Posts in Commercial Partners
ALTURA Workshop: Preparing for Inspection

Altura Learning’s First CQC ‘Preparing for an Inspection Workshop’


On 23rd July 2019, Altura Learning held its very first in-house ‘CQC - Preparing for an Inspection’ workshop at their offices in Milton Keynes.


Delivered by Jill Timms, one of Altura’s subject matter experts involved in our Preparing for an Inspection course, the workshop proved to be very informative and insightful. Attended by care providers from across the country, the aim of the workshop was for Jill to provide coaching to help homes to try and achieve good and outstanding CQC ratings. The workshop covered how to prepare and plan for an inspection, examples of what makes an outstanding care home as well as time for Q&A’s.


The delegates were also offered a tour of Altura Learning’s state of the art production studio and got a better insight into how Altura Learning produce and deliver all their own video content.


Kasia Rykowska, Service Manager from The Edmund Trust Training said: ‘The training was very informative, took on lots of pointers and information. it was very good to hear from other providers and their experience with the CQC and learn about the services they provide. Very helpful materials, example presented in form of support plan and paperwork that Jill shared with us’.

Jill Timms commented: ‘I had the pleasure of meeting with Managers from a range of services, from Residential Care, Learning Disabilities, Domiciliary Care and Retirement Village environments. We are all inspected to the same KLOEs, and general Care, Recruitment, Compliance standards, so we found common ground. The workshop was a great idea, hopefully a rewarding morning for a selection of Directors, Operations Managers and Registered Managers’.

 If you would be interested in future workshops with Altura Learning, please email

Power Direct: Complying with energy efficiency reporting

Power Direct are experts in the Power Supply business and they help organisations understand the complexities of the market. They talk her about the issues around Power Reporting:

SECR: Does your business need to comply with energy efficiency reporting?

Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) was introduced in April 2019, in order to promote energy efficiency within businesses and reduce carbon emissions.

 The new framework introduces mandatory carbon and energy reporting for a larger number of businesses than ever before. However, industry estimates suggest that only around 30 per cent of qualifying business are aware of their obligations.

 Find out if you need to comply by reading our guide to SECR and if you are unsure, give us a call.

And adding a bit of more ‘domestic’ colour they have told us how they recently celebrated the workk anniversary of their first and longest serving employee:

Celebrating ten years of our longest-serving employee

We recently got together over a 10-shaped sausage roll to celebrate the work anniversary of our first and longest-serving employee! And Gill told us about her role as Compliance Manager.

Christie Update on Property Market for Care

Christie & Co reports buyer demand indicates long term potential of its specialist sectors in the south West


Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co provides an overview of the regional market in the South West & South Wales for the first half of 2019, reflecting on previous predictions, emerging trends and challenges facing the sectors.

Christie & Co reports buyer appetite throughout the South West remains strong across its specialist sectors, despite a greater level of caution in the market, as buyers become increasingly sensitive towards pricing amongst ongoing uncertainty. Although the slowdown in the housing market has made it more difficult for new entrants to acquire lifestyle businesses in the West Country, Christie & Co’s strong pipeline of deals throughout the South West & South Wales indicates long term confidence in its specialist sectors.

The increasing quality of care home stock in the region is attracting a wide variety of purchasers from corporate operators though to first time buyers. Whilst capital appreciation has remained subdued, Christie & Co’s activity in the West Country has been strong throughout the first half of the year, with a 48% increase in viewing numbers and 86% increase in offers on their clients’ healthcare businesses. The widely publicised staffing shortages are becoming ever more acute in the more rural areas, which limits buyer demand, and values are softening in these more remote locations. Some nursing home operators are considering de-registering their nursing care given the challenges they face in the recruitment of qualified staff. 

Rob Kinsman, Regional Director – South West comments, “Whilst there is greater hesitancy in the market, our pipeline of deals in the South West has never been greater. This deal volume clearly illustrates the underlying demand from innovative operators who see long term potential. We are predicting that the region will continue to provide exciting opportunities across our specialist sectors.”

The Perils of Admitting Liability;


Employers Liability is one of the few classes of insurance required by law in the UK. It protects employees should they ever be injured at work. Richard Barnes, Business Development Executive for the Care Sector at Towergate Insurance Brokers explains what employers should be doing in the event of one of their employees being injured by a service user whilst at work.

 As a specialist provider of Care Home insurance, Towergate has seen first-hand the rising costs across the UK social care sector and unfortunately, insurance is no different. This is partly due to the unique nature of the industry which requires specialist knowledge and expertise, as well as the increasing media coverage of the social care sector, however the most significant reason for these premium increases is the volume of Employers Liability claims being reported.

 Saying Sorry

It’s natural to want to apologise after something that shouldn’t happen occurs and in the unfortunate case of a service user assaulting, attacking or injuring a member of your staff, apologising to your employee is not you admitting fault. However, you should be prepared for any possible claim by recording evidence; just because an accident has happened, it does not mean that you are legally liable or that compensation should be paid.

 Future-proof your foundations
An employee has up to three years in which to make a personal injury claim and we have often found that sometime after an incident has occurred, employees can suddenly decide to pursue a claim for previous injury, which at the time of it happening, they did not wish to take any further. These claims can be made by existing or previous employees, so at Towergate we advise that you keep your employee records up to date.

 It is essential that you contact the insurance provider you had cover with during the time of the alleged incident, as they will be able to give you relevant advice and inform you of steps that will need to be taken. If you have switched insurers since the occurrence, you will still have to inform the insurance provider you were with at the time of the incident as they will be the ones who may have to pay out if the claim is successful.

Accurate Record Keeping

If a claim is going to be successfully defended, then significant records will need to be submitted to provide evidence that the relevant procedures were in place at the time of the incident.
Evidence can include the following, but there are also other examples that your insurer can inform you of depending on the incident.

 ·         Accident book entry, including photos of the scene and/or injury

·         RIDDOR report

·         Copies of any correspondence exchanged with the HSE regarding the incident

·         Copies of the involved resident’s care plans

·         Details of any similar incidents or complaints made by staff regarding the resident involved

·         Confirmation of any dates of absence which the claimant incurred because of the incident

·         First aid reports

·         Accident investigation reports

·         Minutes from any health and safety meetings at which the incident was discussed

·         Claimant training records

·         Statements from any witnesses to the incident

·         Details of any remedial action that may have been taken because of the incident

·         Earnings details for the 3 months prior to the incident and the month after returning to work

 It is therefore not only important, but an insurer requirement, to report any incident which you think may give rise to a claim. By reporting an incident, it is important to understand that this is not the same as making a claim. Instead you are making your insurer aware of an accident that has occurred, which provides them with the opportunity to consider the circumstances and decide if they want to gather a suite of evidence to ensure that they are prepared should a claim be reported in the future.

 At Towergate, we recommend that you build a close relationship with your insurer or insurance broker, as they will be able to provide bespoke advice and support depending on your needs.


If you would like to find out more about Towergate Insurance or you require more information on Employer’s Liability, you can call us on 01438 739280 or email us:

 Towergate Insurance Brokers is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Registered in England No.4043759. Registered Address: Towergate House, Eclipse Park, Sittingbourne Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3EN.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Super Teams: demonstrating Values and Behaviours

Windmill care was established in 1998 by husband and wife Team Len and Katy Collacott, following the purchase of Windmill House. In 2009 they were joined by Richard Deverson as Operations Director.

With over 20 years’ experience as a nursing sister in NHS and private residential homes, Katy quickly established an enviable reputation as a provider of quality care in exceptional surroundings. So when Kate moved to The Meadows to take on their new state of art accommodation she left a void in the organisation, her footsteps were hard to follow, but who better than Len and Katies daughter Sarah, she too came from a trained nurse background and was previously a sister in ITU in Birmingham.

Sarah was left in the unenviable position of restoring a team in mourning, away from care ask any Manchester United Fan, they still long for Sir Alex Ferguson to come back! To restore her team and to create a new vision and acceptance of change Sarah called on Karen Brasier from Cabot Training. Karen has worked with many care organisations and her focus was back to basics. To demonstrate well-led your team needs to all be on the same page and be committed to demonstrating values and behaviors. These values are actions not a set of words.

Sarah said following the bespoke training based on standards from the Leadership Qualities Framework we had a restored confidence and practical advice on how to select and train our employees to become Super Teams. What’s more the positive impact and future training is intended to take us from a good overall rating to outstanding!

Karen worked particularly with the on-site management team offering guidance and mentoring and here they are being presented with their certificates. (Pictured left to right, Karen Brasier, Tracey Young, Sarah Collacott, Maria Watts, Len Collacott.)

windmill care k brasier_web.jpg
CITATION: Essential Information, Brexit and Beyond

Braced for Brexit? Here's the roadmap you need...

From myth busting to practical downloads to help you action changes, our Brexit hub will help you navigate your businesses way through Brexit over the next few months:


Five innovative ways to communicate your 2019 strategy to your team

How do you get your team to be as enthusiastic about this year's plans as you are? Read our 5 easy-to-achieve ways to effectively communicate your strategy to the whole team:



45 things you need to know about fire

Did you know all these things about fire? Read up - we can almost guarantee there will be something new for you to learn:


On the road in the cold: safety tips for employees

Whether it’s for their commute or part of their job, if your employees are on the road you should be communicating certain safety practices. Watch our short video to find out more:



Employee fatalities: how to handle the unthinkable

We've taken a step-by-step look at what you need to do - and when - if you find yourself facing an employee fatality.



Banter: what do you do when it goes too far?

The word 'banter' is thrown about a lot these days, but one person's banter can be another person's bullying. Here's what to do if the line is crossed.


 If there’s something you need which is not provided above, just let me know. We’re always happy to help where we can.

Offers from Altura Learning

ALTURA Learning is the new name for ACC, Commercial Partners of some standing. They offer a fantastic range of on-line film based training videos all based in real care environments, and have recently launched their new Bridge learning platform.

To find out more about about how Bridge from Altura can help your organisation and to book a free demonstration, please click here.

The new Altura Learning 2019 Course Schedule  is now available.  It’s also at this time of year that we say goodbye to some Retired Courses.  

We are also pleased to share with you our NEW Digital Library that will replace our annual printed posters.

 So…How does it work? Well, it’s very simple & intuitive! You can now view and print our catalogue directly from here:

  • Step 1: Select your country, library type and start the search.

  • Step 2: The entire course library list is populated. From here, you can click on the upcoming courses tab to get the 2019 course schedule or use the search functionality and filters if you are after a specific course(s). To print your selection, simply use the printer icon.

  • Step 3: Click on a course to get more information and watch the trailer.

Here is some information about new courses on offer

A recently filmed addition to the portfolio is ‘Confidentiality and Information Handling’. This has been filmed across 3 streams, Residential, Home Care and Disability. The residential part of the film was filmed at Lyndon House, St Alban’s, home of the Salvation Army, an NCF member and a valuable member of the Altura Learning community.

A popular and very useful course is Preparing for an Inspection’, supported by Jill Timms, Care Consultant in Oxfordshire, who offers guidance to anyone needing help with preparation for CQC / LA Inspections.
A qualified Nurse, Jill became a successful Manager of an Oxfordshire Nursing Home for many years, progressing to Area Manager for that Care Home Group; Peverel Court Care. Whilst still working at Peverel Court Care, Jill decided she needed a new challenge, so set up a consultancy: “Helping Manager’s Manage”.

Jill developed her consultancy, mainly around the subjects of CQC Hot Topics of Inspection, Preparation for Inspections and Quality Monitoring, with the development of a Quality Monitoring Toolkit.

Jill has provided some handy ‘top tips’ that you can ‘cut out and keep’ when preparing for an inspection, helping you and your teams take out the pressure of preparing for an inspection.

Click here to view the tips online and to watch Altura’s free video on preparing for an inspection. 

 To find out more about how Jill Timms Consultancy can help you and your care home, please visit - or email

 For more information on how you can prepare for your inspection, please click here.

To find out more information about Altura Learning, please visit our website or email us at

New Commercial Partner Select Agencies SW.

Select Agencies South West are proud to be a category award sponsor for the Care and Support West 2018 Awards

Started some 12 years ago to act as a Uk manufacturers agent, specialising in beds, mattresses. upholstery and cabinet, we have grown from just covering the South West and South Wales to national coverage. We can now source almost any type of furniture and related products. We regularly tender with the NHS as an approved supplier, we supply Care Homes, Sheltered Housing and Housing Associations. We also have a unique Stainguard and Sanitised Range and service that is compliant with Biocidal Product Regulations legislation, and the Crib5 / fireguard regulations.

We have been working with a leading Mattress manufacturer to develop a ground-breaking mattress for the care industry, please get in touch with one of the contacts below for more information.

The reason we were pleased to be commercial partner member of Care and Support West is that we hope, via this process, to engage with front line providers of care and their service users. The benefit we bring to the service provider is being able to supply top quality products direct from the manufacture at seriously reduced prices. The benefit for us lies in the fact we can get first-hand information from providers of care to improve our products and better target the services we offer.

Please feel free to contact me with any enquirers, I look forward to hearing from you; email me on

Nurseline: At the Forefront of Collaborative Working

Trust. Respect. Collaboration.

Collaborative working in health and social care delivers many benefits and opportunities both to the individual being supported and those who make up their network of support. By working in partnership with professionals, organisations and family members, social and healthcare providers are able to tailor approaches and services to meet the individual’s care and support needs – helping each person achieve their goals and aspirations.

As Trevor Mapondera, CEO, Nurseline Healthcare, comments: “Social care is at the forefront of employing innovative collaborative working practices which have a real benefit not only to the service users being supported and their loved ones, but also for everyone involved in the individual’s network of support.”

Research into the benefits of collaborative working has been undertaken by many respected institutions including Oxford University. The findings of one piece of research into collaborative working in healthcare, clearly demonstrates that patient outcomes, quality of care and the cost of care delivery are all optimised when an approach based on trust, respect and collaboration, focused on the care and support needs of the patient or person being supported, is employed.

Key benefits of collaborative working include:

  • sharing of knowledge, best practice, responsibility for planning, risk assessments and decision making
  • development of innovative approaches
  • reducing inefficiencies through integrated services and shared costs 
  • Quality Assurance

Trevor continues: “At Nurseline, we ensure that we provide real ROI whilst consistently delivering high quality care and support. Everyone in The Nurseline Family – the people who work for us, with us, and who are supported by us – are able to benefit from the collaborative approaches we employ and the partnerships we have developed.”

This Autumn, Trevor will be speaking at an event in the South West where he will share his insights into the benefits of collaborative working. 

If you would like to find out more or would like to continue the discussion, please get in touch!

Lucy Osude, Nurseline Healthcare

Energy Intensive Industries: Impact on Care Providers

To ensure the UK meets its low carbon targets, the Government has introduced several policies that are driving renewable growth. However, they’ve also increased the cost of electricity and made UK prices higher than in other countries.

To help Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs) in the UK compete with their EU counterparts, the Government suggested they should be exempt from some Third Party Charges (TPCs). The cost of the exemption would be paid for through an increase in costs for non-EII businesses.

Power Direct ask how much this is costing you and what is the impact on your business,

What is the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) exemption costing your business?

In an effort to meet low carbon targets, the government has introduced several policies that are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by incentivising increases in renewable energy. This has had the effect of driving up retail electricity prices, which in turn, has put pressure on UK businesses to remain competitive with those in other countries that are paying lower energy bills.

In response, the government introduced a scheme to reduce the cost of energy for businesses classed as Energy Intensive Industries (EII), in a bid to ensure that UK businesses can remain competitive. It meant that EIIs should be exempt from the costs of the Renewable Obligations (RO) scheme, the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme and the Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme.

The businesses qualifying for the EII exemption are those where energy usage makes up a significant part of production, such as those within steel, chemicals, engineering and brick-making industries.

What does it mean for your business?

Earlier this month, the government announced that it is now considering widening the eligibility for the current EII exemption.

The proposed changes would mean more British businesses benefiting from a reduction in their energy bills.

But if you’re not one of those qualifying businesses, what impact will it have?

Most businesses won’t be eligible for the EII exemption. It means that, as with the current scheme, these businesses will face higher costs for their energy, in order to subsidise the scheme.

What can you do to minimise the impact?

In order to keep rising energy costs in check, you might find that you will benefit from a fully-fixed, fully inclusive contract that looks to take into account future regulatory and non-energy cost changes. This means you can be confident your costs will remain fully-fixed for the entire period of the contract, and you won’t get any unwelcome surprises along the way!

Next steps

For an informal discussion about the best energy solution for your business, call Power Direct Ltd’s friendly team of energy consultants on +44 (0)1452 347 549



Cabot Training is a new Commercial Partner

Cabot Training were delighted to join Care and Support South West as commercial partners this summer. Having worked with many organisations including Milestones Trust, Brandon Trust, Care Futures, Newkey, Aspects2 and many more, it was a natural choice to demonstrate to all members that we are more than a training company.

Cabot has a range of associates with a proven track record to grow your business and maximise the potential of your staff. In this Newsletter we get the opportunity to meet the team. For further information contact

Karen Brasier

Karen has experience of working in all of the above organisations and during this time has delivered both ILM Qualifications to hundreds of Senior Support workers and also a range of tailor made training days for managers. It is her belief to inspire individuals to believe in themselves and simply provide them with the confidence to do their job!

Her greatest love is to provide FISH Training! Training that can change mindset and develops a culture of can do  into the workplace.

Samantha Brooks

Sam was in the Army for over 17 years as an Educational and Training Officer. During her years of service, she was involved in the design, development, delivery and evaluation of numerous leadership and management training courses, as well being an experienced facilitator, specialising in the personal development of others. She has taught on numerous ILM courses, as well as general management and leadership, communication and functional skills, values and standards, cultural awareness and equality and diversity.

Paddy Maclennan

Paddy has over 17 years of experience as a human resources manager, after starting his career in sales and marketing. Before starting his own business he was the Head of Personnel, Welfare and Development with Stage Electrics Partnership in Bristol where he ensured the welfare and training of 270 staff

Running a business is highly rewarding but making sure your staff are looked after can take huge amounts of time. While there is no doubt your staff are a huge asset to your business, it’s important to remember that you are, too.

Mary Stoate

Mary worked in the NHS as a radiographer for over 23 years before becoming an independent Management Lecturer and Management and Training Consultant. She has worked in a variety of public and private organisations, designing and delivering ‘in-house’ and accredited programmes.

In addition to her Radiographic and teaching qualifications Mary has the Professional Diploma in Management: Managing Health and Social Care and an MBA

Frances Fawcett (MInstLM, FITOL)

After almost two decades with IT companies including Borland International, Canon (UK) and Microsoft Corporation, Frances spent several years providing marketing consultancy and global programme management to a variety of small and large companies. This included global management of a licensing programme for Microsoft Corporation

Frances is a Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management, and a Fellow of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.

Alarm at CMA Guidance and Support from RWK

At the conference, Royds Withy King spoke of their concern at the impact of the new proposals in the report from the CMA enquiry into the care market and offer support to Care Association members. They emphasis that their focus is to protect the Care Provider whereas the CMA look to protect the consumer only.

"It is now becoming clearer to us that it is imperative that care providers review their service user contracts. There is more information about our service user contracts on our website here and there are downloadable documents with more information below.

The Care Association Alliance say: 

"The draft CMA Guidance came out last week and is far more extensive than we expected. As a result we think most providers are going to have to make changes to their contracts and admissions processes in order to be compliant, particularly around the following:

1.       The provision of prescribed information to prospective residents at three separate stages: on first contact, before they accept an offer of a place and on confirmation and finalisation of the offer

2.       Charging of upfront fees and deposits

3.       Charging fees on death.

4.       Increasing fees

5.       The use of guarantors

6.       FNC payments

7.       Fees when a person is absent"

Royds Withy King are offering a model contract with guidance notes at discounted rates (with 5% rebate for the care association). The discount is dependent upon the numbers of members who sign up. There is a separate contract for residential/nursing and homecare."

They are also offering a bespoke option if providers want a tailored version of the contract and detailed advice on implementation.

These attachments provide full details:

Power Direct offer great savings on energy prices

About Our 2018 Energy Buying Basket

Our energy buying baskets are intended to help businesses that want the best available rates for their gas and/or electricity whilst being able to fix their prices for the length of the contract. Combining your purchasing power with others means that the prices will be better than if you purchase on your own.

Many energy buying baskets are sold on the basis that the energy will be bought on a ‘wholesale’ or ‘flexible’ basis. The energy buying basket at Power Direct is not like that. The term of your contract will be a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months, depending on when your current contract ends, and your prices will be fixed for that period. All the options that we have negotiated include direct debit payments.

Clients who purchased their gas as part of our last basket, on average, saved 5.4% per meter and an average of 3.4% per meter on their electricity, compared to the best individual price quoted.

Our next basket will be in March 2018 and anyone with an electricity or gas meter with a contract end date between now and September 2019 can take part.

Our gas basket is currently at 9,546,246 kWh and our electricity basket is at 6,174,706 kWh both of which are growing fast.

Power Direct in Action

Whilst checking the latest invoice for a care home, we noticed that they had not been billed for any night rate consumption. Since we knew that the premises had a meter fitted that should identify day and night consumption separately and that our client had been contracted to pay differential day and night rates, we knew this could not be correct.

We contacted the supplier to ask them to investigate the fault. The supplier advised us that it looked as though the meter was configured incorrectly and it needed an engineer to visit the premises to replace the meter.

All the consumption had been charged at day rates when some of the consumption should have been charged at a lower night rate. The client had been overcharged and would continue to be overcharged until the metering issue was corrected. We proceeded to arrange an appropriate time with the client and supplier for the meter to be changed.

The meter was swapped and after obtaining up to date meter readings the supplier advised that the client used on average 81% consumption during the day and 19% during the night. The supplier acknowledged their error and split the consumption 75% (day) - 25% (night) for bills they had already sent. They then credited back the invoices and rebilled.

This generated a refund of £382.96 and going forward the client was not further overcharged.

 Get in Touch

To find out more about our energy buying baskets or for anything else relating to your energy supply, please don’t hesitate to contact Jordan either by phone 01452 347 549 or email

Property Ownership: Tax Advice from Hazlewoods

If you own the property that is used in your healthcare business, it may be time to consider whether this structure is ideal from a tax perspective.

 The diagram below is a common structure of a care business – A and B (often husband and wife, although it doesn’t have to be) own the property or properties from which the business trades, and rent it/them to the trading company, which is also owned by A and B. This structure often arose upon incorporation from a traditional partnership with a view to avoiding a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) charge.  After all, why pay SDLT again, when you paid it on the original purchase of the property or properties?

hazlewoods property diagram.JPG

We have met many operators who are in the above or similar position and although not widely realised, there are a number of potential tax disadvantages of this structure:-

1)  Inheritance tax (IHT). Upon death, it is likely that 50% of the property value would fall into the owner’s estate i.e. be subject to tax, whereas if the property was owned by the company, the entire value of the shares could qualify for Business

Property Relief (BPR) and therefore not be subject to IHT.

2) Capital gains tax (CGT). Upon sale of the company, and assuming all conditions are met, the shares may be eligible for Entrepreneurs Relief, resulting in a tax liability of 10% on the disposal. If the property is owned privately, the tax liability is likely to be a mix of 10% and 20%. Overall, it is likely to be higher though.

3) Income tax (IT). In many cases operators will need to charge rent to the trading company to cover their personal bank loan repayments in relation to the property, incurring significant personal tax liabilities.  This often means that the monies they take out of the company (e.g. dividends or salaries) are taxed at the higher rate or additional rates of personal tax.

An alternative is to consider transferring the property into the trading company. Each case would need to be carefully analysed. Considerations include:-

1) SDLT. If the property is owned as a partnership it may be possible to transfer it

into the trading company, with no SDLT liability.

2) CGT. Upon ultimate disposal of the business, it is likely that the CGT position will

be improved by a transfer of the property into the trading company. There may or may not be CGT to pay upon transfer of the property into the limited company,

depending on a number of factors – this area would need to be looked at in detail to get the right solution for you.

3) IHT. It is possible that by transferring the business property into the company the IHT position, upon the owner’s death, may be improved. The maximum saving being, to avoid 100% of the property value falling into the owner’s estate.

4) Income tax. Provided that the associated bank debt is also transferred into the company, there may no longer be any requirement to charge rent, which could improve the personal tax position.      

As with any tax planning, a transfer of property from private ownership to company ownership will not be suitable for all.

It may be that the current banking arrangement is favourable (and you don’t want to give your lender an opportunity to vary the terms!), or that there is a minority shareholder and by transferring additional value into the company (the property) you would be increasing the value of their shareholding.

If you would like to discuss the above please contact Andrew Brookes or Rachael Anstee, we believe that for many with this structure we could suggest a better structure.


Mike Doyle, corporate and commercial solicitor at QSBD writes: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given notice (on 2 December 2016) that it has started a market study into care homes for the elderly to assess the following: 

  • The consumer’s experience of choosing a care home.
  • Whether the regulation of care homes is adequate.
  • How well care homes are complying with their obligations under consumer law

Why conduct a market study?

The purpose of a market study is to examine possible competition and consumer protection issues in a market. If the CMA thinks that the market is not working efficiently it can:

  • Take action to improve the quality and availability of consumer information and increase   consumer awareness.
  • Promote self-regulation in the market.
  • Recommend revisions to regulation and government policy.
  • Make a market investigation reference.
  • Accept undertakings from providers instead of making a market investigation.
  • Crucially, the market study will not look at funding issues or standards of care and will also not look at homecare.

Background to the market study

The CMA’s decision to start the market study stems from the Office of Fair Trading’s findings in 2005 that there was cause for concern in relation to the following points:

  • Whether care home providers were treating consumers fairly and complying with             consumer protection law.
  • Whether care homes were providing sufficient information to make an informed decision             as to choice of care home.
  • How local authorities discharge their obligations.
  • Competition and regulation.
  • The impact of changes in costs and regulation.
  • Whether the market, policy and regulation are effective and sustainable.

Citizen’s Advice also made a report in February 2016 highlighting instances of care home providers not complying with consumer law. For example, there had been evidence of increasing fees at short notice and charging undisclosed additional costs.

Concerns have also been raised by Age Concern and other charities in the past in relation to complaints procedures, for example, care home staff imposing restrictions on residents who complain.

 What is a market investigation?

A market investigation (as opposed to a market study) is an in depth investigation into a market to consider if there is an adverse effect on competition.

Such an investigation would be conducted by a team from the CMA’s panel of members including experts in different areas such as economics, business, law and the public sector. The investigation is conducted independently from the CMA board and none of the team involved will have taken part in the decision to refer the market for investigation.

The market investigation should be finalised within 18 months of its reference (although this period can be increased by a further 6 months). If the investigation finds that there is an adverse effect on competition, the CMA has extensive powers to impose its own remedies and make recommendations to regulators and the government.

Appeals against any decision related to a market investigation would then be made to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

What does the CMA define as ‘adverse effects on competition’?

It is difficult to define ‘adverse effects on competition’ because these vary from market to market.

The OFT (predecessor to the CMA) found in its 2012 market investigation into private healthcare a number of features that, individually or in combination, prevented, restricted or distorted competition in the UK private healthcare market. These features included a lack of easily comparable information, high levels of concentration at national and local level which may give a degree of market power to healthcare providers and significant barriers to entry and expansion.

Next steps – what can you do?

Care providers, consumers and other interested parties are invited to submit views and evidence on whether the CMA should make a market investigation reference by 16 January 2017.

The CMA must:

  • Announce whether it intends to make a market investigation reference by June 2017 and            begin consultation.
  • Publish its final report on the market study in December 2017 setting out the reasons for             its decision.

What can you do to protect your business?

Care providers should have their service user terms and conditions and residents contracts reviewed to ensure they comply with current consumer law, especially if they have not been reviewed since October 2015 when the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force. Please contact us directly for a free review of your Service User Contracts to ensure you are compliant.


Mike Doyle

Corporate & Commercial Solicitor

I am an experienced corporate solicitor with many years of experience working in the Healthcare sector. I support care homes, domiciliary care providers, pharmacies, opticians, dentists and other healthcare providers (Healthcare Businesses) primarily when they wish to sell their businesses, acquire other businesses, restructure, merge or demerge their business. Please contact me on 0117 930 8461 or


Nominations open for Towergate Care Awards 2017!

Nominations are now open for the Towergate Care Awards 2017. As a specialist insurance broker, Towergate Insurance provides cover for various areas of the care industry and wants to celebrate individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence in care.

The awards will recognise and pay tribute to those who go above and beyond to deliver the best quality care every day, providing a moment in the spotlight for people in this profession.

 David Ross, Chief Executive of Towergate, commented“We created an awards ceremony which recognises the vital role carers play in our community. We work with many care organisations and witness the high quality of care they provide on a daily basis. 

“It is a truly humbling experience to meet the people who can make someone’s life easier and happier by simply caring.”

The ceremony will be hosted by presenter and actress, Denise Van Outen who is well known for her stage roles in Chicago, Tell Me on a Sunday, Legally Blond and Rent.  Denise is also a familiar face on our television screens sitting on the panel for BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do.

 Speaking about the awards, Denise Van Outen said “I am extremely honoured to be a spokesperson for the Towergate Care Awards 2017 and look forward to presenting the awards in March. Carers carry out inspirational, selfless work every single day in an effort to make other individuals’ lives more comfortable.

 “This is particularly close to my heart, and I am privileged to be involved in celebrating those who truly deserve recognition for their generosity, compassion and commitment to the care industry.”

 There are nine award categories, reflecting the diversity of caring in all its many forms, and the winners will be revealed at a lunchtime event held at The Dorchester Hotel in London on Thursday 23rd March 2017.

 Towergate is urging people to give recognition to those who work tirelessly to make other peoples’ lives brighter, and we would urge our members to submit entries for those who regularly go over and above, particularly for the Outstanding Contribution to Home Care category.

 There are eight other categories open for nominations, which are as follows: fostering contribution of the year; care home worker of the year; nursery school worker of the year; volunteer of the year; practice manager of the year; therapist of the year; outstanding contribution to the education sector; and Part Time Working Mummy award – people’s choice for unsung hero.

 There will also be a final award revealed on the day ‘The Towergate Care Awards Winner – 2017’ and the winner of this award will be selected from one of the finalists.

 This year will see the addition of a new category ‘People’s Choice for Unsung Hero’ -   sponsored by ‘The Part-Time Working Mummy’ blog.  Rachaele Hambleton, author of the blog, was catapulted into the media spotlight when she wrote a very honest account of helping a first time mum having a ‘what have I done?’ moment.  This post went viral and, since then, Rachaele has attracted a following of over 250,000 men and women, all helping each other through life’s trials and tribulations.  This award has been introduced in honour of those men and women – those who go out of their way to help others through difficult times.

 To read the terms of entry for each award and to submit a nomination please visit 

Deadline for entries is Tuesday 21st February 2017.



The media have recently been highlighting cases were the relatives of residents are banned from the care home. Whilst there are no doubt some cases of poor practice, the media coverage does not address the full story. The Victoria Derbyshire BBC programme in November prompted new guidelines.

Why would relatives or other visitors need to have their visiting restricted or supervised, or even in extreme cases for visiting to be prohibited. Quite often, this is because the visitors are abusing staff or by their actions putting at risk their relative or other residents at the home. They could be inappropriately seeking to involve themselves in personal care, or trying to supply or administer unknown medication,they could just be generally acting in a way that is frustrating the proper management of the care home.

What rights does a care home have? Read the QSBD bulletin