Held at Crossroads Care Home 6th February 2019
These are notes (not minutes) and reflect the opinions and understandings of those present
Mary chaired the Forum.
A discussion took place around the CMA’s (Competition and Markets Authority) advice to help care homes understand their responsibilities under consumer protection law, issued in November 2018. It is hoped that the Council have factored this into their new contract proposals. The CMA’s advice is available at Care Homes Full Guidance for Providers
It was highlighted that the advice in an interpretation of current law and all Providers are already bound by this.
Royds Withy King have previously offered to support Providers in Cornwall in reviewing their own contracts. For more info on this, Mei-Ling Huang, Partner at Royds Withy King, can be contacted on 01225 730100.
It was noted that the advice indicates that Providers can charge for up to 3 days after a resident’s death and it will be interesting to see if this is referenced within the Council’s contract when it is circulated.
Mary informed the meeting that Kate Alcock had been in touch that morning with an update on the situation. It has been indicated that an interim one-year contract will be issued shortly, based on last year’s contract, but with some of our comments and recommendations included. This will only apply to the Council, not Health, with a joint contract expected for 2020.
Kate expects letters to be sent to Providers within the next week or so and is likely to include a requirement to pay the Living Wage Foundation rate, although Kate could not yet confirm this. There will be a 4-week consultation period, including 3 Provider engagement events.
It was mentioned that the sector is still waiting to hear on any inflationary uplift.
CPIC met with the Council to provide input into a Loan Equipment Contract. After providing feedback at the meeting, we are waiting on a redraft document to share with the sector.
A discussion took place around clearing rooms after death. Providers have a varied approach, but it was highlighted that under CMA’s advice, Provider cannot charge for the room beyond 10 days after death.
Providers should have received an email from the Council regarding Gross Payments. It is expected that Gross Payments will mean full payment from day 1, with the Council recovering fees from the client.
A discussion took place around including call bell records as part of the dependency assessments. For one Provider, this has proven very useful in demonstrating dependency and helping with fee setting.The meeting was asked for some feedback from the Red Bag Scheme.
The meeting discussed flu vaccine uptake amongst staff. The consensus was that staff are always made aware of the opportunity and the levels of encouragement thereafter stems largely from the owner/manager’s personal views on the subject. One owner openly stated that they didn’t believe in it, so they do not push it too hard with their staff. Another reported that the vaccines are “already advertised enough”.
Without leadership from the top, there is no desire to encourage staff to get vaccinated. Nor is there always the desire to record data, so many Providers are not aware of the uptake amongst their staff. I would suggest that the primary target for some myth busting activity should be the owner/managers, although I do recognise that these will also be the hardest nuts to crack.Reporting on feedback from individual Providers;
One Provider also reported a situation where a member of staff was refused their vaccine at Boots, but this seems to have been a very isolated incident.
The meeting discussed Brexit and Providers present indicated that no staff losses are expected due to Brexit. It was noted that there is likely to be a knock-on effect that other industries, such as hospitality, losing staff could place additional demand on an already limited workforce.
Following the Proud to Care event, Providers report no change to recruitment. It was noted that while the event was good for raising positive awareness of the care, it did not focus on recruitment.
Mary reported via the End of Life Strategy Board that verification of deaths is not going to happen for Care Homes, although it was not clear what will happen with unexpected deaths in Nursing Homes. It was highlighted that the sector needs this confirmed in writing.
One Provider reported that an ambulance crew stood the Police down for an unexpected death as it was not suspicious. Action: Richard to check with the Police to get guidance on their policy in situations like these.
The meeting closed at 12:00