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Care home providers watch out: consumer watchdog raises concerns

Posted by , Partner

unfair contracts

At the end of last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began a formal market study into care homes for the elderly, to review how well the market works and if people are treated fairly. The study is focused on four key areas: choice of home, regulation of the sector, competition between providers and consumer protection issues.

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Government softens its position on sleep-in shifts

Posted by , Solicitor

In an eventful week for UK employment law, the Government’s press release on sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector comes hot on the heels of Tribunal fees being scrapped. This announcement marks a significant step to protect the viability and sustainability of the social care sector.

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CQC report on the state of adult social care – what do the findings show?

Posted by , Associate

Social care - CQC report

Since CQC rolled out its new inspection framework in 2014 it has inspected all 24,000 registered adult social care services. To mark the first complete round of inspections it has published a comprehensive report summarising the results and lessons learnt. We look at the findings, CQC’s areas of focus, and what care providers need to know.

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Phase 1 of the CQC consultation: changes providers need to know about

Posted by , Associate

Next phase

Following on from our article in March which looked at CQC’s next stage of regulation, Nicola Cutler considers the feedback that providers have given to the first round of consultation and offers some practical guidance about what has changed as a result.

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Challenging CQC reports: a guide to success

Posted by , Partner

Challenging CQC reports

Since the introduction of the Fundamental Standards and Ratings System in April 2015, it is clear that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is taking a firmer approach to inspections and regulation. Unsurprisingly we have seen a corresponding increase in the number of enquiries received from providers who wish to challenge the contents of their report. Here are my top tips on how to succeed with a challenge.

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More sleepless nights for care providers? The implications of the Mencap case on sleep-in shifts

Posted by , Partner

The recent case of Royal Mencap Society v Mrs Tomlinson-Blake (‘the Mencap case’) confirmed that sleep-in shifts in a care setting were ‘working time’ and subject to the National Minimum Wage/Living Wage.

The ruling is consistent with earlier judgments and was not unexpected. However, it was not the outcome care providers hoped for and the implications will cause significant concern to those who have not treated sleep-in shifts as working time.

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Social care bulletin | April 2017

Posted by , Partner

Welcome to the April edition of the monthly bulletins from our Social Care team.

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Spotlight on care home performance

Posted by , Associate

The social care sector is rarely out of the headlines and this week more column inches have been dedicated to a new report on care home performance, carried out by the charity Independent Age. It analyses published CQC data on care homes rated under the relatively new Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate inspection system.

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BBC’s Panorama highlights homecare crisis, or does it?

Posted by , Partner

Homecare funding crisis

It is well known that the social care sector is in the midst of a funding crisis due to punishing budget cuts and stagnant fee rates. CQC has publicly stated that the sector is “at tipping point”.

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Crack-down on service user contracts?

Posted by , Partner

The CMA (formerly the Office of Fair Trading) recently announced its intention to carry out a 12 month market study into care homes across the UK.

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Fees & funding in the care sector – could the crisis be averted?

Posted by , Partner

After six years of punishing budget cuts and stagnant or below inflation increases in local authority fee rates, the care sector is, as CQC states, “at tipping point”. If you are a provider who relies on local authority contracts, you could feel that you are at the sharp end of the funding crisis. 

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Does self-employed status pose a risk to social care providers?

Posted by , Partner

We are increasingly seeing domiciliary care and supported living providers engage workers on a ‘self-employed’ basis or via service or umbrella companies. What are the risks involved?

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