RNHA
    Registered Nursing Home Association

News Releases

Adult social care sector's joint response to spending review
10th December, 2015
Leaders representing the providers and commissioners of adult social care have written to the Chancellor, Health Secretary and Local Government Secretary to press for more funding than was pledged in Mr Osborne's recent spending review announcement. They argue that the settlement fails to cover providers' increased costs arising from the National Living Wage, regulation or growth in demand as the population ages. In addition, they ask what happened to the £6 billion saved by the government through deferment of plans to cap the amount individuals must pay towards their own care, and how the government will ensure that the 2% per annum increase in council tax local authorities can now levy will deliver the money needed by hard-pressed adult social services. They have requested an urgent meeting with the Treasury to discuss these challenges.
'Must try harder' is RNHA verdict on chancellor's social care spending announcement
28th November, 2015
Nursing home leaders have given a mixed reaction to the Chancellor's Spending Review announcement of additional funds for social care, warning that the plans amount more to wishful thinking than to hard cash. Frank Ursell, chief executive officer of the RNHA, said that no presumptions could or should be made that local authorities would take the Chancellor up on his offer to allow them to put up council tax by 2% and raise funds for adult social care. "Many councils will think twice about putting up local taxes," he said. "So for the Chancellor to bandy about predictions of a possible £2 billion a year extra is a bit pie in the sky."
RNHA gives cautious welcome to signs that chancellor is planning to protect adult social care from further cuts
11th November, 2015
The RNHA has welcomed reports that Chancellor George Osborne is planning to protect services for older people from the draconian spending reductions planned for Whitehall departments, whilst warning that it is difficult to reconcile the priority expected to be given by the government to health and adult social care with the 'real terms' spending cuts that have already been felt by council social services. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Let us just say that we will believe it when we see it."
'Give care home providers a break' says the RNHA in reacting to proposed fees hike by the CQC
5th November, 2015
The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) proposed increases in the fees levied on care homes are disproportionate and unjustified in light of the current financial challenges affecting the adult social care sector, says the Registered Nursing Home Association. The RNHA, which represents nearly 1,000 care homes across the country, is calling on the CQC to reconsider both the scale and speed of what the association calls 'a misguided and potentially damaging fees hike'.
CQC discussion paper on future quality regulation
2nd November, 2015
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a 'discussion paper' about shaping the future of health and social care quality regulation. Entitled Building on Strong Foundations, it sets out a number of ideas for care providers and others to comment on - for example, inspecting services already found to be good or outstanding less frequently than others; and enabling care providers to submit more evidence about the quality of their services that could help CQC inspectors decide on the focus of their next inspection. Feedback received by the CQC will be reflected in a follow up consultation on its strategy in January 2016.
RNHA response to Lord Carter's suggestions on helping hospitals to speed up discharges
22nd October, 2015
A suggestion from government adviser Lord Carter that NHS hospitals should unblock beds by building their own care home facilities has been questioned by the RNHA, which says it would make more sense to use spare capacity in existing care homes or to ask those independent sector providers to expand their facilities or construct new ones. Commented chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "Independent care homes represent a much more cost-effective solution than keeping people in hospital longer than absolutely necessary. We suspect that an NHS care home would turn out to be a lot more expensive to run than a typical independent care home."
Addition of nurses to the shortage occupation list
19th October, 2015
The RNHA has welcomed the government's decision, announced on 15th October 2015, to make a temporary addition of nurses to the shortage occupation list. Chief executive officer Frank Ursell commented: "We are delighted that the government has recognised the realities of the situation, which we have been highlighting for many months. On behalf of our members, we shall press for nurses to remain on the shortage occupation list for the foreseeable future. They play a vital role in delivering services to older people in our care."
Government pressed to close funding gaps for adult social care
24th September, 2015
Providers and commissioners of social care are pressing the government to reverse the £4.6 billion cuts that adult social services have endured over the past five years, to bridge the even bigger shortfall in resources anticipated by 2020, and to plug an £8 billion gap in NHS funding over the same period. In a joint submission to the Spending Review 2015, the Care Provider Alliance and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services argue strongly for action to safeguard the quality, safety and sufficiency of social care.
Law Commission consultation on DoLS
25th August, 2015
The Law Commission is currently conducting a public consultation on proposals for reforming the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) process as it applies to people who lack mental capacity in care homes and hospitals. This follows criticism of the existing scheme as being overly bureaucratic, and a House of Lords Select Committee report that described DoLS as 'not fit for purpose'. Provisionally, the Law Commission consultation document proposes a new system to be called 'Protective Care', with safeguards being determined in future with the minimum of bureaucracy by Approved Mental Capacity Professionals. The deadline for comments is 2nd November 2015.
RNHA welcomes move to cut red tape that diverts staff from care to paperwork
21st August, 2015
The RNHA has welcomed an announcement by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, that the government will be seeking to cut red tape that unnecessarily diverts care staff from looking after patients. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "We are pleased to hear from the Business Secretary that he recognises the negative impact made on care homes when different public agencies keep asking for basically the same information."
RNHA says care assistants deserve more than the proposed national living wage
19th August, 2015
The RNHA says that, subject to the right level of funding being provided by central government and local authorities, care assistants working in nursing homes should be paid more than the proposed national living wage of £7.20 an hour when it is introduced next April. Commented RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "We have believed for many years that care assistants are underpaid for the work they do and for the responsibility they carry in looking after some of the country's most vulnerable and dependent people."
RNHA describes delay in introduction of cap on care costs as 'a double-edged sword'
17th August, 2015
As the dust settles on George Osbourne's budget announcements for 2015/16, the RNHA has responded to the government's decision to postpone the proposed cap on individuals' care costs until 2020. Describing the postponement as a 'double edged sword', RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said there had been serious concerns about whether sufficient government funding would be in place to enable the scheme to be introduced smoothly and efficiently from April 2016. But, he warned, the four year delay in its introduction will now oblige many people to continue to meet all or most care costs out of their own pockets.
RNHA welcomes chief inspector's comments on social care funding
13th August, 2015
The RNHA has welcomed comments by the Care Quality Commission's chief inspector of adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe, about the importance of adequate funding in enabling nursing homes and other care providers to deliver good quality care. Said RNHA chief executive officer, Frank Ursell: "Quite rightly, Mrs Sutcliffe has reminded the local authorities who commission social care that they need to understand what the true cost of care is, what true quality looks like and to make sure that providers are given the necessary funding to achieve expected standards."
Care Minister asks Law Commission to accelerate review of DoLS legislation
23rd June, 2015
Responding to MPs' requests for Government action, Care Minister Alistair Burt said in a recent House of Commons debate that he had asked the Law Commission to complete its review of DoLs legislation by the end of 2016 rather than the summer of 2017. This, he explained, was in the light of mounting criticism of a tenfold increase in DoLs cases since the Cheshire West case. MPs relayed the concerns expressed to them by local authorities struggling to cope with the consequences, and by relatives of care home residents who are now treated when they die as though they had died in 'state detention'.
RNHA supports Care Home Open Day
19th June, 2015
Nursing homes across the country are preparing to receive many more visitors than usual today (19th June) as part of the national Care Home Open Day. The RNHA believes the initiative - now in its third year - gives people a chance to see for themselves how their community's most vulnerable older residents are cared for by dedicated teams of nurses, care workers, caterers and domestic staff. Said RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell: "We hope very much that individuals unfamiliar with their work and ethos will come in for an hour or so to interact with both residents and staff. It is also a very good way to dispel some of the myths and misperceptions about adult social care."
Head office renamed Derek Whittaker House
10th June, 2015
The RNHA's head office in Birmingham has been renamed Derek Whittaker House in honour of its former chairman and current vice president. Derek has been an RNHA member for around 40 years, having joined the association as long ago as 1974. He became a member of the governing body in 1982, serving as vice chairman from 1992 to 1994 and chairman from 1994 to 1998, when he was appointed vice president and received the RNHA's first ever 'lifetime achievement' award. Changing the name of the head office is further recognition of the contribution he has made to the RNHA over many years. Collectively, the RNHA says: "Thank you, Derek, for everything you have done to promote the association and the cause of nursing home care."
Call for action plan to rescue adult social care from the mire
5th June, 2015
The RNHA has added its voice to the pleas directed at central government from the GMB union and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to pump additional funds into the council budgets that pay for vulnerable older people's places in care homes. RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said: "When the trade union representing care workers and the bosses of social services are both singing from the same hymn sheet, and when both are telling ministers that there is a crisis hanging over adult social care because of the draconian cuts to services that are still being inflicted, the penny must surely drop somewhere in Westminster and Whitehall."
Nursing home leaders call for more spending on the elderly and people with mental health problems and learning disabilities
28th April, 2015
Speaking ahead of a major conference of care home owners and managers from the south west of England in Exeter RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell called on the next government to spend more on meeting the needs of older people and those with mental health problems and learning disabilities as 'a matter of the utmost priority'. He said: "The past five years have seen 'real terms' cuts in public spending on vital services. We need the new government to reflect long and hard on what those pressures have done to the services that many thousands of people rely on. Ministers and MPs alike should stop and ask themselves what level of care they would expect for themselves and their own families."
RNHA calls on candidates to sign up to five pledges
20th April, 2015
The RNHA believes the level of priority politicians give to the country's older citizens says a lot about the kind of society we live in. Candidates in the general election are being sent an RNHA election briefing with a list of five pledges for them to sign up to, as well as a card containing 20 key facts about nursing homes and the vital role they play in the care of the elderly.
Increase in NHS contribution to the cost of nursing care
30th March, 2015
The NHS contribution towards the costs of a place in a care home with nursing is being increased by 1% for 2015/16, the Department of Health has announced. From 1 April 2015, the rates for eligible care home residents assessed to require the help of a registered nurse will be £112.00 per week (standard rate) and £154.14 per week (higher rate). When NHS-funded nursing care was introduced in October 2001, the Department of Health made a commitment to regularly reassess the payment attached to the banding. It says that these latest increases are in line with the increase in NHS nursing staff pay of 1% for 2015/16.

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