Connect with us

Top Stories

To fix our broken social care system, we need to look closer to home.

Published

on

To fix our broken social care system, we need to look closer to home.

With a rapidly ageing population, this new government has to stimulate new solutions that can deliver the capacity we need.

By Pete Dowds, CEO of Elder

It is no secret that Britain’s care home industry is on a knife-edge. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) noted in its 2018 report the care home sector has an annual funding gap of £1bn. Over 450 providers have failed since 2010, and more will surely follow.

Time is of the essence to find a resolution that delivers and this new government can’t just focus on bailing out a broken system. An ageing population will only ratchet the current pressures. A 2017 study found there’s a need for 71,000 care home places by 2025.

Department of Health data shows care homes can’t respond to the demand in beds. With the best will in the world, the lead time of financing, building and staffing a care home renders the likelihood of meeting such demand unlikely at best.

Many providers are highly leveraged as a result of private equity groups coming into the sector hot in the early 2000s. Aggressive ‘leaseback’ agreements, by which companies opened, sold and leased back homes were often predicated on infeasible returns of 12% or higher.

The result of poor long-term financial planning has already spelt serious trouble for some of the sector’s biggest players, such as Southern Cross and Four Seasons. In macro terms, this has strained supply and impacted investment. In human terms, it has placed great stress on families as they struggle with not knowing whether the home their loved one is in will close.

This parlous financial state has a huge impact on the workforce  — often underpaid and under-appreciated. The National Audit Office has recently found staff turnover in the sector of 28% annually, with a vacancy rate up to three times other sectors. It’s no wonder. Half of care workers earn an average of just £14,625 per year. Luckily, they now have viable a way of staying in the vocation many simply love to be in.

Live-in care is where a carer moves into a recipient’s home, providing one-on-one care. Carers can earn between £550-750 per week. But the benefits don’t stop there. The NHS gains from a range of improved health outcomes, such as 33% reduction in the chances of having a fall, and those receiving care get to stay where they’re happiest; their own home.

This is while passing on a price to the family as little as £695 per week, significantly below the £846 per week the CMA identified as the average self-funder care home fee.

And, importantly for NHS and local authority budgets, live-in care is deliverable now. There’s no large capital investment or shovels in the ground. It’s scalable, sustainable social care that can rise to the historic challenges we’re now facing.

Boris Johnson has echoed the previous Prime Minister by hinting at reform of the social care system. Namely on funding. But any move has to consider the pressures on care homes, and incentivise take-up of alternative options. This can be done by igniting consideration of care options earlier.

A mandatory insurance scheme feels like it’s gaining momentum among policymakers, industry leaders and health care professionals. If this is to be the option, it needs to be implemented in a way that stimulates new solutions.

People should get to choose the type of care they want when they begin paying their premiums — whether in their home, a care home or another form of assisted living. This would make people aware of care home alternatives and ensure they’re more actively engaged in what is a crucial decision.

To include this option would be to revolutionise the sector. We grew by 500% last year, being named the UK’s third fastest-growing company, as more learn they’re able to avoid residential care.

The future of care is a story of personal choice. One of a diversified sector that is able to respond to the huge demand. One of sound finances and fair earnings. One where we look increasingly at community-based solutions. We now need this government to back this vision.

Top Stories

Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

Published

on

Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

Continue Reading

Top Stories

GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

Published

on

GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

Published

on

Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 4 Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 5
Top Stories5 hours ago

Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

By Colin Packham CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay...

GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 6 GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 7
Top Stories5 hours ago

GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical...

Optimising and Securing Device Management in a Corporate Environment 8 Optimising and Securing Device Management in a Corporate Environment 9
Technology5 hours ago

Optimising and Securing Device Management in a Corporate Environment

By Nadav Avni, Marketing Director at Radix Technologies The proliferation of digital devices used in every organisation has only grown...

Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 10 Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 11
Top Stories5 hours ago

Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses...

The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and retailers need to adapt 12 The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and retailers need to adapt 13
Business5 hours ago

The pandemic has changed consumer behaviour and retailers need to adapt

By Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of TAKUMI It’s no secret that the retail industry has been badly hit by the pandemic,...

2021: A year of digital enablement 14 2021: A year of digital enablement 15
Technology6 hours ago

2021: A year of digital enablement

By Peter O’Halloran, Vice President, Global Digital Commerce, Fiserv In 2021, digital innovation will continue to accelerate, allowing businesses to...

5 Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service in 2021 and Beyond 16 5 Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service in 2021 and Beyond 17
Business6 hours ago

5 Trends Driving the Future of Customer Service in 2021 and Beyond

By Matt McConnell, CEO of Intradiem 2020 ignited radical shifts for contact centre operations with the move to a remote...

World shares sink as bond yields, commodities surge 18 World shares sink as bond yields, commodities surge 19
Trading6 hours ago

World shares sink as bond yields, commodities surge

By Ritvik Carvalho LONDON (Reuters) – World shares sank on Monday as expectations for faster economic growth and inflation battered...

UK regulators need global 'competitiveness' remit, says UK Finance body 20 UK regulators need global 'competitiveness' remit, says UK Finance body 21
Top Stories6 hours ago

UK regulators need global ‘competitiveness’ remit, says UK Finance body

By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) – Keeping the City of London competitive should be an “across the board” objective for...

Creating a B2B lead generation strategy in the Covid economy 22 Creating a B2B lead generation strategy in the Covid economy 23
Business6 hours ago

Creating a B2B lead generation strategy in the Covid economy

By Petra Smith, Founder and Managing Director of marketing agency Squirrels&Bears The pandemic has transformed the relationship driven B2B environment in...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now