Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

Minister rapped for besmirching reputation of care homes through over-generalised comments
18th August, 2014
The RNHA has accused care minister Norman Lamb MP of besmirching the reputation of care homes across the country with ill-chosen, over-generalised comments likely to create a negative impression of the quality of service they provide. Responding to remarks attributed to Mr Lamb, who claimed that care homes can be 'austere and alien', RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said that such a description clashed with the findings of a survey that asked care home residents what they thought of their care. "Nearly nine out of ten (86%) of the sample interviewed told researchers that they had a say in arranging their own room," said Mr Ursell. "In addition, almost all of them (98%) said they felt comfortable and safe in their care home."
RNHA challenges CQC chairman's intention to take more care homes to court
15th August, 2014
The RNHA says it is surprised and disappointed that the Care Quality Commission expects in future to be much more likely to use the courts to drive up standards in failing care homes. This follows comments by the CQC chairman, David Prior, about plans to strengthen his legal team and gear up for a greater use of the court system to settle disputes about the quality of care being provided. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Would it not be more appropriate for Mr Prior to be talking about ways of strengthening the help he and his inspection teams could give to care homes that are struggling to meet the requisite standards?"
RNHA wants minister to tell councils what they should pay for 'good quality' nursing home care
1st August, 2014
Care minister Norman Lamb has been challenged by the RNHA to say how much he thinks local authorities should be paying nursing homes so that residents who qualify for public funding receive the level of care they need. Allowing for regional variations in the costs of land and property, the RNHA has called on the minister to undertake a fair and accurate assessment of what level of fees nursing homes should expect to receive from the councils that purchase places with them. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "The root problem rests with local authorities paying less than they should be, which puts pressure on nursing homes and residents' families alike."
More questions than answers from Jeremy Hunt's care home 'special measures' proposals
18th July, 2014
The RNHA has called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for reassurance that his hospital-style 'special measures' regime for failing care homes, announced earlier this week, will be both workable and fair. Said chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "We welcome any constructive steps aimed at helping care homes to deliver high quality services to their residents. But Mr Hunt's proposals lack vital detail and it is therefore uncertain whether they could sensibly be applied to care homes."
Shock and disbelief at comments attributed to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens
7th July, 2014
A mixture of shock and disbelief has swept the long term care sector since NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is reported to have told an Age UK conference that he would be disappointed if nursing homes still existed fifty years from now. Responding to Mr Stevens' 'bombshell', RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said the comments came like a bolt out of the blue and flew in the face of projected demographic trends and future care needs.
RNHA to survey nursing homes on the impact of government cutbacks in social care spending
14th April, 2014
'If it sounds too good to be true, then it's almost certainly too good to be true' is the RNHA's verdict on the government's social care spending plans in the wake of yet another revelation about drastic budget cuts by local authorities for the next twelve months and beyond. Commenting on the results of a survey of local authorities showing that cutbacks of 4% in councils' social care spending are on the cards during 2014/15, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said the harsh realities on the ground contrasted vividly with the pledges made by the coalition.
Nursing homes say National Audit Office has confirmed their worst suspicions about government funding cuts for elderly care
14th March, 2014
A new National Audit Office (NAO) report has confirmed suspicions about the extent of real terms cuts in the fees paid by local authorities towards the cost of caring for individuals who qualify for public funding, the RNHA has said. Commented chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "The National Audit Office has calculated that between 2009/10 and 2013/14 the rates that local authorities pay for care home places increased by 5% less than the costs incurred, with around half of all directors of adult social services admitting that care homes in their areas are facing financial difficulties."
RNHA warns of 'storm clouds ahead' if government accepts minimum wage rise proposal without requiring councils to increase the fees they pay care providers
13th March, 2014
The RNHA has welcomed the Low Pay Commission's recommendation that the government should require local authorities to increase funding for the social care sector to help care providers meet the cost of a proposed 3% rise in the national minimum wage. It warns that, without the extra funding, nursing homes will struggle to find the money to pay the rise.
RNHA backs King's Fund proposals for greater collaboration in care of older people
10th March, 2014
The RNHA supports proposals in a King's Fund report for greater collaboration between the different agencies and organisations involved in planning and delivering services for older people. Chief executive officer Frank Ursell said his association would welcome better discharge planning for patients moving from hospitals to care homes; more involvement from NHS specialist staff in reviewing care home residents' health needs; enhanced support with staff training; and help in caring for residents during their final weeks of life so that they can stay in familiar surroundings.
Government and local authorities inflicting a 'perfect storm' on the elderly
6th March, 2014
Responding to an Age UK report that highlights a massive £3.4 billion shortfall in planned expenditure on social care for 2015/16, the RNHA said nursing homes in many parts of the country had experienced significant 'real terms' cuts in the fees paid by local authorities towards the care costs of vulnerable older people who qualify for public funding. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Those of us who provide 24-hour care to some of Britain's frailest older citizens have witnessed at first hand how, despite the government's hype to the contrary, frontline services have seen budgets cut."
Call for care regulator to work with providers on liberty safeguards
20th January, 2014
The RNHA has called on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to work in partnership with care homes and hospitals in identifying how best to improve the way in which deprivation of liberty safeguards are applied in practice. Responding to the CQC's recently published 2012/13 report on this issue, the RNHA said it was disappointed that the regulator had not openly committed itself to a genuine partnership with the doctors, nurses and care assistants who had to make difficult and often delicately balanced decisions.

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