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NEWS LETTER

EDGE services Winter 2016

The Tragedy of Aberfan: 50 Years On and the Impact on Health and Safety Legislation It is not uncommon to read in the press editorials complaining about the ‘nanny state’, unnecessary ‘red-tape’ and government interference. Health and safety legislation is a particular target, combining a fear of litigation with restrictions on activities that have previously been considered harmless. However, whilst legislation on everything from manual handling to display screen equipment may be for some a cause of irritation in the workplace, it is underpinned by the ‘Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974’ which was formulated as a result of one of the worst disasters in modern UK history.

anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. At 9.15 on the morning of the 21st October, 1966, 144 people (including 116 children) were killed when colliery waste tip 7, comprising unwanted rock from the local coal mine, slid down Merthyr Mountain on to the village of Aberfan destroying 20 houses, a farm and nearly all of Pantglas Junior School. The tip had been deposited on a known water source and it was a build-up of water which led to the notoriously unstable slagheap collapsing. Minutes earlier the school assembly hall had resounded to the sound of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful.’

This year marks the fiftieth

So shocking was the disaster that hundreds rushed to the scene to lend assistance to the largely unsuccessful rescue effort. Not, however, Lord Robens of Woldingham, Chairman of the National Coal Board, who, instead, went ahead with his investiture as Chancellor of the University of Surrey. When he did arrive at the scene the following day, he attempted to mislead the public and the media as to the causes of the disaster and suggested that nothing could have been done to prevent it.

Training Courses across the UK: • People Handling • Children Handling • Inanimate Object Handling • Understanding and Managing Behaviour that Challenges • Health, Safety and General Risk Assessment

A Tribunal was appointed within days to look into the disaster, the circumstances leading up to it, whether any individuals could be held responsible and what lessons

could be learned. The Tribunal quickly discovered that, contrary to the claims of Lord Robens, the instability of the tip was well known and had been the subject of many letters of concern from the local community including Pantglas school’s Head Teacher. Lord Robens finally admitted as such when he appeared as a witness towards the end of the Tribunal. The Report, when it appeared in August, 1967, was damning: “…a terrifying tale of bungling ineptitude by many men charged with tasks for which they were totally unfitted…failure to heed clear warnings…total lack of direction from above.” The conclusion read: “Blame for the disaster rests upon the National Coal Board…The legal liability of the NCB to pay compensation of the personal injuries, fatal or otherwise, and damage to property, is incontestable and uncontested.” Despite this, whilst nine employees were held responsible for the disaster, not one of them lost their job or was disciplined. Lord Robens’ half-hearted offer to resign was turned down by the Government. A Disaster Fund which raised in excess of £20,000,000 in (continued on page three)

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

Editor’s column Welcome to the winter 2016 edition of the EDGE Services newsletter. Our cover story marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster which, as you will read, spawned the health and safety framework that we enjoy today in the UK. Long term readers may recall a similar article marking the fortieth anniversary but we think it worthwhile to remind ourselves of the tragedy from which was created something precious and worth protecting. Another piece offers some seasonally appropriate advice on ensuring safe driving in wintery conditions. We also feature the second of a series of three articles on the falling client - one of the most contentious issues you will meet in a manual handling role. On the subject of anniversaries, you may be interested to know that we at EDGE recently celebrated our 18th birthday - our first training day took place in a wet and windy Wakefield in 1998! I trust you will find something worthwhile and illuminating in this quarter’s issue. All of us at EDGE wish you a very merry Christmas and a bright and happy 2017. Best wishes, Kate Lovett.

Alzheimer’s treatment within reach after successful drug trial There are 850,000 people with dementia in Britain, and this figure is anticipated to reach a million within a decade. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of the condition but hopes have recently been raised that, with the development of a new drug - verubecestat which targets a key element of the disease, an effective treatment could at last be possible. Trials have suggested that the drug – a product of the pharmaceutical company Merck – ‘switches off’ the toxic amyloid proteins, the production of which leads to the sticky plaques seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. What is not yet known but will be the focus of future trials is whether these brain plaques are the cause of the disease, or just a symptom. If verubecestat is indeed shown to successfully slow the pace of mental decline, it could be the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s to be licensed in more than a decade. A spokesman for Merck said: ‘There are very limited therapeutic options available for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and those that exist provide only short-term improvement to the cognitive and functional symptoms. They do not directly target the underlying disease processes.’ Many scientists believe that Alzheimer’s is caused when accumulating proteins kill off healthy neurons, eventually degrading memory and cognition, and causing changes to personality. The new therapy is designed to prevent this process. 32 patients with early stage Alzheimer’s received the drug, daily for a week. Healthy volunteers were also given the drug. Samples taken from the fluid surrounding the brain showed the drug had reduced the levels of two compounds that are known to contribute to the development of abnormal amyloid proteins. Merck has, however, issued a word of caution. Whilst they believe verubecestat is successfully targeting the build-up of plaques in the brain, they are as yet uncertain as to whether this will necessarily convert into cognitive benefits for patients. ‘What we have to be worried about’, they say, ‘is that the plaques have set off other pathologies: that it is too late.’ Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, welcomed ‘a wave of potential new treatments currently being tested for dementia, with the results of these studies hotly anticipated over the course of the coming months and years.’ Previous attempts to develop similar drugs have foundered largely due to side-effects, such as liver toxicity and eye problems but the new drug appears to have few side-effects and it will be the first of its kind to reach this stage of development. Trials will include well in excess of three thousand patients, with the disease at different stages of development. Initial results are expected next summer.

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

(continued from page one)

(e) maintaining a safe and healthy working environment.

today’s money was ordered to contribute towards the cost of removing the remnants of the tip which had claimed so many lives (this money was finally repaid to the fund in 1997 without a penny of interest added). The size of the fund was also used to justify the reduction in compensation paid to the families by the NCB.

The employer also had a duty to “prepare and revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organisation and arrangement […….] for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of his employees.”

It was clear that something had to be done to protect people who might be affected by unsafe work practices. Barbara Castle, the responsible minister at the time, set up a committee to review the workings of current law with regards to health and safety at work. The Committee, chaired by none other than Lord Robens, led to the establishment of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 which is still today the bedrock of health and safety legislation in the UK.

Employees had a general duty to take reasonable care of themselves, and of others who might be affected by their acts and omissions at work. This might include: their willingness to receive training; to work safely; to use equipment or to exercise the right to refuse to carry out a task if there is no ‘safe system of work’ in place.

Previous law had been reactive rather than pro-active. The new law aimed to make employers and employees responsible before things went wrong. The new Act imposed a duty on every employer that they “shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, protect the health, safety and welfare at work of his employees.” Further duties included: (a) provision and maintenance of plant and safe systems of work; (b) safety in the collection, use, storage and transport of loads and substances; (c) provision of information, instruction, training and supervision of employees; (d) maintaining a safe workplace, access and egress;

Where an employer was found negligent, the line manager or his equivalent was now also liable and could be punished accordingly. (Section 37). If a person was accused of negligence for failure to comply with health and safety legislation he/she had to prove that it was not reasonably practicable to have complied. (Section 40). Failure to comply with this Act might result in criminal prosecution. It is not difficult to see how this law might have averted the disaster at Aberfan. It is perhaps better to focus on the many lives which have been saved and the many tragedies which have been averted since due to a more rigorous health and safety framework, whilst regretting that it took the tragedy of fifty years ago to focus the minds of legislators.

www.edgeservices.co.uk 01904 677853

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

Legal Cases

NHS Foundation Trust Fined over Patient Death Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust has been fined for safety failings after a patient drowned during a canoeing activity event. Mansoor Elahi, 31, from Rochdale was an inpatient at Birch Hill Hospital when the incident occurred at Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale on 5 September 2013. Manchester Crown Court heard how Mr Elahi was participating in a pre-arranged canoeing activity provided by an outdoor activities centre in partnership with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, when he removed his buoyancy aid and jumped into the water in an attempt to end his own life. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the activity or to adequately assess Mr Elahi’s suitability to attend. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Caroline Shorrock said: “The Trust failed to adequately assess Mr Elahi’s suitability to attend the rafted canoeing activity. Mr Elahi’s actions were entirely foreseeable as he had tried to enter the lake on a previous occasion. Had the Trust carried out a suitable assessment they would not have allowed a vulnerable person the opportunity to end his life.” Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £51,223.88.

Support Worker Sentenced after Severely Disabled Woman Choked and Died A senior support worker from Leeds was sentenced after a severely disabled woman choked and later died while in her care. Leeds Crown Court heard a senior support worker at an adult day care centre in Leeds allowed a sweet to be given to Alison Evers, a 34- year-old, severely disabled woman who had not developed a rotary chew, the circular motion that allows food to be ground down enough to swallow, and therefore required a soft diet. She choked and later died in hospital. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the senior support worker failed to take reasonable care for the safety of Alison Evers in a way that almost immediately set

in motion a chain of events that directly led to her death. She pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was sentenced to 80 days imprisonment, suspended for twelve months.

Care home Group Fined following Death of Elderly Resident A care home company based in Middlesex has been fined after an elderly resident of a Surrey care home died from scalding injuries. The court heard how the 89-year-old lady was receiving bathing care from two employees, when she received significant scalding injuries. She subsequently died of her injuries in hospital. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the bathroom taps were not adjusted to limit the temperature of the water to a safe level for bathing and showering. The investigation also found that while the company had policies and procedures in place, they were deficient and the company failed to effectively communicate information and instruction to its staff so that control measures could be implemented effectively. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,000. HSE inspector Michelle Canning said after the hearing: “This tragic and preventable incident highlights the responsibility that all care providers have to protect the safety of people in their care. People who live in residential care and nursing homes are amongst some of the most vulnerable in our society and rely on others to provide a safe environment for them to live in. “All healthcare premises have a legal duty to control the risks of scalding injuries from bathing or showering and there is guidance that is well established and simple to implement.”

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Self-Funders in Care Homes Struggle to get a “Fair Deal” A new report from Age UK entitled “Behind the headlines: Stuck in the middle - self-funders in care homes” has been compiled using information gleaned by actual calls to Age UK’s information and advice line and highlights the plight of many of the 41% of residents in UK care homes who as self-funders pay the full cost of their own care. In the last ten years there has been a rise of almost a third in the number of older people paying the full cost of their own care and this now equates to two in five care home residents. This rise is a result of the state-funded system declining while demand from an ageing population continues to rise. The report suggests that often problems can start to occur initially when the decision to move a family member into a care home is made in a rush following a spell in hospital. At such an emotional time reviewing the fine print in a care home contract and negotiating rates is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind – but the terms set at this point can have an impact not only on an older person’s quality of life but also on their finances. According to Age UK’s information line, having organised a care home for an older person, family members start to feel powerless as they attempt to manage the care, often finding themselves in a difficult position when terms of the contract might suddenly change, affecting either the care given or the prices being charged. Self-funders also lack equal rights being largely unprotected when it comes to being

able to remain in their care home as they have no security of tenure, and unlike council funded residents they do not enjoy the protection of the Human Rights Act. This invariably makes family members reluctant to complain or to challenge apparently unfair actions by care homes, for fear of being asked to leave. The report also highlighted the extent to which ‘self-funders’ are ultimately subsidising a care system that is under pressure, being increasingly financially squeezed as cuts in public funding for social care are in turn forcing local authorities to drive down prices. As a result many care homes look to those self-funding to make up the shortfall to keep their homes open. The difference in what is paid by councils compared to those paying for their own care can be as much as £200 a week. Commenting on this situation, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: ‘More and more older people are paying their own care home fees and they are increasingly at risk of a raw deal because they are propping up a system that is seriously underfunded. They not only often face eye wateringly high weekly rates, calls to our helpline show that in some care homes they are being asked to pay even more through various extra charges as proprietors struggle to balance the books. ‘Older people and their families deserve greater legal protection from care home contracts that are onesided and extra charges that are over the top. It also seems incredibly unfair

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that a care home resident can be evicted if they or their family are seen to “rock the boat” by complaining. Surely the time has come to give these vulnerable older people their proper legal rights”. She continued by highlighting the wider problems the care system faces by saying, ‘A big underlying problem is that our care system is financially terribly shaky. The cost of running a care home has risen but the money councils have to buy care has fallen: isn’t it inevitable in these circumstances that many providers will look to fill as much of the gap as they can from self-funders? And isn’t it equally unsurprising that so many care homes are going to the wall? “Sadly we are seeing more and more rationing of social care and in this instance it looks like Peter is being robbed to pay Paul. It’s an awful situation for everyone, most of all for older people in need of a care home place and their families. The Government needs to grasp just how much of a crisis our care system is in and work with others, including Age UK, to address it.’ Age UK offers a free advice service for older people who are affected by any of these issues. People can call Age UK Advice free of charge on 0800 169 2081, or by contacting their local Age UK office or by going to the website www.ageuk.org.uk for further information.

www.edgeservices.co.uk 01904 677853

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People Handling and Risk Assessment Key Trainer’s Certificate Our flagship course has established EDGE as one of the leading providers of training to the healthcare and social care sectors. Course Overview This course will provide delegates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to train others in the moving and handling of people and in the conducting of manual handling risk assessments. Who Will Benefit? This course is for delegates with a responsibility for health & safety and welfare of carers and clients with regards to the moving and handling of people. Assessment and Certification Course assessment comprises: • a one hour ’open-book’ test to determine delegates’ theoretical understanding of the course content; • delivery of a group mini-training session in order to assess teaching skills, organisation, and delivery of appropriate course content; • a practical skills assessment, which takes place continuously throughout the course.

Course Aims and Intended Learning Outcomes By the end of the course delegates shall: • demonstrate a sound knowledge of legislation and professional guidance which affects them, their job, their employers and employees; • briefly understand the workings of the spine and how to reduce the risks of spinal injury; • demonstrate an appreciation of the principles of biomechanics; • demonstrate an appreciation of ergonomics; • demonstrate a sound knowledge of risk assessment; • demonstrate a sound knowledge of ‘controversial techniques’; • demonstrate a sound knowledge of up-to-date practical skills in moving handling clients in a care setting; • demonstrate the skills and confidence to convey manual handling knowledge and skills to others. Upon successful completion of the course, delegates will receive a certificate of achievement from EDGE Services, which is valid for two years.

Public Training Courses £750+VAT per delegate all locations apart from London £880+VAT per delegate - London Forthcoming public events in London, York, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Brighton, Warwickshire and Exeter.

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements. £3,900 +VAT for up to ten delegates. Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Course Accreditations:

Forthcoming Public Training Dates Include: 9 - 12 January 2017, York 10 - 13 January 2017, Oxford 17 - 20 January 2017, London 24 - 27 January 2017, Glasgow 31 January - 3 February, 2017, Edinburgh 14 - 17 February, 2017, Birmingham 21 - 24 February 2017, Manchester 19 - 22 July 2017, Birmingham 28 February - 3 March 2017, Exeter 21 - 24 March 2017, York 28 - 31 March 2017, London 28 - 31 March 2017, Cardiff 4 - 7 April 2017, Peterborough 10 - 13 April 2017, London

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18 - 21 April 2017, Warwick 2- 5 May 2017, Manchester 9 -12 May 2017, Glasgow 30 May - 2 June 2017, London 20 - 23 June 2017, Brighton 27 - 30 June 2017, Birmingham 11 - 14 July 2017, York 25 - 28 July 2017, Oxford 1 - 4 August 2017, London 29 August - 1 Sept 2017, Glasgow 5 - 8 September 2017, Manchester 12 - 15 Sept 2017, Peterborough 19 - 22 September 2017, Cardiff 26 - 29 September 2017, York 10 - 13 October 2017, London

Course Materials Comprise of: • A 200 page professionally bound, full colour course text book. • A delegate CD ROM containing all notes, handouts, delegate quizzes etc that you would need to deliver your own training courses. • A 27 page full colour ‘Ideas’ book with training tips. All the above and more are included in the course price.

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

People Handling and Risk Assessment Key Trainer’s Certificate (Refresher/Update) Public Training Courses £470+VAT per delegate all locations apart from London £520+VAT per delegate - London Forthcoming public events in London, York, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Brighton, Warwickshire and Exeter.

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements. £1,950 +VAT for up to ten delegates. Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Our flagship course has established EDGE as one of the leading providers of training to the healthcare and social care sectors. Course Overview In order that trainers keep abreast of new legislation and developments in manual handling, EDGE Services recommend a ‘Refresher’ course at least every two years. This course will further advance delegates’ professional development and manual handling skills, and provide the opportunity to trade experience with others. Who Will Benefit? This course is designed for those who have previously attended the EDGE Services ‘People Handling & Risk Assessment Key Trainer’s Certificate’ or simliar course. Delegates not previously trained by EDGE Services will be required to provide proof of their original qualification. Assessment and Certification

Course Accreditations:

Course assessment comprises: • a practical skills assessment, which takes place continuously throughout the course; • informal Q&A throughout the duration of the course.

Course Aims and Intended Learning Outcomes By the end of the course delegates shall: • have been reminded of, and made aware of any relevant changes to, legislation and professional guidance which affects them, their job, their employers and employees; • have been reminded of the principles of biomechanics and how they can be applied to the efficient movement of clients; • have been reminded of ergonomics as a means for the reduction of manual handling injury; • have been reminded of the importance of risk assessment; • have been reminded of the commonly known ‘controversial techniques’ and why some manouevres have been classified as such; • have had the opportunity to practise up-to-date manual handling techniques and to review new handling aids; • have had the opportunity to assess practical moves using current assessment tools. Upon successful completion of the course, delegates will receive a certificate of achievement from EDGE Services, which is valid for two years.

Forthcoming Public Training Dates Include:

Course Materials Comprise of: • A 210 page professionally bound, full colour course text book. • A delegate CD ROM containing all notes, handouts, delegate quizzes etc that you would need to deliver your own training courses. There is also over one hour of filmed practical skills. All the above and more are included in the course price.

8 & 9 December 2016, Glasgow 15 & 16 December 2016, London 19 & 20 December 2016, Manchester 19 & 20 December 2016, Brighton 5 & 6 January 2017, London 5 & 6 January 2017, York 12 & 13 January 2017, Glasgow 30 & 31 January 2017, Oxford 7 & 8 February 2017, London 14 & 15 February 2017, Edinburgh 16 & 17 February 2017, Manchester 23 & 24 February 2017, Exeter 23 & 24 February 2017, Glasgow 2 & 3 March 2017, London 14 & 15 March 2017, York 16 & 17 March 2017, Glasgow 21 & 22 March 2017, Peterborough

21 & 22 March 2017, Oxford 4 & 5 April 2017, Birmingham 18 & 19 April 2017, Manchester 25 & 26 April 2017, London 27 & 28 April 2017, York 2 & 3 May 2017, Glasgow 18 & 19 May 2017, London 6 & 7 June 2017, York 13 & 14 June 2017, Cardiff 15 & 16 June 2017, Oxford 20 & 21 June 2017, Birmingham 27 & 28 June 2017, Manchester 29 & 30 June 2017, Glasgow 6 & 7 July 2017, York 13 & 14 July 2017, London 1 & 2 August 2017, London

www.edgeservices.co.uk 01904 677853

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

Children Handling and Risk Assessment

Children Handling and Risk Assessment (Refresher/Update)

KEY TRAINER’S CERTIFICATE

KEY TRAINER’S CERTIFICATE

This four day course will provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to train others in the moving and handling of children/young adults and how to conduct manual handling risk assessments.

Public Training Courses £750+VAT per delegate 7 - 10 February 2017, Birmingham 31 Oct - 3 Nov 2017, Birmingham

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements.

This two day Refresher/ Update course will further advance your professional development and manual handling skills, and provide you with a valuable opportunity to trade experience with others.

Public Training Courses £470+VAT per delegate

1 - 2 December 2016, Birmingham 26 - 27 January 2017, Birmingham 19 - 20 October 2017, Birmingham

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements.

£3,900 +VAT for up to ten delegates.

£1,950+VAT for up to ten delegates.

Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Course Accreditations:

Course Accreditations:

For more details please visit our website www. edgeservices.co.uk/courses

For more details please visit our website www. edgeservices.co.uk/courses

Understanding and Managing Behaviour that Challenges

Understanding and Managing Behaviour that Challenges (Refresher/ Update)

KEY TRAINER’S CERTIFICATE

KEY TRAINER’S CERTIFICATE

This four day course will provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to train others in de-escalation and breakaway techniques, which can be adopted to deal with individuals exhibiting challenging behaviour.

Public Training Courses £750+VAT per delegate 4 - 7 April 2017, York 18 - 21 July 2017, Birmingham 17 - 20 November 2017, Glasgow

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements.

This one day Refresher/Update course will further advance your professional development, de-escalation and breakaway skills and provide you with a valuable opportunity to trade experiences with others.

Public Training Courses £285+VAT per delegate 3 April 2017, York 17 July 2017, Birmingham 16 November 2017, Glasgow

In-House Training Courses We can tailor-make this course to suit your organisation’s specific requirements.

£3,900 +VAT for up to ten delegates.

£975 +VAT for up to ten delegates.

Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Go to our website or telephone EDGE Services for further details.

Course Accreditations:

Course Accreditations:

For more details please visit our website www. edgeservices.co.uk/courses

For more details please visit our website www. edgeservices.co.uk/courses

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Complaining Relatives Banned by Care Homes A man has told the BBC he was banned from visiting the Somerset care home where his 93-yearold father resided, as a result of a complaint he made regarding the quality of his father’s care. Paul Doolan’s father, Terry, was registered blind, needed hearing aids and used a wheelchair. As a result of the ban, Paul and Terry could only arrange supervised meetings at a local restaurant. This ‘deeply upsetting’ situation seems to have arisen, Paul claims, as a consequence of a complaint he lodged regarding care staff’s failure to ensure that the batteries in his father’s hearing-aid were always adequately charged. ‘I had limited time when I’d go in to see Dad,’ Paul says. ‘And because his hearing aids weren’t working properly, because his batteries had run out or they weren’t clean, it took me a quarter of an hour to sort this out [and] to start speaking properly to him... When I wasn’t there, he probably sat in total silence and... stimulation was very important.’ In August, 2012, Paul was accused of demonstrating unacceptable behaviour towards staff – which he disputes ‘completely’ - and told to ‘cease visits’. Terry was subsequently moved to another care home. Defending the care home, a spokeswoman said: ‘I can confirm that during the time in question, the home followed all regulations set by CQC [Care Quality Commission] and all guidelines set by our local authority.’

In another case raised by the Victoria Derbyshire show, siblings, Angela and Mervyn Eastman, had to find a new home for their mother Careena, 86, when she was evicted from an Essex nursing home following a single formal complaint about poor care. Although the Eastmans had told home staff that a gash on Careena’s leg had not been properly treated, they only raised a formal complaint when other residents, known for displaying aggressive behaviour, were moved into the same area as their mother without prior notice. Two days later, saying the matter had been ‘thoroughly investigated’, the home responded that it could not ‘deal with family needs’ or ‘Careena’s needs’ and issued Careena a ‘notice to quit’ the home ‘within 28 days’. Mervyn calls it ‘an excuse’ and ‘disproportionate’ whilst the home – which has been rated as good in its two most recent CQC inspections - countered that it had a duty of care ‘to ensure that we are always able to meet individuals’ needs, and where we cannot, we are compelled to make unenviable and difficult decisions to ensure that the individual is supported to relocate to a service where their needs can be best met.’ With the help of the local authority, Careena is now living at a new home. The CQC’s Andrea Sutcliffe told the BBC: “Care homes are people’s homes. They, their family and friends should not live in fear of being penalised for raising concerns. We have published information to clarify

500 Hundred Care Providers Fail Food Inspections

More than 500 UK care providers have failed hygiene and food safety inspection including more than 200 residential, nursing and care homes. These establishments failed to meet such standards and received low grades, more than any other type of care provider, at their most recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) inspections. Around 200 nurseries, childcare centres, playgroups and out-of-school care providers, also failed to meet hygiene standards; as well as a smaller number of hospices, homeless shelters, churches and youth centres. The FSA ranks food providers with a score between

people’s rights and our expectations of providers so that people living in care homes, their family and friends can be more confident that their concerns will be listened to and acted upon by providers responsible for delivering safe, compassionate and high quality care.’ However, other voices contributing to the BBC show suggested that occurrences may be exaggerated. One former care home worker said that he was aware of only one case of relatives being banned from a family member’s care home in eight years. The care worker reported that, in that specific case, the family were at fault, being aggressive and fault-finding, their behaviour, staff believed, deriving in part from their own guilt. Eileen Chubb, who campaigns for better regulation of the care industry, says she hears from 50 to 60 families a year in similar positions to the Doolans and the Eastmans. ‘Some people raise a concern,’ she says, ‘and when it’s not dealt with and they raise a concern a second time, they’re seen as serial complainers. That seems to be a tactic that’s used against families who are raising genuine concerns. The balance of power is totally weighed against the relative raising concerns, and whatever the care home says is taken at face value by all of the authorities. So the relatives and the residents are the people with the least power, and it’s a major part of the problem.’

zero and five, where zero means the provider ‘urgently requires improvement’. Whilst 98% of hospitals and other care providers reached a satisfactory grade, establishments awarded only one or two are considered to be failing in their duties. Despite the significant majority of establishments achieving three or above, Michael Harding, a food hygiene rating scheme support officer at the FSA, noted that any care organisation receiving an unsatisfactory score was ‘a cause for concern’, because vulnerable people, including children, older people and people who are ill, were more likely to be using use their services. He went on, ‘The food safety officer will be taking the necessary action to ensure that the issues identified at caring premises with a lower rating are addressed and that vulnerable people are not put at risk.’

www.edgeservices.co.uk 01904 677853

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

Winter Driving Advice For Care Workers Now that the clocks have gone back and Halloween and Bonfire night are over, it feels as if winter is really and truly on its way.

We are aware that a number of our newsletter readers will be involved in domiciliary care and as such spend a good part of their working day on the road, driving between client visits. We therefore thought that now was an opportune time to provide some tips and advice on safer driving during the colder weather. l When driving in wintery conditions it’s important that you have good visibility at all times, so make sure your windscreen, windows and mirrors are free from grit and dust. You also need to check that all of the lights on your car are working properly.

l It’s important to check your tyres at this time of year making sure there is enough tread on each. The legal limit is 1.6mm, however having at least 3mm depth will help to disperse water on the road if you are driving in heavy rain. l Should you encounter snow then make sure before you drive off that your bonnet and roof are clear. It can be extremely dangerous to you and other road users if snow blows off whilst you are driving along, and remember in ice and snow stopping distances are 10 times longer. When pulling away on a snowy road use second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid spinning. Also if heavy snow is forecast then it might be worth putting a spade in your boot should you need to clear the area around your parked car.

l Windscreen wipers need to be in good working order, so they are able to clean your windscreen effectively. Also adding a winter additive to your screenwash will stop it from freezing and allow you to clean your windscreen properly when necessary.

l Make sure that your phone is always fully charged and ideally carry a blanket, a hi-vis vest, a torch and some jump leads with you in your car during the winter months.

Care Company Sentenced over Injury to Service User

injured lady’s left calf. She alerted the assistant team manager and the lady taken to a specialist burns’ unit for treatment on the burn that extended 20 centimetres up her calf.

A limited company providing housing support services for vulnerable adults and children has been sentenced after a service user was burnt at one of its properties. The group has a variety of residential properties and on 18 April 2015, a female 49-year-old service user with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and severe learning disabilities was assisted to a shower room by a support worker. The room was described in the investigation as being very hot due to the radiator lacking an individual thermostatic control. While the support worker was aware the radiator was hot, she did not consider it to be hot enough to burn. The support worker showered the service user and began drying her while she was sitting on a chair. She then assisted the lady to step out of the shower area and take hold of a grab rail which was positioned above the radiator. While standing over the radiator her leg came into contact with the radiator. As the service user is non-verbal and has difficulty balancing she was unable to move her leg away from the radiator or to communicate with the support worker to alert her. It is unknown exactly how long her leg was against the radiator.

l Finally always plan your journey, checking the weather conditions in the area you are going to.

At a follow up appointment it was noted that the burn was not healing properly and a skin graft was taken from her thigh and applied to her calf. As a result the victim has been left with permanent scarring. During the course of the investigation it came to light that the group had been alerted to the risk posed by the radiator. In November 2011 a routine inspection was carried out by their local council. The written report following this inspection required the radiator to be covered and a follow up email in 2012 asked whether the radiator in the bathroom had been provided with a suitable cover to protect clients from scalding. Despite this being drawn to their attention, the court heard the company’s internal systems failed to ensure action was taken. The company registered in Edinburgh pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8000, reduced from £12,000 for an early guilty plea.

The support worker noticed a burn on the left side of the

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

Need to know

Falls Prevention in the Elderly In our last newsletter we printed part one of a three part series on falls in the elderly. Part one discussed the prevalence of falls across the UK and considered ways to help prevent falls in the elderly population. In this newsletter we are considering how best to manage a person during a fall and the factors that should be considered in doing so. Your organisation’s general health and safety policy/procedure or manual handling policy/procedure would generally indicate what is expected of staff in the event of a falling person. The decision about how staff should manage this situation is often dictated by the organisation’s insurance schedule. If no such statement exists in your organisation’s policies this should be bought to the attention of the person/s responsible for health and safety within the company. Some organisations advise that staff should not intervene with a falling person and commonly indicate that staff should step away. Although, in reality, case law has been critical of this stance. Other organisations advise that the only permitted intervention is to protect the person’s head/face from injury which might involve, for instance, throwing down a cushion or a pillow against any hard surface that might be in the way during the fall. Sometimes advice includes giving staff permission to attempt to re-direct the falling person against a suitable surface such as a bed, lounge chair etc. Either way the advice to staff should be clearly indicated in the appropriate policy document.

In EDGE Services’ experience the most common advice given to staff in these circumstances is to undertake a ‘controlled descent’. A controlled descent or controlled lowering of a falling person would generally involve the following steps on behalf of the handler: lRelease your hold of the falling person and if possible step behind their body. lTake a step back with one foot to form an off-set stable base with your feet for stability. lFlex both knees slightly for further strength and stability – the forward foot may have a slightly lower flexed knee than the back foot. This position will form a ‘slide’ of your thigh but also give you as much strength and stability as possible. lPosition your hands flat against the person’s lower trunk, enable a sliding action to occur through your hands. lAllow the person to slide down the front of your thigh moving backwards as the slide happens to avoid the person’s weight ‘resting’ on your bent thigh for too long a period. lAs the person moves to the floor try and move downwards to the floor yourself to avoid bending your back too much. This way you should end up kneeling behind your client as they come to rest on the floor. lIdeally the client has come to rest on the floor on their bottom; however it may be that they eased themselves forward during the fall and have landed on their knees. Either way, the handler should make a mental note of how they descended as this will play a significant part of the later injury assessment process that will be undertaken. lA full assessment of possible harm will be undertaken following the fall and appropriate medical action may need to be taken with immediate effect.

There are significant risks associated with undertaking a controlled descent and these would normally be indicated in the appropriate policies/procedures to ensure staff are fully informed. These include: lThere is a greater risk of harm to the handler if the falling client is much larger in weight and/or height than themselves. lThere is a risk that the handler may lose their balance during the descent of the client. lThere is a greater risk of harm if the handler is pregnant or a new mother. lThere is a greater risk of harm if the handler has a current or a previous musculoskeletal disorder. lThere is a greater risk of harm if staff are not fully appraised of the theoretical training on when it is appropriate to intervene. lThere is a greater risk of harm if staff are not fully appraised of how they should intervene. It should be noted that practical training of a controlled descent is not advised as the risk of injury to both parties is great. Manual handling trainers are advised to either show a video of a controlled descent or possibly use a pillow/ mannequin to represent the client demonstrating the stance and holds advised. Finally, a thorough manual handling risk assessment should be undertaken in conjunction with UK legislation to indicate the hazards and likelihood of injury for both the client and the handler/s when considering the safest options for any controlled descent.

www.edgeservices.co.uk 01904 677853

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Visit Our Website... To learn more about EDGE Services why not visit our website, where you can book a place on one of our public courses or keep updated with industry news. In addition to help you get the most of our website we have listed a few of the other features below: • See details about some of the clients that we are proud to work with and read what they have to say about training with EDGE on our testimonials page. • Browse the range of professional and invaluable products provided to delegates who have completed EDGE people handling, children handling and understanding challenging behaviour training courses. www.edgeservices.co.uk

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Out invaluable Post-Training Support Service gives you the reassurance of knowing that, when the unexpected happens, one of our Senior Trainer’s will talk you through the situation or problem and offer clear guidance and advice. Valid for the duration of your training certificate EDGE teach you the subject then we support you in practice. Call us today on 01904 677853 – we are waiting for your call!

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Edge Services Winter Newsletter 2016