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Helping our Nurses with Revalidation

Revalidation is the new online process that all nurses and midwives in the UK need to follow to maintain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Launched in April 2016, the new revalidation process is aimed at being straightforward and will help you as a nurse demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively. It will encourage you to reflect on the role of the Code in your practice and demonstrate that you are 'living' the standards set out within it. You will need to revalidate every three years to renew your registration.

Routes Healthcare have developed an enviable reputation for delivering a high standard of care and our staff are a key part of this. As part of this we are always on hand to assist our staff with any training and development requirements - including Revalidation.

We fully support our nurses throughout the Revalidation process. Our Head of Clinical Governance, Cath Townley, will carry out regular supervised clinical assessments at least 4 times a year with our nurses, we will then provide relevant feedback from these sessions. Once it is time for you to complete the revalidation process, we will be there with you every step of the way – ensuring you have all the relevant information and evidence to ensure the process is as straightforward and simple as possible.

Jane White, one of our Registered Nurses, completed her Revalidation with our support this week.

She quoted “without the support from Routes Healthcare I might have considered lapsing my nursing registration. The process was much simpler than I had imagined and I can’t thank Cath enough for her guidance and support”.

 For more information on Routes Healthcare and Revalidation, please contact our Clinical Governance department on 0161 207 7027. 

Posted by: Sharon Tither on July 18th, 2016 @ 1:25 PM
Tagged with: Health and Social Care, Nurse, nursing, registered nurse, revalidation, training

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Care services facing cuts this year

Care services are facing cuts this year as rises in council tax have failed to plug the gaps in budgets in England, town hall chiefs are warning.

The government allowed councils to increase council tax by 2% this year to spend on care - and most have done so. But, according to a survey of all 151 social care directors, there is still a shortfall of nearly £1bn.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said councils had no option but to reduce the services.

Directors in charge of care for older people and adults with disabilities indicated in the annual survey only about half of this shortfall could be met by efficiency savings. Instead, they said, 39% of the shortfall would have to be covered by cuts to services, with those provided to the elderly most at risk.

This could lead to day centres being closed, fewer hours of help being provided in people's homes and an increase in rationing resulting in a cut in the number of people actually getting services, the ADASS said.

The rest of the savings will be met by other measures, such as increasing the fees people are charged - unlike with NHS services, people can be asked to make a contribution to the care they get.

ADASS president Harold Bodmer said: "We have been arguing for some time that adult social care needs to be given the same protection and investment as the NHS. Services are already being cut, and the outlook for future care is bleak. "We are at a tipping point where social care is in jeopardy."

What is Social Care?

  • Social care covers the services run by councils, although often provided by external companies, for the elderly and people with disabilities
  • It includes care homes, nursing homes and the support provided to people in their own homes, as well as day centres and meals-on-wheels services
  • The system is means-tested so only people with the least wealth get support - and even then they may be asked to contribute towards the cost of their care
  • The numbers getting help fell by 28% between 2009-10 and 2013-14, to 1.27 million
  • An estimated 1.5 million older people with care needs rely on family and friends for help

 To help protect social care in particular, Chancellor George Osborne gave permission to raise council tax by up to 2% if the income was to be used for care services. He said this would put the sector on a sound financial footing after years of budgets being squeezed.

But the ADASS survey indicates that despite 95% of local authorities raising council tax, there is still a shortfall in the budget. Directors said £13.8bn had been set aside for social care in 2016-17 - a 1.2% increase in cash terms on the previous year.

Another £5.9bn is expected to come in from other sources, such as fees people pay and the Better Care Fund, a separate pot of money largely funded by the NHS, to which councils have access. But that still leaves the sector £940m short, the survey indicates.

ADASS said this was because of the increasing pressures from the ageing population and the cost of meeting the National Living Wage, which was brought in in April and is estimated to cost councils more than £600m this year.

Richard Humphries, of the King's Fund think tank, said the findings should be of "huge concern".

But a Department of Health spokeswoman said the council tax precept would raise more money in time - local authorities can increase it by 2% each year this Parliament.

She added: "We know that protecting services while delivering the necessary efficiencies is challenging which is why we are working with local government to support councils to make savings."


Posted by: Sharon Tither on July 13th, 2016 @ 10:14 AM
Tagged with: care funding, care home, carer, elderly care, funding, social care

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Charity encourages families to talk about old age

Too many people avoid talking about getting old, particularly conversations about end-of-life care, suggests a survey by Independent Age, a charity for older people.

Two out of three adults aged over 65 in the study said they had never talked to their family about the issue. Independent Age have said that cuts to social care budgets mean it was more important than ever for families to talk about the future.

One in four over-65s said they were not planning to broach the subject at all. They also said they were not planning to discuss issues such as who would care for them and where they would live if they could no longer look after themselves.

Around 2,000 adults completed an online questionnaire for the research.

Although 82% of adults recognised it was important to talk to older relatives about issues of ageing, only a minority had actually had these conversations. There reasons for not taking about this topic tended to be because they didn't want to face up to the issue, didn't know how to start the conversation or didn't want to upset their relatives.

But the charity warned that families risked making rushed decisions about care, health, housing and financial matters if they didn't starting talking. It has launched a new online guide to help families broach the potentially difficult subject of ageing.

Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, said: "For many families, having these conversations will never be easy. For older people, it can mean facing the prospect of losing independence. For their relatives, it can mean facing the thought of losing a loved one or feeling overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility. But these are issues that only get more pressing with time. It is vital that families start talking about these issues now, so they're not left making important decisions at times of crisis or suddenly struggling to cope with significant caring responsibilities."

She added that an ageing population meant that fewer people were receiving care from local councils and were more reliant on informal care from family members.

It is estimated that the number of older people living with a disability will rise from 2.9 million to 4.8 million between 2015 and 2035. Over the same time period, the number of disabled older people receiving informal care is projected to increase from 2.2 million to 3.5 million.


Posted by: Sharon Tither on July 11st, 2016 @ 09:26 AM
Tagged with: care funding, care professionals, carer, charity, death, elderly care, End of life, health, Health and Social Care, healthcare, Research, social care, supporting

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NICE guidance on end of life care for children aims to end inconsistences in treatment

An estimated 40,000 children and young people are terminally ill in England. The quality of care they receive varies across the country. Draft guidance recently released from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) outlines what the best palliative care for children looks like. 

It emphasises the need for infants, children and young people to be treated as individuals and highlights the importance of children and their families being involved in decisions about care.
Dr Harrop, interim chair of the NICE guideline committee added: “This draft guideline sets out best practice for all those involved in palliative care, whether that be at home, in a hospice or in a hospital. I hope it will further embed the good practice in palliative care for which the UK is already renowned.”

Play and art as communication

It is key that children are given information in formats they can understand so NICE recommends using music, art and play. Play is ultimately fun and enjoyable for children and it offers opportunities for social, emotional and physical development. Music can have a profound effect on our mood, it can lift our spirits and calm our nerves.

Views of the child and family are vital

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman published a report in May 2015, which identified poor communication as a major contributing factor to people receiving poor palliative care in England.  Poor pain management, a delay in referrals and a failure to recognise when the person was in their final days are all highlighted in the report, which calls for people to be able to die with dignity.

Mrs Zoe Picton-Howell is a lay member of the NICE guideline committee, who lost her son Adam in March 2015, when he was 15. She said: "To me, my husband and our son Adam (when he was alive), the most helpful thing was to have healthcare professionals who took the time to listen to Adam.
When we worked together Adam got the best care possible, but if a member of the team thought they knew best and became uninterested in what Adam wanted, his care tended to be bad."

Clear communication is essential

All information should be tailored to children and young people. It should be age appropriate, presented in accessible language and any questions raised should be explored through art, music and play. Therapists might be able to use drawings and pictures to understand where the child would prefer to be cared for. Home is often assumed to be the place most children would prefer to die. However, if the child is in pain or is experiencing problems with their breathing, they maybe more comfortable in hospital receiving medical support.

For more information on these guidelines please visit the NICE website.

Posted by: Sharon Tither on July 6th, 2016 @ 10:49 AM
Tagged with: childcare, End of life, NICE

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Local councils to spend an extra £308m on adult social care services

This new revenue allows for increased flexibility as part of the historic local government finance settlement seeing spending increase by more than two per cent.

Communities secretary Greg Clark commented: “At a time when local authorities are playing their part in paying down the deficit, more than £300m extra will be invested this year to deliver high-quality adult social care services.

“Councils will have almost £200bn to spend on services over the lifetime of this Parliament and I’m pleased the vast majority are also making use of new flexibilities to prioritise the services people really care about.”

Local authorities are continuing to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers by keeping costs low and maintaining public satisfaction with services.

As part of the long-term local government finance settlement, local councils have nearly £200bn to allocated towards services over the lifetime of the current Parliament, including an extra £3.5bn for the care of older people and those who are vulnerable.

Up to £2bn worth of this funding will come from the new flexibility to introduce a two per cent ‘social care precept’ – the equivalent of £23 a year on an average Band D home in 2016 to 2017 – which will help local authorities to provide dedicated care services for the UK’s increasing older population.

An additional £1.5bn will be made available for councils to work with the NHS to ensure that care is available for older and vulnerable people, including after hospital treatment through the Better Care Fund.

It is anticipated that by the end of this decade, councils will be ‘self-sufficient’, funded by revenues they raise locally rather than central Government grants, giving them control over an additional £13bn of tax revenues.

For the three-years following 1 April 2016, local authorities are also able to spend any revenues they generate from selling surplus assets, including property or shares and bonds to fund the costs of improvements to essential services.

The figures reveal that local authorities are planning to raise more than £80m to reinvest in transforming existing services.

Read the full report here.

Posted by: Sharon Tither on July 4th, 2016 @ 10:31 AM
Tagged with: care funding, Health and Social Care, healthcare, social care


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