EMCARE was founded more than 30 years ago to help care home owners with these key aims and objectives
1. Promote the Long-Term Care Sector
EMCARE produced the first Leicestershire Care Homes Directory in 1993 in association with the Leicester Mercury. We are still actively working with the 3 local Councils to reproduce the directory each year. The directory is distributed to 70% of households in the region and is given out by social workers to people looking for care and support in Leicestershire, Leicester City and Rutland. We believe this has successfully increased public awareness of the independent long term care sector.
We have actively supported the National Care Homes Open Day initiative, to help providers show people what excellent care homes are really about and how they can be at the center of local communities, developing relationships across the generations.
2. Assist Owners in Understanding Legislation
Membership of EMCARE currently includes free affiliate membership to Care England (formerly ECCA), and we are represented on the board. This ensures that members get up to date information on key developments in social care policy and legislation and as a local association, it gives us the ability to feedback to government. This has proved to be invaluable as the care home regulations have been amended and national contracts have evolved.
A structured costing tool is available to assist members in calculating their costs of care. As well as providing the business with a better understanding of the true costs, it may also be helpful in negotiating fees with commissioners where personalised care plans are in place.
3. Promote High Standards of Care
As all members of the executive are care home providers, we are able to understand the needs of members and our residents, and translate our knowledge into practical guidance. Some of the executive have been involved in drawing up Good Practice Guidance at a National Level (eg Department of Health, King’s Fund, NICE, RCN etc), which gives us an excellent understanding of the principles behind the guidelines.
4. Promote Staff Training & Awareness
We work closely with training providers, local statutory and voluntary agencies to support providers in the training and development of staff. Examples of this include the highly successful LSCDG (Leicestershire Social Care Development Group), the RESEC managers support programme, the development of the falls pathway, the Health and Social Care Protocol Training program and the staff competency assessment framework.
5. Consult with Key Agencies to Promote Even-Handedness
The interests of our members are represented at local level and central government by elected officers who are all care providers. These representatives attend various panels, forums and consultation groups with local Social Service Departments, Clinical Commissioning Groups, GEM, NHS services, CQC, and Skills for Care. We work with statutory bodies to develop local policy and strategy but will also challenge them when the sector is being treated unfairly.
Our Key campaign over the past three years has been to negotiate fair contracts and payments with Commissioners, as we know that without this, nothing else is possible.
6. Identify High-Quality Providers of Goods and Services
EMCARE members know the value of finding good suppliers and we are in the process of working with various local companies who are keen to develop special services and deals for EMCARE members.
7. Support Members in Difficult Times
All providers have difficulty at some time or another. EMCARE can provide confidential advice to providers in managing complaints, contract compliance and safeguarding.
While we can’t offer professional legal opinion or a commitment to attend meetings for individual homes, we can offer confidential and practical advice. We also have links with professional agencies such as Accountants, Care Home Consultants, and specialist solicitors who have a successful record in supporting our members.
8. Communication & Networking
In order to assist members we have a private, members-only Facebook group. Through this, members have instant access to sample documentation, dates of forthcoming meetings, details of suppliers, conference papers, details of training and much more. Members also get instant communication by email or Facebook post on matters as they arise and can ask general questions or for supplier recommendations. Members have access to the results of our discussions with Social Services or if preferred have access to the EMCARE office by e-mail.
As an active association we liaise with many departments and groups in support of our members. The extent and complexity of just some of our communication networks are shown on this workstream map.
9. Cost Calculators
A cost calculator has been developed by EMCARE sufficiently detailed for members to include in their submission and found acceptable to commissioning. For comparison we have also commissioned an independent review by Laing & Buisson to provide a toolkit calculating a fair market price for care.
Guidelines have been developed to encourage good practice which will result in the eligibility criteria for Continuing Care being applied in a way that; achieves consistency and equity across the population of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, is service user focused, is holistic and individualised and promotes best practice.
The council is now working with EMCARE as a direct result of our judicial review against Leicestershire County Council to establish a fair price to be paid for funded residents and to agree a fee that is sufficient to cover the cost of the service. Legal advice has been sought to ensure that Leicestershire is following a correct and structured process in its review of the fees paid.
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