Autumn Budget 2018 - what it means for healthcare

Philip Hammond, who has announced the Autumn Budget

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced the government’s Autumn Budget. He promised: “A budget for hard working families who live their lives far from this place and care little for the twists and turns of Westminster politics.”

Over the past year, Brexit has affected the workforce as many European staff feel their future is uncertain, and the number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England dropped by 92% following the 2016 referendum (see

New Care Home Opens, Bringing 50 Jobs to Edinburgh

Edinburgh care home interior

Edinburgh’s newest and finest care home has officially opened its doors and welcomed its first residents.

The much-anticipated Cramond Residence offers 74 luxury en-suite bedrooms and provides the highest quality person-centred nursing care for older people in the capital.

Now, having filled a number of key positions before opening, the Residence is recruiting for a further 50 roles, including care assistants (SVQ2 and above), team leaders, nurses, laundry and domestic staff, and food service assistants.

Abbotswood Court Care Home To Celebrate Community Volunteers

Abbotswood Care Home Staff

Abbotswood Court care home is working with the voluntary sector support organisation, Unity, to celebrate volunteers making a significant contribution to charities and community groups across the Test Valley.

Recognising volunteers that show commitment, consistency, and dedication with an “over and above” attitude in the face of adversity, the Unity Volunteer Awards 2018 are set to take place on Friday 23rd November at the Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge. This year, the awards have been sponsored by Cinnamon Care Collection’s Romsey-based care home, Abbotswood Court, which will be commending the Test Valley’s “Unsung” Heroes of volunteering.

Avalon Nursing Home - Celebrating Those Who Have Gone Before

Avalon Nursing Home memorial dove

Residents, families, friends and staff of Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater have come together to celebrate the lives of loved ones at the home’s yearly memorial service. 

In preparation for the occasion, those planning to attend were invited to write names, and memories or quotes on wooden doves in memory of loved ones, to hang on a tree in the garden of the home. 

Sarah Biffen from H Biffens & Sons funeral directors, opened the service with a poem before inviting everyone outside into the garden. 

In warm autumn sunshine, the doves were then placed in the branches of a tree, and Sarah led a touching service in the open air before bringing proceedings to a close with another poem.  

Gracewell of Ascot Celebrates Grand Opening

Gracewell of Ascot Celebrates Grand Opening

The red carpet was rolled out for the grand opening of new care home, Gracewell of Ascot, on Thursday 4th October.

The care home, on Burleigh Road, will offer high quality, personalised nursing, residential and dementia care to older people right in the heart of the local community. To celebrate its opening, Gracewell of Ascot was delighted to host a very special launch event.

The celebration saw the welcoming of VIP guests including High Sheriff of Berkshire Graham Barker, Deputy Mayor Colin Rayner and Alan Carr MBE. Residents, local members of the community and health care professionals were also in attendance to enjoy the festivities, prosecco and delicious canapés.

CQC outlines proposed regulatory fees for providers from next April

CQC logo

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its consultation on the fees that it proposes to charge providers in 2019/20.
The proposals follow the plans CQC set out to continue to meet the Treasury’s requirement to recover its chargeable costs in full from providers. 

CQC will analyse the feedback from this consultation to prepare a response and a final fees scheme to recommend to the Secretary of State, whose consent is required to implement the scheme from 1 April 2019.

CQC will continue to look carefully at its costs, and to demonstrate that it is fair, efficient, effective and proportionate. CQC’s budget, in relation to the overall spending on health and adult social care in England, remains at 0.16%.

Mawdesley Care home’s wear it pink day for breast cancer charity

wear it pink day for breast cancer charity

All shades of pink was proudly worn at a Mawdesley care home as they marked Wear It Pink Day – which raises awareness and funds to battle breast cancer.

Wear it Pink is one of Breast Cancer Now’s biggest fundraising events – a single day when thousands of amazing people come together in work places, schools, homes and communities across the UK to wear pink, raise money and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.

The staff and residents all wore an item of pink clothing, of their choice and baked cakes and savouries were sold to raise extra funds.

WW2 exhibits bring back memories for veteran Jimmy

veteran Jimmy at WW2 exhibit

A SECOND World War Merchant Navy veteran took a walk down memory lane when he visited South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Veteran Jimmy Mahoney, 95, was visiting the museum with fellow residents from Willowdene Care Home, in Hebburn, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

After entering an exhibit of a kitchen and sleeping quarters for crewmen during the War, he recalled memories from his time in the Merchant Navy.

He left school at 14 and joined as a cabin boy, prior to the start of the Second World War, and eventually worked his up to deck hand.

When asked by a member of the care home staff if the sleeping quarters were comfortable, Jimmy said: “It didn’t matter. You were so tired you just wanted to go to sleep.”

Islamic community group organise special lunch for elderly


TEESSIDE care home residents received a special invitation to the Islamic Diversity Centre North East community lunch.


The event was organised specifically for Teesside’s elderly, with stalls and talks from Ageing Better Middlesbrough and Cleveland Police as well as members of the IDC.


Residents from The Gables Care Home, in Middlesbrough, were among the guests, who were also treated to craft activities and puzzles during the lunch.


Resident Ivy Artly said: “I have never eaten pizza before but it was nice.


“I liked to talk to the different people that were there and I really enjoyed the chocolate donuts for pudding.”


Mamma Mia 2 has elderly dancing in cinema aisles 

Residents at Mamma Mia 2

A CINEMA turned into a dance hall for elderly care home residents during a dementia friendly screening of hit musical Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Residents from Waverley Lodge Care Home, in Lemington, leapt out of their seats during one of the film’s climactic hits to strut their stuff in the aisles.

The screening specifically for those with dementia was the first of its kind at the Metrocentre, in Gateshead.

Michelle Park, activities coordinator at Waverley Lodge Care Home, said: “Our residents were dancing in the aisles to Dancing Queen – they absolutely loved it. 

Rugby veteran George inspires young players

Rugby veteran George

Rugby veteran George Williams has been inspiring Widnes Vikings under 19s players with stories from his playing days in the 1940s.

The 85-year-old founding player for West Park St Helens RFC recalled his time on the field both during and after the Second World War.

George’s team was formerly established in 1947, but previous matches had been played under the title “Catholic Grammar School Old Boys”.

Having played Rugby since the age of 6 at St Theresa’s Primary School, in St Helens, he then joined his high school team at West Park Grammar School from 1944 to 1949, which became West Park St Helens RFC.

Care UK secures its fourth outstanding rating from CQC

Care UK secures its fourth outstanding rating from CQC

Perry Manor care home in Worcestershire has become Care UK’s fourth home to secure an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission.

The home opened in 2014 has places for around 80 residents and is the first older people’s care home in Worcestershire to be rated as outstanding.  One of the five areas inspectors gave the highest rating was for leadership - which is spearheaded by home manager, Katherine Matthews. In the report, one relative mentioned: “I cannot praise or thank the team enough. They are shining examples of outstanding, exemplary care. Much of this comes down to leadership and I am indebted hugely to Katherine and her team.”

Care Staff Complete Memory Walk

Staff on Memory Walk

Borough Care staff Executive Team at Borough recently took part in an Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, which took place at more people taking part Heaton Park in Manchester. The group of 12, along with one of the team’s dog, walked a total of 7km around the park. So far, the group has raised over £500 for Alzheimer’s Society. Alzheimer’s Society is a charity for anyone affected by dementia.

Borough Care is the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport. The company has over 20 years of experience supporting people with dementia.

Winter Funding: is £240 too little, too late?

Woman cold in winter

Health secretary Matt Hancock recently announced that an emergency £240million fund would be ploughed into social care to free up beds this winter. 

Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund, responded, saying, “After a punishing summer of heatwaves and ever-increasing demands on services, the NHS is heading for another tough winter.

“Widespread and growing nursing shortages now risk becoming a national emergency and are symptomatic of a long-term failure in workforce planning, which has been exacerbated by the impact of Brexit and short-sighted immigration policies.

World Diabetes Day – 14 November 2018

World Diabetes Day – 14 November 2018

World Diabetes Day is a global campaign which was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation and takes place on the 14th November every year (the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922).

The theme for this year and 2019 is 'The Family and Diabetes'. One in every two people with diabetes is undiagnosed. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications. Find out more, including ideas of how to participate, at

Care home provider in court over alleged sexual abuse of resident

Care home rape - a door into a room

The CQC is taking a care provider to court this week over alleged sex attacks at one of its homes.

In July 2017, it was reported that Hillgreen Care Limited found a 28-year-old known sex offender, one of its residents at the home in Colne Road, Enfield, in the room of a 23-year-old male. The victim, a severely disabled autistic man, had allegedly been raped by the man who had been left unsupervised despite being a high-risk resident. The alleged attacker is currently serving a jail term for the rape of a 14-year-old girl, and the Crown Prosecution Service said he will not be prosecuted over the care home incident due to a lack of evidence. 

It's Time To Be Bold When It Comes To Attracting Younger Talent

Younger care home assistant with resident

It is no secret that there is a recruitment crisis within the social care sector and recent statistics suggest that one million new care workers are needed by 2025 to cope with the ageing population.

Statistics show that currently, 800,000 young people are not employed or in education2, and evidence suggests that by attracting these young people to apply for a role within your care setting, it can bring new, fresh ideas and different perspectives on caring for others as well as helping to plug this gap. 

However, there seems to be a stigma around working in care which is preventing younger people from applying for roles, this could be due to the lack of awareness and education around the career path available within care homes. This stigma really needs to go!

Healthcare to benefit from recruitment acquisition 

Healthcare to benefit from recruitment acquisition 

Healthcare and medical organisations will benefit from the recent acquisition of Affinity Workforce by CRG, a UK leader in the healthcare and social care staff market. The acquisition on the 11th October brings infrastructure, scale and expertise to the market, enabling quicker and more cost-effective access to permanent and temporary healthcare professionals, and excellent career opportunities for individuals.

As CRG's second acquisition of the year in this sector, Affinity complements the impressive portfolio of businesses within CRG by incorporating the well-established brands of Team24 and Medicare First into their health and social care business.