support, the RNHA has told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia. In written evidence to the group, which has been reviewing aspects of dementia care, the RNHA said the government needed to recognise that complex care packages were required to deal with the impact of the disease on individuals and to ensure the best possible quality of life in difficult circumstances.
Ground-breaking research on opinions of nursing home residents
3rd February, 2008
The RNHA, with support from the Department of Health, has commissioned a ground-breaking survey from one of the country's leading social research organisations to find out how people's actual experiences of living in nursing homes compare with their expectations before they moved in. The survey, which starts in February 2008, is being undertaken by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) based at the University of Kent. Researchers plan to interview 1,200 residents in 600 randomly selected independent and voluntary sector care homes across England. The results, expected later this year, will provide a unique perspective on what nursing home residents think about being in care, as opposed to what outside commentators claim they think.
Funding shortfall for elderly care must be tackled
29th January, 2008
The RNHA said it was fundamentally wrong that older people's chances of getting the care they need depend on where they happen to live, and it called for a radical rethink of the way in which both the NHS and local authorities decide whether an older person's care is publicly funded. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Older people are caught in a pincer movement by the very organisations they thought would come to their aid when they needed it. Councils have been tightening up their eligibility criteria to stop older people from qualifying for help. Local primary care trusts have also been using a similar approach to stop older people from qualifying for NHS continuing care funding."

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