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BSA

Today Blue Stream Academy's Healthcare & Lifestyle Magazine Issue 6

INTRODUCING

Blue StreamNet Training & Management Solutions at Your Fingertips!

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Issue 6 Front Cover

BSA Today is the exciting Healthcare & Lifestyle magazine from Blue Stream Academy - the UK’s leading provider of online training for GP Practices, Nursing & Care Homes, Hospices and Urgent Care Centres. Our mission is to standardise healthcare training to ensure consistent delivery of quality care, through better staff education and development. Providing over 100 hours of eLearning, Blue Stream Academy’s suite of interactive training modules is easy to use, cost-effective and in line with CQC guidelines – our modules are also RCGP accredited and CPD certified. If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas, please contact our editor, Brady Braddock, or visit our website via: brady@bluestreamacademy.com 01773 822549 www.bluestreamacademy.com

*See website for details. You may need to download a QR Code reader app on your device.

Alternatively, you can write to us at the address below: Blue Stream Academy Suites 11, 12 & 16 Riverside Business Centre Foundry Lane Milford Derbyshire DE56 0RN

Please note: The views and/or opinions expressed within this publication are that of the original author of the relevant content and do not necessarily reflect the official views and/or opinions of Blue Stream Academy Ltd. © 2020 Blue Stream Academy

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BSA Today | Issue 6

contents From the Editor's Desk...

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t the time of writing this issue, the coronavirus pandemic has caused untold upset and disruption across the globe, but thankfully there is now some hope of returning to new forms of normality in our work and personal lives.

There’s no doubt about it, COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, but here at Blue Stream Academy we felt it was important to carry on as usual wherever possible. So, as planned, we are proud to present the Blue Stream Edition of BSA Today. In this issue, we salute those healthcare heroes working tirelessly on the front line. We discuss our own working at home experiences and we take a sneak peek at the features of our brand new Blue StreamNet platform,

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including HR, Payroll, Recruitment, DBS Checking and Video Conferencing, to compliment our industryrenowned eLearning and MIS (Management of Information System). So, why not take 15 minutes, grab a coffee and let us tell you how Blue Stream can help turn your bustling health or social care site into a streamlined and efficient organisation with very little fuss. With all this and much more, including our in-house news, developments, module releases and announcements, plus our ever-popular lifestyle section featuring delicious recipes, lifestyle advice, wellbeing tips and competitions, BSA Today really is the magazine for you.

Brady Braddock

We hope you enjoy reading!

Look Who’s Talking

In this issue, First Practice Management’s Matthew Wright, talks to BSA Today about FPM’s exciting new partnership with Blue Stream Academy.

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Thornfields: We Know Primary Care

Editor

Thornfields talks all things training and tells us about their new Build Your Own Rainbow workshop for GPs who are considering retirement in the next 5 years.

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Nursing Heroes

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Lessons in Information Security: Post COVID-19

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COVID-19: A Call to Action

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Gardens in Bloom! And the Winner is...

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Before Blue Stream: The Evolution of eLearning

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Quarantine Cuisine

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Confessions of a Practice Manager

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A Guide to PMA: Positive Mental Attitude

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Breaking Down Barriers

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Meet the Sales and Support Team

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COVID-19: At the Frontline

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Ask Abi & #TeamBSA

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Treetops Hospice Care: Online Counselling to Support Grieving Clients

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@BlueStreamNews

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Photos That Make You Smile

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Puzzle Corner

We hear from a veteran nurse, a student nurse, a hospice nurse and a hospice manager about the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic at the frontline. As news of COVID-19 broke, we urgently developed our Staff Support Toolkit to help those in need of current information and guidance, fast. We take a look at how eLearning has evolved over the years to become an essential training resource available at your fingertips. Just for fun, our mystery ‘Practice Manager’ explores how our new Blue StreamNet features can remedy a common HR headache in general practice. Dr Patrice Baptiste talks about her career in medicine as a portfolio GP, supporting prospective medical students, and her work with DreamSmartTutors. Kasra Razi, an ST5 at Darent Valley Hospital, gives an honest and open account of his personal journey during the fight against COVID-19.

We learn about the benefits of virtual counselling for those who have received ongoing support from the team at Treetops Hospice Care.

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Employment Solutions

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Streamline Your Business

Blue Stream’s HR Manager Sian Ratcliffe chats to us about the challenges of recruitment and the importance of finding the right person for the right job. Introducing Blue StreamNet – we take a look at our brand new system features and how they can help streamline your business and training needs in one easy-to-use platform. www.bluestreamacademy.com

Our Chief Information Security Officer Stuart Walsh discusses what lessons relating to information security can and must be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a winner! Turn to page 28 to find out who won our popular ‘Gardens in Bloom’ competition. Straight from the Blue Stream foodies to your plate, try our lockdown recipes to excite your taste buds and make the most of your mealtimes. It can be hard to switch off and relax at the best of times, so we present our top tips for feeling less stressed and developing a better PMA. Meet a few of our friendly in-house Sales and Support Team as they chat about their hobbies, interests and what it’s like to work at Blue Stream Academy. Our agony aunt Abi Bowler discusses the importance of a healthy night’s sleep and #TeamBSA talks about their own lockdown experiences. Keep up to date with the latest Blue Stream Academy news, developments and module releases. We want to see your weird and wonderful sense of humour in a photo. It could be your pet, your pals or a fun night in! Enter for a chance to win a £150 Amazon voucher. Have you got a spare 10 minutes? Just for fun, see if you can solve this issue’s sudoku, crossword and brain-training puzzles.

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Nursing Heroes! We have been very privileged to gain a real insight into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and social care by talking to some of our incredible healthcare heroes. From a highly experienced nurse with 42 years’ service to a student nurse embarking on a career in healthcare, those at the frontline tell us that the pandemic has changed their everyday lives in many ways and strengthened their determination and resolve to provide the best possible care and support for their patients. To acknowledge and thank everyone working in health and social care, we want to share the thoughts and experiences of our outstanding key workers.

Ruth Brown Hospice at Home Manager at Blythe House Hospice

“ Liz Docker Nurse at Treetrops Hospice at Home

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Community Spirit Volunteers at Blythe House Hospice in the High Peak, Derbyshire, have provided over 1440 support calls and visits to local people during the coronavirus pandemic. The team of almost 50 volunteers has been on hand to help with tasks including shopping, collecting prescriptions, providing transport to medical appointments, telephone companionship and pet-walking. Julie Forrest has helped to coordinate efforts: “We listen to the needs of those around us and adapt our services to fill those needs in the here and now.” Alongside volunteer efforts, the hospice team has provided hundreds of hours of telephone support. Common queries have included planning for end-of-life care, changes to treatment plans, and combatting isolation and loneliness. Adults and children have also received counselling and bereavement support. A dedicated mental health advice webpage has received more than 700 visitors since it was launched. Hospice at Home, providing 24/7 palliative and end-of-life care in the comfort of patients’ homes, has continued throughout the crisis, with additional PPE being provided to help control the virus. Ruth Brown, Hospice at Home Manager, explained: “Staff have demonstrated great qualities of resilience and compassion despite the threat.” To find out more about current hospice care, please visit: blythehousehospice.org.uk/keeping-you-safeinformation-on-coronavirus. We’re Going to Keep Going Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Treetops Hospice at Home nurses have been on the frontline, continuing to provide vital end-of-life care to terminally ill patients in their own homes. The Hospice at Home Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Liz Docker, a Treetops nurse, shared an insight into her recent experience: “As a carer looking after somebody who’s very ill, it’s extremely difficult at home. It can be extremely stressful and really tiring. When we arrive, we get to know the patient and the family – and then they can go and get a good night’s sleep and we do everything that’s needed during the night. We’re used to going into these situations where people are very, very ill and where the family is very stressed, but we have got this extra risk going on at the moment. There is a level of anxiety amongst us because this is a situation that we’ve not had to deal with before, but this is not the time to stop giving the care that we give. And that’s just the kind of people we are – we’re going to keep going until it’s physically impossible not to.”


“ Hannah Simkins Paediatric Nursing Student at University of Manchester

“ Judith Vincent Registered General Nurse at Babington Hospital

A True Passion to Care These unprecedented times have caused chaos for many individuals around the UK – especially student nurses. I’m Hannah and I’m currently studying paediatric nursing at the University of Manchester. The last few months have been very different for student nurses, as many of us have had to opt in to help on the frontline to fight COVID-19 and to ensure we all qualify next year. For me personally, I have found it hard to settle into a placement out of my field of nursing. I have been working with adults due to all the paediatric placements being taken. Although this has been interesting, I am looking forward to going back to paediatrics. COVID-19 has created challenging circumstances. Nevertheless, I believe this pandemic has created better healthcare professionals and has allowed us to show the nation our true passion to care. Communication Has Been Vital Communication seems to be the buzzword at the moment. COVID-19 has been a challenge for every care provider, whether they work in the NHS, social care or the private sector. Communication between team members has been vital in keeping up with the latest research to keep everyone safe, and this appears to change and update policies every day. But what if you are a patient? Looking after our patients during lockdown has been challenging for us and, at the very least, confusing for the patients in our care. Visiting stopped prior to lockdown in early March, so staff have had to find new ways of making communication possible between patients and their loved ones. Nursing staff have had to learn to become technology operatives and teach patients how to use mobile phones and tablets that relatives have left for them to use – we have seen many happy tears over video calls. Emails, letters, photographs and pictures that grandchildren have made to decorate the ward have all been very welcome. It has not been unusual for patients’ relatives to exchange items through the window, which has also been a great opportunity for them to wave and shout goodwill messages to their loved ones. One gentleman even got some fish and chips delivered! But for nurses and carers, we have had to be inventive in the way that we have delivered care. The organisation of virtual best-interest conference calls with all stakeholders and socially distanced home visits for the safe discharge of patients have challenged the best of us. Virtual doctors’ rounds and phone consultations are now commonplace. But isn’t this inventive way of working what nurses and carers are good at – organisation, thinking outside the box, and changing the way we work due to the latest research or, in this case, a new virus which has completely rocked our world.

www.bluestreamacademy.com

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BREAKING NEWS: COVID-19 STAFF SUPPORT TOOLKIT

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE TOOLKIT FEATURES INCLUDE:

DAILY UPDATES

TEST AND TRACE

GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE

NUMBER OF CASES

COVID-19: A Call to Action

At the beginning of 2020, a topic that was fast beginning to dominate our news and day-to-day conversations was the possibility that the world was facing the onset of a pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

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s news feeds and official sources were being updated at a rapid pace, we at Blue Stream Academy were closely monitoring the available information and the impact this would have on all sectors and organisations providing health and social care in the UK. As a provider of eLearning, we knew we were in a position to act quickly and give essential support to our customers, who were facing the huge and unprecedented effects of COVID-19. In February, our initial response to assist our customers with vital training and knowledge-sharing was to create a concise COVID-19 module, which collated key information, such as the number of COVID-19 cases (updated by our content developers and programmers on a daily basis), the symptoms, what a pandemic is, and infection prevention and control measures.

This module was added to our eLearning suites within a couple of days and in March – as we also adapted our working practices – it rapidly developed into our comprehensive COVID-19 Staff Support Toolkit. The inaugural Toolkit – which gathered together essential and relevant information, including Government and national organisations’ guidance and recommendations related to COVID-19 – was created in-house and was designed to be a completely flexible resource that could be updated and expanded promptly on an ongoing basis. Free to Everyone Working in Health and Social Care As it was reported that thousands of former NHS staff members were returning to work to help in the fight against COVID-19, to accompany the Staff Support Toolkit we developed our Essential Refresher Training. The modules included in this training focused on key areas that would be relevant for those coming back to work in health or social care and provided an easyto-use resource for refreshing their knowledge and core skills. With the back-up of our highly experienced and dedicated Sales and Media Teams, we made the decision to ensure that both the

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COVID-19 Staff Support Toolkit and the Essential Refresher Training were made available for free to anyone working in health and social care. As an organisation that works so closely with our frontline and key workers and has such strong relationships with the health and social care sectors, it was extremely important to us to provide as much help as possible, as accessibly and as quickly as we could, in such immensely challenging circumstances. To date, over 27,000 health and social care professionals have completed our COVID-19 Staff Support Toolkit training. In these exceptional times, we’ve learnt that easy access to essential information, gathered together in one resource and updated regularly, is extremely important and reassuring for those working in the sectors we support and who are dealing with the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic on a daily basis. We are honoured to have received feedback from our customers that has reinforced the benefits and value of eLearning in delivering important information to those who are working under enormous pressure in key roles. As we continue to support our customers and the wider health and social care community, everyone at Blue Stream Academy would like to thank those who have been involved in delivering all aspects of health and social care and for caring for us all during these incredibly difficult months

We made your COVID module mandatory for all staff. It was a timely and most welcome addition to our library. It was comprehensive but easy for staff of all grades to understand. It gave confidence to us as an organisation that our staff were as prepared as they could be for an ever-changing situation. Christina Cleworth Group Business Manager, Portsdown Group Practice Article by Keely Jennings Content Developer

Topics covered in our COVID-19 Staff Support Toolkit include: Testing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) NHS Test and Trace End of Life Care Government Advice Domestic Abuse Adult Social Care Guidance www.bluestreamacademy.com

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Before Blue Stream: The Evolution of eLearning “You need to finish your Blue Stream training”, many of you will have heard from your managers. You complete (or endure) many forms of training throughout your career, but terms such as distance learning, compliance, MOOC, asynchronous learning and gamification can confuse all of us.

1840s POSTAL COURSES

1700s DISTANCE LEARNING BEGINS

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o where did it all begin? You may be surprised to learn that the earliest instance of distance learning can be traced back to 1728. Caleb Philipps from Boston, Massachusetts, pioneered the idea that education could be successfully carried out remotely, through a series of exchanged letters. He organised his shorthand course into manageable increments that could be sent to the learner in bite-sized chunks. An advertisement published in the Boston Gazette on 20 March 1728 read as follows: ‘CALEB PHILIPPS Teacher of the NEW Method of Short Hand… Any Persons in the Country desirous to Learn this Art, may by having the several Lessons sent Weekly to them, be as perfectly instructed as those that live in Boston.’ It is unclear how successful Philipps was in his attempts, but the idea was developed with Isaac Pitman in the 1840s with another shorthand course. Pitman mailed texts transcribed into shorthand on postcards and received transcriptions returned by his students for correction. This proved to be very popular and helped to improve the writing speed of journalists, secretaries and other individuals who wanted to learn Pitman Shorthand. Fast-forward another 100 years and the first ‘online’ courses were developed. In 1960 (9 years before the internet was invented!) the University of Illinois created an intranet for students. A series of linked computer terminals could pass information between them, enabling students to access course materials and listen to recorded lectures.

This soon evolved into Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations (PLATO). PLATO offered coursework to students, local schools and other universities and taught a range of topics including Latin, chemistry, music and mathematics. By the 1970s, PLATO had colour, sound and even touchscreen capabilities – enough for Boeing to develop a flight simulator for training aspiring pilots! Throughout the 1990s, some universities preferred to design, develop and maintain their own systems and, as such, technology brought a new term to the market: LMS. A ‘Learning Management System’ is a central hub that allows teachers to exchange learning materials, complete knowledge tests and track progress. Although these systems are still used today, many organisations prefer the hassle-free and inexpensive alternative of subscription options and benefit from the support and guidance of industry professionals. With education videos being watched twice as often as those in the ‘pets and animals’ category, and with more than 2 billion users visiting YouTube every month, it seems that you can learn anything from an online video in 2020. Whether you need to learn to tie a tie, build a boat or take the perfect selfie, there is a YouTube channel to help!

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1970s PLATO

60s T ‘ONLINE’ COURSES

2010s eLEARNING TODAY 1990s UNIVERSITY LMS

There are obvious limitations to this. I would not like to learn CPR without any practical introduction; the confidence gained from an experienced trainer is invaluable. Online training will never completely replace traditional face-to-face training, but it can be designed to complement it. With case studies, discussion points and patient stories included throughout our eLearning modules, users often report feeling connected with these illustrative characters in a similar way to how they connect with patients and service users in their role. This increases knowledge retention and adds a deeper level of understanding to otherwise difficult topics. www.bluestreamacademy.com

For healthcare professionals and managers alike, navigating the vast array of eLearning choices can seem daunting. Organisational requirements often call for fast, efficient and effective training at a low cost, and through years of working with UK healthcare experts, we continue to deliver

Article by Lewis Cowlishaw Content Development Manager

We are always here to help people gain the most from their training. If you have any comments or suggestions for new content, please get in touch with me via email at lewis@bluestreamacademy.com

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his practice is proving a frantic place to work. Today is no exception; everything seems to be happening all at once, and already the team are tetchy and flustered. It’s breast-screening week and there are two enormous temporary facilities taking up most of the car park. As a result, patients are arriving late, complaining about having to park on the other side of town. We also have a steady stream of ladies coming into the surgery by mistake, having somehow, in their anxiety, missed the giant vans and signage outside. One lady even made it into a doctor’s office and was starting to take her top off before she was noticed and redirected outside. To add to the mayhem, one of the nurses is off sick today, which means appointments are running an hour behind and the waiting room is crammed. This particular nurse – let’s call her Scarlet – has had every Monday off for the last 2 months. At least, I reckon she has, but Delia, the administrator, has ‘mislaid’ the sickness records. Has she really lost them, or is she just causing trouble for me? It’s hard to tell. Nurse Scarlet is always missing in action. If it’s not her regular Monday malady, it’s a problem with her car, or some other emergency. She has had so many days off for funerals that she must be running out of relatives. Someone should sit her down and talk about her attendance, but without proper records it’s very hard to manage staff absence properly. You may have gathered that I’m trying to find my way in a new practice. Some things here are superbly organised, like the online training platform, but other things, like our HR records, are a total mess. I find myself saying over and over: “In my last practice we had a system for that” in a way that must be quite irritating for other staff. So, I’m doing my best to hold my tongue and get things sorted out one step at a time. The senior partner, Dr Dodson (in my head I call him Dr Dodders), does not help. He continues to manage things in his own particular shambolic way, leaving me to run around undoing his mistakes and trying, belatedly, to get the paperwork straight.

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Today, he tells me to sort out the payroll for one of the nurses, who is complaining that she hasn’t been paid correctly. On investigation, I discover she did three extra shifts last month and no one thought to tell me.

The CQC highlighted a problem that I had already voiced to my boss so many times before. It’s infuriating!

I want to cast the blame at Delia, as she was the one who sent off the payroll files, but there is really no point. She’s worked here for over 20 years and she can do no wrong as far as Dodders is concerned. What we really need is a proper system to record working time and then there’d be no such arguments. One thing I can’t stand is a last-minute panic. In my last practice (there I go again), we had an online calendar so we knew exactly who was working when. I also recorded all the special clinics, such as breast screening and vaccinations, so we could plan ahead for when things were going to get busy. Today’s screening seemed to take everyone by surprise, even though it must have been known about for months. Another problem is that no one seems very clear on who does what, least of all me. Nurses and doctors know their duties, of course (whether they actually do them is another matter), but we mostly fall down on administration. We have medical secretaries, receptionists and dearest Delia, all responsible for different parts of the process, so when there’s a problem it’s hard to know where to start.

everything is in one place. It looks like just what we need, but I must figure out how to get Dr Dodders to agree. When everyone has gone home, and I am free from Delia’s beady eyes, I have a rummage through the filing and find a bombshell: the DBS checks are out of date, with two staff due for renewal 3 months ago. I also find the sickness records, which are noticeably incomplete. I grab Dr Dodders first thing next morning; the best chance of catching him in a good mood is before any record patients have had a chance to annoy him. I’ve carefully prepared my case.

What we really need is a proper system to working time and there’d be no such arguments, I don’t have access to any HR data.

I’m told there are job descriptions ‘somewhere’ in Dodders’ office, but I bet I’m not the only one who hasn’t seen them; I haven’t even seen my own. One thing is clear: I am responsible for anything that goes wrong. I am also accountable for managing costs and negotiating with suppliers. It would be that on this already crazy day, there are two supplier meetings lined up. The first is with a medical recruitment company.

ns a i c i n i l c some management ctice k art and a blac very happy , ey areHere you are say: “ tice is yours he pracwith”. o play www.bluestreamacademy.com

They ask me lots of questions about staffing, many of which I can’t answer. I excuse this lapse with the fact that I am new, but really it’s because I don’t have access to any HR data. Embarrassing. Still, at the end I manage to agree a good rate for future advertising. My second meeting is with our training provider. They demo a new HR platform that sits alongside the online training modules so that

Setting up an HR system linked to our training would make sure the DBS renewal oversight can never happen again.

It’s also possible that we can save money on staffing costs if we manage everyone’s time better. Best of all, improved systems would mean that doctors and nurses could focus on medical matters without getting drawn into tedious paperwork. With a reduced workload, doctors might get to leave on time more often, perhaps even while it’s light enough to play golf. Dodders looks up at that. I think I might have said the magic word

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Breaking Down Barriers

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ike many portfolio GPs, I combine my work in clinical medicine with a number of other interests. These are medical education, writing, entrepreneurialism and public speaking.

College of Physicians Edinburgh. Through DreamSmartTutors I have spent 4 years educating students about the realities of a medical career and supporting them on their medical journeys.

Where it All Began My portfolio career began during my time out of training or Foundation Year three (FY3). I felt compelled to take a career break due to the physical, mental and emotional demands of working as a junior doctor in the NHS.

DreamSmartTutors During my time out of training I spoke at a number of schools, hoping to help students who wanted to study medicine but did not have the essential connections, resources or guidance, like my younger self. I realised that they not only needed support with applying to study medicine but also needed to understand the harsh realities that a career as a doctor brings.

I also felt lost and at a crossroads; medicine had always been my dream career. It was the only career I felt drawn to as a child; a passion which only intensified as I grew up and learnt more about the world of medicine, or what I thought I knew. It was during this time that I explored other job opportunities. I also pursued a number of interests I had previously placed to one side in my quest to become a doctor, and a good one at that. After turning down a job offer in medical writing, reigniting some of my other passions and realising I still wanted to be a doctor, I returned to training via the GP training programme. It was hard, but I managed to pursue my other interests alongside full-time training. I was determined to keep my other interests alive this time. As a result, I ended up developing a portfolio career. I work as a salaried GP for part of the working week, and the remainder of my time is divided up between the other interests I have. My Portfolio Career I have written for GPonline for 4 years, discussing issues pertaining to GP training and general practice. I also have numerous publications, which include medical case reports, audits and opinion pieces. I am an examiner for Queen Mary University London (QMUL) and the General Medical Council (GMC). I have also spoken about my career journey, among a number of other topics at places such as the University of Oxford and QMUL, the British Medical Journal Live careers fair, and the Royal

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After all, I didn’t want them to feel lost like I once did and end up leaving medicine, as a number of doctors do each year. Students from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds and certain ethnicities are significantly underrepresented at medical school. Only a small proportion of students study at private and independent schools in the UK, but it is students from these schools who monopolise the spaces at medical school.

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When we look at ethnicity, there are some groups, such as Black Caribbean students, who are underrepresented at medical school in comparison to their Asian and White counterparts. A huge barrier to medical school entry is work experience. Many GP surgeries, despite their workloads and pressures, can and should offer work experience, even if it is only for a few days, to aspiring medical students. Rather than filing medical files and correspondence, work experience students should be immersed in the day-to-day running of a GP surgery. I have many requests from young people and their parents about securing work experience, but not enough GP surgeries to help. Providing work experience to a young person could be not only the deciding factor that secures them a place at medical school, but also what makes them consider a career in general practice

Dr Patrice Baptiste www.dreamsmarttutors.co.uk Dr Patrice Baptiste is an award-winning portfolio GP, medical educator, entrepreneur, writer, visionary and champion for diversity within the medical profession. Through her company, DreamSmartTutors (launched in 2016), she supports prospective medical students on their medical journeys whilst simultaneously aiming to increase diversity within the medical profession. Dr Baptiste was a finalist at the Black British Business and Precious Awards 2016. She was also the winner of the LIFT Effects Rising Star award and a finalist at the WeAreTheCity Awards and the UK’s largest National Diversity Awards in 2017.


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Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

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www.bluebellwood.org

www.bluestreamacademy.com Charity no: 1076958. Company no: 3809663. Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Cramfit Road, North Anston, Sheffield, S25 4AJ. Icons: Flaticon.com

01909 517 365

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COVID-19: At the Frontline The past 4 months have been a bag of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, it has been one of the most anxiety evoking times of my medical career so far. On the other, it has also been one that has helped me grow the most, both professionally and personally. Having served at the frontline and been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, I think I am more than qualified to share my experience. Over recent weeks, I have had some time to reflect on this period and try to make some sense of it from various perspectives.

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few weeks before national lockdown began and the government decided to take the situation with COVID-19 seriously, my hospital on the border of London called an emergency meeting for all junior doctors. We weren’t too sure of the exact details of the meeting, but we knew it was going to be the beginning of something significant. I don’t think at the time we thought we would be where we are now.

Kasra Razi ST5 at Darent Valley Hospital Kasra Razi MBBS BSc (Hons), PGCE (MedED) works at Darent Valley Hospital (General Surgery ST5) in Dartford, Kent, and gained his medical qualifications at Imperial College London. He is the co-founder of the British Iranian Medical Association (BIMA), which organises networking, educational and charity events in the UK. Kasra is also a trustee of The Tom Donaldson Charitable Trust: Trust Me, I Will be a Doctor.

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We had started to hear about COVID-19 through colleagues and social media, but the meeting shed some light on what we were about to embark on. It quickly became apparent that this was a very new situation. We were dealing with very little knowledge of the virus, but we were going to do everything in our power to manage the situation. Everyone left the meeting as if we were going to war. I attended the meeting as the representative of junior surgical doctors, and it was my responsibility to update the rest of the juniors in the surgical department. Within minutes of leaving the meeting, various consortiums were created to help share as much information as we could with all of our colleagues. Junior doctors were organising ‘junior doctor COBRA meetings’ to brainstorm ideas

about where we could help most. Within the space of a week everything changed in the hospital: visitors were no longer allowed into the hospital, we had to go through security to get to work and if we didn’t carry our ID badge we weren’t allowed into the hospital. The hospital was divided into clean and dirty areas, and all senior house officers (SHOs) and foundation doctors (FY1 and FY2) working for the surgical department were relocated to help on the medical wards where all the COVID-19 patients were being admitted. All these sudden changes meant we had to adjust very quickly, unsure of what was going to happen next.

The virus (COVID-19) is like having the flu but on steroids.

I found the transition from a predictable rota to not knowing what was going to happen the next day very stressful. To add to that, I had friends ringing me for medical advice every day, and I was ringing my non-medical friends to make sure they were OK. Like many others, I couldn’t see my family for weeks, as my parents were both above the age of 60 and considered to be at high risk of contracting COVID-19.


Sadly, we also had to experience the death of a very well-regarded consultant colleague, whose son was also a close friend of mine. These were some of the toughest days for many of us. For the first few weeks of lockdown, my anxiety levels reached heights I had never experienced before. The only way I got through this period was with pre-and post-work runs. After 10 weeks, I had run more than 500km! From a professional point of view, a lot changed too. As surgeons it is paramount that we get as much operative experience as possible to allow us to master the art of surgery. All elective surgery was cancelled to divert resources to fighting coronavirus, essentially meaning that my surgical training stopped.

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In a strange way, this crisis has reminded me why I decided to do medicine in the first place.

I was worried about becoming deskilled and also missing opportunities to develop new skills in surgery. Looking to the future, I knew that at the end of surgical training, my operative logbook would need to meet certain criteria before I would be allowed to progress to a consultant. What would happen with our training at the end of all this? Would my training be extended by another 6 months to a year?

Photo credit: Kasra Razi

www.bluestreamacademy.com

Normally, most surgeons in training like myself prefer to take their annual leave towards the end of their training year in order to get as much operating time as possible. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has meant that any annual leave we had organised over the last few months was unfortunately cancelled. It has been over 8 months since I last took any annual leave and I’m now starting to feel the toll of these past few months. The lack of time to rest and recover is probably why I contracted the virus in mid-June, when the incidence rate was on the decline, rather than earlier, during the peak. The virus is like having the flu but on steroids. Even after 2 weeks of recovery, I still feel fatigued and easily become breathless after normal daily activities. The on-call shifts often included only me and the consultant, without the SHO taking referrals, which meant that I had to play the role of two doctors and it was pretty tiring. Several of my colleagues became unwell with symptoms potentially related to COVID-19, which meant a lot of the on-call shifts were vacant for weeks and needed to be filled. So far, I have done 15 extra on-call shifts! It has taken us some time to adjust to the new theatre attire, too. I remember one evening during an emergency laparotomy I was wearing so many layers, the heat started to build up and the sweat was dripping down my back. I was trying my best to ignore it and mentally overcome it to avoid further delays to the operation, as the person was unwell. Eventually, however, the heat caught up with me and I started to feel nauseous and nearly vomited into my facemask and, worse still, onto the patient, which would have been a disaster! I de-scrubbed and went for a quick break to cool off and rehydrate before re-scrubbing again. Besides all these new changes, the most worrying aspect of the whole situation from my perspective as a surgeon was the condition in which surgical

Photo credit: Kasra Razi

patients were presenting to A&E. Patients were presenting with lifethreatening diagnoses, often far too late, having stayed at home for days with, for example, a perforated bowel before they felt desperate enough to see a doctor. By the time many patients arrived with us, they were unsalvageable or severely septic, requiring critical care which could have been avoided if they had arrived sooner. To end on a more positive note, in a strange way this crisis has reminded me why I decided to do medicine in the first place. I think I speak on behalf of all our doctors in saying that it has been amazing to see how NHS staff have adapted to the situation and pulled together for a single cause. Strangely, it has taken a crisis like this to kick the NHS out of old-fashioned ruts by, for example, accelerating the use of digital technology and telemedicine. Most importantly, from my point of view, we saw the appreciation of the NHS and its entire staff in countless acts of kindness from the community. Parking fees were cancelled, various discounts were offered, and every Thursday we saw thousands of members of the public come to their doorsteps and windows to clap for the NHS and essential workers. This war isn’t over yet and undoubtedly we still have a lot to learn, but I feel fortunate enough to have lived through this, come out the other end and, I am sure, developed into a better doctor and person

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Photo credit: Treetops Hospice Care

Treetops Hospice Care Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions as well as their families and carers, and those who’ve been bereaved. Last year, the hospice provided almost 3,000 adult bereavement counselling sessions, over 1,100 bereavement sessions for children and families, and over 600 support sessions for people dealing with a life-limiting condition. Counselling is available to all users of Treetops Hospice Care services and people registered with a GP practice in Derby city or Southern Derbyshire. Treetops Hospice Care have to raise over £4.3 million through donations, shops, events and lottery memberships so that they can continue to provide their vital services, free of charge.These services include Support and Information, Hospice at Home, Therapeutic and Counselling Services, Wellbeing Services and much, much more.

Treetops Hospice Care: Providing Online Counselling to Support Grieving Clients With its bespoke counselling rooms currently closed to the public, award-winning hospice Treetops has moved to online counselling to support bereaved adults and youngsters, and those diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.

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n line with national guidelines, Treetops Hospice Care, based in Risley, Derbyshire, closed its buildings at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, but quickly sought a solution to ensure clients could continue with their weekly counselling sessions. Rebecca Shaw, 41, from Derby began counselling at Treetops just before Christmas last year, following the death of her husband. “When lockdown began, I continued my sessions via Zoom. Practically, it was much easier to attend the sessions - no long drive, no childcare to source and no significant time away from work. Personally, I was more comfortable opening up in my house. I generally took the call whilst sat on my bed as this is my safe space and it was easier to say exactly what I needed to say.” “Counselling has helped me process what happened. It enabled me to understand my feelings and find a way to live with the pain. It’s reminded me I have the inner strength to get through this dark time but not to hide from the waves of pain as they come. I see my life from now on as living alongside my grief and don’t expect to ever get over what happened.”

www.treetopshospice.org.uk 0115 949 1264 Treetops Hospice Care Derby Road Risley Derbyshire DE72 3SS Registered Charity Number 519540 Photo credit: Treetops Hospice Care

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Michael Stanley, 59, has been a counsellor for Treetops for 3 years. He is currently working from home in Belfast where he was living when lockdown began. “I provide counselling support to bereaved adults and children, and to anyone who is, or has, a family member with a life-limiting condition. I provide a confidential space for them to talk about the impacts of their bereavement or illness. Normally we would assess clients and have all their counselling sessions in person. The pandemic has prevented us doing this and some clients have decided they don’t want to have sessions remotely. For others, they have been happy to use remote means and so I am now talking to clients by phone or by Zoom.” “Virtual counselling was a little daunting initially. I wasn’t sure how I would find it or whether clients would like it, but it has actually worked really well. It is more challenging working in the virtual world. You can get much more of a sense of what is going on for a client when you are sitting with them.”

“I think this has shown that Treetops is amazing at adapting to change and despite the challenges that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought, we have continued to support our clients, volunteers and staff.”

Counselling helped me find a way to live with the pain

Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need. However the charity predicts a huge loss in income in the coming months, due to the temporary closure of all their charity shops, and postponement or cancellation of many fundraising events. The hospice launched an Emergency Appeal earlier this year: www.treetopshospice.org.uk/emergencyappeal

“That’s more difficult to do when you see them on a screen or when you are just listening to a voice on the phone. Before the pandemic, we could be restricted by not having enough physical space - counselling rooms - to see clients or do initial assessments. One benefit of the online service is that so long as you and your client both have somewhere quiet and private to work, you don’t have the restrictions of room availability, so we can potentially help more people.”

Our COVID-19 Response Projects need your support During the Coronavirus pandemic, Treetops Hospice Care is continuing to support those in most need in the local community. • Our Hospice at Home nurses are providing palliative care for patients at home, during the day and overnight. • We’re calling and visiting up to 80 vulnerable patients shielding at home each week • Our bereavement counselling team is providing support via video and phone calls Sadly we predict a huge loss in income in the coming months, due to the temporary closure of our charity shops, and cancellation of many fundraising events. We are asking for donations to ensure we can continue to provide our COVID-19 emergency response services throughout the pandemic. Donations can be made at www.treetopshospice.org.uk/emergencyappeal Treetops Hospice Care, Derby Road, Risley, Derbyshire, DE72 3SS | 0115 949 1264 www.treetopshospice.org.uk Registered Charity Number 519540


Employment Solutions

Employing new people is an important task, and it’s not always easy to find the right candidate for the role. It takes time, resources and money, all of which are often in short supply. So, let’s look at some of the biggest employment headaches that organisations have and share some tips on how to make things a little easier! It’s Expensive Advertising a job vacancy can be very expensive, and many organisations in the healthcare industry have limited budgets in this area. If you decide to use an agency, you’re going to have to pay them a considerable chunk of the new starter’s salary and if you use job boards, the cost of posting on several different boards can soon add up.

An alternative to the above could be to use platforms that are free to post on or that ask for a smaller fee; for example, your own organisation’s website or a healthcarespecific job site, such as the Blue Stream Academy job platform, Blue Recruit. This is a super cost-effective way of getting your vacancy out there and seen by lots of potential candidates, helping you find the right person for the right job. Time Constraints There may be times when you find yourself in a rush – you could have an urgent position to fill and need to search, interview and hire in a short space of time. This pressure can lead to a hasty hire, which may result in you getting the wrong candidate for your organisation. Take a look at your recruitment process as a whole and see if there are any elements that can be streamlined or skipped if you are pressed for time. It may also be worth seeing if you can recruit internally.

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ONBOARDING - DO • Make it a team effort It’s important to include a range of different people in the onboarding process, rather than leaving it to just one person. Your new starter should feel welcomed by the whole team and understand the roles that each person plays in the organisation. • Prepare a schedule for your new starter Giving them a plan for their first week in the job is a great way to settle their nerves and make them feel comfortable and part of the team. Try adding their schedule to their work calendar before they start. • Explain company culture Take the time to explain your ways of working to your new employee, such as expectations about availability, workplace behaviour and general company policies. This should help them feel like part of the team right away. • Familiarise new starters with products and services Make sure they have an understanding of all elements of the business, whether they will be directly working in those areas or not. Interviews Squeezing several interviews into your busy schedule can feel like an impossible task, but it’s important that interviews are not rushed. If you’re struggling to physically get candidates into the building for an interview, why not try telephone or Skype interviews? This is often very convenient for both parties, and it means that you won’t miss out on meeting some great candidates just because of a schedule clash. At present, this is particularly relevant due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Take the time to make the candidate feel comfortable and make sure they get a feel for the organisation and the team they could be working with – this will make sure you get the best out of them during the interview. Pre-employment Checks This part of the employment process is essential, as employers have a legal obligation to ensure that the candidate has the right to work in the UK. After this, there are several other checks that can be done if required, including employee references, medical checks and security checks. Make this process easier for yourself by using a system that allows you to collate all the information. Blue Stream Academy’s platform lets you register your staff member with an HR profile, run a DBS check and get them started on their required training, all in one place! Onboarding Onboarding is a HR term for introducing a new employee into an organisation’s existing structure. Here are some handy do’s and don’ts when it comes to onboarding new starters: www.bluestreamacademy.com

ONBOARDING - DON’T • Drown new employees in new information The chances are that your new starter will have a lot of training to do and paperwork to sign when they join, so why not try getting some of the paperwork out of the way before they start? • Forget to set goals and expectations You’ve hired a candidate because you think they are going to be a valued addition to your organisation, so now’s the time to set them some goals and make sure they understand what’s expected of them. This will keep everyone happy! • Treat onboarding as a one-day event Try not to rush things, as your new starter will need some time to get used to the company culture, find everything they need and meet their new colleagues

Article by Sian Ratcliffe HR Manager

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Blue Stream Academy is very proud to present our

Blue Stream

eLearning

Blue Stream Academy is the leading provider of eLearning to healthcare professionals throughout the UK. Each of our eLearning suites hosts over 100 clinical and non-clinical modules covering all the essential topics needed for those working in the healthcare industry, including Infection Control, Safeguarding, Information Governance, Mental Health Awareness and many more. Our modules are CPD certified and designed to provide specifically focused training in an easy to access, easy to use, and highly engaging online format.

Blue Hub

Management of

Information System (MIS)

This is the heart of the system. In Blue Hub, individuals can access their training records, which will contain information on any completed training (of any kind), along with certificates, actions and reflections identified. It allows managers to view all records, including outstanding training, and see if training in any form needs to be redone. Searches can be carried out by job role, training title, incomplete/complete – in fact, whatever information is needed can be gleaned from Blue Hub.

Training and Management Solutions at Your Fingertips

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ver the years, as the healthcare landscape has changed and organisations have needed to adapt, many new challenges have arisen for managers, their organisations and the staff who power them. At Blue Stream Academy, we have listened carefully to our customers to ensure that the system we provide contains the features that are needed. Our aim has always been to improve user

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experience, reduce wasted time and be as economical as possible. We have now developed Blue StreamNet to help streamline an organisation’s business needs into one easy-to-use platform. It couldn’t be easier!

It’s amazing what Blue Stream Academy has helped us achieve it has revolutionised our working process!

Our security is second to none: we are ISO27001 accredited and only those with appropriate security clearance can access certain areas in accordance with GDPR.


brand new Blue StreamNet platform - a complete solution for all your business and training needs!

HR System

Our fully integrated Blue People HR System equips managers with the tools required to organise rotas and staff absences in a harmonious manner. Its custom settings allow you to forecast minimum staffing levels and contracted staff hours at the touch of a button.

Blue Check

DBS Checking System

The Blue Check System is designed to ensure that the checking of a new employee runs smoothly. This system helps managers to easily submit DBS checks and avoid checking failures, thanks to its ability to check for correct formatting and incomplete fields prior to submission.

Blue Pay Payroll System

The new payroll functionality allows organisations to control their payroll process in-house with a fully compliant HMRC system. This feature runs alongside our HR System and gives administrators the ability to easily run pay schedules, input one-off changes and bonuses, etc., all while ensuring that compliance remains a priority.

Blue Connect

Video Conferencing It has never felt more important to stay connected than it does today. Blue Connect enables seamless video conferencing on a secure platform that managers know and trust. Conference calls can be password protected, attendees are able to screen-share and present, and calls can be recorded for future reference.

Blue Recruit

Recruitment System

To make it easy for managers to advertise a vacancy in their organisation, we have added this feature to our Management of Information System dashboard – the place where you monitor your staff. Applicants can be reviewed and filtered in the Vacancy tab, and interview requests or initial email contact can be made at the touch of a button.

Blue Books

Bookkeeping

The Blue Books accounting system simplifies both individual and organisational G bookkeeping procedures CO M IN by creating a digital record of accounts for transactions, receipts and invoices. Online bookkeeping systems are revolutionising older manual methods, stepping into the future of efficient accounting.

ON

Blue People

SO

Our team is on hand to discuss the different ways that we can support your organisation and transform your daily processes – please get in touch by emailing info@bluestreamacademy.com to find out more about our effective, efficient and easy-to-use new platform!

www.bluestreamacademy.com

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y

m de a ! Ac ent m m ea nc r St ou e u nn Bl p A ew hi N ers g n tin art i c P Ex

Look Who’s Talking: Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the General Manager of First Practice Management (FPM) Group, an award-winning company that provides the highest quality practice management support, software and consultancy services to primary care across the UK. A new partnership between FPM and Blue Stream Academy has recently been announced which will enable users to link compliance and policies at the touch of a button.

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he advantage of working with FPM is that many of us have already worked in primary care, whether in technology, practice management or the wider NHS. This means we can appreciate first-hand the pressures being experienced by our members.

Matthew Wright www.firstpracticemanagement.co.uk Matthew is an accomplished technology executive who has worked for over 25 years with mainly Primary Care Technology businesses. He has wide ranging experience in Primary Healthcare, and has also worked in the Legal, Charity and Manufacturing sectors. Matthew is currently the General Manager of the FPM Group which includes the First Practice Management, My Surgery Website and Thornfields companies. His previous executive positions include founder and Director of Egton, and Head of Support at EMIS. In between these roles he provided consultancy and support services to small and medium sized businesses around Yorkshire. Matthew earned a B Eng (Hons) in Electronic, Computer and Communications Engineering from Bradford University.

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The first FPM website was created in the mid-nineties by Ray Wilcox, a Practice Manager based in Norwich. The website made available a small library of policies, a frequently asked questions section and a list of helpful links for practice managers for an annual fee. We have always continued with the original aim – to support busy managers in the running of their practice business so they have the information and tools they need to run a safe and compliant service for their patients. In 2003 Ray joined forces with Tim Marlton, an experienced employment lawyer, to set up FPM. Their aim was to provide recruitment and staff training services and a discussion forum for practice managers throughout the UK. We built on that with the FPM weekly bulletin, an HR helpline as well as practice recruitment and consultancy services. Over the years we’ve welcomed software applications and face-toface training services into the product portfolio too.

Stericycle acquired the business in 2008 and FPM Group has continued to grow since then, with FPM winning IT Provider of the Year at the General Practice Awards in 2015, and Thornfields winning Education Provider of the Year at the 2016 and 2017 GP Awards. Today we offer recruitment and management consultancy, HR and Care Quality Commission (CQC) advice, an extensive library of policies and procedures, primary care training, and website services (My Surgery Website). All together, we support more than 7,000 practices across the UK. Practice managers have told us in our annual FPM Practice Manager Salary Surveys that they are in “a generally under-appreciated position”; extra workload, expectations from partners to fix everything at any time of the day (or night, or weekend) and the additional work for health boards, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) or primary care networks (PCNs) all add to an increasing to-do list for our practice managers. We’re pleased that people look to us as ‘thought leaders’, so we have a responsibility to inform our communities to keep them up to date and be aware of what’s just around the corner. We have been approached by bodies such as NHS England, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the


Parliamentary Ombudsman to help promote and share important information with our practice audiences and create information packs to help them. We are especially pleased to have been working with the University of Liverpool on a practice management academic guide that will be released this year. We are proud to offer some of the most innovative products in the marketplace. For example, My Surgery Website not only provides a web presence for surgeries but also delivers tools to help practices fulfil some of their statutory duties, and will always continue to do so. Our ‘Digital Practice’, with features such as prescription ordering, appointment booking, data collection, online reviews and now our new DOC App feature (which allows patients to send photos to the surgery securely), shows how continuous innovation is bringing benefits to our practices and especially their patients – a good practice website is the modern patient’s first impression of their local GP services. This is why we are still the largest supplier of websites and intranets to the primary care market and the most successful provider for GP online services in the UK. Our systems deliver the very latest information and interactive services to more than 10 million NHS patients and nearly 2 million prescription items are ordered through our websites every month. I am very proud of the recognition we have received – we’ve been presented with a General Practice Award for IT Provider of the Year for our FPM team, and Thornfields has won Training Provider of the Year for two consecutive years. These were voted for by our industry peers, which shows that we delivered the right mix of skills and services to practices and that our work has made a real difference to our customers, who can be confident that we know primary care. Thornfields has delivered training to thousands of clients, ranging from single-hand GP practices and federations to local medical committees (LMCs), CCGs and health boards throughout the UK. In 2018, we delivered 955 courses to 380 organisations, including NHS England, NHS Scotland, and Scottish and Welsh health boards. As an accredited leadership training centre, we have a dedicated team of specialist trainers who deliver courses accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management, each focused on the challenges we know that leaders and managers face on a daily basis. In the highly pressured world of the NHS, leaders must satisfy the needs of a range of stakeholders. Our experts help delegates build skills in leadership, management and coaching, as well as helping them to explore innovation, change, partnership and practice finance. Our new FPM Core online Document Management System is a web-based compliance platform that combines all of our policies and procedures in one place. It allows you to distribute compliant documents to your teams and gives you the ability to report on their uptake. We’ve worked with our customers to make this intuitive so that they can have the policies they trust in an easy-to-use system. www.bluestreamacademy.com

Both organisations are passionate about primary care and know just how critical it is that practices across the country get the best value for money.

This will help to standardise policies and protocols at a practice, CCG and PCN level, facilitating working at scale across different locations and keeping you compliant with CQC inspection requirements. I am excited about our plans for 2020 and beyond, as we build on our achievements from last year. At the forefront of our strategy is retaining the viewpoint of our founders, which is to provide the very best help and advice to practices that there is, bar none. In particular, we’re really excited about working with Blue Stream Academy, as we have similar aims to provide a quality service with the right support. Both organisations are passionate about primary care and know just how critical it is that practices across the country get the best value for money. With our respective experience, product ranges and commitment to quality, we’re looking forward to creating a strong connection that provides complete support for hard-working practice communities

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Thornfields: We Know Primary Care

Thornfields knows primary care – we have more than 27 years’ experience of providing high-quality interactive training to primary care managers and staff to drive positive, lasting change in NHS organisations across the UK.

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e understand the need to juggle endless demands, rigorous regulation and limited capacity, and we are proud to have a reputation for providing workshops that deliver to the exact needs of delegates. Staff Training – Where Should I Start? That’s the question that inspired us to develop our Four Pillars Model to address transactional and transformation needs, alongside our internationally recognised Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) qualifications. The Four Pillars Model provides you with hand-selected courses and ready-made frameworks to meet the needs of your GP practice. Do you want to widen your skills mix, transform processes to boost efficiency or develop your leadership skills and gain an accredited qualification? Thornfields can deliver everything you need to help your practice flourish. Moving to Online With the lockdown in place, we’ve adapted to a new online training environment. This required taking a realistic look at what learning outcomes are achievable – if you’re used to being in a room and delivering a course to 15–80 people, replicating that in digital

technologies, like a Webex or Zoom, can be challenging. We had to think creatively about learning outcomes and how to complement face-toface training with the appropriate use of technology. We have now made many of our courses available online, including our Introduction to Practice Management course, which has been very well received. This highlights the expertise our trainers bring. Their time, energy and experience are enabling our attendees to continue their learning so that this pandemic doesn’t disrupt their training experience. We Know Leadership Nationally accredited by the ILM, our courses provide leaders and managers with the skills to thrive in the highly pressured world of primary care. Our specialist trainers help delegates build skills in leadership, management and coaching, exploring topics such as innovation, change, partnership and practice finance – we even have a formally recognised qualification just for practice managers. We Know Teamwork Building a team that works together is about providing the skills, training and resources that your people need to work in harmony.

Your teams are made up of people who have different needs, abilities, ambitions and personalities. Our support will help you and your team understand what is expected of them and make sure that expectation is delivered. We can help you and your team deliver sustained high performance that is aligned to the needs of your practices and the Long Term Plan. We Know Workshops Our Thrive and Survive workshop helps practice managers and GPs understand the challenges ahead and the best way to navigate them. If any of your GPs are considering retirement in the next 5 years, we can help them prepare for that eventuality in our half-day Build Your Own Rainbow workshop. Time is tight for many managers, but Thornfields can still help you gain a stronger grasp on how to lead a successful GP practice in our full-day Being a Successful Business Manager workshop. If you want to encourage patients to take greater personal responsibility for their own wellbeing, our Motivational Interviewing workshop will equip your staff with the skills to put that plan into action. Thornfields delivers a wide range of primary care training courses and development programmes to meet the general needs of people and organisations in the primary care sector. We can also tailor, adapt and create special training courses and programmes to meet specific needs. Speak to one of our account managers or visit www.thornfields.co.uk today for details of our full range of specialist services

Photo credits: Thornfields

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increasingly being targeted by threat actors), in order to adapt to changes in working practices, as these technologies could compromise their security posture.

Lessons in Information Security: Post COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has developed into a real and significant threat to a huge number of organisations around the world, forcing them to completely rethink how they operate – both on a day-to-day basis and over the long term.

A

recent survey found that 84% of organisations anticipate broader and permanent working from home (WfH) programmes.[1] With the expectation that WfH will increasingly be accepted as a reality by many organisations in the post-COVID-19 world, there are some valuable lessons relating to information security that can and must be learned in order to avoid the potentially increased risks associated with it. Some of these increased risks include: COVID-related Phishing Attempts and Malware Attacks Cyber criminals have embraced the opportunity that the virus has presented them, with reports of phishing attempts and malware attacks increasing by as much as 30,000% from January to March this year, and

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the registration of 130,000 new suspicious domains featuring COVID-related keywords.[2] Business Email Compromise (BEC)/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fraud BEC/CEO fraud is where a threat actor impersonates an organisation’s executives in order to deceive employees into sending money or sensitive information to a fraudulent third party. Mimecast’s global customer threat intelligence data highlights the fact that impersonation fraud increased by 30% in the first 100 days of COVID-19.[3] Misuse of Devices Increased use of an organisation’s devices for personal activities when WfH – and, conversely, when using personal devices for work activities – further exposes an organisation’s assets. According to the 2020 COVID-19 State of Remote Work Survey Report[4], employees are practising poor information security while WfH, with 33% having downloaded a personal application without approval, 36% accessing work applications from personal devices, 45% having shared their work device with their spouse, partner or children, and 17% visiting adult sites on a work device. Insecure Devices, Technologies and Remote Connections Insecure devices, technologies and remote connections increase the risk of being affected by malicious or inappropriate actions and the damage they cause. Implementation of New or Unproven Technologies Organisations should be wary of rushing to implement new or unproven technologies, such as cloud storage and collaboration tools (which are

Workspace Privacy When WfH employees will often have a relaxed sense of security, as well as facing numerous distractions that could cause issues with confidentiality and data integrity. Tripwire’s Remote Work and COVID-19 Cybersecurity Impact Report[5] found that 49% of organisations felt that they were not able to effectively secure employees’ home environments. Employee Stress Something that is often overlooked is that increased financial pressures, difficulty finding a work–life balance and concerns about loss of employment can have a negative effect on employees’ health, wellbeing and performance. They may also be more susceptible to being coerced, persuaded or exploited by competitors into disclosing sensitive information. The following actions can help reduce, if not entirely prevent, many of these risks: • Create secure working environments by: • • • • • • • • • • • •

implementing a clear desk policy locking screens having privacy screens using web cam covers using headphones establishing strong and unique passwords implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) securing Wi-Fi access points ensuring antivirus and firewall software is up to date using tried, tested and trusted cloud technologies and collaboration tools encrypting data at rest using a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

• Increase information security awareness training and advice on COVID-related fraud and phishing attacks. • Take a disciplined approach to using


before, during and after the execution of disaster recovery. A BCP typically functions in four phases[7]:

work and personal devices for their given purpose. • Maintain contact between an organisation’s management and employees, providing updates and reassurances that the situation is being managed.

1. Prevention Prevention is built on the principles of identifying, analysing, evaluating and treating risks. 2. Preparedness Preparedness focuses on analysing the impact of events on an organisation. It helps prioritise key functions, employees, equipment, offerings and activities that could be impacted by a critical incident.

Unfortunately, many organisations were ill-prepared for the scale and nature of this unprecedented event, as evidenced in the recent Gartner Business Continuity Survey[6], with just 12% of the 1,500 respondents feeling that their organisation was adequately prepared to deal with the uncertainty that the pandemic presented. Perhaps even more alarmingly, only 2% of those responding said that they expected their business to be able to continue operating as normal.

3. Response Response is a plan detailing the list of steps to take immediately before (if possible), during and after an incident in order to contain, control and minimise impacts.

Although it is impossible to accurately predict how and when every conceivable scenario will develop, this highlights why establishing a business continuity plan (BCP) that is regularly reviewed, updated and tested can be hugely beneficial when facing even the most unexpected of challenges. Business continuity planning is the process of establishing methods of prevention and recovery to deal with possible threats to an organisation. In addition to prevention, the objective is to enable continuous operations

4. Recovery Recovery planning is the organisation’s roadmap to minimising disruption and reducing the amount of time it takes to return to business as usual. A BCP should do the following:

BLUE PAY

• detail the purpose and scope of the plan • establish objectives • detail responsibilities • provide guidance on how and when the plan should be implemented

• identify and prioritise the organisation’s key operations, functions, products and services • assess the potential impact that different scenarios could have on the organisation, suppliers, employees and customers • detail the actions required to protect the organisation • establish contact lists for suppliers, alternative suppliers, employees, customers, interested parties and stakeholders • be regularly reviewed, updated and tested. The BCP must be published in a location that is available to all employees, especially those directly involved in its implementation, and it should be available in all appropriate formats (digital, hard copy, etc.). A BCP enables organisations to manage an incident and minimise the disruption to itself and its customers; it can reduce or even avoid loss of revenue. It also demonstrates that an organisation has the foresight and capability to handle a crisis, providing trust, confidence and a potential advantage over competitors Article by Stuart Walsh Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) 1 www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/portfolio/2020-remote-workforce-security-report-pulse-secure (Last accessed June 2020) 2 www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/experts-detect-30000-increase (Last accessed June 2020) 3 www.mimecast.com/globalassets/cyber-resilience-content/100-days-of-coronavirus-threat-intelligence.pdf (Last accessed June 2020) 4 www.onelogin.com/resource-center/ebooks/2020-state-remote-work (Last accessed June 2020) 5 www.tripwire.com/misc/covid-19-cybersecurity-report (Last accessed June 2020) 6 www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-03-10-gartner-business-continuity-survey-shows-just-twelve-percernt-oforganizations-are-highly-prepared-for-coronavirsu (Last accessed June 2020) 7 https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2020/business-continuity-planning-in-covid-19 (Last accessed June 2020)

Your Complete Payroll Solution

Ever wondered how simple your monthly payroll process would be with a fully integrated HR system and staff timekeeping function? Looking for an all-in-one solution to convert your staff rotas and timesheets to an HMRC compliant payroll document?

PAYROLL PROCESSES MADE SIMPLE

Blue Stream Academy’s automated payroll option generates payslips, emails PDF payslips to each employee, and files the payment submission with HMRC. Staff data, rotas and timekeeping reports are all available on one platform, eliminating the need to log in and out of different systems while transferring all relevant data to generate your payroll. Designed with the end user in mind, the Blue Pay system is simple and easy to use. Automated Reporting

Cost Effective

Easy Migration

Auto Enrolment

In-house Customer Service

HMRC Recognised

The power to generate automated reports, providing detailed results based on your payroll data.

Comply with auto enrolment with our built-in pension calculator and reporting.

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Blue Pay provides fantastic value for money, without having to take out multiple subscriptions with different providers.

With Blue Pay, you have instant access to our in-house customer service team who provide marketleading support. 01773 822549

Migrating to Blue Pay from your existing payroll provider is simple. We can even run both systems side by side until you are ready to switch.

Utilising fully tested, compliant and recognised payroll functions.

info@bluestreamacademy.com


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Gardens in Bloom! And the Winner is...

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e would like to thank everyone who entered our Gardens in Bloom photography competition, which was open to all Hospices and Nursing and Care Homes in the UK. Your beautiful, colourful and well-loved gardens show just how important nature and getting outdoors are, and the hugely positive impact they can have on our lives and wellbeing. This year especially, those of us who have had access to a garden or have been able to enjoy time gardening will have experienced the immense comfort and happiness that the outdoors can bring during challenging times. We are delighted to announce that the winner of the ÂŁ250 National Garden gift voucher is The Old Pepper Pot House care home in Littlehampton. Congratulations!

28

The Old Pepper Pot House

Littlehampton, West Sussex

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Quarantine Cuisine

Food can be a great source of comfort and during lockdown we made sure that we were making good use of all the foods that were available to us – including checking out what we had in our kitchen cupboards and fridges. Ellie Stanton, one of the many talented home cooks at Blue Stream Academy, created these delicious recipes. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Beef Stew and Dumplings

An easy-to-prepare family meal using ingredients you might have at home. If you don’t have the root vegetables listed in the recipe, you can swap out those you don’t have for those you do – and add any other suitable ingredients you have into the stew. You can also use chicken instead of beef. Prep: 30min Cook: 3hrs Serves: 4-6

1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan)/190°C. Coat 430g

stewing beef well in 2 large tbsp cornflour (alternatively use plain flour) and leave to one side. Peel and chop 4 carrots, 3 parsnips, 3 leeks, and 3 potatoes into medium sized chunks.

2. In a casserole dish, melt a large knob of butter

(alternatively use 1 tbsp oil). Then add the beef and 200g chopped bacon, stirring until they turn a dark golden brown. Add the vegetables and stir. Crumble in a beef stock cube and add boiling water to cover the vegetables.

3. Add a large glass red wine, 2 peeled and crushed

garlic cloves, 1 tsp tomato sauce, a generous glug of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1 tsp mixed herbs. Season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Add 2 bay leaves and bring to the boil.

4. Cover the stew with the casserole dish lid (or with tinfoil, tightly) and put the stew into the oven for 3 hours, stirring well every 45 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Whilst the stew is in the oven, make the dumplings. Rub

250g self-raising flour and 140g butter together until they resemble breadcrumbs, season well with salt and pepper, then add 2 tsp mixed herbs.

6. Slowly add 150ml water, mixing well until it forms a dry dough (it should be dry – but not crumbly – and needs to just hold together without falling apart).

7. Separate out into 8 big dumplings or 16 small dumplings

and put to one side. 30 minutes before the stew is done, take out of the oven. If it’s looking dry add some boiling water. Place the dumplings on top of the stew, cover, and return to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes. If you have any leftovers, you can turn them into a pie and make a second meal! See the recipe on the next page.

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4

Root Vegetable Parts You Didn’t Know You Could Eat!

Spinach, Garlic, Tomato and Bacon (optional) Spaghetti Prep: 15min Cook: 20min Serves: 4

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C. Chop 200g cherry

tomatoes in half and crush 4 garlic cloves (leaving the skin on) and put in an oven-proof tray.

2. Cut 4 smoked bacon rashers (exclude to make vegetarian) up into small chunks and add to the tray. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stir and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. Bring a seasoned pan of water to the boil and add 340g spaghetti, cook for 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti and remove the tray from the oven. Remove the garlic clove skins and crush with a wooden spoon.

Broccoli Stalks

A versatile ingredient and full of iron. Shave finely and add to salads, stir frys and slaws.

4.

Stir in 2-3 large handfuls of spinach and the spaghetti, allowing the spinach to wilt slightly. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.

Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes Prep: 20min Cook: 20min Serves: 12

1.

A fun activity for children!

Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C. Whisk 3 ripe bananas in a mixer, alternatively mash with a fork. Mix in 150g butter. Once the butter and banana are well mixed add 150g caster sugar. Once well combined mix in 160g self-raising flour. Mix in 3 eggs before adding 100g chocolate chunks.

2. Divide the mixture equally between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Whilst the cupcakes are baking, start making the icing.

Carrot Tops & Peels

Blanch the bitter greens and add to stews or salads. Boil with other veg and seasoning to make a soup stock.

3.

Melt 120g chocolate and allow to cool. Whisk 150g butter until it is noticeably lighter in colour and slowly mix in 300g icing sugar. Add 50g cocoa powder, stir, then add the cooled melted chocolate (if it’s quite thick, add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture). Remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, pipe the icing on top, and enjoy!

Leftovers Pot Pie

This pot pie is a quick and simple way to turn any leftovers you may have into something new. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any leftovers you have, favourites include using roast dinner leftovers (sprouts included)! Potato Skins

Drizzle the shavings with olive oil and add your prefered herbs and spices. Roast in an oven to make crisps!

Cook: 25-30min

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C. Use ready-made

pastry or make your own by mixing 55g butter, 125g plain flour, and a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper together. Slowly add 3-4 tbsp cold water and combine with your hands to create a ball. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Put the leftover beef stew into an oven proof dish. Roll the

pastry out, on a floured surface, so that it’s larger in diameter than the pie dish. Beat 1 egg and brush some of the egg around the edges of the dish to help the pastry stick.

3. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry around the rolling pin Beetroot Greens

Tasting similar to beetroot, saute with a pinch of salt and crushed garlic and add to pasta with spinach.

and lift it from the work surface. Unroll the pastry lid over the pie. Trim away the excess pastry, then press down the edges of the lid with a fork to seal the pastry lid (you can decorate the pie with the leftover pastry if you wish).

4. Using a sharp knife, cut a small hole in the middle so steam can escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

www.bluestreamacademy.com

31


A Guide to PMA: Positive Mental Attitude

Although some things are starting to return to a new type of normal, given the continuing stream of news about the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that many of us have had to change our daily routines, it’s understandable that we’re all feeling more anxious and uncertain. To put it bluntly, it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook for the future. Yet staying positive is fundamental if you want to cope in a crisis.

I

t can be difficult to let go of negative thoughts and feelings. You can’t control your mood, the niggly thoughts in your head or what’s happening in the world around you, but you can control how you handle them. Maintaining a positive attitude and looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health, but being positive isn’t simply about smiling and being cheerful.[1] Having a positive mental attitude (PMA) means making positive thinking a habit, and making the best of any situation you find yourself in. Having a PMA provides a range of benefits, including better overall health, an improved ability to cope with stress, and a greater sense of well-being.[2] Developing a positive mindset takes time, and we all know that taking action is easier said than done. Focusing on selfcare, getting enough sleep, and being social are all fantastic steps to take, but sometimes our circumstances don’t allow this. When that happens, having some tools and tips to keep us calm and grounded are important for staying positive. Appreciate the Little Things The need to make alternative work, childcare and social arrangements during the lockdown might have brought unwanted stress into your life. When this happens, take a step back and notice the little things; for example, the flowers and trees outside, the sound of the birds, the feel of the hot water while showering. This allows your mind to take a short break and your brain to process the pleasure, boosting your serotonin. Learn From Your Failures Nobody is perfect, so you are going to make mistakes. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you will do next! Negative thoughts can easily creep in without you realising – for example, if a new recipe goes wrong you may think that you are terrible at cooking and say, “I shouldn’t have tried that”. Replace these with positive thoughts instead: “Once I have more practise, I’ll be better at cooking”. Be Kind to Yourself (and Others) During periods of stress it can be easy to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. These could be overworking in order to ignore other worries, or self-medicating with alcohol, smoking, sex, or food (over- or under-eating). If you are worried that you are relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms, it could be worth talking to someone and seeking appropriate therapy.

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WOOP! The WOOP technique (developed by Psychology Professor Gabriele Oettingen[3]) is usually reserved for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and goal setting, but it can be used as a powerful tool to help overcome any uncertainty you have. The Wish, Outcome and Obstacle parts of the process involve mental contrasting, and the Plan section involves designing implementation intentions. If it’s your first WOOP, it will take roughly 20 minutes to complete. Here is an example of how you could use WOOP: Wish (What do you hope or wish for?) I want to cut back on my alcohol consumption. Outcome (What is the ideal outcome?) I’ll be a healthy person, and I can put the money saved towards holidays. Obstacle (What is getting in your way?) I’m afraid I’ll lose my friends who are heavy drinkers. Plan (What is one action you can take?) I will still meet up with my friends who drink alcohol and remind myself that I drink in moderation when they might be drinking to excess. Above all, having PMA is about taking control of your attitude and thoughts in the face of whatever life throws at you. Remember, even the smallest changes can make a big difference[4]: • Breathe. Breathe deeply and slowly, inhale for 5 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds • Challenge that critical inner voice and avoid the ‘I can’t’ mindset, every failure is always a lesson • Take back control of the things you can change, but learn to accept the things you can’t change • Go easy on yourself. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down everyone fails and it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough! • Pay attention to your diet, and ensure that you eat healthy and nutritious food. It’s ok to treat yourself from time to time, but do so in moderation. • Try meditating to calm yourself, see our beginner’s guide on the next page.


How to Meditate for Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that guides you to slow down your thoughts, let go of any negativity you may have, and calm your body and mind. In general, mindfulness meditation involves breathing practices and an awareness of yourself, putting your focus on ‘the now’.You don’t need any special equipment or preparation, just a place to sit and 5 minutes of free time. Learn how to get started with our guide for beginners. To start, find a place to sit (for example, a chair, bed or park bench), get comfortable and prepare to be still for a few minutes. 5 minutes is a good starting point. 1. Legs If you are sitting on the floor or on a cushion, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. If you are sitting on a chair, let the bottoms of your feet touch the floor. 2. Upper Body Straighten, but don’t stiffen, your upper body. Let your head and shoulders rest comfortably. 3. Arms Allow your arms to hang by your side, letting your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. If you’re sitting too far forwards you will hunch over, and if you’re too far back you will feel stiff: aim for somewhere in between. 4. Head Let your chin drop and your gaze fall. Feel free to close your eyes if you would like to.

5. Follow your breath Take a deep breath in so that your chest expands. Then slowly exhale, letting your chest contract. Focus on your breathing: where do you feel your breath most? Choose your focal point and mentally note breathing in and out. 6. Open your eyes When you’re ready, gently open your eyes or lift your gaze. Take a moment to pause and notice the sounds in your environment, how your body feels now, and your thoughts and emotions. Be honest: how long was it until your mind wandered away from your breathing? There’s nothing wrong with this; we rarely notice how busy our minds are (even when we don’t consciously direct them to think)! When this happens, notice what you were thinking about without reacting to it, and then take a moment and pause. You don’t need to return your focus to your breathing straight away; instead, let go of whatever it was, reopen your attention and slowly return your awareness to your breathing. Remember that developing a positive mindset takes time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep practising and you will soon achieve mindfulness Article by Courteney Barlow-Ferguson Graphic Designer 1 MHE. (2020). Coronavirus: 8 Ways to Look After Yourself. www.mhe-sme.org/covid-19 (Last accessed June 2020) 2 Davit T. (2019). What Is Well-Being? Definition, Types, and Well-Being Skills. www.psychologytoday. com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201901/what-is-well-being-definition-types-and-well-being-skills (Last accessed June 2020) 3 Yuile T. (2018). WOOP to Achieve Your Goals. https://wellingtonlifecoaching.co.nz/woop-to-achieveyour-goals (Last accessed June 2020) 4 Ackerman C. (2020). What Is Positive Mindset: 89 Ways to Achieve a Positive Mental Attitude. https:// positivepsychology.com/positive-mindset (Last accessed June 2020)

DO YOU WANT TO GROW

Your Business? ADVERTISE HERE!

Please contact Brady Braddock at:

01773 822549 • brady@bluestreamacademy.com www.bluestreamacademy.com www.bluestreamacademy.com

17 35


Meet the Sales and Support Team Hi, my name is Natalie and I joined Blue Stream Academy in April 2017 as an Administrative Assistant. As a company, we look to amplify and develop an individual’s skills and interests, and I soon moved up to become the GP Suite Manager. The best part about working in sales and support is that you have the chance to network with interesting people in the industry and to travel all over the country. One day you could be attending an exhibition in Devon, and the next you could be at a practice managers’ meeting in Cumbria. Each day is different and comes with new and exciting challenges.

Natalie Poyner

Sales Office Manager

After a year and a half in the GP Suite Manager role, I was given the opportunity to progress to my current role as Sales Office Manager. Alongside the new challenges I have faced in this role, it has been a privilege to work alongside enthusiastic and experienced like-minded individuals such as my Sales and Support Team! Everyone knows that one of the keys to having a successful work force is to have a great relationship with one another. So, when not in work, we like to socialise by going out for dinner, attending events or even just chatting over the phone. Each member of the Sales and Support Team brings something unique and different to our department. Now let’s introduce a few key members of the team, so you can learn a bit about the person you might have only spoken to on the phone...

Hi, I’m Sharon and I joined Blue Stream Academy in March 2015. I am the Business Retention Manager and I have been in this role for 3 years. I am in charge of renewals and making sure that our customers are happy with our products and services. I genuinely love talking to our customers and helping with their queries. I enjoy working alongside my colleagues and looking at the wonderful riverside view from our office window.

Sharon Marchant Retention Manager

34

In my spare time I enjoy all kinds of crafts, such as knitting and crocheting, reading, weekend breaks in my caravan, and spending time with my family and my dog.


Natalie Lofthouse GP Suite Manager

Hello there! I’m Natalie, the GP Suite Manager. I have lived in Derbyshire for 14 years, yet I’ve still kept my ’uddersfield twang – so you’re sure to recognise me when you call the office! I enjoy playing the piano every day, and spending time with my little Pug. At age 14, I started working in pubs (please don’t worry, I was only pot-washing) and by the time I’d hit my twenties I’d gained enough confidence and experience to start running my own pub. Although I loved my job, I felt that a change would be for the better and started searching for a career that would let me take my problem-solving and communication skills further. In 2018 I was lucky to find a challenging role as an Administrative Assistant at Blue Stream Academy. I later took on the responsibility of managing the Care Certificate and jumped at the opportunity to dive into the land of general practice. I am now approaching my third year at Blue Stream Academy and am looking forward to what the next 3 years will bring!

Joanne Eastwick

Hospice and Tailored Care Suites Manager My name is Jo, and I am the Hospice and Tailored Care Suite Manager. I have worked at Blue Stream for over 5 years. As the company grew, my role evolved from a System Support Lead to an Event Coordinator. I have since been given the opportunity to run the Hospice Suite, and following the success of that suite I was given the chance to run the Tailored Care Suite as well. I enjoy all aspects of my job, especially meeting and working closely with our customers to ensure training compliance and customer satisfaction. In my spare time I enjoy exploring my home county of Derbyshire with my dogs. When I’m at home, I enjoy cooking, reading and spending time with my family.

Ellie Stanton

Assistant National Trainer

Abbie Scattergood

Nursing and Care Home Suite Manager Hello, my name is Abbie and I am the Nursing and Care Home Suite Manager. In 2019, following 3 years at university, I achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology – if I could be any animal, I would be a penguin! I have a passion for running and exercise, which comes in handy as I have a lot of excess energy – the girls in the office would probably describe me as someone who is far too bubbly and energetic for 9am on a Monday morning. I joined Blue Stream as an Administrative Assistant a year ago, and I have recently been promoted to Nursing and Care Home Suite Manager, which I am enjoying as I can get my teeth into new challenges every day. www.bluestreamacademy.com

Hello, I’m Ellie and I am an Assistant National Trainer. I have been working at Blue Stream Academy since 2019, when I started as an Administrative Assistant. I love to be creative in my spare time, painting, sewing and knitting. I am also a keen cook and baker, often providing recipes for BSA Today. My colleagues blame me for regularly ruining their diets with all the baked goods that I bring into the office. I enjoy walks in the countryside, which is lucky for me as I live in Milford, Derbyshire, where I am surrounded by beautiful views. I love dogs, and regularly pester my boyfriend for one – fingers crossed he gives in soon!

35


Q

Dear Abi,

During this strange period, I’ve been feeling a lot more stressed than normal, and subsequently I’m struggling to get to sleep at night. Once I do manage to drift off, my sleep is often very disrupted, as I wake up at various times throughout the night.

Ask Abi...

Blue Stream Academy team member, Abi, is here to answer your questions and give advice to our readers. If you have a question or problem and would like some advice, please feel free to contact Abi via email at: bsatoday@bluestreamacademy.com

Useful Links (Last accessed June 2020) • www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/caffeineand-sleep • www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/howexercise-impacts-sleep-quality • www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise

When I feel like this, it normally passes within a few days or a week at most, but this time it seems like there is no end in sight. Have you got any advice on how to ease the stress and hopefully get some better sleep? Thanks, Anon

A

Z

Z

Z

Dear Reader,

I am sorry to hear that you are feeling like this. As the days pass by, many people are feeling more and more stressed, without being able to pinpoint the exact cause. But don’t worry – you are certainly not alone in feeling like this, and with a few changes to your routine you should be sleeping better and feeling less stressed. The first change that might help is to reduce your caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon and evening.

Caffeine can cause a stimulating effect within 15 minutes, but it can take about 6 hours for just half of that caffeine to leave your body – something worth considering before drinking a cup of tea or coffee in the late afternoon! Have you been able to exercise regularly? Increasing your daily exercise, even by a small amount, could really help with improving your sleep. It may also be a great way to clear your head, which, in turn, may start to reduce your stress levels. Try putting down your phone or any other ‘blue light’ electronic devices at least one or two hours before you go to bed. Other options, such as using a sleep-focused pillow spray, having a bath or reading a book, may also help you wind down for a good night’s sleep. These are just a few tips to get you started; there are plenty of resources out there, such as NHS Live Well, that have lots of useful information to help you sleep better and reduce your stress levels. I hope some of these suggestions work for you, and that you can eventually rest well with a good night’s sleep. Thank you for getting in touch and stay safe.

#TeamBSA

I

n a change to our usual news on upcoming events and fundraising opportunities, we’d like to share something slightly different. Over the last few months our daily lives have altered somewhat, as the nation has embraced the stay at home lifestyle, our team has got creative to keep themselves occupied during the evenings and weekends. Here’s a look at what they’ve been getting up to (and also what’s been happening while we’ve been working from home): “Over the past few months, we’ve been trying to recreate a ‘night out’ style meal every few weekends as a treat. Our favourite to date has to be these smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis – just delicious!” Abi Events and Media Manager

“During lockdown I’ve been perfecting my brownie-baking skills! Here’s a picture of my favourite batch to date!” Sian HR Manager

“My cat sometimes joins me when I’m working from home – on this occasion she decided to sit on one of the shelves next to my desk to keep me company.” Keely Content Developer

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“During lockdown I’ve been using my hobby of crocheting to make face mask bands, designed to relieve the pain around the ears caused by the protective face masks that NHS and social care workers are required to wear. I’ve been handing these out to friends and family who work within the NHS and other healthcare facilities, to help keep them safe and comfortable during these unpredictable times.” Ellie Assistant National Trainer

Abi


@BlueStreamNews

A

s the leading provider of CPD-certified clinical and non-clinical eLearning to healthcare professionals throughout the UK, we release new modules throughout the year. Our newest modules cover the following key topics:

Electrocardiogram (ECG) Developed for use by healthcare professionals who are already trained and assessed as competent to perform a 12-Lead ECG in line with their organisation’s policy, our new Electrocardiogram (ECG) module provides information on the purpose of a 12-Lead ECG and the procedure involved. It explains how to correctly position each electrode and how the 12-Lead ECG is translated onto graph paper. The module also covers how to read and analyse an ECG, explaining what a normal 12-Lead ECG looks like and what the different waves and intervals represent. Arthritis Care Arthritis affects around 10 million people in the UK. Living with arthritis-associated pain can impact key aspects of a person’s physical and emotional life, including their mood, ability to sleep, and general coping methods. Focusing on care and nursing home settings, and on the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis, this module looks at different non-pharmacological and pharmacological management and treatment options. These include how to cope with sleep disturbance and fatigue, getting enough exercise, diet and supplements, and helpful aids and devices.

Autism Awareness - COMING SOON! Our Autism Awareness module has two tiers. Tier 1 provides a basic introduction to autism, the typical signs and behaviours, and how we can work together to improve the person’s life when it comes to using services that may be taken for granted by others. Tier 1 is aimed at people who need general knowledge about autism but do not expect to work directly with autistic people. Tier 2 takes a deep dive into the complex nuances of autism while looking at comorbidity and strategies for helping to diagnose the core issues behind behaviour that challenges. It considers different advice on how the environment can affect autistic people, and how they interact with the world at large. Tier 2 is designed for those who work directly with austic people in a variety of situations and contains more specialised information.

Along with describing the physical effects of osteoarthritis and the possible risk factors for developing the condition, this module provides information on effective arthritis care for older people who are being cared for and supported by health and social care workers.

If you would like to discuss these new modules – or any other Blue Stream Academy eLearning resource – please contact us either through email at info@bluestreamacademy.com, or call us on 01773 822549 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.

Gaining an understanding of osteoarthritis, which is commonly associated with a number of ‘myths’ and misconceptions, can enable carers to assist with controlling the symptoms and enhancing the person’s ability to function and overall well-being and quality of life.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@BlueStreamNews) to get our updates and module announcements as soon as they happen!

Meet the Team!

Hi, my name is Natalie Jayne Wilson, and I joined Blue Stream Academy in September 2019. In my role as Content Update Support I work with the Content Development Team. I enjoy doing research for upcoming modules and assisting with updates to our existing modules. This has given me a great understanding of the wide range of training we provide. Working here has given me a massive boost in confidence and let me explore new adventures in life. It’s a pleasure to be part of such a friendly, hardworking ‘work family’. In my spare time, I have a passion for music and I enjoy visiting my family in Skegness. I also love spending time with my friends and my dog.

www.bluestreamacademy.com

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Photos That Make You Smile!

A

fter the success of our ‘Gardens in Bloom’ competition, we decided that it was time to brighten up your day! During lockdown things have felt a little strange, and we thought our readers, just like us, could use some cheering up!

So, we decided that the theme for this issue’s photography competition should be ‘Photos That Make You Smile’. So, get snapping and get laughing. We want to see your weird and wonderful sense of humour! It could be your pet, your pals, a fun night in, or anything that has made you smile recently, and you could be in with a chance of winning a £150 Amazon voucher! To enter, simply email your photo to bsatoday@bluestreamacademy.com with the subject line ‘BSA Today Issue 6 Photography Competition’. The deadline for this competition is 1 November 2020 and we’ll announce the winner in our next issue.

The winning photo will be chosen by our in-house photographer. Terms and conditions apply and can be found on our website: www bluestreamacademy.com

ENTER TO

WIN £150! 38


Puzzle Corner Crossword

1

2

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The countries listed are the clues – just add the capital city of each one to the grid. Good luck!

Across

16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

2. Malta 6. Denmark 7. Ukraine 8. Slovenia 13. Guyana 14. Bulgaria

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Norway Latvia Japan Cyprus Kenya

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Down 1. 3. 4. 5. 9.

4

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10. Jamaica 11. Brazil 12. Indonesia 15. Peru

Sweden Portugal Croatia New Zealand Vietnam

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Sudoku (Rating: Hard)

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Last Issue's Answers Sudoku Answer:

Word Fit Answer:

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www.bluestreamacademy.com

19 20

Brain Training

Have you entered our Complete Package Competition?

Be in with the chance to win 12 months’ free usage of our new Blue StreamNet platform! See inside cover for details. T&Cs apply.

39


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