It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
The lack of government funding for social care is once again a headline topic and the pressure to fill the funding gap continues to fall on private (and often vulnerable) payers. Questions are now being asked about whether those individuals are being provided value for money or falling victim to emotional pressures and entering into unfair contracts. The CMA is aware that “the need to find a care home can come at a distressing time” and has already flagged issues of concern where residents may have experienced:
- unexplained or ‘hidden’ charges;
- unexpected fee increases;
- confusing requests for ‘top-up’ payments; and
- a failure to deal with complaints fairly.
We’re likely to see commentary around the appropriateness of deposit protection schemes (which don’t apply to care home residents unless they have an assured shorthold tenancy), additional costs for hospital visits, chiropody or group activities and charging 100% fees when a resident is absent for a period of time e.g. in hospital.
If you haven’t already considered your care contracts in light of the Act, now is the time to review your standard terms and understand your customers’ expectations.
The good news is that “the market study will also evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers. It will also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.” We know that our clients have lots to say on local authorities’ market shaping duties and you can respond to the market study here.
For more information
 On Friday 2 December 2016 - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-launches-review-of-uk-care-and-nursing-homes
As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
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