North West are urged to act lawfully when funding older people who
need nursing home care
LOCAL authorities in the
North West should make sure they have acted lawfully in setting the
fees they will pay for publicly funded nursing home residents over
the next 12 months.
This was a key message from the Registered Nursing Home
Association’s roadshow in Wilmslow, where care home owners, managers
and senior care staff gathered to debate the challenge of delivering
high quality services during a period of massive cost-cutting by
both central government and councils.
Delegates from across the region were told that 3 successful
judicial reviews mounted against local authorities in other parts of
the country; Pembrokeshire, Sefton and Leicestershire; had
established important precedents.
RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said the 3 cases had shown
that when councils decide how much they are willing to pay for
frail, elderly residents to be looked after 24 hours a day, they
have by law to take into account what it actually costs nursing
homes to provide the care that is needed.
The RNHA has urged nursing homes throughout the North West to be
vigilant in looking for possible lapses by councils in complying
with the required procedures for setting the fees they will pay in
"Councils have to consult their local care providers about fee
levels. They also have to look
closely at what it is actually costing nursing homes in their area
to deliver the necessary quality of care, and at the likely impact
of price rises and wage increases in the pipeline.” He
added:- “Councils cannot just decide to pay what they feel
like paying, and to claim that it is all they can afford. That is
not lawful. So we shall be asking nursing homes in Cheshire,
Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire to keep their eyes
peeled and to let us know if they suspect that councils are trying
to duck out of their responsibilities.
Ultimately, the quality of care depends on the level of funding
available, and since around two thirds of residents rely on council
funding for their places, any attempt by councils to freeze or cut
the amount they pay will have an automatic knock on effect on the
care provided to vulnerable older people." said Mr Ursell.
The RNHA is also calling on the families of older people in nursing
homes to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman if they think
that the cutbacks in council spending risk harming the level of
service provided to their loved ones in care.
Said Mr Ursell:- "We hope very much that councils in the North
West will lead the way in protecting services for older people. They
can do that by ensuring that their funding for 2012/13 properly
reflects the costs of delivering the care."
MERSEYSIDE Police have warned about a growing
number of bogus officials being reported to them. The offenders have
been calling at properties in some areas of Sefton posing as Water
Board officials. They are telling the householders they need to come
into their house to check to see if the water in the taps is running
a blue colour. This is a method these people are using to gain
access to homes. To protect yourself and your home from bogus
callers it is suggested you take the following precautions:-
LOCK:- Keep your front and back doors locked, even when you
are at home.
STOP:- Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting
anyone. Check that you have locked any back doors and taken the key
out. Look through the spyhole or a window to see who it is.
CHAIN:- If you decide to open the door, PUT THE CHAIN or BAR
ON FIRST. Keep the bar or chain on while talking to the person on
the doorstep. (Normally, when the door is shut and locked, leave the
bar or chain off in case of an emergency.
CHECK:- If someone who looks official calls at your door,
always do the following:-
► Ask for and carefully check their identity card, even if it they
have a prearranged appointment (all genuine callers will have ID).
► Do they look like the person on the card?
► If you have received a letter about the visit is
the name the same as that on the letter?
► If you are not expecting them and they have not
shown an identity card, do not let them in until you have
double-checked that the caller is genuine.
If, after these checks, you have any doubts about the caller,
especially if they came unannounced, tell them to call back later
when someone can be with you. You can also check by phoning the firm
they belong to. Look up the number in the phone book and check it
against the card the caller has given you. Do not be tempted just to
ring the number on the card as it may be a fake.
If in doubt KEEP THEM OUT.
Work starts on
£1.3m cancer centre refurbishment
THE £1.3m refurbishment and
extension to a cancer treatment centre for patients across north
Sefton and West Lancashire is under way.
Representatives of the 2 charities who gave £500,000 each towards
the cost of the work officially got started in a ceremony at
Southport and Formby District General Hospital.
Marina Dalglish, from the Marina Dalglish Appeal, and Fred
McClenaghan, from West Lancashire Community Hospice Association cut
the first sod on the work watched by Trust chairman Sir Ron Watson
CBE, Chief Executive Jonathan Parry, hospital staff and supporters,
including Marina’s husband, Liverpool FC manager Kenny.
"The donation by the charities is a magnificent gesture which
will be of huge benefit to patients and families who depend on the
skill and care of our staff." said Sir Ron.
The refurbishment will see the centre, known as the medical day
unit, significantly expanded in size internally as well as having a
semi-circular lounge extension added. It will create a light, airy
treatment space for patients, some of whom require up to eight hours
of chemotherapy at a time. There will also be new consulting rooms
and a more comfortable waiting area for patients.
"We are delighted to be involved in this project, particularly
as this is for the community in which Kenny and I live. I was astonished by how
many people use the unit when I visited last year. So, I know
patients will truly benefit from the significant improvements the
charities’ donations are making possible." said Marina, of Birkdale, Southport.
Hospice association chair Mr McClenaghan added:- "We are
delighted to be contributing on behalf of West Lancashire folk. Our
charity was established to support non-inpatient care and this
development compliments our funding of 'Queenscourt Hospice At Home'
as it is delivered in West Lancashire."
Demand for chemotherapy treatments has grown by up to 15% a year
since the medical day unit was last refurbished in 2005. This has
been driven by people living longer lives and a growth in new
treatments for cancer.
Southport Lions Club will also be contributing towards the cost of
Sister Julie Marshall, who has day-to-day responsibility for the
medical day unit, added:- “"The charities’ donations complement
more than £50,000 raised by the many fundraising events held by
friends and families of patients, from legacies left by them and
donations given in their memory.
Investment in the unit also means we can continue to treat more
people locally rather than them facing long journeys to specialist
Patients will continue to be treated in the present medical day unit
until Friday 18 May when treatment will be split temporarily between
Southport and Ormskirk hospitals.
Patients who attend clinics run by Clatterbridge Cancer Centre staff
will be seen in Ward B at Ormskirk hospital. Everyone else will be
treated in the former Ward 11a on the first floor at Southport
All patients will return to the refurbished unit when the work is
complete in November.