A new chapter for public services? Or the latest in a long line of teasers…

As the chancellor took to the dispatch box to pronounce on his first Spending Review, it was tweeted that the chamber emptied. MPs taking the opportunity to show their feelings for a curtailed spending review delivered in a fervent fluctuating environment.

Whilst MPs might have decided not to listen to the longer term plans of a government under fire, the rest of us tuned in – acknowledging that today’s announcements continue to matter – particularly those that relate to local government funding at this critical juncture in their budget setting and planning cycle.

As is increasingly the custom, much of the actual detail of the spending review had been pre launched. However, the figures for social care had been more speculative – so it was important to know the detail.

The figure announced was that local authorities would get an additional £1.5bn for social care.

But of course – as with all of these announcements – it is key to recognise that the detail reveal all. Firstly – I must acknowledge thanks to Richard Humphries at the Kings Fund for sharing the treasury text of the review. Helping to make it clear what the announcement actually means.

So very importantly – the actual detail is £1 billion on social care to go directly to authorities – but this is to be shared between adults and children.

Then the additional £0.5 billion, which is designated purely for adult social care, is to be raised via council tax precept which will require consultation and is in the gift of individual authorities as to whether or not they utilise this option. Not forgetting of course, that the challenge of precept raised income is that it does the least in the areas of the most need – i.e. where the ability to raise income from council tax is lowest.

This increase in funding was announced as being on top of the £2.5 billion of additional funding already allocated to social care. This implies that the pre-existing grants that have been added to the traditional social care settlement will continue. This is critical information, and provided at an exceptionally timely moment based on the announcements made by ADASS earlier in the week relating to the need for certainty to avoid the imminent decommissioning of services.

The Chancellor described this Spending Review as a new chapter for public services, and of course the announcements included much trailed additional funding for schools, police and health. Alongside an additional £2 billion for Brexit delivery next year.

However, what is also interesting is the hints at what might lie ahead in a future spending review (suspending the understanding of where we are in relation to stable government). Sajid Javid talked about how going forward there was a need for a new economic plan. The need to invest in economies that will grow and support the future of the UK. With this in mind, the need to cement the case for care as part of any economic powerhouse has never been more important. In research carried out in 2017-18 the economic contribution of adult social care to the UK economy was over £46 billion (£38 billion in England) – in comparison – for example to the £18 billion contribution of the car industry – or the £29.5 billion contribution of the cultural sector. This figure does not even acknowledge the £59 billion contribution recognised by the ONS in 2017 of unpaid carers. Therefore, we need to ensure that in any future government thinking, the contribution of the care sector to economic growth is front and centre of investment decisions. Particularly when the Chancellors speech focussed on the ‘need to prioritise investment in policies that deliver real productivity gains and boost economic growth in the long term’. Well, demography alone would suggest that this is one sector that is going to grow and grow in the long term.

In addition, the Chancellor noted the importance of infrastructure funding going forward. Again, there is the potential for some serious reframing of infrastructure to incorporate care. As flexible and home working models increase – the need for good quality transport and roads will remain. However, what will it be that really enables people to ‘get to work’? It will include having reliable, great care for their loved ones.

The final re-frame needed for the future is to move us out of the age old Cinderella syndrome experienced by social care. The Chancellor in his speech boldly stated ‘Health and Education aren’t just the names of departments – they’re lifelines of opportunities’. Well he is right – Health is not the name of a department – it is Health and Social care and it is vital that he and the Treasury recognise this. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors that this spending review continues not to recognise. Voices from across health and care have continued to state that it is impossible to have an effective health service without an effectively funded social care service.

The chancellor recognised in his speech that this was a short term plan for social care – describing it as down payment on the fundamental reforms to be set out in due course.

However, without this reform – it feels less like a new chapter for public services – rather a belated additional page to the same old story for social care – providing promise – but no happy ending…


NCF to support Motitech’s Road Worlds for Seniors 2019 Championship

Vic Rayner, the Executive Director of the National Care Forum (NCF) will join Kelly Hartley, manager of Cherry Garth, a Fremantle Trust care home, Buckinghamshire (and an NCF Rising Star) and Stian Lavik, Chief Business Officer at Motitech to host the launch of The Road Worlds for Seniors Championship later today, Monday 2nd September 2019.

The Road Worlds for Seniors 2019 Championship is a global activity programme for cycling within care homes and care centres that will take place throughout September alongside the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. It is supported by British Cycling, Sport England, Care England and NCF.

Vic Rayner said:
“The National Care Forum are delighted to be supporting this initiative…

The Road Worlds for Seniors 2019 cycling event is a fantastic example of the commitment towards active and engaging lives care homes embrace”

The Road Worlds for Seniors event sets the focus on physical activity for older people using its concept, Motiview, in which older people cycle through a choice of 1,700 locations on stationary bikes via a video projection that plays whilst the person pedals. The combination of exercise and visual stimulation increases activity levels in older people and gives them the opportunity to revisit familiar places from their childhoods and other important points in their lives.

This element of Motiview is especially important for those who live with dementia, as it provokes fond memories of familiar locations, such as their home town, or favourite holiday location, sparking conversations that bring the memories back to life. Everyone who participates will be rewarded for their efforts, with additional awards going to those who have cycled the furthest, and the care teams that have provided the best support.

If you have any questions relating to this press release please contact [email protected]

To learn more about Motitech’s Road Worlds for Seniors championship, click here: https://motitech.co.uk/road-worlds-for-seniors


Vic Rayner’s message of support:

The Somerset Care Group signs a 3-year contract with Altura Learning to transform L&D approach

The Somerset Care Group signs a 3-year contract with Altura Learning to transform L&D approach

The Somerset Care Group is one of the major care providers in Southern England and one of the largest not-for-profit care companies in the UK.

Recently, the Somerset Care Group has signed a 3-year contract with Altura Learning to help transform their approach to staff engagement, via mobile, anytime access to high quality learning – that was bespoke to their organisation.

The Group has over 3,500 staff across home care, care homes and disability services. By working with Altura Learning, the Somerset Care Group will be implementing the multi award winning Learning Management System (LMS) Bridge, across the whole organisation. The new LMS will allow the organisation to record, manage and report on their whole blended learning approach, creating their own bespoke online learning content to complement the content taken from Altura Learning.

The Somerset Care Group visited the WCS Care Innovation Hub to see a live demonstration of the learning platform Bridge, used by Altura Learning and delivered by Instructure, at an event organised in partnership with WCS Care and the National Care Forum (NCF).

Vic Rayner, Executive Director, the National Care Forum, commented, ‘I am delighted to hear that NCF member the Somerset Care Group is working with Altura Learning. Investment in the workforce is an absolute critical element of the delivery of high-quality care and we hear excellent things from NCF members who are already working with Altura Learning’.

Tommy Henderson-Reay, Digital Transformation Lead also at the National Care Forum, added, ‘nurturing a digitally confident and literate workforce is vital for social care providers. I am really pleased that the Somerset Care Group has thought about how they develop their workforce and meet their training needs. Altura Learning provides this support in an innovative way that is both high quality and digitally creative’.

Reviewing their training, the Somerset Care Group recognised that they also needed a flexible, cloud based, on-demand learning solution to complement their face-to-face training sessions, to provide a truly cutting edge, blended, high quality training solution.
Jess Henry, Head of OD and Learning and Development at the Somerset Care Group, remarked, ‘we needed to review our training process. We wanted tools to create our own bespoke online material, manage our face to face sessions, run webinars and survey learners. Altura Learning’s solution was the answer. We now have a wealth of best practice learning material at our fingertips’.

In the past 18 months, Altura Learning has moved 600+ care organisations and 100,000 care workers and managers on to the Bridge LMS. The Somerset Care Group is the latest organisation to implement Bridge into their organisation and to take the next step to innovating their approach to Learning and Development.

Bruce Adams, Head of Sales Europe, commented, ‘It’s fantastic to have the Somerset Care Group on board. Bridge is a truly best in class and innovative system. Couple this with the vision and drive of the team at the Somerset Care Group, who are committed to innovate and embrace technology to engage their staff in learning, it’s a perfect fit. Staff will benefit from bespoke, high quality, accessible learning which will continue to support the Somerset Care Group as a market and thought leader’.

To find out more about the Bridge learning platform, please visit: https://www.alturalearning.com/bridge-lms

NCF supports The Road Worlds for Seniors 2019

The National Care Forum is proud to support The Road Worlds for Seniors 2019 organised by our partner Motitech, the Norwegian company behind Motiview.

Motiview is a motivational tool that stimulates older people and people with dementia to be more physically and cognitively active.


Using an especially adapted indoor exercise bike, video and sound the participants, people living in care homes and visiting adult day care centres, take part in this annual, one-month event that coincides with the official UCI Road World Championships for professional cyclists from 22 – 29 September.

Many age-related disorders are caused by physical inactivity rather than age itself. That is why we try to build and facilitate a movement of focusing on physical activity and physical and mental wellbeing for older people and people with dementia, and the Road Worlds for Seniors is an important part of that campaign.

Through the Road Worlds for Seniors, Motitech want to emphasise that physical activity and sport is not only for the young and strong – it is for everybody and to change the focus on abilities instead of disabilities when it comes to older people living in care homes and people with dementia.

To motivate older people and people with dementia to be more physically active, the video and cycling concept Motiview is used. This allows the participants to cycle to videos from familiar streets and roads and childhood memories – as well as videos from their worldwide library. This stimulates physical exercise independently of functional levels – everybody can use it and experience the benefits of physical activity in this way. Motiview has been used for six years in the Nordics, and it has now been piloted in the United Kingdom together with Sport England and British Cycling.

As the official Road World Championships for professional cyclists is held in Yorkshire this year, Motitech have entered into a partnership with the British Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, British Cycling, Care England, National Care Forum, and others to make the Road Worlds for Seniors a grand event in this country as well. Last year, 2400 residents from care homes from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, United Kingdom, and Canada signed up for the championship.

Through the NCF Rising Star Programme, Motitech are now reaching out to care homes across the NCF membership and the nation, and the goal is to have about 2000 participants from care homes and users of adult day care centres from the UK taking part this year. They will be a part of this international championship and compete with thousands of others from the Nordics, Canada, Australia, and the US.

The championship has been run for two years already, and a lot of press coverage has sparkled in its wake, which aids in the process on focusing on this important issue. The aspiration is for the Road Worlds for Seniors to become the single largest sporting event in the world in number of participants, and we see this goal to be realistic to reach within a few years’ time.

This video shows some insights into the fun and joy around the Road Worlds for Seniors. Motitech exhibited at the NCF Annual Conference 2019 a highly successful and innovative event focusing on the Future of Care.


Great British Care Awards - 2019 Regional Awards - NOMINATE NOW!

New Regions for 2019 – Wales & Northern Ireland!

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout the UK and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. The purpose of the awards are to pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.


There are twenty one awards categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of the social care sector, whether it be older people or specialist services, residential or home care. From frontline staff such as care workers and care managers to people who have made an impact in other ways such as training and innovation.

The awards are all inclusive, bringing together the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, as well as unpaid carers; promoting joint working. Working in partnership with care partners and local care associations is at the heart of the initiative; working and linking directly with local managers and networks to further promote the event.

By nominating a colleague you will be supporting their dedication and commitment whilst also helping to raise the profile of the care sector as a whole.

“Being part of these awards is a huge privilege and pleasure. In amidst the negative press and focus on adult social care it is important to remember the hundreds of thousands of staff who give their all to ensure that those needing care and support receive it in a dignified, respectful and person centred fashion. Amongst the winners tonight we have some real shining stars who we rightly recognise both for their personal contribution, and for the positive light they create alongside the rest of the dedicated and professional workforce.”

Vic Rayner, Executive Director, National Care Forum

Nominations for this year’s Regional Awards close 31st August 2019

It’s time to take part in Social Care Reward 2019-20: Pay, Terms and Conditions Survey


It’s time to take part in Social Care Reward 2019-20: Pay, Terms and Conditions Survey

Join Agenda Consulting’s annual study exclusively for the social care sector, measuring basic pay, enhanced pay, and benefits for 29 front-line roles.

Covering 9 English regions, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, track your changes over time, and benchmark with your choice of organisations.

As an NCF member, participation is free-of-charge, so sign up today to be part of the study.

In addition, you’ll be able to complete NCF’s Personnel Survey, which is now part of the Social Care Reward study.

Lots of organisations have already signed up, why not join them?

If you’re new to the study and want to see what information is gathered, please download the Social Care Reward – Mini Report, which gives you a good idea of the report structure.

Alternatively, to sign up to Social Care Reward 2019-20, please click the link below:

Sign-up to Social Care Reward and NCF Personnel Survey >>>

Watch the video to find out more:

#GladtoCare Competition highlights importance of reminiscence therapy for people living with dementia

#GladtoCare Competition highlights importance of reminiscence therapy for people living with dementia

Care homes from across the UK are being invited to take part in the #GladtoCare competition designed to capture residents’ favourite memories and is being run by Person Centred Software with support from InteractiveMe and Sporting Memories.

In June 2019, NICE updated its quality standard on dementia to include the recommendation that people with dementia should be offered activities that can help promote wellbeing, which includes reminiscence therapy.

Reminiscence is recalling past events and experiences and is used as therapy for people with dementia. It may involve recalling experiences, sharing photos of family or positive events in the past. Reminiscence therapy has been shown to reduce aggression and challenging behaviour. As people with dementia have problems with short-term memory, but not long-term memory, reminiscence can give them a sense of competence and confidence through using a skill they still have.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “People with dementia can find it harder to take part in activities, to engage socially, to maintain their independence, to communicate effectively, to feel in control and to care for themselves. Providing enjoyable and health-enhancing activities like music or reminiscence therapy can help with this.”

This year’s #GladtoCare competition theme is Favourite Memories. To enter the competition, care staff are invited to chat with residents about their favourite memories and simply enter their favourite memory on a dedicated page on Person Centred Software’s website at www.personcentredsoftware.com/gladtocare. Care staff can submit a favourite memory entry for every resident in their care home.

The prizes are a tablet and three InteractiveMe profiles for a care home and a Sporting Memories Care Settings Package for the runner up.

InteractiveMe provides an Occupational Therapy service and bespoke app to enhance mental stimulation and evidence one-to-one engagement with care home residents. Sporting Memories is a community-based sport and physical activity project to help tackle people’s dementia, depression and loneliness using the power of sporting reminiscence.

The competition closes at midnight on 31 October 2019 and the winning entry will be selected by a panel of judges from the social care sector including Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England.

Person Centred Software provides an electronic care planning and evidence of care system, Mobile Care Monitoring, to over 1,200 care homes in the UK. In March 2019, Person Centred Software launched a new ‘Who I Am’ feature to enable staff to provide a more responsive and personalised quality of care for residents living with dementia and improve their quality of life. As dementia diagnoses rise, dementia care in residential care settings is becoming increasingly important.

Further details about the #GladtoCare competition including full entry details and Terms and Conditions can be found on the #GladtoCare competition page at: www.personcentredsoftware.com/gladtocare