Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

Christmas Day inspections a step too far
20th December, 2012
The thought that inspectors could drop in unannounced to carry out routine inspections in care homes on Christmas Day or New Year's Day, as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said might happen, has been dismissed as unnecessarily intrusive and disruptive by the RNHA. Commented RNHA Chief Executive Officer Frank Ursell: "What would have been encouraging is if the CQC had expressed its thanks to all the care home and hospital staff in the country who unreservedly come into work over the holiday period to look after their patients. But, no, not a single word from the regulator about that. This is supposed to be a time of goodwill. In the CQC's case, a pantomime villain springs more to mind. Our message to them is - give us a break!"
Support for councils having to collect data on social isolation of elderly
30th November, 2012
The RNHA has welcomed a Department of Health plan to require local authorities to collect data on the social isolation and loneliness of older people. Commenting on the move, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: "We believe the extent of loneliness among older people in Britain has tended to be under-estimated in the past. Attitudes among policy-makers are also coloured by an assumption that most of the millions of older people living on their own would prefer to stay in their own homes. In our experience, this is not necessarily the case."
Needs assessment model for calculating care home staffing levels and skill mix
11th October, 2012
A model of how the continuing assessment of care home residents' needs and dependency could be used to help work out the staffing levels required across the 24-hour cycle has been highlighted at a Registered Nursing Home Association conference in Birmingham.
Nursing Matters ...RNHA Nursing Conference 2012
2nd October, 2012
The RNHA will be holding two nursing conferences this year - one in Birmingham on 9th October and another in London on 30th October. Both events will focus on key aspects of nursing practice in care homes for older people. For example, there will be presentations and discussions on how to use patient needs assessments as the basis for determining staffing levels; key messages arising out of dignity and nutrition inspections; nursing the bariatric patient; the safety of medicines in care homes; working with the Mental Capacity Act; and the NHS Institute Care Homes Programme.
Ombudsman's report shows care homes are able and willing to learn from complaints
2nd August, 2012
The RNHA has welcomed the Local Government Ombudsman's (LGO) report on lessons learned from complaints about adult social care during 2011/12. RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said case study examples of complaints cited in the report showed that care homes were willing to use complaints as a valuable learning experience.
RNHA supports Alzheimer Society's 5-point plan for improved dementia care
1st May, 2012
The RNHA has backed a 5-point plan from the Alzheimer's Society to address the kind of dementia care problems identified in a BBC Panorama programme about a North London care home, and is urging all care homes across the country to ensure that their own dementia care policies and practices reflect the highest possible standards.
Fine words about dementia, Prime Minister, but haven't you forgotten something?
27th March, 2012
The needs of around a quarter of a million individuals with dementia currently being looked after in care homes have been overlooked by Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his Challenge on Dementia, according to the RNHA. Whilst welcoming in principle the Prime Minister's decision to lead from the front on dementia, the RNHA says his proposals have totally ignored the challenges faced by care homes. Around one third of all people affected by the condition live in care homes. Yet, as the RNHA points out, none of the additional resources identified by the Prime Minister have been allocated to care homes in order to help improve the quality and consistency of specialist care they can provide.
Councils urged to act lawfully in funding older people who need nursing home care
26th March, 2012
Local authorities should make sure they are acting lawfully when they set the fees they will pay for publicly funded nursing home residents in the financial year starting on 1st April 2012. This is a key message from the RNHA at a series of roadshows around the country for care home owners, managers and senior care staff as they gather to debate the challenge of delivering high quality services during a period of massive cost-cutting by both central government and councils.
National minimum wage increase will hit nursing homes hard if local authority fees for residents continue to be frozen or cut
22nd March, 2012
An increase in the national minimum wage from October 2012 further strengthens the case for an increase in the fees paid to nursing homes by local councils for looking after frail and vulnerable older people, the RNHA has warned. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "This week's announcement by the Low Pay Commission that it has recommended a 1.8% increase in the national minimum wage - the 12th increase since it was introduced - has come at a time when the vast majority of nursing homes are struggling to cope with the double whammy of price inflation on fuel, food and materials and a freeze, or real terms cut, in the fees they receive from councils."
RNHA welcomes RCN call for increased funding for care home residents
16th March, 2012
The RNHA has welcomed a call from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for public funding to be increased to meet the challenges of looking after increasingly dependent older people needing 'round the clock' care. "The link between funding and quality is inescapable," said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell. "RCN members are right to be concerned about the enormous pressures on care homes, which are expected to deliver high quality services for people with increasingly complex health and social needs at a time when the public bodies that fund a majority of care home places are cutting back on the resources they invest. Policy makers need to know that this scenario cannot continue indefinitely."
Call for top-level review of how the NHS meets care home residents' health needs
8th March, 2012
The NHS needs to look closely at how it meets the health needs of older people in care homes, the RNHA has said. It wants the new NHS Commissioning Board to undertake a comprehensive review of the extent and quality of NHS care, including GP services, district nursing, continence support and specialist nutritional advice, provided to over 400,000 people living in care homes across the country.
RNHA backs national review of care home workers' pay
29th February, 2012
The RNHA has backed a call by Age UK, the Local Government Association and the NHS Confederation for a government-led review of care home workers' pay, qualifications, recruitment and retention. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "The fact that the Local Government Association is supporting a review of pay and conditions is highly significant. We in the long-term care sector have argued for many years that we are suffering from a lack of adequate resources to sustain consistently high standards."
RNHA wants government action on funding for older people
1st February, 2012
An Age UK report highlighting massive reductions in social care spending on older people and calling for a radical overhaul of national and local funding has been endorsed by the RNHA. The RNHA agrees with Age UK that the local authority social services have cut back far more on care for older people than was originally feared, with a £500 million shortfall - representing a 4.5% 'real terms' cut in spending - during the year to 31st March 2012.
Reports show care home model is working well but cuts could put access at risk
9th January, 2012
Demand for care home places is continuing to rise because of an ageing population and the fact that many older people with multiple health and social care needs find their quality of life is improved by 24-hour care in a residential setting, according to the RNHA. Responding to the latest Laing & Buisson analysis revealing a 3% expansion of care home places for elderly and physically disabled people since 2006, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said the trend highlighted confidence in the ability of care home providers to meet the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups in the population.

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