Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Leeds’ plans to improve standards of residential care for older people

Proposals to implement a brand new approach to local authority funded residential and nursing placements for older people in Leeds, were well received by the council’s executive board today.

The new five year deal will ensure that all nursing and residential care homes that are awarded a contract with Leeds City Council provide consistently high standards of quality and care. They will also operate to a new fee structure, which has been designed following extensive work to establish the costs of providing care to older, vulnerable people.

The fees that are currently paid to providers have always been negotiated on an individual basis, which is time consuming for both the council and each of the homes. In addition to this, the range of fees across the city varies greatly. The council was also mindful of the problems created by the collapse of the Southern Cross organisation and keen to put arrangements in place to avoid the same happening in Leeds in the future.

Last September executive board gave the go ahead for an advisory board to be set up with the aim of overseeing the creation of a long term, sustainable fee and quality framework for publicly funded residents. This was in response to research indicating that the range of fees that Leeds City Council were paying to independent residential and nursing care providers was too great and that some fees were too high, and not in line with the quality of care provided.

Since then, extensive work has taken place with representatives from care homes, service users/relatives, older people who may use the services in the future, NHS colleagues and representatives from groups with an interest in delivering high quality care for older people in the city.
Consultation events and working groups were also held in order to make sure that providers had every opportunity to be involved in the development stage and comment on the quality framework standards and service specification as it took shape.

The executive board report sets out the proposed quality measures that each care or nursing home that is successful in their tender submission will adhere to. There will be eleven standards and the adult social care commissioning team will assess each provider against these. Standards of quality, care and financial security will determine whether providers achieve a core standard or enhanced fee.

The aim of the new fee structure is to put in place a long term, fair and equitable framework that takes into account the future financial circumstances of the local authority and provides a sustainable market for providers of good quality care in the city.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member for adult social care said:
"It is our aim for older people in Leeds to have better lives, and this new framework will have a positive effect on standards of residential care in the city.

“We have been working closely with independent care home providers with the shared aim of making sure that the residential and nursing care market in Leeds continues to be stable.

"Not only will the proposed fee structure provide stability to the council throughout the life of the five year contracts, it will also offer peace of mind to relatives of people in residential care that they will not be asked to pay more for that care through a third party top up. Any savings made by the council through the new arrangements will be reinvested into adult social care services.

"The quality framework will help to drive up standards in the sector, and this will benefit our current customers and also those in the future."

Sandie Keene, director of adult social services in Leeds said:
“We have worked hard with our independent sector care home partners to agree a new quality and fee framework, which has been designed to provide stability and incentivise the sector in Leeds for the foreseeable future.

“I would like to thank the care home providers for engaging in this process, and for their input to developing a quality framework that will continue to improve the standard of care that is provided for vulnerable, older people in Leeds.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Pupils get plaudits for perfect prose

"Pupils from Harehills Primary School choir entertain the guests at the Arooj creative writing awards ceremony."

"Poets and authors of the future - the winners of the Arooj creative writing comptition"

"Pupils from Carr Manor Primary school performing a Bollywood dance at the Arooj ceremony."

Pupils who have been taking part in a creative writing competition were awarded for their poetic and literary efforts at a civic ceremony yesterday.

Hundreds of children from primary schools across the city submitted entries into the Arooj creative writing competition, with 34 pupils being short listed as potential winners. The winner in each category was announced yesterday (Tuesday 19 June), at a special ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall.

The competition, organised by Leeds City Council’s Equalities and Entitlement team, is part of a project which aims to increase attainment in pupils of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage and is open to all primary aged pupils in Leeds. The aim of the Arooj project is to work closely with the 12 primary schools with the largest populations of these pupils, to help to close the gap in attainment.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Anne Castle, ward members and poet John Siddique presented the awards to winners and highly commended pupils in each category. The winners received a personalised book and a special notebook to encourage their writing talents, highly commended entries all received a personalised book.

Entertainment was provided by pupils from schools involved in the Arooj project, including singing, dancing and poetry recitals. John Siddique, a renowned Yorkshire author who has worked with the pupils during the year will also recite poetry which the audience was encouraged to participate in.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children’s services said:
“Well done to everyone who entered the competition, the standard was extremely high and reading some of the poems it is difficult to believe they were written by primary school pupils, which is a credit to the pupils, schools and project leaders.

“We want all children in Leeds to perform to the best of their ability. Projects like this make education fun, interesting and relevant for pupils whose attainment and attendance may be low, and encourages them to look at their own heritage and community as a source of creativity.”

Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage pupils are the largest ethnic minority group in Leeds comprising 6% of the total school population. However attainment levels for these pupils remains below their peers both in Leeds and nationally.

The Equalities and Entitlement team have developed a creative curriculum project with a focus on Muslim heritage, which has had a dramatic impact in terms of engagement and motivation of pupils and parents as well as increasing attainment and attendance.

The team has also been developing school to school support between the 12 schools involved in the project so that they can benefit from each other’s expertise.

The winners in each caregory are were:
KS1 (5-7 year olds) Short Story: Ayesha Elturabi, Roseback primary school
Poetry: Suraiyah Sherlock, Bracken Edge primary school
Calligraphy: Halima Chaudry, Pudsey Bolton Royd primary school

Lower KS2:(8 – 9 year olds)Short Story: Summar Khursid, Brudenell primary school Poetry: Khadija Ahmed, Hunslet Moor primary school
Calligraphy: Nuha Rahman, Bankside primary school

Upper KS2:(10-11 year olds) Short Story: Sania Saleem, Bankside primary school
Poetry: Keearna Emmet, Carr Manor primary school
Calligraphy: Ameena Chaudry, Pudsey Bolton Royd primary school

Poems written by Leeds primary school pupils for the Arooj creative writing competition:

Through the door

Through the door of day, I found the darkness of night,
Through the door of soorow, I found the pain of joy,
Through the door of trust, I found the shivers of betrayal,
Through the door of whisper, I found the thunderous shout.
Through the door of eternity, I found the shortness of time,
Through the door of delight, I found the spirit of disappointment,
Through the door of happiness, I found the weeping of souls,
Through the door of hell, I found the brightness of heaven.

By Keearna Emett, Carr Manor PS

The skin you live in

Its polar bear white skin
And your dynamite bright skin,
Light up your life skin
The angels at night skin.

Its angel pink skin
And give her a wink skin,
How about we link
The time where we think skin?

Its crispy white skin
And a nice sight skin,
Its such a delight skin
Just like your bright skin!

Its lovely jam-tarted skin
And your lonely hearted skin
When you fall out with friends
And then you are parted skin.

By Nasir Miah, Hunslet Moor PS

Bad Day

I was walking
In the playground.
Some person
Called me names.
I said likewise.
He came up to me.
We started fighting.
He hit me.
I hit him back..
I really regret
That moment.
I felt embarrassed when the teacher came.
I was boiling with anger.
It wasn’t my fault.
Was it?

By Quddus Iqbal, Hovingham PS

The Secret Garden

If you take a child-like mind
Look within, and you will find,
Eager yearning, thirst to know
All the tools to think and grow.

But be careful what you sow
What you plant is what you grow
Some TV leaves thorns and weeds
Children need much better seeds.

By Khadija Ahmed, Hunslet Moor PS

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713