Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

UK interim immigration cap unlawful, High Court judges rule
19th December, 2010
Two High Court judges have ruled that the temporary limit imposed from 28 June on skilled migrants from outside the European Union is unlawful due to the fact that government ministers failed to obtain proper Parliamentary approval before it was implemented and imposed on employers and migrants.
Nursing homes challenge anti-residential care ideology of Care Quality Commission
16th December, 2010
Nursing homes have challenged the adult social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to justify its claim that excellently performing councils are those which try to push people away from residential care. Responding to the CQC's latest report on how well councils are doing in managing adult social care, the RNHA said it is preposterous to imagine that the best solution for every person with multiple health and social care needs is to be looked after at home.
Older people with long term health needs could be hit by plan to reduce spending on nursing and residential care
29th November, 2010
"A document full of contradictions that, if unresolved, could lead to worse, not better, services" is the RNHA's verdict on the Department of Health's vision for adult social care in England. The association says the government's fine words about no top-down policy-making from Whitehall are at odds with its declared aim of persuading councils to spend less on nursing and residential care. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Independent analysts - and indeed the government itself - acknowledge that demand for nursing and residential care will rise significantly over the next 30 years as the population ages. Yet the Secretary of State for Health seems to think that these vital services can and should be cut. If that happens, individuals' health and welfare will be put at risk."
Care Quality Commission accused of imposing a 'stealth tax' on services for the elderly
1st November, 2010
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which escaped the coalition government's recent 'bonfire of the quangos', has come under fire for blatantly increasing its charges by up to eight times the annual rate of inflation. Responding today to the news, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell described the fee increases as "daylight robbery". He said: "It is incredible and, indeed, unacceptable, that a public body should be doing this at a time when every other organisation in the country is expected to exercise the utmost frugality."
Doubts cast on government's spending commitments for social care
21st October, 2010
The RNHA has expressed doubts about whether the additional £1.1 billion earmarked in the coalition government's Public Spending Review for social care would necessarily end up being spent on social care. RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said it was worrying that the Department of Health's social care grant for local authorities was no longer going to be provided as a distinct and separate grant but would, in future, be included in the general grants made available to them by central government. He added: "Over a period when councils are going to be losing 26% of their grants from central government, and bearing in mind that there is no reference in the Public Spending Review to the social care element of their expenditure continuing to be ring-fenced, it makes you wonder what exactly will happen to that money."
Regulator's bureaucratic delays are the main cause of care home managers not being registered
8th October, 2010
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been accused of taking far too long to register newly appointed care home managers.According to the RNHA, a long-drawn out, bureaucratic process means that care homes that have just recruited new managers to fill vacancies can face a 14 to 16-week wait for the CQC to register them. Reacting to a CQC statement that up to 1,000 care homes do not have managers who are registered with them, the RNHA claims that the root cause lies in a majority of cases with the CQC rather than the care homes concerned.
Call for Care Quality Commission to put its own house in order
29th September, 2010
Nursing home leaders say the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is talking tough about closing down poorly performing homes whilst not getting its own act in order on basic registration and inspection processes. Responding to CQC's announcement that it had closed down 34 care homes in the past 12 months, the RNHA urged the commission to improve its own performance and give care homes greater credit for major improvements in the quality of care since national minimum standards were introduced in 2002/03.
RNHA says coalition must not turn its back on care funding needs of older people
22nd July, 2010
With the membership and terms of reference of the government's commission on the funding of care having been announced, the RNHA says the time has come for the country to decide how big a priority it wants to give to looking after people in their old age. Pointing to several previous inquiries and learned reports over the past 20 years on the funding of services for older people, the RNHA believes that crucial decisions are long overdue and that successive governments have preferred to look the other way.
An element of the 'surreal' about National Care Service White Paper, claims RNHA
9th April, 2010
The government's Building a National Care Service White Paper has an element of the surreal about it, according to the RNHA. It says the promises about what might or might not happen in five years' time pale into insignificance in the face of the funding crisis that has already hit social care in many parts of the country. Whilst welcoming the concept of a national service that eliminates the current postcode lottery in which the care people receive may depend more on where they live than on their actual needs, the RNHA claims that far too many councils are imposing real terms cuts in expenditure on residential care for the coming year.
RNHA throws weight behind drive for infection control in care homes
3rd March, 2010
Nursing home managers throughout the country are being urged to give a high priority to ensuring that their infection control procedures are as rigorous as possible. The RNHA is currently making its members aware of detailed guidance developed by the Department of Health. It is vital, the RNHA stresses, that nursing homes should comply with codes of practice on, for example, hand hygiene; use of disposable gloves and aprons; aseptic techniques to prevent contamination of wounds; safe handling of needles used for injections; the cleaning and disinfection of items such as hoists, commodes and bedding; and correct methods of dealing with outbreaks of communicable infection.
Nursing homes' plea to care regulator as star ratings system is reviewed
2nd March, 2010
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) may be learning from the mistakes of its predecessor about the best ways of assessing the quality of services provided to older people, but still has some way to go before it has established a reliable, accurate and fair method. That is the provisional verdict given by the RNHA to a consultation document from the Care Quality Commission on changes it is thinking of making to the quality assessment system.
Warning about local authorities diverting money from care of older people
1st March, 2010
Vulnerable older people across England could soon be the victims of institutionalised 'financial mugging', the RNHA has claimed. The association says it is already getting reports of decisions by some local authorities to impose what, in practice, works out as a 'real terms' cut in their funding of nursing home care. The impact, it argues, will be felt in the range and quality of care that nursing homes are able to provide. Fewer staff will be employed, less training undertaken and planned maintenance and improvements in facilities could be put on hold.
RNHA welcomes consultation on best practice advice
20th January, 2010
The RNHA has welcomed the approach taken by Skills for Care in opening an online survey to solicit the views of care providers on what will be considered best practice to underpin the new standards introduced by the Care Quality Commission in its publication Essential Standards for Quality and Safety.
Nursing homes award Channel 4's Big Brother a booby prize for the ultimate in bad taste
13th January, 2010
The organisation that represents over 1,000 nursing homes across the UK has questioned the judgement of Channel 4's Big Brother producers for having instructed the programme's contestants to pretend to be residents and carers in the Last Legs Nursing Home for Retired Celebrities. In a statement today, the RNHA said it was appalled that the programme's producers appeared to think it is acceptable to represent older people and nursing homes in such a puerile and ill-informed way.
RNHA welcomes Michael Parkinson's report on elderly care as 'fair and balanced'
12th January, 2010
The RNHA has welcomed what it described as 'a fair and balanced report' from retired broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson at the end of his first year as the government's national dignity ambassador. "It makes a pleasant change for someone producing a report about care for older people to focus on the many positives and not just on things where improvements are needed," said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell. "In this sense, Sir Michael has highlighted the fantastic job that a very large number of care workers do. We thank him for his even-handedness. All too often, everyone in this sector comes in for a hammering because of the poor practice of a small minority."
Nursing homes respond to Royal College of Physicians report on artificial tube feeding
11th January, 2010
The RNHA says key advice in a report issued by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on problems associated with artificial tube feeding of patients with swallowing difficulties is at risk of being overlooked because of the confusing way in which the document had been presented to the news media.

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