T H E P U B L I C AT I O N F O R N U R S I N G A N D R E S I D E N T I A L C A R E H O M E S
W W W. T H E C A R E R U K . C O M
The Carer Digital
Government Scraps Care Home Isolation Rule for Low-Risk Visits Out
Care home residents will be able to leave their home for “low risk” visits without having to self-isolate for 14 days on their return the government has confirmed. This can include visiting their family’s garden or taking a walk with a named visitor or care worker. From Tuesday May 4, residents leaving their home for a walk or to visit a loved one’s garden will no longer have to isolate for two weeks on their return, however, those leaving for medical appointments and for overnight visits will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) removed the requirement for outdoor, “low risk” visits after being threatened with legal action by the charity John’s Campaign. Campaigners said the rule encourages care homes to act unlawfully by “falsely imprisoning” residents, with family members calling it “barbaric”. Residents will also be able to vote in person in the upcoming local elections without having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards.
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PAGE 2 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
EDITOR'S VIEWPOINT Welcome to the latest edition of The Carer Digital! “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” ROSALYN CARTER We lead this issue with the news that the government has scrapped its 14 day isolation rule for care home residents who leave care homes for low risk visits.
It is a victory for common sense. Aside from all regular day-to-day reasons, in particular visiting loved ones or being taken out for a long stroll in the park, the government potentially faced serious rights actions, since the ban potentially discriminated against those in care, denying them the right to vote. Many of whom, of course, would have served in some way during World War II fighting for that very right.
Now MPs are looking to take that victory for common sense one step further. There are calls for the Government to make guidance on care home visits in England law to prevent wide variations in what is allowed. (See page 9.) On face value I think they have a point in calling for a common policy throughout the sector to ensure that the playing field is level. But is it? The Covid crisis in the care sector was one of the government’s own making. One they will have to answer to in a subsequent inquiry. A human rights report said that “a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights”. The report went on to say that “Key failings included decisions to discharge thousands of untested hospital patients into care homes and imposition of blanket DNARs, leading to care home managers and staff saying they were left without guidance, PPE or access to testing.”
However, Social Care Minister Helen Whately has said the care homes themselves should decide on visiting policies: "We recognise that every care home has a unique layout, physical environment and facilities, and residents have their own individual health and wellbeing needs, which is why care homes themselves are best placed to decide how to enable visiting safely," she said. I have to say this too seems a sensible and fair solution, but one that places care home operators in a very difficult position. The sensible solution would be to have in place legal framework underpinning the guidance in law, as MPs are calling for, with a caveat for exceptional circumstances which will inevitably arise in each individual care environment, as social care minister Helen Whately rightly points out. This would give care providers the opportunity to decide what is right for the residents and the over all safety of their individual care home. It will never be a one size fits all solution and could lead to more problems than it resolves! I would also take this opportunity to thank everyone who nominated their Unsung Hero, we have been absolutely inundated (we are thrilled to say) with nominees, and we do go through each and everyone it is not a lucky dip!
The government will now be anxious to avoid any repetition of that. However, that must not mean keeping residents prisoners in their own environment, discriminating against them in any way, or compromising their human rights.
We will be announcing the winner on our website next week so please do visit www.thecareruk.com for further details
Calls to make government guidance on care home visits underpinned in law may, on the face of it, seem a sensible solution, and The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) statement that it is “completely unacceptable” for some care home providers to argue it is not safe to follow Government guidance fair and correct.
Once again we have called on some of the industry’s “leading lights” for insight, advice guidance and best practice, and are always delighted to print the many “uplifting stories” we receive from care homes and staff around the country so please do keep them coming! I can always be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 3
Government Scraps Care Home Isolation Rule for Low-Risk Visits Out (...CONTINUED FROM FRONT COVER) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We know how challenging this time has been for care home residents, so I am pleased that they can now leave their homes to reunite with their loved ones outdoors. “With the data continuing to head in the right direction and as restrictions ease, it is my priority to keep increasing visits for residents in the coming weeks in a safe and controlled way.” The government said that keeping visits outdoors will ensure any risk is minimised as much as possible. Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I know residents and their families have found the restrictions on trips out of care homes incredibly difficult. This is one more step towards getting back to normal, while protecting care homes from the continued risk of Covid-19. “As part of this interim update before the next stage of the roadmap, care home residents will also be able to leave to spend time outdoors. I know this has been long-awaited for those who haven’t had a chance to enjoy trips out. I look forward to encouraging more visiting and trips out in future as we turn the tide on this cruel virus.” To take part in outdoor activities, residents will be accompanied by a member of care home staff or one of their nominated visitors and they cannot meet in groups as care home residents are most at risk from COVID-19. Visits out of the care home should take place solely outdoors, except for the use of toilet facilities, with no visits to indoor spaces (public or private) and avoiding the use of public transport where possible. An exemption will be in place for those who wish to vote in person in the upcoming local elections as long as they follow national coronavirus restrictions and measures in place at polling stations. While the majority of residents will have made use of postal votes or a proxy, those who prefer to vote in person can do so on May 6. Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy said:
“The pandemic has been so incredibly challenging for those living in care homes and our social care workforce have done a heroic job of keeping their residents safe and supported. I know this change to the guidance will be hugely welcomed by many and give so many the chance to safely leave their home.” Arrangements in areas with high, or rapidly rising, levels of infection in the local community and/or variants of concern (VoCs) will need additional local advice from Directors of Public Health. Latest statistics show that 95% of residents have received their first dose of the vaccine and 71% have received their second. Residents who have tested positive, or who have COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate and would therefore not be able to leave the care home. In the event of an outbreak all residents must self-isolate, and visits out suspended to prevent the spread of the virus. As part of the roadmap out of lockdown, guidance was updated on April 12 for care homes to increase visiting, and allow two nominated visitors per resident. Guidance on visits out of care homes will be kept under review including, when the data shows it is safe, the requirement for residents to isolate on their return. Care provider body The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the decision was a victory for common sense, as the threat from Covid-19 in the community recedes. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “This is welcome news and something we have been calling for over the past few weeks. “It seems sensible that a resident who has had both vaccinations can enjoy a safe, sociallydistanced trip out to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. “We know that the lack of social contact and visits has been detrimental to the health of residents and as others within the community start to enjoy freedom from the restraints of lockdown it is only right and fair that those in care and nursing homes do so
too. “Our only gripe is that the Government has announced that this can start immediately after the Bank Holiday, which doesn’t give care providers much time to prepare! This will be quite labour intensive for care and nursing homes and I think residents and their families will have to show patience and understanding whilst these visits are organised. “We will have to tread carefully and trust that people taking residents out do obey the rules about not going indoors, for example. “Overall, it is a very good move and we hope it can be the start of further easing of restrictions on care and nursing homes, once it is safe.” Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care said: “The government has today issued a letter outlining that from the 4th May residents will have opportunities to leave their care home to spend time outdoors without then having to isolate for 14 days upon their return. This feels like a very important step forward in that it recognises how important it is for people living within care homes to once again take some tentative first steps back into the community.
“The guidance itself has not yet been issued, so as ever the devil will be in the detail. “NCF raised the issue of care home residents effectively being barred from the voting booth under the existing guidance earlier this month. We are therefore pleased that it appears from this letter that the government has recognised the need to protect the inalienable rights of all our citizens to vote in person. “This letter does give a welcome sense of light at the end of the tunnel, however, it is vitally important that the government lays out a clear roadmap for those receiving social care in care homes that makes
it crystal clear how long this tunnel is, and what needs to happen in order for care home residents to be able to fully engage with family and friends – both within their home and in their communities.” Social Care Institute for Excellence Chief Executive Kathryn Smith says: “It is good to hear that at last care home residents can now visit some parts of their community away from the care home. Before the pandemic, choice and control was always recognised as key for all people who draw on care and support services, including in care homes; and this should still be what we aim to achieve. So these lowrisk visits, where a follow-up quarantine is now not needed, are a welcome first step. It will be great to see care home residents voting on Thursday.” “Of course there’s a balancing act to perform between keeping all people who draw on care services safe and providing that care and support in a way that encourages choice and control, and we recognise that this is more so in group-living environments. This initiative though is a sensible start and let’s hope it will prove to be an important moment as the sector and society looks beyond COVID-19.”
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Why We All Need To Be More Politically Engaged By Philippa Shirtcliffe, Head of Care Quality, QCS (www.qcs.co.uk) My teenage daughters know how to press my buttons. Take last week, for example when I asked my eldest daughter who she was thinking of voting for in the forthcoming local elections. She paused, gave me a quizzical look, and said simply, “Why would I want to do that?” As someone who has been politically engaged since childhood, it was tempting to remind her of the sacrifices that Emmeline Pankhurst, and Emily Wilding Davison, made to ensure that women had the right to vote. But as any mum with teenagers knows, it’s often better to play the long game. So a few days later, I had a relaxed chat with my daughter over coffee and I’m pleased to say that she will be voting on Thursday. That said, I don't blame my daughter for not feeling politically engaged. What has the government done to help her or other young people her age? During the pandemic, from an economic standpoint, it is young people and not the elderly who have suffered most. Many working in the hospitality industry lost their jobs early on in the crisis and haven’t been able to work since. Then there’s student debt. How can it be right that my daughter’s generation will incur tens of thousands of pounds of debt before they even begin their careers. Wealthy pensioners on the hand often own their own houses, while also qualifying for the triple lock pension and a winter fuel allowance that many of them don’t even need. No wonder teenagers, who will carry the burden of Covid-19 debt for years to come, feel politically disengaged and disenfranchised.
EVEN MORE REASON TO VOTE… But that is all the more reason for young people to vote. Politicians are a fickle bunch at the best of times and their loyalty is often to the demographic that votes them in. If 60 percent of those voters are young people, it is more likely that future policies will be shaped around them rather than age cohorts. As a parent, I was pleased to be able to explain the importance and the huge responsibility invested in all of us to vote. I was also delighted to talk through the different protocols involved in registering a vote. But, as I
was explaining the etiquette and the customs, which can be quite complex, (especially if you're voting for the first time), a thought suddenly struck me. I began to wonder how politically engaged 18 year olds with learning disabilities, who have an alienable right to vote, do so. Who explains the complexities and nuances of voting to them? Who assists them with registering? How do they learn about the different ways of voting? The answer, unfortunately, is that many of people with learning disabilities aren’t able to turn to mentor for advice, and this impacts their ability to vote. Take statistics from the Electoral Commission, for instance. In 2019, it found that “one in six people with a learning disability were not correctly registered to vote”. But, even if this first hurdle is overcome, there are many others to negotiate. With so many different elections taking place on May, 6th, It is far from straightforward. For example, in the UK next week there are six different elections taking place. Scotland and Wales will stage parliamentary elections. England will hold local council and mayoral elections, while there will also be Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.
MENCAP EASY-TO-READ GUIDE Thankfully, Mencap and the Electoral Commission have created an easy-to-read guide to voting in the local elections. The 34-page guide, which is divided into seven chapters, explains the mechanics of voting, registering and covers the different ways a person can vote. It also contains a list if useful terms and, most importantly, the key dates that every first-time or seasoned voter should be aware of. Ismail Kaji, a Parliamentary Support Officer at the Mencap, says: “Everyone with a learning disability has a right to vote - it shouldn’t matter what support they need. But many people don’t get the help they should, and that’s why reasonable adjustments - like easy-read information - are so important. Easy read guides use accessible language and support people with a learning disability to vote, and to make their voice heard.” We, at QCS, the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the social care sector, wholeheartedly agree with Ismail’s comments. We also think that Mencap’s document is a wonderful resource and hope that it will better inform and encourage more people with learning disabilities to vote this Thursday. Happy voting… If you wish to find out more about QCS , why not contact QCS’s compliance advisors on 0333-405-3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org?
Residents At Preston Care Home Launch Their Own Radio Play A group of residents at Finney House in Preston, all aged between 83 and 99 have taken part in an inhouse production of a radio play that was specially written just for them. A spoof of a radio play classic, ‘The Haharchers’ is a fictitious comedy radio play. Based on a five minute snap-shot of life at Finney House, scripts have already been written for four more episodes. Episode one ‘The New Gardener ’ begins with several residents sitting and chatting together while waiting for afternoon tea to be served. They are looking out of the window watching the comings and goings on the car park. One of them spots the arrival of a new van that they’ve not seen before, before we know it there is an unexpected turn of events! ‘This has been such a fun thing to do. Our residents have done incredibly well and we are looking forward to producing the next episode’ said Jen Stutter, Activities Coordinator at Finney House. ‘We are constantly looking at new ways to engage our residents in meaningful and stimulating activities. For some of the residents involved this has been the first time they have tried anything like this. We think it is fabulous
and are very proud of what they have achieved. You never know, they might even make it to the ARIAS 2022! ’. Said Jo Fogg L&M Healthcare’s new Quality and Clinical Director, with a smile and a cheeky wink. Cheryl Bris who has just joined Finney House as the new Home Manager said ’I think this is absolutely brilliant. I’ve never heard of anything like this being done before in a care home. It really does show that you are never too old to try something new.’ Written by Louise Harder and edited by Philip Pitcher who have been working on L&M Healthcare’s brand communications for the last six years, ‘The Haharcher’s ’ will be launched today on all L&M Healthcare’s social media platforms. Disclaimer: No cars, gardeners or home manager’s husbands were injured in the making of this play and we can assure you that the length of the grass here is never a disgrace! To listen and download this first episode please click the link at https://vimeo.com/543089141thhttps://vimeo.com/543089141
Refurbished Beauty Salon Brings Joy To Kettering Care Home Residents A care home in Kettering has reopened a new and improved beauty salon so that residents can enjoy a pampering session, despite the pandemic. Residents at Thorndale care home will be able to have their hair styled, as well have access to a nail care service, all from the comfort of the home thanks to a new initiative. The revamp comes as part of an engagement champion course, ran by Shaw healthcare, that focuses on making sure that the culture in the care home provides a happy environment. Sharmaine Hall, deputy service manager at Thorndale care home, was nominated to be the engagement champion for the East Midlands. She is just one of 12
employees in the UK who are on the programme. She had to complete a three-day course, covering topics such as mentoring, training and conducting meaningful supervision. Ms Hall, who has completed an NVQ in beauty therapy, said: “With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it felt like the perfect opportunity to refurbish the salon and offer a taste of normality while keeping residents safe. “I wanted to make a big difference and I believe I have done that, as even though the residents knew what I was doing, they were amazed by the outcome and have often just sat in the room to admire the new light and fresh space.”
Reverend Jim’s Weekly Worship Comforts Fellow Care Home Residents A Dorset care home has thanked one of its residents for leading services of worship every Sunday since the first lockdown began more than a year ago. The Reverend Jim Cocke, 94, was the Church of England’s longest serving priest until his retirement in January 2020 when he moved to Colten Care’s Castle View in Poundbury. When the pandemic started, it restricted the scope for external Church representatives to visit and hold services at the home, so Jim stepped in. Every Sunday morning since then, he has led a 30-minute service, giving fellow residents a regular focal point for Bible reading, prayer, worship and hymns. Ashika Reddy, Home Manager, said: “Our Sunday services are very popular and we have seen the comfort and peace that Jim has provided our
residents during this very difficult time. “In each service, he covers seasonal topics and addresses local and global issues with prayers that help to keep Castle View’s community in faith and hope. “We have the most heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity that Jim continues to offer by creating this weekly space for reflection.” Until his retirement, Jim was an ordained priest for more than 67 years. He served as Vicar of All Saints’, Headington, Oxford, beginning his ministry as an assistant curate in 1952 and becoming Vicar there five years later. Looking back on more than a year of lockdown services at Castle View, Jim said: “I have gratefully appreciated the opportunity to lead our active worship each week.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 5
New Cutting-Edge Testing Centre to Fast-Track Covid-19 Variant Vaccines Vaccines tailored to tackle COVID-19 variants are to be accelerated through new state-of-the-art labs, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today (Wednesday 5 May). The government will invest £29.3 million through the Vaccines Taskforce in Public Health England’s new testing facilities at Porton Down, to assess the effectiveness of existing and new vaccines against variants of concern. The funding will increase the site’s current capacity from 700 to 3,000 blood samples tested a week in order to fast-track variant vaccines – these tests measure the levels of antibodies to COVID-19 that are generated by the vaccines. The investment will enable Porton Down’s expert scientists to accelerate the pace and scale of specialised testing to support the rapid development of vaccines designed to combat specific mutations of COVID-19. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The UK has proven itself to be a world-class force in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, with the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Novavax and Valneva vaccines all researched, developed or manufactured on British soil. “We’ve backed UK science from the very start of this pandemic and this multi-million pound funding for a state-of-the-art vaccine testing facility at Porton Down will enable us to further future-proof the country from the threat of new variants. “We are committed to supporting the UK’s flourishing life sciences industry and this announcement is yet another critical way we will build back better to protect the country over the coming months and years.” While there is promising evidence existing vaccines are effective against variants such as those first identi-
fied in Kent and South Africa, work continues to ensure we have a robust programme to test current and potential future variants of concern. The expanded testing capacity at Porton Down will ensure the UK stays one step ahead of the virus and is in the best possible position to respond to new threats from COVID-19 as quickly as possible. The government is working with existing and new suppliers to design vaccines targeted at variants of concern and the Porton Down facility will support this process. Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our vaccination programme has so far saved thousands of lives, but it’s vital we put in place robust support for the programme for the future. “This funding will allow us to increase the testing capacity at Porton Down with a new innovative facility and ensure our COVID-19 vaccines are effective against any future variants of concern. “The UK remains at the forefront of vaccine research and development, and today’s announcement will further cement us as a global frontrunner in our future response to COVID-19.” All vaccines being used in the UK have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “A new variant that can escape the current vaccines is the greatest risk of a third wave. This new investment will help us stay one step ahead of the virus by doubling our capacity to test vaccine effectiveness against emerging variants. “While we expect the existing vaccines to offer protection against new variants, particularly preventing serious illness and death, it is important that we continue to monitor the picture as it develops. “The best way to prevent the spread of variants is the same as always – follow public health advice and remember hands, face, space.”
Former Royal Navy Sailor Celebrates 101st Birthday A man who served as a wireless operator during World War II has celebrated his 101st birthday at a care home in Shoreham-by-Sea. Eric Reed, who was born in Cuckfield in 1920, recently enjoyed his birthday celebrations at Elmcroft care home. It was his second birthday in lockdown at the home - last year, staff at Elmcroft arranged a surprise party for Eric’s centenarian milestone with cake, drinks, and entertainment. One year on, the celebrations continued as staff, residents and family came together to celebrate Eric’s birthday, with local signer Jodie Shemmings performing a number of ballads from the 1950’s to the 1970’s in the garden. Eric was just 20-years-old when he volunteered to join the Royal Navy, in 1940.
He took part in many naval roles during WWII, including a patrol of American and Canadian waters after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. He also played football in Connecticut, after he and his crewmates were saved from a sinking ship off New York harbour, and they were given two weeks ‘survivors leave’. Eric later trained as an electrician and opened his own shop in Worthing, where he met his wife, June, at a dance on the pier. Monica Donald, manager at the home operated by Shaw healthcare, said: “Ever since Eric joined us at Elmcroft in October 2019, he has kept us on our toes. “He has such a positive and determined outlook on life, and I’m so glad we could be a part of his special day. “Current restrictions meant we had to celebrate his birthday yet again in lockdown, but he seems to have enjoyed his special day here with his friends at Elmcroft.”
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PAGE 6 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
Supreme Court Rules Sleep-In Shift Workers Not Eligible For National Minimum Wage By Hollie Watkins, Banner Jones Solicitors (www.bannerjones.co.uk) To the dismay of employees, but a decision arguably welcomed by employers, the Supreme Court has recently ruled in cases Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad and another (T/A Clifton House Residential Home) that sleep-in shift workers are not ‘working’ when they are asleep. This in turn means that care workers should only be paid the National Minimum Wage hourly rate on sleep-in shifts when they are awake for the purposes of actively working. Here, Hollie Watkins of Banner Jones Solicitors, discusses the case and its implications in more detail. The ruling brings to an end a strenuous four-year legal battle which centred around Mencap, a UK based charity working with people who have learning disabilities. The case threatened to leave care providers with a potential £400 million back-pay bill that would have potentially jeopardised the care of the most vulnerable people in the country.
The cases were brought by two care workers who were sleep-in workers. This means that as part of their shift, they were permitted to sleep either at work, or at a place near work, in case they were required to assist. Whilst working at night, the care workers were to be present in case of any emergencies and provide assistance when required. In relation to the case of Tomlinson-Blake, The Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), found that she was working throughout the entirety of her shift regardless of the number of hours spent sleeping. Therefore, it was confirmed that each hour of her sleepin shift were to be included in the National Minimum Wage calculation when calculating her pay. However, in the Shannon case the Tribunal and the EAT dismissed the claim. Further appeals in both proceedings were heard by the Court of Appeal, which held that neither was entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for all the hours of their respective sleep-in shifts. The Government now faces pressure to reform care laws following the Supreme Court ruling which has caused unrest and disappointment amongst care workers. Whilst Mencap is relieved not to have to pay the huge back payment that could have crippled the charity, Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society, stands with employers who demand the Government ‘do a thorough and meaningful review of the social care workforce’. Whilst the ruling has provided some sort of clarity for employers and
THE KNACKERS YARD WE’RE NOT READY FOR Knackers Yard We’re not ready for the days BUT e We may feel like it som ger good feel days youn our We concentrate on fast ing mov are we In our heads down ginger days’ ck ‘kno the with did we Just as mes in hand? fra with Can you imagine us now, a whirl it give to Still, it would be a giggle bell a ring t Instead now we jus to come And wait for our heroes piggyback rides We loved the days of the we come!! LOOK OUT CARERS, here be ld What a picture that wou day my lord No more church on a Sun we come e, her s sale As car boot gain bar a love t sn’ doe Well who that” n mum shouts “Don’t do Remembering the days whe that t jus back turns we do Quick as a flash when her world behind our e leav to Imagining now rs are today othe as vous chie mis To become ’s not been earnt Taking peoples cars, that rides just for selfishness jolly es prid That goes against our of mischievousness Well who doesn’t love a bit we come Knock down ginger here ERS CAR OUT K LOO SO
has mitigated the potential huge costs payable in relation to back payments, employees now face uncertainty as to their pay. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, this has added extra pressure to care workers across the UK. If you are an employer or an employee who would like guidance on sleep-in shift work, please contact the Banner Jones Employment Law team.
"We’re Not Ready for the Knackers Yard," say Care Home Poets Primrose Croft Care Home in Cambridgeshire decided to write its own humorous poem after getting inspiration from the poem “Waiting” by Jenny Joseph that was read out to staff and residents on National Poetry Day. Home Manager Rachael came up with the title “We are not ready for the Knackers Yard”. Residents discussed the fact that at times
the door was opened but our bodies would let us down. Molly talked about the days when Sunday was for church but now everyone loves to go to the car boot sales to find a good bargain. Christine said she remembers her mum used to say quite often “don’t do that”, but as soon as
they may feel “knackered”, but they like to try
her mum could not see her, she did it!! It would
and focus on the days they feel young. Saying
never be anything bad though just simple mis-
as you get older your body slows down but your
chievous things. Ursula talked quite passionately
mind does not seem to listen.
the fact that people’s mischievousness is far
Resident Mary talked about some of the fun things that she did as a youngster such as “knock Down Ginger” and having piggyback rides with her friends. The other residents laughed and relayed some of their experiences.
more serious now, like stealing cars. Through the above conversations Pearl, Lifestyle & Wellbeing Lead collated it all together to make Primrose Croft own personal humorous
Josephine said wouldn’t it be funny if we did it
poem. The residents said they loved the results
now, in our minds we would get away before
and would like to do some more in the future.
Bride Reunites With Her Granny On The Way To Her Big Day A BRIDE had her dream come true when she was able to share her long-awaited wedding day with her granny – in her care home. Dance instructor Jill Morton was determined to be reunited with 93-year-old Margaret Morton on her big day after they had to endure months of shielding and virtual calls. Although she had to rearrange the wedding three times due to the pandemic, Jill was able to have Margaret play a key role in her marriage to Murray Winton, thanks to help from Mansfield Care’s Pine Villa staff. The team at the Loanhead care home also set up a live stream of the ceremony and coordinated a socially distanced visit from the bride, mother and father of the bride and the bridesmaids, before the official ceremony at Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield Hotel. In addition, they helped Margaret to choose a wedding day outfit for the occasion. Jill, from Penicuik, said: “My granny Margaret has been so supportive and excited about the wedding, always asking about it and finding out how we are. So being able to see her and have her be a part of the wedding was really special. “The staff also helped us arrange a live stream of the ceremony so that she could watch it from Pine Villa and celebrate with us.” The reunion between Jill and her granny had been long-awaited after briefly seeing one another at the funeral of Jill’s grandfather in February. Jill said: “It was the first time I’d seen my granny in person since my
grandpa’s funeral in February. That was a really hard time as my granny couldn’t be around family the way you usually would during a time of grieving. “I was initially extremely sad about her not being able to come to the ceremony but the Pine Villa staff has been really great. “They’ve made such a big effort to make a big deal of the wedding and arranged a celebration after the streamed ceremony and everything. A member of staff even helped my granny pick an outfit. “Last September my granny and grandpa celebrated their 70th anniversary at Pine Villa and it was a lovely day for them. Between that and the funeral and now with the wedding, the staff have just been incredible. “We’re a big family so we were all a bit nervous when the pandemic hit and we couldn’t visit but the level of care and support Pine Villa has given has been remarkable. They have been really amazing for my gran and it’s put everyone’s mind at ease.” Supporting her career from a young age, Jill’s granny and late grandpa always attended every dance show. Jill said: “My granny and grandpa danced together all the time. They would go to dance evenings and do these incredible partner dances together. They’ve always been very supportive and interested in my career and that side of my life so it’s really special being able to share that passion together.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 7
Labour Pledges To “Transform” Social Care and Calls for Ten-Year Investment Plan The Labour Party is calling on the government to implement a ten-year plan for social care reform based on a ‘home first’ guiding principle. Addressing the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) spring conference, Liz Kendall, Labours shadow care minister said such a principle requires a “fundamental shift” in the focus of support towards prevention and early intervention. Highlighting the difficulties social care faces Ms Kendall said: “ When the NHS was created, average life expectancy for men was 63, now it’s 80. People with disabilities now survive and live for longer, and 1 in 4 babies born today is set to live to 100 years old.” “Our health and care system has struggled to keep pace with these changes, with social care in particular developing in a piecemeal, fragmented way.”
“One of the underlying reasons is that caring just isn’t valued like other professions. It’s seen as women’s work, ideally left to families and if they can’t cope or aren’t around, provided by some of the lowest paid workers in this country – the vast majority of whom are women with many from Black and Minority Ethnic communities.” Overarching all this is the simple fact that no one wants to think about what it’s like being really old. We don’t talk about it and barely ever see it unless there’s someone in our family or it’s part of our job. Yet ageing, and all the implications of living, working and caring for longer isn’t just going to affect someone else. It is going to affect us all.” “We are always going to need residential and nursing homes, but the vast majority of people want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible,” she added. Basic support and home adaptations would make this possible, said Kendall, as would greater use of technology to help people live independently for longer and expanding housing options between care at home and a care home. Ms Kendall also called on the government to guarantee all care workers are paid a least a real living wage of £10 an hour in their plans for social care reform. Labour also backs a new partnership with unpaid carers, so they get “proper information, advice and breaks and more flexibility in the work-
place” to help them balance their work and caring responsibilities. The shadow care minister also called for social care services to be fully joined up with, but not run by, the NHS. “One of the biggest complaints I hear is people having to battle their way around all the different services, telling their story time and time again,” she said. “This isn’t good for them and its wasteful and inefficient too. We need one care system built around the needs of users and families with proper links to areas like housing and education too.” Kendall said it is essential the government’s delayed reforms are included in the Queen’s speech on 11 May. “A short-term fix that attempts to paper over the cracks, or just put more money into a broken system, won’t cut the mustard,” she said. “A long-term solution to the challenges facing social care isn’t just desirable, it is essential – because you cannot level up our country or build a better future if you fail to invest in social care.” “In the century of ageing, everyone should be able to look forward to getting older with confidence, not fear.” “Working with everyone in the sector and crucially side by side with the people who matter most – the people who use services Labour stands ready to play our part in making this happen.”
Veterans Inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore Fundraise for Royal Star & Garter Residents at Royal Star & Garter have raised money for the charity by taking part in a series of challenges over the early May bank holiday weekend, inspired by NHS hero Captain Sir Tom Moore. They were participating in the national Captain Tom 100 challenge, which aims to build on the legacy of Captain Tom, who last year raised millions for the health service by walking in his garden. Following his death earlier this year, aged 100, The Captain Tom Foundation teamed up with the organisers of the London Marathon to encourage fundraisers to take part in their own challenges around the number 100, between 30 April and 3 May. At the charity’s High Wycombe Home, residents completed a 100-lap challenge around the garden fountain, while in the Solihull Home they finished a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle in 100 minutes, and covered 100 miles on outings over the weekend. In the Surbiton Home, residents wrote down 100 words of kindness. Staff at the charity’s Central Services Office in Hampton also took part,
walking a combined distance of 100km over the long weekend. Royal Star & Garter provides living, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. High Wycombe resident John said: “Captain Tom is an inspiration to us all. It’s nice to follow in his steps and walk in our garden to raise money.” Audrey a resident in Solihull, helped with the jigsaw puzzle. She said: “It’s an honour to be part of Captain Tom’s legacy.” Bea from Surbiton said: “Captain Tom was a good man, so it is nice to write 100 words of kindness. I’m proud to have helped raise money in his name.” Senior Community Fundraiser Lauren Baker said: “Residents and staff in our Homes wanted to do something to be part of the Captain Tom 100 challenge. And the Central Services team from our Hampton office also wanted to do their bit. It’s great to raise money and celebrate Captain Tom at the same time.”
PAGE 8 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
Living With Dementia: What Conversations Do You Need To Have? LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Photo credit: Tyler Olsen
The number of people with dementia is set to double by 2050 to over 16.2 million people in Europe, and two million in the UK1 leading to a significant increase in demands on our health and social care services. It’s therefore never been more important for dementia care to be prioritised as the ageing population continues to grow. For people just starting out on their dementia journey, or for their loved ones, it can be a worrying time. Here Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare (www.vidahealthcare.co.uk); and Nick Rhodes, Head of Wills & Probate at Blacks Solicitors (www.lawblacks.com); discuss the conversations you need to know about, and how to approach them sensitively and empathetically.
It’s essential that people living with dementia have a chosen representative to speak and act on their behalf if/when they no longer have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. According to Nick Rhodes, “A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which authorises people (‘attorneys’) to make decisions on an individual's behalf during their lifetime if they lose capacity or they simply decide they no longer wish to be involved in the everyday running of their finances. An attorney is legally bound to act in a person's best interest, and Lasting Powers of Attorney are governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. “There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, one for property and financial affairs, and one for health and welfare. You can appoint up to four people on your LPAs and you can have different people for your financial decisions and your health decisions.” Bernadette Mossman suggests, “Loved ones must work with their relatives while they still have capacity to make informed decisions and implement a plan of action. The plan should allow the appointed attorney to speak and act in the best interest of the person living with dementia based on their known wishes and preferences. This might include issues such as decisions around treatment and care, ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR), admission to a selected care home, and complex care decisions. “A plan should also be implemented regarding finances and financial arrangements. This should include access to the individuals funds to allow payment for care and general day to day living, and enable the representative to access bank accounts, investment, bills, and properties if required.” For Nick Rhodes it’s important that people are aware that a spouse or next of kin can’t access bank accounts, and pay utilities without an LPA. “If the person living with dementia no longer has the capacity to make decisions and a plan hasn’t been put in place, the case will have to go to the Court of Protection to secure permission to act
Photo credit: Gert Stockmans
Photo credit: Iza Habur
on behalf of the individual. This can lead to extensive delays with the process taking up to eight months.”
FUTURE WISHES Bernadette Mossman advises that this conversation needs to take place at the earliest opportunity. “It allows the loved ones of a person living with dementia to understand the preferred care options as their health deteriorates. This is never an easy conversation to have, however it’s preferable to begin discussing this when the individual still has capacity and is starting out on their dementia journey, rather than towards the end of their life when loved ones will be grieving. Holding this conversation early will also allow a plan of care to be drawn up and reviewed as the individual’s needs change.”
APPROACHING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS When it comes to holding difficult conversations and how to approach them, it’s important that communication is open and honest. Conversations should be continuous so that the up-to-date wishes of the individual living with dementia are communicated, including future wishes. Keeping families and loved ones informed and involved, alongside professionals such as care home operators and GPs, will ensure the right care is provided at the right time. Joint meetings and discussions between professionals, the individual, and their loved ones will provide everyone with much needed support and clarity which is essential at what can be an extremely difficult time. For more information, please visit www.vidahealthcare.co.uk
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 9
MPs Call for Law to Protect Care Home Visiting Rights
Harriet Harman MP
Government guidance on care home visits must be supported in law to protect the rights of residents and their families, according to a report. Current guidance says every care home resident in England can nominate up to two named visitors for regular visits, and residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an essential care giver. It says staff should not make blanket decisions for groups of people and that the individual resident’s views, needs and wellbeing should be considered when making visiting decisions. However, without statutory force, there is no legal recourse for residents to require their providers to implement the guidance. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said it is “completely unacceptable” for some care home providers to argue it is not safe to follow Government guidance. The committee has called on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to implement vigorous processes on data collection and monitoring of care home visits by the end of May after it found many providers are
not following government guidance. The Joint Committee on Human Rights, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, said it was “astonished” that the CQC was unable to offer a clear picture of adherence to care home visitor guidance. When giving evidence to the committee, the CQC said it did not collect quantitative data on how many visits have occurred across care homes. “It is clear that public authorities do not have a clear enough view of the care home sector’s adherence to the guidance on visiting,” said the joint committee. “It was astonishing to hear the CQC claim that they were not aware of any care home in England that was
not following the guidance, despite clear evidence to the contrary from residents and their families. The CQC needs to get a grip on what is going on in the care home sector,” it added. The joint committee has prepared a draft statutory instrument to lay before parliament to secure legal protection for care home residents deprived of family visits. In its Care homes: Visiting restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee called on the government to make the existing requirements for individualised assessment for visits mandatory by laying its draft regulation as soon as possible. Harriet Harman Labour MP and committee chairwoman, said the pandemic has been heartbreaking for “far too many” families whose right to family life has been breached. “The CQC assurances that visits are being allowed properly now in all homes is wholly unconvincing. Because care homes see guidance about allowing visits as advisory rather than binding, the government must now bring forward regulations to give their guidance on visits legal force,” she added. She said: “The Government has listened to recommendations from this Committee and others that restrictions on visiting rights must be only be implemented on the basis of an individualised risk assessment which takes into account the risks to the resident’s physical and mental wellbeing of not having visits. “By not underpinning this guidance in law, care homes have not felt bound by it and important rights have therefore not been respected. Social Care Minister Helen Whately said the care homes themselves should decide on visiting policies. "We recognise that every care home has a unique layout, physical environment and facilities, and residents have their own individual health and wellbeing needs, which is why care homes themselves are best placed to decide how to enable visiting safely," she said. Social Care Minister Helen Whately MP
Residents Enjoy ‘A Cold One’ at The Hollow Arms The ladies and gentlemen at Moorgate Hollow care home in Rotherham have been enjoying pints, wines and cocktails galore at their very own Hollow Arms public house. Leigh Ann, deputy manager at the Rotherham care home, has constructed the pub in the home’s common room as a place for the residents, many of whom are living with dementia, to catch up, gossip and have a great time. Experts encourage active social lives for those living with dementia because of its benefit to brain health, as individuals with a strong social network tend to retain more memories than those who are more isolated. Staying social can also help to improve focus as the interactions with familiar faces can help those with dementia to keep their minds sharp. The process of going to the pub is beneficial to dementia patients, as a regular social life and routine provides a structure that can be grounding.
Furthermore, having time in the day to go and sip on a cold beverage while interacting with others can prevent further mental health issues. By building and sustaining a social circle, those with dementia can enjoy a better quality of life. However, new places and large crowds can be intimidating, so the Hollow Arms allows residents to participate in regular activities, like visiting the pub, while being in a familiar space filled with friendly faces. Lyn Pilkington, manager at Moorgate Hollow, said: “The Hollow Arms was a great idea thought up by our deputy manager Leigh Ann, she wanted to provide residents with a social experience that mirrored one of our residents’ favourite activities, going to the pub. Our residents love coming along to the Hollow Arms for a pint or a gin and tonic, some great atmosphere and a gossip with their friends. It’s been a real home away from home experience for them.”
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 11
Experts Warn Thousands of People are at Risk of Becoming ‘Unlawful’ as EU Settlement Scheme Deadline Approaches There are exactly two months remaining until the EU Settlement Scheme officially closes to applicants. The scheme, something all EU citizens who came to the UK before 2021 must apply for if they wish to continue living here, grants either pre-settled status (‘limited leave to remain’) or settled status (‘indefinite leave to remain’). But, as recent headlines have demonstrated – notably in the case of Dahaba Ali, a journalist refused settled status despite having lived in the UK for 17 years – too many people are slipping through the cracks. With limited time left to apply to the scheme, a group of EU immigration experts and charity leaders have issued a stark warning about the EUSS process and its potential consequences on the lives of thousands of people. In it, they detail the barriers EU nationals face when applying to the scheme, as well as the specific risks to women, children, and long-term UK residents; many of whom may not be aware of their obligation to apply. “If even 1% of the estimated amount of eligible people don’t apply, that’s tens of thousands more undocumented people vulnerable to harmful Hostile Environment policies, for whom the consequences will be devastating,” commented Caitlin Boswell, Project Officer for EU Citizens at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).
Proving one’s right to live and work in the UK also has a gender dimension, as law professor Charlotte O’Brien highlighted. “As far as the Withdrawal Agreement goes, the key social security risks recognised, and for which workers have their residence rights protected in EU law, are male risks. Women are disproportionately impacted by care responsibilities and domestic abuse – events not considered in EU law. While the EUSS does not require evidence of work, it is easier for applicants to demonstrate that they meet the residence conditions if they have a clear and simple work history.” The digital-only nature of the EUSS is another concern, presenting difficulties for a “significant minority” of EU nationals. “Making this application requires a level of digital competence, hardware, and internet connectivity that is simply not within everyone’s reach,” comments Dr Dora-Olivia Vicol, WoRC’s Director. “This is an application that requires regular digital maintenance. EU nationals have to notify the Home Office if they change their contact details, name, or ID, and all of this happens online. Whenever they are asked to prove their right to work to an employer, they can only do it by issuing a virtual share code with a limited 30 day validity. For millions of EU nationals, the right to reside in the UK has become a test in digital lit-
eracy.” The group also raised questions over the guidance around extended absences from the country, which may jeopardise a person’s chances of obtaining settled status, and the Home Office’s guidance on late applications. “A ‘continuous’ five-year period of residence is required to obtain settled status but is broken by absences of more than six months in a rolling 12 month period,” explains Lizzie Wilkinson, EUSS Project Officer at Europia. “A person cannot upgrade to settled status if they have broken their five-year continuous period, but are also being told they can leave the UK for two years if they have pre-settled status. The guidance is confusing, even to those whose first language is English.” While the ramifications of failing to apply to the EUSS may not become apparent as soon as the 30th June, the likelihood is that they will be felt in years to come. “I’m concerned that a lot of the repercussions of all this are going to be hidden,” comments immigration barrister Colin Yeo. “There’s going to be no apocalypse on the day of the deadline. It’s going to take years and, for the people who are going to be affected, their lives will just be quietly ruined.”
Residents Celebrate May Day with Traditional May Pole Dancing Residents at Whitebriars Residential Care Home, specialist dementia care based in Bexhill, East Sussex, celebrated the May bank holiday by traditionally dancing around a may pole. Residents enjoyed making flower crowns out of tissue paper to wear on their heads. The ladies and gentlemen reminisced about what May Day celebrations they had experienced in the past, recalling dancing around a maypole as children. Along with the care homes’ staff they created their own version of a maypole and whilst playing some folk music they danced around the pole holding on to colourful ribbons. One resident recalled “getting into quite a tangle and our teacher
desperately trying to get everyone going in the right direction” when she was a primary school. Activities Co-ordinator Martha Linfield said, “It was a lovely cheerful afternoon of reminiscing, filled with laughter, music and dancing”. Lynda and Kevin Dewhurst, the owners of Coast Care Homes said, “At Coast Care Homes we aim to make day-to-day life in our homes as fulfilling as possible for every individual resident. Our core belief is to promote choice and independence within a loving and stimulating environment. The May Day celebrations have been great fun with all the residents and staff being able to get involved. It is another example of how our fantastic care team are always looking for great stimulating activities for our much-loved residents”
PAGE 12 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
Research Project Highlights How Retirement Villages’ Response To Pandemic “Safeguarded Lives” A ground-breaking research project into the response to the COVID19 pandemic has revealed how Retirement Village and Extra Care Housing operators helped to protect the lives of their residents and staff. The RE-COV Study was led by the St Monica Trust, funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust and supported by the Housing LIN. The aim of the research project was to better understand the experiences of retirement villages and extra care housing during the pandemic, including the effectiveness of measures taken to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff. The evidence from the RE-COV research is clear, the sector’s immediate actions to counter the rapid spread of COVID-19 safeguarded the lives of many thousands of older residents and frontline staff. Findings showed that Retirement Village and Extra Care Housing scheme operators in England were successful in protecting and supporting their residents during the pandemic. In particular, this was evidenced by: The overall lower than expected proportion of RE-COV survey participants’ residents who died from COVID-19 in comparison to people with the same age profile living in the general population in England. The positive effects of the lengths that operators and staff took to help support residents’ activities of daily living, social engagement, community and personal activities. Rachael Dutton, St Monica Trust’s COVID National Research Project Lead said: “0.97% of retirement village and housing scheme residents died from confirmed COVID-19 from March to December 2020.
“This was less than the 1.09% of people with the same age profiles who died from COVID-19 living in the general population in England and residents of Retirement Village only operators also had the lowest COVID-19 death rate of 0.51%.” Chief Executive of Housing LIN, Jeremy Porteus, said: “With much of the national and trade media reporting on the crisis in care homes last year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, these important findings show how the Retirement Village and Extra Care Housing sector mobilised quickly to introduce measures to protect lives. “The evidence from the RE-COV research is clear, the sector’s immediate actions to counter the rapid spread of COVID-19 safeguarded the lives of many thousands of older residents and frontline staff. The recommendations made in the study as to how some of the major challenges and difficulties faced by operators could be overcome are: A shared awareness and understanding of the housing-with-care model (including a widely publicised and consistently used legal definition), which reflects its important role in the broader care sector and the extent of the frailty, health and care needs they provide for. The inclusion of the housing-with-care sector in all relevant policy and guidance. Government rules and guidance being developed in consultation with experts, communicated clearly and consistently, with realistic and practical notice periods to implement them. The provision of better access to funding to support large financial
deficits incurred by Retirement Villages and Extra Care Housing due to the pandemic as well as consistent processes for funding across local authorities. Flexibility built into contracts for commissioned services so that they cover essential costs of additional staffing, if need arises. The importance of physical design considerations in keeping schemes and individual apartments well-ventilated, plus providing appropriate space to enable social distancing and access to outdoor spaces or balconies. CEO of the Dunhill Medical Trust, Susan Kay said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to support this work. It’s vital that organisations have the opportunity to share their experiences and successes – as well as the challenges – so that systemic improvements can be made in the future.” Michael Voges, Executive Director of The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) said: “Despite the huge challenges presented by the pandemic, housing-with-care has performed brilliantly in keeping their residents safe, supporting them to stay active and independent and in supporting the wider health and social care system. “The past year has seen an overwhelming vindication of the housingwith-care model. It is time for more older people to have the opportunity to benefit from the safety, security and supported independence which housing-with-care provides.”
Grease is the Word for Rochdale Care Home Residents Residents at HC-One’s Oakland residential and residential memory care home, in Lancashire, had a lovely afternoon dressing up as the cast of the musical ‘Grease’ and singing to the classic songs. John Travolta and Oliva Newton-John impersonators for the day, Lily Brodgen and Jack Wellen, were singing and dancing for their fellow Residents and Colleagues who were in fits of laughter. Amcia Hara, Care Home Manager, commented, “It was lovely seeing the ladies and gentlemen laughing and joking on how they all look being dressed up.”
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THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 13
60 Million Pfizer/Biontech Vaccines Secured for UK Booster Programme An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government to help support the booster Covid-19 vaccination programme beginning from the Autumn. To protect the most vulnerable ahead of the Winter, the government is preparing for a booster programme based on clinical need to ensure people have the strongest possible protection against Covid-19. The additional Pfizer/BioNTech jabs will be used alongside other approved Covid-19 vaccines for the booster programme. This comes as new data from Public Health England shows that one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine reduces household transmission of the virus by up to half. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our vaccination programme is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant. “We’re working on our plans for booster shots, which are the best way to keep us safe and free while we get this disease under control across the whole world. “These further 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster programme from later this year, so we can protect the progress that we’ve all made.” The government will publish further details on the booster programme in due course and the final policy will be informed by advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the results of clinical trials studying the use of different combinations of approved Covid-19 vaccines. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure the most vulnerable are protected from Covid-19 now and in the future. “Our brilliant Vaccines Taskforce has secured an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to support our booster programme, which will be developed in line with the advice of our experts. “In the meantime, we are making great progress with our vaccination rollout and I urge everybody to get their vaccines as soon as they are eligible.” Overall, the UK has secured access to 517 million doses of eight of the most promising Covid-19 vaccines. These are: • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses – including the additional 60 million doses • Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses • Moderna for 17 million doses • Janssen for 30 million doses • Novavax for 60 million doses • Valneva for 100 million doses • GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses • CureVac for 50 million doses Health services across the UK have now administered a total of 47,540,984 million vaccines between 8 December and 27 April, including 33,959,908 million people with their first dose (64.5% of all adults) and 13,581,076 million with their second (25.8% of all adults). All vaccines being used in the UK have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality. Rolling reviews are underway by the MHRA to assess the Janssen and Novavax vaccines. Clinical trials are ongoing for the Valneva, GSK and Sanofi and CureVac jabs. The government has already hit its target of offering everybody in cohorts 1 to 9 – those aged 50 and over, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers – a first dose of the vaccine by 15 April and remains on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July. Data from the ONS and Oxford University shows that Covid-19 infections fell significantly by 65% after the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, rising further after the second dose. Data from Public Health England’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant
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impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving more than 10,000 lives between December and March. A recent survey published by ONS showed that 92% of those who had been vaccinated with a first dose did not experience any difficulties when going to get their vaccine – such as difficulty travelling to the vaccination site, concerns over catching the virus while there or having a long wait for their appointment. Vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums. Ben Osborn, Country Manager at Pfizer UK, said: “By more than doubling our supply commitment to the UK, we are delighted to support the ongoing rollout of the UK immunisation programme and help the government in its efforts to address the pandemic. “Along with our partner BioNTech, we are working relentlessly to support vaccination campaigns worldwide and, based on current projections, believe we can deliver more than 2.5 billion doses of our vaccine globally by the end of 2021.”
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PAGE 14 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
Covid -19 Vaccines Within the Care Sector: Can It Be No Jab No Job?
By David Bradley, Head of Employment at Ramsdens Solicitors (www.ramsdens.co.uk)
Lawyers are often considered to be two handed; on the one hand this, on the other hand that! “Just give me a view” they scream. Here it is, the answer is YES. However, you know better than to believe the YES is completely unqualified and there are some caveats, but as an employer in the sector you should be able to reach that position if you wish, in most cases. Let’s start from the position all employers are in. They are obliged (by law) to provide a safe place of work for their employees. They are also obliged to avoid endangering those that come into contact with the business and the employees of that business, for example customers and clients. Think of the sign that the supermarket floor may be wet (and slippery) for a benign example. Care sector businesses have exactly the same obligations regarding their employees, contractors and their clients (residents). There will be employees who wish to refuse a vaccine. What can the employer do? The following analysis is based on an assumption that a vaccine is available to the individual. We look at the most likely reasons for refusal;
1. YOU CANNOT FORCE ME, MY CONTRACT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO INSIST ON A VACCINE. Undoubtedly an express provision in the contract is helpful and places employers in a strong position to insist and in the absence of
good reason for refusal (see below) there would be a fair basis, ultimately for dismissal. Without an express term the employer will rely on the implied terms in the contract that an employee will act reasonably in making themselves available for work (i.e. take reasonable steps to avoid illness, injury or other impediment to discharging their duties) and not to endanger colleagues and clients. In a sector sensitive to Covid issues such as Care it is entirely foreseeable that a colleague may refuse to work with an unvaccinated individual or that a client will refuse to be treated by them. Recent data showing the dramatic reduction in the transmissibility risk following a vaccine is extremely helpful to employers should they decide that, despite consultation and persuasion, an employee continues to refuse to be vaccinated. A further and broader based business issue might be where a business would be rendered uncompetitive in a market where clients demand their carers be vaccinated. How would your business compete when a rival organisation could reassure clients that all their staff had been vaccinated. Ultimately, continued refusal by an employee to be vaccinated may lead to a dismissal. The fair reason for dismissal is likely to be “Some other Substantial Reason”, the fifth stated fair reason for dismissal set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.
2. I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION OR STATUS THAT PREVENTS ME FROM RECEIVING THE VACCINE. This is a valid reason for refusal and the principal caveat to the broad view expressed at the start of this article. Where the reason stands up to scrutiny, employers should respect this. The employer should act in the same way as if the employee is disabled and seek to make reasonable adjustments to allow the employee to continue working. This may mean a change to role or duties to reduce exposure to colleagues and clients. Consultation with the employee is key. At the end of that process if there is genuinely no reasonable adjustment that can be made, dis-
missal will be an option.
3. IT WOULD BE A BREACH OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS TO INSIST ON A VACCINE. The first lawyerly point is that in the private sector, Human Rights are not directly enforceable against employers but should the employee take the matter to a Tribunal then the Tribunal can take human rights into account. Clearly, no employer or anyone else can force someone to have a vaccine. That would be a breach of human rights in itself and also, probably a criminal offence. It should be kept in mind that human rights operate both ways in a Care sector scenario. Clients and colleagues have the right to be protected from harm too. The area of human rights most pertinent is that of protection from discrimination. See next. Aside from that it is difficult to see a human rights defence affecting an employers decision based on the issues set out at 1. above.
4. TO INSIST ON VACCINATION WOULD BE AN ACT OF DISCRIMINATION. Employers do need to be mindful of this issue but the basis of discrimination relied on by an employee should be clear. If the employee is of a recognised faith that condemns the receipt of a vaccine then the situation will be similar to that regarding a medical condition. Investigation and consultation will be key, consideration of alternative roles and adjustments would need to rule out (reasonably) before an employer could justify a dismissal. In summary employers should be clear on their risk assessment and business rationale for insisting on the take up of the vaccine, brief staff as to that rationale and then deal with objections on a case by case basis. Employers should not move towards dismissal before taking professional advice.
Residents at Swaffham Care Home Complete Personal Challenges for Multiple Sclerosis Trust Residents and staff at Meadow House nursing home in Swaffham, Norfolk – which is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission – have completed a series of activities and personal challenges to raise £400 for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Trust charity, as part of a national MS Awareness Week. The home, which is part of Healthcare Homes, provides residential and nursing care for residents with a range of physical disabilities and specialises in the care of those living with MS. The awareness week took place between 18th and 24th April with its traditional ‘blue’ theme and the Meadow House team rallied to support this by hosting a range of personal challenges and activities, including Blue Karaoke, bingo, games, tombola, a raffle, as well as personal challenges with sponsored walks, indoor cycles and even waxing! Explains Joanna Jankowska, manager of Meadow House nursing
home, “Meadow House has enjoyed a fantastic week raising money for the MS Trust; a charity that is very close to our hearts. Everyone really got behind the various activities and fundraisers to raise money for vital research. “I would like to personally mention our resident Lavanda Norgate who walked around the home for 12 miles and cycled 14 miles, which is just fantastic. In addition, our maintenance specialist Chris bravely volunteered to have his chest waxed at the end of the week! To raise £400 is an amazing accomplishment; thank you to everyone who sponsored, donated, bought raffle tickets and took part to make the week so much fun and for such a great cause.” Since 2016, Meadow House nursing home has raised over £3,800 for the MS Trust through a variety of home and communitybased fundraising activities, including a parachute jump.
Giving Back: Hertfordshire Care Home Opens New Activity Hub To Promote Resident Wellbeing A Hertfordshire care home has opened a new activity hub for its residents in a bid to promote positive wellbeing and exercise – and to pay tribute to their admirable resilience throughout the pandemic. Following the recently introduced Government measures, which permit two people per resident for indoor visits in care homes across England, Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, is intent on keeping spirits high after some long-awaited reunions with family members, by launching a brand-new indoor activity centre. A scheme which promotes exercise, social interaction and entertainment, the recreation hub includes a cinema room, library, bar, communications booth, and pool table, providing residents with an array of activities to boost their physical and mental wellbeing. The library, in particular, will include a mobile book trolley and see the launch of the Foxholes Library Club, which will be run by the residents themselves. The centre has been designed so residents can independently find something to occupy themselves with, whether it be playing a game of snooker, reading a book, playing the piano, making a video call, or just finding a place to socialise with friends and family.
In addition to the new activity hub, the Hitchin home has also built outdoor pods; The Foxholes Oval and The Foxholes Wheelhouse, which have been developed specifically for outdoor visitation and staff breaks and offer views of the horse paddocks and rolling countryside. Beyond the pandemic, the pods will provide a space for residents to take part in activities and spend time with their family, including for dining, celebrations, and birthdays. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone connected with Foxholes, particularly for residents who had their regular and highly popular programme of activities restricted during the height of the lockdowns. The family-run care home believed it only made sense that the resilience and courage shown by residents in the face of adversity was suitably rewarded. Neil Gandecha, Estate Manager at Foxholes, said: “We’re excited to be opening a new activities room and outdoor visitation area at a time where we’re gradually moving away from restrictions. They are our way of saying thank you to our wonderful residents, who have been absolutely fantastic during these unprecedented times. Residents can now spend quality and meaningful time with their family and friends while taking up some exciting new activities, too.
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Female Health and Care Staff Report Deteriorating Health Because of COVID-19 The physical and mental wellbeing of female health and care staff in England significantly worsened as a result of working through the COVID-19 pandemic with a marked deterioration since last summer, the results of a new survey show. (https://bit.ly/3tgt8Vr) The poll, carried out by the NHS Confederation’s Health and Care Women Leaders Network in February and March in the aftermath of the deadly peak of the virus in January, shows a significant rise in women working across health and care reporting a negative impact from their work on their mental and physical health, as a result of the pandemic. More than 80 per cent of female respondents who completed the new survey – including nurses, doctors, managers, admin staff, and allied health professionals – reported their job had a greater negative impact than usual on their emotional wellbeing as a result of the pandemic, up from 72 per cent last summer. The results also showed 65 per cent reported a negative impact on their physical health – a 13-percentage-point jump from the last survey. More than 1,200 NHS staff responded to at least part of the survey, carried out by the NHS Confederation’s Health and Care Women Leaders Network, with about 900 completing it in full, including more than 800 staff who identified as female. The results cover the responses of the women who answered every question. The survey, which follows a similar poll carried out in June, does highlight some of the positive experiences of female staff during the COVID-19 crisis, including increased opportunities for flexible working, improved teamwork and better access to technology, and some of the hopes of staff for the future, including continued flexible working and better work/life balance. But the most recent findings also show how significantly caring responsibilities outside work have grown since the summer for female staff. The results showed women working in health and care took on an average of about 13 hours extra a week in unpaid caring responsibilities, compared with before the pandemic, rising from about 11 hours extra a week in the last survey. There was also an increase in the total number of hours spent each week on these responsibilities compared with the summer, from an average of about 18 to about 20. In particular, respondents with children reported being far more involved in these tasks than usual. This is likely linked to the prolonged closure of schools, and reduced working hours. This has serious implications for career progression opportunities, the survey results suggest. Furthermore, female health and care staff with long-term health con-
ditions reported a greater negative impact of the pandemic on their physical health compared with those without long-term conditions, and they also reported feeling less safe sharing concerns with managers. Perhaps most startlingly, nearly 87 per cent of respondents with longterm conditions reported that their job has had a more negative impact on their emotional wellbeing since the pandemic started, compared with 78.9 per cent of those without. The Network will work with employers and national partners to understand the reasons for this disparity, and what more needs to be done to support the workforce in light of these findings. The findings also give weight to calls made by the NHS Confederation for extra investment to support the workforce in the longterm, and head off a haemorrhaging of doctors, nurses and other frontline health workers, in a letter to the Prime Minister jointly signed by NHS Providers, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges and Unison. Samantha Allen, chair of the NHS Confederation’s Health and Care Women Leaders Network and chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These survey findings underline the importance of the focus being placed upon the physical and mental health of NHS and care staff. As the majority of the health and care workforce is female, a significant burden in overcoming the enormous challenges we face in recovering services will fall on the shoulders of women. “We need to see tailored support specifically for the needs of female staff and this should include recruitment, retention, flexible working and career progression. We are concerned that if these issues are not addressed, it could intensify the impact on our workforce at a time when the NHS can ill-afford to lose any more staff. We are worried the impact of COVID-19 could set the NHS back further when we want to create the conditions where our workforce is valued and all can progress in their careers, particularly those who work less than full time. “We need to make sure we look after people, after the incredibly dif-
ficult experiences they have been through during the pandemic while supporting patients, families and carers and with the increased responsibilities of caring for children and adults outside of work. Looking after our staff will enable us to continue looking after the people who need our services. The findings of this survey must be a driver of real and lasting change.” Rebecca Smith, managing director of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said: “These findings again highlight the burdens faced by the female health and care workforce as a result of working through the COVID-19 crisis. Much of the responsibility for caring outside work falls to women, and for NHS staff, this is alongside the additional pressures they have faced working through the most challenging year most of them will have ever experienced. We now need additional investment from Government, coupled with the existing and ongoing direct support by health and care organisations, to make sure the female workforce is properly looked after. As we come out of this crisis we must continue to do all we can to protect and support our staff. “The results of the survey also provide some valuable insight into the positives that have come out of the pandemic, such as increased opportunities for flexible working and improved teamwork. NHS Employers will continue to work with NHS organisations to make sure these positives are maintained beyond the crisis, and embedded into new and innovative ways of working. We will also continue to provide guidance on support for the female workforce.” Dr Henrietta Hughes, National Guardian for the NHS, said: “The pandemic has impacted on us all, emotionally and physically, and has exacerbated inequalities, which can no longer be tolerated. This report shows how vital it is, not just for people to feel able to speak up about anything which gets in the way of them doing their job, but for managers to be supported to listen up and for leaders to follow up so that the right actions are taken.” Kate Jarman, director of corporate affairs at Milton Keynes University Hospital and co-founder of FlexNHS, said: “The impact of COVID-19 on women and on the emotional and physical health of women cannot be underestimated. There is a real and present danger of setting gender equality back, particularly for women in the paid labour market, and in failing to recognise and act on the extraordinary burden of unpaid domestic labour and care that is carried, predominantly, by women. “The vast majority of the health and care workforce are women – we have a critical role in tackling the equality gap that the pandemic has widened.”
‘Cutest Pooch’ Crowned At Local Care Home During National Pet Month Staff at a care home in Wellingborough celebrated National Pet Month (April 1 – May 3) with a competition to crown the cutest canine. Residents at Lancum House had the enviable job of judging the array of canine companions brought in by staff at the home. Skye Summerton, customer and community coach at the local Morrisons store also helped judge the socially distanced event. She said: “Morrisons is very happy to support events like this, it was so lovely to see the residents having a fun time in the sunshine.” After much deliberation from the residents, rosettes and treats were awarded to the winners. Third prize was awarded to Labrador, George, with second place going to Trixie the Chihuahua. First place was jointly awarded
to Toffee the Cockerpoo and Thumbles – another Chihuahua. Alysha Coleman, Service Manager at Lancum House - which is run by Shaw healthcare - said: “It was great to be able to welcome people back to the home, even if it was the garden. Everyone loved it and we are looking forward to organising more events in the summer months. “I would like to thank Skye from Morrisons for her ongoing support with Lancum House. She really makes Lancum House feel very much part of the community.” Lancum House is a residential care home providing care for up to 43 people including those living with dementia.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Pensioners Post Letters Across the Pond RESIDENTS at a Kilmarnock care home have signed up to a novel pen pal partnership with another older people’s residence in Kilmarnock – but this one is 3600 miles away in the US. Activities coordinators from Mansfield Care’s Argyll House and Commonwealth Senior Living in Kilmarnock, in the east coast state of Virginia, carefully matched each Scottish resident to their American counterpart, based on background, hobbies and interests. So far, 15 residents have taken part in the arrangement, which amounts to around half of the 31-bedroom care home. With the support of staff, each one has written their own personal letter, introducing themselves and what they like to do. Lyndsey Lang, Activities Coordinator at Argyll House, came up with the idea and has been facilitating the project. She said: “I came across Kilmarnock, Virginia, through a Google search and was amazed to find they had a care home too. It seemed like the perfect place to set up a partnership. “The residents have been very enthusiastic about writing their letters. There’s been lots of reminiscing going on. “The pandemic has been quite a lonely time for a lot of them and some don’t have regular family to stay in contact with. Setting up the pen pal arrangement is designed with this in mind. It gives them someone to share their stories with. “A lot of our residents struggle with mobility issues so myself and some of the team have been helping out with the actual writing part, but the letters are all their own words. They’ve covered everything from previous
jobs, to favourite memories to current interests. Some of them have been up to three pages long. “The residents have been able to explore Commonwealth Senior Living via Facebook. They’ve enjoyed connecting with the home visually and seeing who they’re writing to.” Resident, Margaret Hart, has enjoyed writing about her past career as a school cleaner and also her love of singing. Margaret said: “I have a large close family, but it’s always nice to have someone new to talk to. I’ve enjoyed reminiscing on my past career and my love of singing. I’m very much look forward to receiving a response.” Another resident, Christine Scott, 77, said: “I wanted to take part as I’m interested to find out about a different home, and what it’s like to live there. I’m also interested in finding out how they have coped during the pandemic.” Hugh Candish, 69, has enjoyed writing the letters as it is giving him something to look forward to. Hugh said: “I don’t have any friends out with Argyll House, so it’s nice to be able to reach out to someone new. I’m really looking forward to being able to share my memories with someone.” Lyndsey added: “We’ve only just posted the letters, so we’re still awaiting replies. But I’m looking forward to seeing new friendships flourish as a result. “While this is the first time we’ve done anything like this, if the initial response is anything to go by, this will hopefully become an ongoing partnership for years to come.”
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Person-Centred Care Enables Families and Their Loved Ones with Dementia to Get the Very Best Care and Support By Steve Mason, Admiral Nurse, Greensleeves Care (www.greensleeves.org.uk) When a loved ones gets diagnosed with dementia, the affect on their family and friends can be devastating. Relationships change – a husband may become a carer, or a mother may have to accept that her son now has to look after her. When a family decides that a loved one with dementia needs the level of care that only a professional dementia care worker can provide, it is the role of the care home to support families when they reach this decision. Many families describe how bereft and guilty they feel when they reach this decision, but if they receive the right support and help in coming to terms with this life changing moment, it can help to maintain relationships and keep families united. With families often expressing how they can feel excluded from the care of their loved ones after they go to live in a residential or nursing home, it is the responsibility of every home to ensure that care is a tri-
adic arrangement. By putting the person needing care at the head of the triad, with the care provider and the family being at the other corners of the care triangle, it ensures that everyone is working together to give the very best care. By involving families from the beginning in the care plan of their loved ones, care providers can ensure that they learn about the caredfor person. Families of residents are one of our greatest assets when planning their care plan. By getting to know the person who will be receiving care as an individual- through those who love them most- it allows a real focus on person-centered care. For someone who has dementia, knowing about their routine; their hobbies and pastimes; their past work/life experiences, and their greatest achievements, ensures that they receive carefully planned care and everyday activities j. order to give the individual resident enjoyable days that are meaningful and satisfying. When a loved one enters a care home, it is often a very emotional time for their families. At Greensleeves Care we believe that the provision of regular support for families, by bringing them together in family support groups, not only enables them to share experiences of a loved one hav-
Anna Chaplaincy: Here To Help! Anna Chaplaincy began just over 11 years ago with one person - the former broadcaster Debbie Thrower, in Alton in Hampshire. Now, it’s a rapidly growing, widely respected nationwide ministry with Anna Chaplains and people in equivalent roles, in places as diverse as Orkney and Cornwall, south Wales and the Scottish highlands, Cumbria and Kent, Cheltenham and Newcastle. The purpose of Anna Chaplaincy – named after
the widow, Anna, in the Bible – is to offer spiritual care for older people and their carers, to advocate on their behalf and to champion their contribution to the wider community. As Debbie Thrower explains: "Our vision is to see an Anna Chaplain in every small- and medium-sized community in the country, and for the Anna Chaplain name to become synonymous with spiritual care for older people." Anna Chaplains work closely with care home managers and staff and carry out a wide range of activities in care homes and in the wider community. In normal times, being an Anna Chaplain involves visiting older people wherever they may be living, meeting one-to-one, hearing life-stories, taking services and home communion, drinking tea, praying, making music or simply holding someone’s hand in
ing dementia, but it can help reduce the isolation that some family carers can experience. Often family carers will form relationships with each other as they realise that their experiences of caring for a loved one living with dementia are similar. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on many. Families have been separated and support networks have been disrupted. As lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted, families are now having to deal with pronounced changes in their loved ones’ health or mental state. After not been able to visit their elderly relatives for many months, some families are now discovering that their loved ones don’t recognise them anymore. Ahead of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, the care sector will be supporting those living with dementia, alongside their families and loved ones. With families feeling concerned that relationships have floundered over the past year, we must support them in finding that connection again and ensure that strong, loving and important family ties can be renewed and maintained. Also, we will provide services and provisions that enable families to support each other to prevent further isolation and loneliness. By working together, we can ensure that everyone who is touched by dementia gets the support and help they need.
companionable silence. They also offer pastoral support to front-line care home staff. But for Anna Chaplains, as for everyone else, these have been far from normal times. They haven’t been able to go into care homes or make home visits for months but, ever creative and adaptable, they’ve switched to Zoom and FaceTime, window visits, telephone calls, handwritten notes and individual gift bags of tea and cake. Former nurse, Sally Rees, was ordained priest and commissioned as Anna Chaplaincy Lead for Wales, in a small socially distanced but very special service at Brecon Cathedral late last September. "I’ve been part of the Anna Chaplaincy network from the very first gathering,’ she says, ‘so I’ve been witness to Anna Chaplaincy growing. "Lockdown has been very difficult for Anna Chaplains, their teams, and the people for whom we care. But in this time when we can’t ‘do’, our praying for people is no small thing – praying is never a small thing, but in these times I really do believe our
goal is to do that deeper prayer, which protects and holds and keeps." As the whole area of social care, and support for the older members of our communities, moves centre stage as a result of the pandemic, (The Carer 12.04.21), Anna Chaplains are uniquely placed to share their wisdom and experience with practitioners and policy-makers alike. Increasingly, team leaders Debbie Thrower and Julia Burton-Jones are consulted by government, church leaders and academics and there is an increasing demand for Anna Chaplaincy training and resources. In an indication of the growing regard for the work of Anna Chaplaincy, Debbie Thrower was honoured to lead a special service on BBC Radio 4 to commemorate the 125,000 people who lost their lives in the first year of pandemic. For more information go to www.annachaplaincy.org.uk. Anna Chaplaincy is a ministry of the charity BRF. For more information go to www.brf.org.
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Postcode Lottery For Welsh Care Fees The table had, said Mr Kreft, flagged up a real North South divide because five of the six local authorities in North Wales were in the bottom 10. The only exception in North Wales was Conwy County Borough Council which was described by Care Forum Wales “as the best of the worst” after finishing in 14th spot. But there was praise for Powys County Council who had shot up the rankings with fee increases of up to 22 per cent after coming bottom of the heap last year when they paid £12,000 a year less per care home resident than Cardiff Council did for the same level of care. At a meeting in March, the council’s cabinet approved a report which recommended that the fees they pay to independent residential homes should increase to £120 per person per week. Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, who has the portfolio for Adult Social Care, told the meeting: “We were subject to some Wales-wide publicity when it was revealed we pay less for our care than anywhere else. A “terrible ten” local authorities who pay the lowest care home fees in Wales have been named and shamed – with Swansea rock bottom. According to industry champions Care Forum Wales (CFW), care homes are the victims of an untenable post code lottery which means they’re paid wildly differing fees depending on which county they are in. CFW chair Mario Kreft MBE is calling for an urgent shake-up of the system once the new Welsh Government is place after the election on May 6, with a new national fee structure that is fair to all. The organisation, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers across Wales, is awarding wooden spoons to the ten worst payers as part of the second annual Cheapskate Awards. They have illustrated the point by publishing a “league of shame” highlighting the massive chasm between the top and bottom local authorities. Right at the foot of the table is Swansea where a 40-bed care home receives £230,000 less than a home in league leaders Torfaen in Gwent – or just over £5,700 per resident. The gulf is likely to be even wider in July when Cardiff Council publish their new rates because last year’s fees were higher than the increased payments announced in Gwent for 2021/22. Last year’s fees in Cardiff would still put them at the top of the table – the old rate in the capital is £1,600 a year more per resident than the new increased fee in Torfaen. Newport negotiate separately with individual providers so it was not possible to include them in the table but they are in line with the generally higher rates paid in the South East of Wales while Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council had not yet revealed their fees for the coming year.
“We need to put our money where our mouth is. It’s all very well saying we value care, but we also need to pay for it.” As a result of their positive response, Care Forum Wales revealed they will be honouring Powys with an honorary Wales Care Award as the most improved local authority. Mr Kreft said: “We know that there are always great demands on the public purse but Powys County Council have demonstrated that where there is a will, there is a way. “This is all about prioritising the care of the most vulnerable people in Wales and how we treat them speaks volumes about out society and our values. “If there was ever any doubt, the way the front line social care workforce has risen magnificently to the unprecedented challenges cause by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The pay received by social care staff in the independent sector is set by the local authorities who factor in what they should be paid when calculating the fee rates.
The aim of the Cheapskate Awards is to highlight the really serious problems created by an iniquitous fee structure here in Wales. “The statutory responsibilities the local authorities have are discharged in such a way that we have this post code lottery which has led to an unstable system. “Some of these figures really amount to a kick in the teeth to dedicated people who have been showing tremendous courage as well as skill and kindness in the face of a frightening disease during this deadly global pandemic. “Are vulnerable people in Torfaen really worth ££5,700 a year more than equally fragile people in Swansea? “The evidence uncovered by the Cheapskate Awards and previous surveys proves that social care is too important to be left to the vagaries of local political decision-making. “Even in a global pandemic where budgets are tight. Powys implemented an increase of more than 20 per cent while another council had an increase of less than two per cent. “For those who argue that it’s an issue for the national Government, the past 25 years have shown than when money has been available, local authorities have taken political decisions not to spend it on social care. As a result, they have unhinged social care sector provision, whether that’s care homes or domiciliary care. “In contrast, the Welsh Government’s Covid funding for social care has been fantastic. It has ensured that care homes, even with drastically reduced occupancy, have not been forced to close. “Last year Care Forum Wales launched our 2020 campaign to ensure qualified staff who work in care homes and domiciliary care in Wales are paid a minimum of £20,000 a year and we are delighted that all the main political parties are backing our call. “There is clearly a major North/South divide while the Swansea area is also suffering because the further North or West you go, the fees appear to fall off a cliff.
“Invariably, they all pay staff in council-owned homes a lot more – often in excess of £2,000 a year more – than they enable us to pay our wonderful care workers in the independent sector. How about that for hypocrisy?”
“Twenty years ago in North Wales four of the local authorities were in the top quartile and the other two were just behind. Things have changed dramatically and the people of North Wales have lost out in a big way.
The First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, had admitted the sector was fragile even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Mr Kreft is concerned that many care homes across Wales will not survive.
“These are political decisions made by local politicians who broadly get the same funding.
Care Forum Wales say the root of the problem is that for more than 20 years the social care sector has been managed and funded separately by the 22 local councils and the seven health boards in Wales which was a recipe for disaster. Mr Kreft said: “The current system is broken and not fit for purpose.
”Those commentators who derided the Cheapskate Awards last year should reassess the importance of bringing to the public’s attention the way that vulnerable people are valued differently across Wales. “It’s a small country. We all have to work to the same national standards of quality and surely now is the time we have minimum standards of funding.”
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More Than 1,000 Care Pros Tune In To One-Of-A-Kind Virtual Conference
NATIONAL Care Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of care and support services to vulnerable adults, brought together more than 1000 colleagues virtually last night (28 April), in what was the biggest celebratory event the company has ever held. Hosted by radio and television presenter Jo Whiley and attended by Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, the annual conference and awards were broadcast live to say a big ‘thank you’ to ‘ National Care Group’s colleagues across England and Wales for their hard work in challenging conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. The group specialises in supporting vulnerable adults with a wide range of disabilities and needs through residential care, supported living, outreach and home support and day services. It put together a day of talks with leading industry voices, workshops, activities and even a virtual escape room ending with an exciting black tie awards ceremony where nine winners were announced. James Allen, CEO of National Care Group, said: “It has been a truly remarkable year, and one that I look back on with pride. Not just pride in what everyone has achieved but also how everyone has come together as a team to keep the individuals we support safe. We have a commitment to ensuring the people we look after live full and active lives, and
our colleagues are an integral part of that. “Despite the pandemic we have managed to move forward in so many ways and we wanted to acknowledge the hard work of everybody throughout the year. People have given up a lot of their own personal time and have been really flexible when it comes to working. So we’re happy to announce an extraday’sannual leave for colleagues in full-time posts and half a day for those in part-time roles who have been with us for three months or more, which we're calling the ‘gift of time’. “Securing Jo Whiley as the host for our event was a bit of a coup, and something I’m really pleased we were able to arrange. We had been discussing who we could ask to host and this was before she was in the news campaigning for people with learning disability to be prioritised for the vaccine. She’s a great fit with what we’re trying to achieve and it was a wonderful event enjoyed by all who attended.” The theme for yesterday’s event was ‘unlocking your potential’, which not only applied to those working for the National Care Group but also to the individuals they support. It is at the heart of the group’s values of empowerment, passion, respect and collaboration. Also taking part in the talks alongside James were people director Claire Leake, chief financial officer David Rowe-Bewick, quality director Mike Cleasby, commercial director Mike Ranson, chief operations officer Karen Lewis and National Care Group co-founder Jamil Mawji. The keynote speaker for the event was Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England and board member for the National Care Group. Martin said: “It’s been an unprecedented year, we’ve not seen a pandemic of this nature since 1919, and we’ve found that health and social care has not only been on the frontline but has been absolutely central in keeping people safe at a time of crisis. However, we have also seen Covid-19 expose the fault lines, particularly between the NHS and social care providers. “We’ve done a lot to raise the profile of social care and put it on the map during the pandemic. The people we support are valuable humans with the same rights as anyone else and, if it falls to us to advocate for them, we’re ready to step up to the mark and make sure these individuals are never ignored again. At the end of the day, information is power, and we want to transfer that power to the people we support and their families. “I’m incredibly confident about the future, because I know every single National Care Group colleague is working tremendously hard to uphold our values and put the people we support at the forefront of
everything we do. There’s more hard work to come, but the prize is worth fighting for, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we will achieve it.” Rounding off the event was an awards ceremony for colleagues, where the following awards were given: Support Worker of the Year; Manager of the Year; Residential Team of the Year; Supported Living Team of the Year; Support Function of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; Making a Difference Award; and, Executive Board Award for Outstanding Achievement. There was also a special award given for the ‘National Care Group’s Pandemic Star of the Year’, dedicated to, and in memory of, two colleagues who lost their lives to coronavirus, which was awarded following a live poll that took place during the event. Organisers sent out special conference packs containing gifts, props and costume items to wear such as bow ties and tiaras – to give an element of fun. James added: “The past year has seen us support an increasing number of individuals, enhance our learning and development opportunities and we’ve also been fortunate enough to open a number of new services across the country. This event has been the perfect way to round off the past twelve months and, although it was a shame that we couldn’t celebrate our achievements in person, going virtual meant we were able to have more people join in the celebrations than we could have otherwise. “Now the focus shifts to the future, it was good to share our expectations for next year and for the whole team to know that we will be constantly reviewing how we deliver services to the people we support, making sure that we're in tune with their dreams and aspirations. It’s my personal hope that people will feel that we are growing together and that they take pride in working for the National Care Group.” To find out more about National Care Group, please visit: www.nationalcaregroup.com
National Resource Consortium (NRC) and Anenta Come Together to Manage We Care Group Healthcare and Clinical Waste Services Across 16 Locations in the North and Northwest England The UK’s leading network of independent waste operators, National Resource Consortium (NRC), has announced that it has joined forces with independent healthcare waste management company, Anenta, to oversee and manage the healthcare, clinical waste and disposal services for nursing and care home operator, We Care Group. The partnership between both waste management companies is helping the nursing and care home group achieve savings of over 14% on their waste services from the offset, with further savings to come as services are standardised across all 16 locations in the North and Northwest of England. The resource management network, NRC, combines expertise from the UK’s leading independent waste firms to deliver unrivalled waste collection and processing capacity for We Care Group. Acting as contract manager, NRC takes responsibility for the group’s volume waste management with all services provided by their network of local members. Through centralised contract management, NRC has already consolidated We Care Group’s existing waste contracts with various waste providers into one single, reliable point of contact across eight locations, with eight more to come. Through the ability to mobilise a national network of providers, NRC offers a single rate solution with 100% UK coverage and the flexibility to meet all We Care Group’s local needs. As a result, We Care Group is already benefitting from a 1/7th saving on its waste costs for the on-boarded care homes, thanks to a simple and transparent pricing schedule. The three-year fixed-term contract with We Care Group com-
menced in January 2021. All 16 locations are set to be under the single agreement by mid-2022. Commenting on NRC’s appointment Paul Jackson, Director of NRC, said: “We Care was buying waste services locally, individually, site by site, and not benefiting from the cost, waste and recycling efficiency of consolidating their estate into one contract. “Both NRC and Anenta offer compliance and service-based packages at competitive rates under a single agreement. This provides customers, like We Care Group, with greater transparency, control and peace of mind over their healthcare and clinical waste management, which is an essential service for any care provider.” We Care Group operates 16 Care and Nursing Homes in Liverpool, Blackpool, Southport, Leeds, Hull and surrounding areas across North and Northwest England. Specialising in residential, palliative, end of life, dementia, bariatrics and young mental health care, We Care Group
provides all 735 residents with happy, safe and homely environments in which their care, wellbeing and comfort is of prime importance. With Anenta’s dedicated, online contract management platform ‘Vector’, NRC will be able to deliver service efficiencies and identify savings that will be implemented across the group’s 16 locations. Anenta’s cutting-edge, real-time smart technology, ensures that the We Care Group receives effective contract management against existing specifications. Going forward Anenta’s integrated solution, which ensures that services are correctly specified, will provide NRC with the data needed to offer We Care Group complete transparency and the ability to proactively manage their environmental services, all in one place. Graham Flynn, Managing Director at Anenta, commented: “Anenta is delighted to be working in partnership with NRC to provide healthcare and clinical waste services for We Care Group. By consolidating multiple contracts, each of which has different end dates and varying prices, into one standard contract with uniform pricing, our real-time smart technology will provide We Care Group with vital savings worth many thousands of pounds each year.” Working for more than 8000 customers, Anenta simplifies the process of healthcare waste management, collectively saving clients millions of pounds each year. Over the past five years, Anenta has saved its clients over £5.6 million. Bernie Suresparan, Chairman at We Care Group, commented: “We selected NRC after reviewing all of our waste requirements with our procurement partner. We needed to gain control over our contracting process and to find savings – NRC offered us a centralised, managed process with initial savings – we are looking forward to developing our relationship with NRC and identifying future benefits.” Find out more about NRC and Anenta by visiting www.uk-nrc.com and www.anentawaste.com.
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What Lessons Can The Current and Next Generation of Workers Caring for Our Elderly Learn from the Pandemic? Prof Farhad Huwez is a certified Consultant General Physician and Geriatrician. Here he outlines some of the major learnings from the pandemic that those working with the elderly should take forward. Our elderly population has felt the heavy weight of Covid-19 more than most. Older people have experienced a significant period of social isolation, cut off from friends, family and communities. While it has been for their own safety, it has not come without significant cost and there are lessons to be learned to ensure the best possible care is provided to older people moving forward. Putting aside the specifics of the pandemic for a moment, by 2050, the number of people over 65 globally is set to increase to 1.5 billion. With this ageing population, who are now also recovering from the impact of Covid-19, comes higher health and social care costs and more age-related causes of morbidity and mortality. While we were already aware of this, the pandemic has put it into even sharper relief meaning that there is a rapidly growing need for healthcare staff, in all professions, to have relevant, up-to-date training and knowledge within elderly care to meet the needs of our aging society. And not just in a medical context, healthcare professionals who work with the elderly also need to have an established understanding of the financial, social, psychological, legal, ethical, environmental and political context of care and how this affects clinical decision-making for older people. Factors all carers have experienced in some capacity throughout the pandemic. So how can we take these lessons forward and improve how we provide care for older people?
ATTITUDES TOWARDS OLDER PEOPLE Attitudes towards older people have been put in the spotlight, which
has unfortunately revealed prevalent stereotypes and even the implication by a minority that certain older people are expendable. Nevertheless, such attitudes, however damaging, do provide us with an opportunity to discuss, learn and utilise them to shape societal thinking regarding the elderly. After all, the mark of a caring and compassionate society is how they treat their most vulnerable. Framing discussions in such a manner forces people to consider which side of the moral divide they wish to take.
workers stepped up to support older people to access technology to communicate with their families and friends, but this is not a sustainable approach. Post-pandemic we need a programme focused on digital inclusion of older populations as technology remains an ever-present part of our lives. Those working with older people must be upskilled to support this effort and consider how they can best utilise technology in their own care provision.
It also means that those providing care for older people must consider their own role in empowering the elderly and advocating on their behalf for the important role they play in society.
Having attended some Zoom family meetings, we have noticed the palpable positive impact on the patients. Technology has helped to bridge the barriers necessitated by the isolation required due to COVID19.
HEALTH AND CARE DELIVERY ENVIRONMENTS
END OF LIFE CARE COMMUNICATION AND PLANNING
The suffering care home staff and residents have endured due to high transmission and mortality rates during the pandemic will have long-lasting effects, and as a result some families are favouring home care for elderly relatives.
Reports about the use of ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ or DNRs have raised concerns recently. Ensuring dignity and compassion in dying is an essential part of working with older people, and all care workers must be best supported to work with patients and their families in decisionmaking towards the end of life.
This creates an opportunity to focus resources on providing at-home care in coming years, particularly with an ageing population, as it is a preference for many and can support continued independence. This illustrates the need for better integration between care settings. A joined-up approach within the sector is crucial to eliminating unnecessary risks, and current and future care providers must be equipped to understand how care provision works across delivery environments. However, it cannot be disputed that care homes play a crucial role in providing care for those with multiple chronic diseases, co-morbidities, and more complex needs like dementia, and they are invaluable in providing end of life care
STAYING CONNECTED In the early weeks of the pandemic the majority of the digitally engaged world took their lives online, but care homes are often not renowned for their up-to-date technological infrastructure, and as a result many residents were suddenly without visitors, both real and virtual. To bridge the gap as best they could we know that health and care
Amid the urgency of the pandemic there have been too many instances of poor communication around end-of-life planning. Patient agency and consent should always be at the forefront including peaceful and dignified way to eternal rest. DNR orders should be made after consideration of prime issues: the patient’s known or ascertainable wishes; the likelihood of successfully restarting the patient’s heart, and the patient’s human rights, including the right to life and the right to be free from degrading treatment. Therefore DNRs are used ethically to ensure comfort and dignity in death as priority rather than using futile procedures. A legacy of Covid-19 must be to have more open conversations around end-of-life care, particularly for those suffering with Dementia who make up 1 in 6 people over the age of 80. Prof Farhad Huwez is a certified Consultant General Physician and Geriatrician, Professor of Geriatrics at New Vision University, Georgia, and Programme Leader of the Care of the Elderly Diploma MSc provided by online learning specialists, Learna (www.learna.ac.uk)
Advinia Offers Virtual Holidays for Residents
As restrictions begin to ease across Briton, millions are getting out of the house and reconnecting with loved ones. However, even though 95% of care home residents have now been vaccinated, government guidelines continue to make it difficult for them to leave their facilities, with 14-day isolation periods now in place for anyone who does so. In response to these constraints, a group of care home residents in London, who were largely isolated during the pandemic, have been taking virtual holidays to destinations around the world. Residents at Roseacres in Barnet have, over the past couple of weeks, enjoyed professional guided tours around the canals of Venice, The Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Giza, all from the comfort of their living room. Advinia Healthcare, who manages Roseacres, and live-streaming travel platform Heygo have teamed up to provide these interactive adventures as a way of addressing the isolation and boredom that
many residents have felt over the past year and to help them find meaningful ways to connect with friends and family who are unable to visit. Heygo’s live tours allow groups to tune in via a shared screen in a care home living room or join from the privacy of their own room. Travellers are able to invite others to join remotely and to communicate with other tourists and their guide. The platform, which was launched during the pandemic, offers over 50 tours a day in over 60 countries around the world. Dennis, an 84-year-old resident at Roseacres, said “I used to travel with my wife all the time, but after she passed away, I felt as though that part of my life was over. Last week, we did an hour-long tour of Venice and watching the men singing on the Gondola suddenly transported me back to a holiday I took with her many years ago. It was really special to be able to share this memory with my son who had joined from his home.” Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, Founder and Chairman Advinia Healthcare, said “As you get older, connection and communication with the wider world can gradually become more difficult and your world begins to feel much smaller. It is wonderful that with this technology we can offer residents the opportunity to travel the world with their relatives, without any of the risk. We know it’s not as good as the real thing, but it has been such a boost to morale for residents and staff at the home
during this difficult time.” John Tertan, CEO and Co-Founder at Heygo, said “Travel doesn’t just offer a welcome change of scenery, it also has the power to address the mental health issues that have significantly increased amongst older people throughout the pandemic. With over 2.5 million over 75’s digitally excluded, this is great a way for providers to allow their residents to connect and share fulfilling and unique experiences with friends, family and other residents and thus deliver a crucial source of emotional support.” This is not the first technological trial at Advinia, who are one of the UK’s largest private care providers. Last year, the group carried out a ground-breaking trial in its homes that measured how robots might alleviate loneliness and boost mental health. Advinia plans to roll out the tours to each of their 36 homes over the coming months.
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A Mile In Their Shoes: Caring For Residents with Acquired Brain Injuries During The Pandemic Managing the various and often complex needs of a service user with an acquired brain injury is never easy, and COVID-19 has served to only exacerbate this – with limited opportunities for social interaction and concerns around the virus causing added stress for those with physical and mental health conditions. So what can a care provider do to mitigate these issues during a pandemic? Julie Simpson, manager of Herefordshire-based acquired brain injury care centre Market Lodge, discusses the importance of training packages tailored to the needs of service users and how a recent ‘day in the life of a patient’ session helped reduce negative incidents by 80 per cent and boost team morale. I took the reins at Market Lodge in 2019. We provide accommodation for adults aged 18-65 seeking short or long stay services, offering care and therapeutic support for people living with acquired brain injuries, which can include a range of physical and mental health issues – meaning a holistic approach to care is vital. Operating in such a complex care environment creates challenges, not just for residents but staff too. During particularly stressful periods of time, where staff are having to de-escalate situations on a regular basis, it’s understandable that they will feel the pinch. This can then create a snowball effect where the residents feel more anxious and exhibit more extreme symptoms, putting further pressure on their carers. It’s my responsibility to help the team when I spot these issues beginning to manifest, which is what led me to team up with our local psychological support worker, Grant Duff, to arrange practical training for staff to experience for themselves the daily reality for our residents who have the most complex needs. We called it ‘A Mile in Their Shoes’. The training involved staff taking turns to play the role of a fictitious resident, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, an emotionally unstable personality disorder and schizophrenia, being cared for by a colleagues.
She was wheelchair-bound with a pressure area in her lower back, tenderness in her feet, distorted vision and a very weak grip. She found communication difficult and has issues with eating and drinking. The issues this ‘patient’ faced may have been created for this training exercise, but they were very much based on our own, real life, experiences at Market Lodge. Once the colleague was in the chair we placed a pebble in their shoe to mimic the foot pain and a hairbrush in their back pocket for the pressure sore. Blindfolded to get a sense of disorientation, some had white noise played through earphones to mimic thought intrusion, while their fingers were taped together to reduce dexterity. The first task was to purchase something in a shop when the only help they had was being pushed to the counter. Next, they were asked to communicate with the public, once with their ‘carer’ being attentive and again while the carer was distracted. They had difficulty with accessibility in most shops. Staff said it was difficult to concentrate with the white noise and that they were fearful they would miss something as people rarely bent down to speak to them. They were universally ignored and spoken over, and most reported a sense of fear and anxiety even though they were being cared for by trusted colleagues. On returning to the unit we practiced assisting with food and drink. It was noted how difficult it was for the receiving person to judge how fast or slow the food was coming and how exhausting it was to take thickened fluids from a straw. The benefits of the training were impressive and immediately obvious. Staff showed more patience and empathy towards residents. Incident forms reduced dramatically for some residents - by almost 80 percent in the first seven days. In addition, staff became engaged with actively seeking positive solutions rather than falling into what could be called ‘damage limitation’. They had become more aware of potential incident triggers, could anticipate and take positive action in advance of an escalation and, as a result, there was less activity requiring a manager to intervene to deescalate staff-resident situations. Finally, and perhaps best of all, there was considerably more laughter and positivity as the morale of the team showed an upturn. Working as a carer in an acquired brain injury unit is a challenging role - and that’s not going to change – but the combination of specialist training and the help and support of colleagues means that staff can make a huge difference to the lives of residents and take away the feeling of satisfaction that goes with it.
QCS and Napthens Extend Partnership By Announcing Exciting New Development Napthens Solicitors and Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), the leading provider of content, guidance and standards for the health care sector, have extended their fiveyear partnership. To mark the fifth anniversary of working together, Napthens and QCS have struck a landmark agreement that will see Napthens offer surgeries to QCS members. The surgeries, which will be free to QCS members, will cover a range of different compliance areas including Legal, Health & Safety and Human Resources. Chris King, an Associate Solicitor for Napthens and an employment law expert, said, “These are difficult times for the social care sector. The combination of Brexit and the pandemic have only added to the multitude of challenges it faces. We believe, however, that the long-standing partnership that we have forged with QCS, coupled with the
new surgeries, will help providers better understand how their businesses are likely to be impacted by new and updated legislation, and most importantly, stay ahead of the curve.” Philippa Stevens, QCS’s Major Accounts & Alliances Manager, added, “We’re delighted to be extending this long-established and fruitful partnership. The union has, and will, continue to strengthen the content and the best practice guidance that we deliver to our members, across a myriad of settings and sectors, each day. We’re very excited to announce the surgeries too. Not only will they complement the legal helpline that Napthens already provides to our members, they’ll take our compliance capability to an exciting new level.”
Open Your Fire Doors to Residents When someone is no longer able to live alone their self-esteem can be severely affected and can sometimes lead to depression too. This is turn can have a negative impact on general health and happiness. Promoting independence within your care setting can have a massive impact on someone’s happiness, health and wellbeing. Care facility providers for the elderly have to make some incredibly important decisions to ensure that residents are safe and often make decisions on behalf of residents too. Providing a care setting that ticks all the right boxes to offer independent living can sometimes feel like a bit of a juggling act. On the one hand you must adhere to fire safe-
ty legislation and on the other hand heavy fire doors that close automatically when opened, hinder your goals of promoting the highest levels of independence for your residents. Finding a solution that achieves both of these goals is not as hard as you may think. Fitting battery-operated door retainers, such as Dorgard, Dorgard SmartSound and Freedor SmartSound could not be easier and they provide you with a legal solution to holding your fire doors open. Easily installed by your own handyman they can be fitted to existing fire doors. These devices ‘listen’ for the sound of your fire alarm and on hearing it will automatically activate and
allow your heavy fire door to close, preventing the spread of fire. Heavy fire doors can pose a problem for frail and less mobile residents, as they try and negate heavy fire doors just to move from one room to another. By fitting a fire door retainer, your fire doors will open with ease or be held in the open position to make corridors and rooms easily accessible, even for those who are wheelchair users or who use walking aids. To ensure that you can fit the right fire door retainer for your setting Dorgard have a range of products to chose from. For quieter areas, such as bedrooms or snugs Dorgard is ideal and for areas that are a little noisier, such as recreation rooms or dining rooms the Dorgard SmartSound is ideal and Freedor SmartSound offers the ability for a fire door to behave in the same way as a normal door, and can be pushed open with ease or will stay open at any angle. Open your fire doors to your residents to give them their independence back. If you would like to discuss your needs further with our knowledgeable customer care team please call 0800 612 6287 or visit www.safelincs.co.uk/dorgards.
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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES Antimicrobial Contract Fabrics Adaptawear Iona Nightie: Full Opening-Back Nightie for Added Reassurance Skopos has recently launched a new sub-brand, Skopos Pro-tect Plus, as a marker for all Skopos products offered with an antimicrobial finish. Skopos has been offering antimicrobial fabrics for over 15 years, however the new sub-brand helps to clearly identify this offer to our customers, at a time where extra reassurance within contract interiors has never been more relevant. Within Pro-tect Plus Skopos customers have a choice of fabrics for different end uses; Antimicrobial drapery fabrics, Antimicrobial woven upholstery fabrics, Antimicrobial faux leather and vinyls. The upholstery fabrics offer includes luxury velvet, printed fabrics,
vinyls and a large range of woven collections, mostly waterproof, soil and stain resist, perfect for caring interiors. Many of our drapery and bedding fabrics can be finished with an antimicrobial treatment, so please ask. Choices include print base-cloths, plain and woven designs. All Skopos fabrics are flame retardant and tested to the high standards required for contract interiors. Skopos antimicrobial fabrics have bacteriostatic, viralreducing and anti-fungal properties. Free samples of our fabrics are available online or via our customer services team: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.skoposfabrics.com
CareZips Dignity Trousers ™
CareZips™ preserve dignity and privacy of people receiving care during diaper changes. CareZips™ make diaper changes easier and faster, reducing workload, saving efforts, and saving time! CareZips™ help to deliver better standards of care! Fitted with unique 3-zip fastening system, the CareZips™ make changing of incontinence diapers more dignified and comfortable for the patients and easier and faster for the carers. CareZips™ feature 3 strategically positioned zips, 2 of which run from the waist to the knees on both sides of the body. The 3rd zip goes from the inside of one knee up to the crotch and down to the second knee on the inside of the other leg. This zip facilitates total opening of the trousers at the crotch during diaper changes. The 3-zip system ensures fast and easy access to the abdomen and crotch without having to undress the patients or pull their trousers down. CareZips™ are suitable for men and women. They
are available in 7 sizes for perfect fit. CareZips™ are soft and wrinkle resistant with stretch and give for extra comfort. Practical, durable, washable and noniron, the CareZips™ trousers are the perfect choice for daily use. Contact Win Health Medical Ltd - 01835 864866 www.win-health.com
Jolly Trolley Brings Therapeutic Activity and Entertainment to Patients That Are Isolating The Jolly Trolley® is an essential for any care establishment as it promotes social interaction between the service users and their carers. This innovative system is fully mobile and battery operated, allowing residents who may be unable to leave their rooms to also be included with ease. The Jolly Trolley® comes complete with its own videos, quizzes, karaoke and other content, but personal music, photos and films can then be added from a USB stick to really bring out the magic! Don’t just take our word for it here are just some testimonials from our very happy Health and Social Care clients:
Chester Park- Megan Allan, Activities “The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you.” Pennine NHS Trust - Beech Ward“we have been able to provide therapeutic activity & entertainment with ease to patients that are isolating” To see what the Jolly Trolley® can do for you, call us for a free demonstration on 0800 093 8499.
Write Your Life Story! With Reminiscence Journal Game Imagine you’re playing a board game with your family and carers as you write the story of your life. You can do this using Our mission is to help the silver seniors to become more creative in the use of their imagination. To help them stay focused with their memory activity. To help them interact and avoid the feeling of loneliness and aloneness. To Help the seniors Preserve their stories through Print, video and Online publishing, keep record of their oral history with legacy building for future generations. To continue in making the life of the silver seniors relevant to the society. To help in bring out the hidden skills the Silver seniors may never know or recognize they possess. The Pack includes a 120 paged journal, 40 cardboard game, a timer, two reusable maze games including a water marker. Playing the 40 cards prompts seniors to write in their life journal. includes:, Moviefy 360 Website, 20 pictures flipbook photo album, 10 minute video, Life story flipbook with 4 paged Quiz. Visit https://storytellingforsilverseniors.com or Email: email@example.com Call Jean On +44 791 630 6888 today
Ideal for those bed-ridden, struggling with mobility or needing palliative end of life care - the Iona nightie from adaptawear.com has been specifically designed with these people in mind. This unique product comes with a fully opening back, shoulder openings on both sides, and easy poppers, which fasten quickly with limited effort. As the nightgown opens up completely flat, it can be put on from a lying or seated position, ensuring less stress for both the wearer and carer. The open back function with a generous overlap also ensures dignity when toileting and a quick drying cotton fabric is
comfortable and practical. As well as the Iona adapted nightie, Adaptawear have a range of other back opening nighties, including their popular Petal Back range, and also fully front button nightwear. Their men and women's ranges feature a full range of adaptive daywear, including front fastening bras and comfortable cotton underwear; with a customer recently sharing they had ‘regained their independence with such helpful items.’ All items can be found at www.adaptawear.com or call 0800 051 1931 for more info. Don’t forget to use code CR10M at checkout for 10% off
Care Homes Pilot Diagnostic Telemedicine Developed by GPs video consultation platform allows clinicians and their patients to communicate easily, discuss test results and agree next steps. The Hub reduces the need for clinicians to visit care homes and the need for residents to visit healthcare settings. In addition to improving patient safety, associated costs such as PPE and travel time and mileage are minimised. Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and MP for Copeland (including Millom), said: “I’m delighted that some care home residents in my constituency will be among the first to benefit from remote diagnostics consultations with their GPs. Tools such as Teki-Hub have the potential not only to reduce infection risk during a pandemic Pathfinders Specialist and Complex Care centre for but also to help deliver care to more patients more physical health needs in Nottinghamshire and quickly and it’s great to see more organisations triKirksanton Care Home in Millom, Cumbria, are the lat- alling these new innovations.” est care homes to trial an innovative telemedicine unit To date Teki-Hub has been used to conduct which allows GPs to complete detailed assessments approximately 180 remote consultations. Initial evaluaon patients remotely – saving time and improving tion by NHS Arden & GEM CSU shows clinicians have patient safety during the coronavirus pandemic. been very satisfied with the quality of the audio and The Teki-Hub telemedicine solution, developed by images, and ease of system use, with an average satpioneering GPs Dr Stephen Katebe and Dr Omobolaji isfaction score of 4.7 out of 5. Over 90% of patients Iji, is already providing a solution to the additional risks who have responded to a post-consultation survey of in-person consultations during the COVID-19 panrated the overall treatment experience as excellent. demic in 18 care homes in England and Scotland,. Initial trials also indicate that use of Teki-Hub can Unlike standard video consultations, the Teki-Hub reduce the need for ambulance callouts and emerunit includes high quality diagnostic equipment, gency hospital admissions. enabling GPs and other clinicians to undertake virtual Dr Stephen Katebe, co-founder of Tekihealth care home rounds, and respond to emergencies Solutions, said: “As GPs ourselves, we fully understand quickly, safely and efficiently. Teki-Hub can use WiFi, the barriers to providing swift and comprehensive care mobile or satellite networks to connect reliably to GP to care home residents – particularly during COVID-19. practices, community services or hospitals, with care With Teki-Hub installed, clinicians can see up to six home staff administering tests as directed by the clini- patients an hour, with no lost time spent travelling, cian. and without the additional risks currently associated The equipment includes a no-touch infrared basal with in-person consultations. We’ve seen a significant thermometer, and set of digital stethoscope, otoscope increase in demand for pilots as NHS organisations and tongue depressor attachments, allowing GPs to look to enhance the quality and safety of care, particconduct thorough assessments of a patient’s respiraularly during the pandemic.” tory, ear nose and throat, and heart health. The in-built Visit www.tekihealth.com or @tekihealth
Why Specify a Yeoman Shield Fire Rated Door Edge Protector? When specifying for a structure, it’s important to be aware of the level of wear and tear a door can be exposed to in a public building. Door edges, in particular, can be easily damaged or worn down by regular use – which can then render them non-compliant for fire safety regulations. To ensure that a project remains compliant, an architect can specify durable door edge protectors to add durability and longevity to doors. Not only will specifying edge protectors increase the longevity of doors, they will enhance the cost efficiency of a project by reducing maintenance demands and the possibility of having to replace unsafe fire doors. Yeoman Shield fire rated Door Edge Protectors are unique with a 2.0 mm Vinylac outer and a specially formulated 9mm PVCu reinforced core. They are FD30 (1/2 hour) and FD60 (1 hour) rated
with intumescent seals that are in accordance to the fire door’s specification. Fire rated Door Edge Protectors are suitable for commercial applications such as residential blocks, schools and hospitals etc. Door Edge Protectors can also be specified with different fire seals, from a plain intumescent fire seal to a brush, fire and smoke variant. Of course, for doors that are non-fire rated in an architect’s project Yeoman Shield also provide quality edge protectors without seals to enhance durability and reduce wear. Source a full range of door protection panels and kick plates from a single supplier by choosing Yeoman Shield. Our door protection panels and kick plates offer the same lasting durability and quality as our door edge protectors. Visit www.yeomanshield.com for details.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 27
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Meet the UK Care Homes Committed to Veggie Catering Excellence National Vegetarian Week, 10–16 May 2021
Staggering figures show that residents following a vegan diet in UK residential care homes have risen by 167 per cent since 2014. But this National Vegetarian Week is a chance to reflect on how well prepared your care facility would be for an influx of vegan or vegetarian residents. There are currently more than 11,000 care homes for older people in the UK – between them catering for over 7,000 vegans and vegetarians. Almost 1 in 6 of these homes are now committed to veggie catering excellence, via membership of charity Vegetarian for Life’s UK List. Amanda Woodvine, Chief Executive of Vegetarian for Life, cautions: “By not demonstrating that they are veggie-friendly, many care establishments are missing out on new, potential residents. But becoming a Vegetarian for Life UK List member is a great way to evidence this. Plus you’ll be joining some of the UK’s leading care homes and food suppliers, committed to providing the best possible catering for your vegan and vegetarian residents. “Once signed up, you will be kept regularly updated with expert support and news. Both free and premium membership options are available – and many of Vegetarian for Life’s core services are offered completely free of charge.” Some of the charity’s most inspiring members have shared their exclusive stories and tips. Nick Dutton, Operations Manager at Primrose Bank Care Home and
Deputy Chair of the National Association of Care Catering ''Perception has definitely changed when it comes to nutrition. People are changing, and there are more and more vegetarians, vegans and those with dietary needs such as coeliacs, which means the care industry needs organisations like Vegetarian for Life. Care homes in the past typically haven't been associated with great food but that is also changing. We need care homes to stand up, be more organised and change with the times and we want to be part of the narrative that care homes can provide amazing food. “We joined the Vegetarian for Life UK List in 2018, because we noticed a lot more vegetarians and vegans coming into our care home. We’ve also taken the Vegetarian for Life Memory Care Pledge, to help people maintain their ethical beliefs, especially around vegetarianism and veganism as they get older, even if they suffer any memory issues. “We’ve created a vegetarian champion from one of our vegetarian members of staff, who will help keep the conversation going around the care home, on the benefits and beliefs of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
“We’ve also pledged to keep reviewing our menus, especially around our vegan and vegetarian options to keep them fresh and exciting. “As a Vegetarian for Life UK List member, we know that the support is there. Not only that, but we've had the opportunity to enter the Vegetarian for Life Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian Care Catering. In 2020, our chef Gary McGurk won 'Most Innovative Veggie Dish' for his pan-seared watermelon. Gary McGurk of Primrose Bank Care Home, winner of Most Innovative Veggie Dish in Vegetarian for Life’s 2020 Awards for Excellence in Vegetarian Care Catering “We regularly share content online, but being a member of the UK List has really helped us gain more publicity in the local area. Our social media posts around our membership have the most 'shares' and 'likes' out of all our content.”
Ten Fun Activities & Training Ideas For Your Care Home Residents This National Vegetarian Week With National Vegetarian Week soon approaching (10–17 May), why not offer some fun veggie activities for your residents? Charity Vegetarian for Life (VfL) has plenty of inspiring ideas to help your planning. This is a super way to make vegetarian or vegan (veg*n) residents feel included and celebrate their lifestyle choice. Perhaps ask them for their ideas to observe the week, or cook their favourite meat-free option for all to enjoy. Even if you don’t have veg*n residents at present, the celebration can be a fantastic way to introduce new foods. You’ll likely find your residents are happy to try some meat-free options.
Here are VfL’s top tips: Host a vegetarian supper club, planning and serving a three-course meal. Here’s a suggested menu: Starter: Carrot, Ginger & Orange Soup (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/budget-recipes/carrot-ginger-andorange-soup) Main: Mushroom, Nut & Cranberry Wellington (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/mushroom-nut-cranberry-wellington) Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/cakes-and-puddings/sticky-toffeepudding) Run a veg*n food tasting session: e.g. vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, plant milks, faux meat products, tofu, or hummus and veggie dips. You could even make score cards and pick a winner at the end. Experiment with more unusual ingredients, such as banana blossom ‘fish’, or jackfruit curry. You might even use silken tofu to make a mousse, quiche, or scrambled tofu. Play ‘guess the ingredient’ first, and let residents suggest what you might make with it – a great way to start discussions and share experiences. It’s also a good sensory activity because people can see, touch, smell and taste the different foods. If the weather is good, why not host a vegetarian picnic or BBQ? Here are some recipe ideas: Black Bean Burger (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/main-meals/black-bean-burger) Sandwich Platter (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/soups-and-sandwiches/sandwichplatter) Coronation Chicken Pastries (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/recipes/lighter-meals/coronation-chickenpastries)
Whether vegetarian or not, many people have a favourite meal that just happens to be meat-free. Those that do consider themselves veg*n will likely enjoy being able to reminisce and share why they follow this lifestyle. Print photos of common vegetarian products from years gone by or find old vegetarian cookbooks to encourage conversation. Here’s an example of some products that one older vegetarian misses. Visit VfL’s website (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk) for some suggested questions/conversation starters. Invite a VfL chef to deliver a virtual or in-person cookery demo for your residents. They’ll take the pressure off your chefs and activity co-ordinators, and deliver a themed demo for you. Here’s what recent participants have said: “It was brilliant, well presented, and the demonstrator was very likeable and did a great job.” “I’ve taken part in lots of video cook-alongs recently and have found them quite stressful. However, this one was really informative and easy to follow.” For a novel activity for residents, VfL runs a ‘virtual vegan lunch club’ on the fourth Tuesday of every month. It’s open to vegetarians, vegans and meat reducers, aged 65+. Each month follows a different theme, and upcoming events include: Afternoon Tea: 27 April Curry Night: 25 May Garden Picnic: 22 June. Recipes are sent in advance. Buy your ingredients, and cook the dishes on the day ready for the Zoom chat at 1pm. Talk cookery, recipes and more, and meet likeminded people from across the UK. For residents that are less tech savvy, but keen to connect, VfL runs a veggie pen- and phone-pals scheme (https://vegetarianforlife.org.uk/pages/penand-phone-pal-scheme). The scheme has linked tens of like-minded people from across the UK, and many lasting friendships have been forged. One member said: “I love it, I really do. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long, long time. I speak to a few people from the scheme and I’m delighted with how well it’s going” Caterers can get ahead of the curve with VfL’s accredited training. Topics include what veg*ns eat; plant-based nutrition and fortification; meal planning; and alternatives to meat and dairy. Each bite-sized module includes easy-to-follow recipe videos and fantastic, tasty recipes. What’s more, it’s British Dietetic Association accredited. Meat-free 101 training is another great option – a half-day introduction to anyone new to catering for veg*ns, or wanting fresh inspiration. An online version will launch in May.
Carrot, Ginger and Orange Soup
Serves: 4 Dietary requirements: Dairy-free, Egg-free, Halal, Kosher, Vegan
Ingredients Good glug of olive oil 4 small onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2–3 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated Zest and juice of 2 oranges 8 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 litre water with vegan stock or 4 tsp vegetable bouillon Couple of pinches of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (optional) Sea salt and pepper to taste To serve Coconut yoghurt or vegan crème fraiche (optional) Chopped coriander leaves
Instructions • In a saucepan, gently cook the onion in the olive oil until softened. • Add the garlic, ginger and orange zest. Cook for a minute or so and then add the carrots, stock, and cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if using). • Simmer until the carrots are tender. • Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth. • Add the orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Blend again briefly to mix. • Reheat gently. Serve with optional dollop of coconut yoghurt or crème fraiche, and a sprinkle of chopped coriander on top.
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CATERING FOR CARE
Nightingale Hammerson’s Approach To Good Nutrition and Hydration mealtime observation tool: the Dementia Mealtime Assessment Tool (DMAT), specifically designed by a dietitian.
in the wider care team, which enables us to maintain the best interests of the resident.
We trialled the DMAT and selected several residents living with dementia and who were identified as having some mealtime difficulties. The in-house dietitian and OT team spent time observing the residents while eating, allowing us to identify specific problems. We were then able to select interventions and generate a person centred care plan to support eating and behaviours at mealtimes. It also provided access to practical, evidenced based, assessments and interventions. When implemented, this also helped to empower the carer and reduce anxiety associated with mealtimes.
These observations and interventions have had a beneficial effect on the overall mealtime experience and have gone a long way to help maintain good health, independence and dignity of our residents.
Malnutrition affects 3 million people in the UK and accounts for 35% of care home admissions. Eating and drinking is an important part of residents’ wellbeing and a basic foundation for their good health. We take nutrition and hydration seriously, not only for good health but also because of the enjoyment and social benefits that mealtimes bring. Weight maintenance, nutritional status and adequate hydration, without medical intervention, depends on a person’s ability to eat and drink. Therefore, identifying nutritional risk as early as possible is an important aspect of our nutrition and hydration care.
Crucially, because our dietitian is based within our home, it means that if a care team is concerned about a resident, they can be called upon the same day. An assessment is immediately then carried out, often followed by a mealtime observation, and measures are quickly put in place to rectify difficulties. Being in-house also ensures regular and clear communications between teams and the ability to make changes quickly, should the original measures need changing. It also allows a resident’s care plan to be immediately updated and interventions put in place.
WHY REGULAR MONITORING IS IMPORTANT Maintaining residents’ independence with eating and drinking is hugely important. This requires close monitoring of residents if they begin to display any difficulties. To monitor our residents, we use a
Working closely with the catering team, the dietitian manages specific diets, meal planning, nutritional intervention, prescribing textured food, providing additional nourishing drinks and snacks or oral nutritional supplements. Regular interventions and discussions take place with-
The dietitian also covers nutritional training for the wider care teams and volunteers who support our ‘mealtimes matter’ programme. They will sit with a resident through the duration of a meal and help with eating and drinking. This is a hugely important element to ensure residents have time with one-to-one assistance during their meal. The environment is calm and the meal is not rushed. Feedback to the care team ensures they know if a resident has eaten and drunk enough during a mealtime. If this is not the case, measures are taken to ensure the resident is provided with additional food and drink a little later.
TEAMWORK A great amount of teamwork is involved when overseeing residents’ nutritional and hydration requirements. The benefit of having a dietitian and OT team permanently based within our homes, allowing for precise monitoring and intervention, has seen great success within the mealtime environment. In fact, it is a crucial part of succeeding in helping residents to maintain and even improve their nutrition and hydration status. Having an in-house dietitian and OT team not only benefits our residents. Our care teams value their support and advice, as it is clear this can really enhance a resident’s experience during mealtimes. The aim of our dietitian’s work is to ensure residents are able to eat and drink the right amount of nutritional food to ensure their good health. However, by supporting independence with eating and drinking, residents can enjoy mealtimes. Consequently, this has significant benefits for overall wellbeing.
DISCOVER THE NEW MATCHING TOOL THAT WILL SHOW YOU WHICH BOUILLON IS BEST FOR YOUR NEEDS When it comes to creating great dishes for residents living in care settings, a quality base is key. With a good bouillon or stock at the base, chefs can transform everyday favourites into rich, flavoursome dishes. Knorr® Professional is the UK’s number one brand for bouillons in foodservice*. They’re passionate about providing chefs in the care sector with the building blocks to creating dishes which make mealtimes memorable. They believe that, when it comes to choosing a bouillon, getting the right format for your needs is fundamental. Their range includes Powders, Jellies, Cubes and Pastes – which are also available in a Rich and Roast formats for an even stronger flavour. But how you use each of these formats will depend on a number of factors. If you’re not sure which bouillon is right for your menu, then why not try Knorr® Professional’s new online matching tool. By answering just a few simple questions, the tool will help you discover the right bouillon for you in less than a minute.
Visit ufs.com/knorrprofessional to find out more
*Aggregated UK wholesaler value sales 52 w/e 21st August 2020
Planning Your Catering Budgets with allmanhall Alain Bremond-Torrent mused, “Sardines or not sardines, that is the question.” Or indeed, some salmon, but what should it all cost? In the face of unprecedented and extraordinary cost pressures, planning your budgets for the coming year is challenging. allmanhall (www.allmanhall.co.uk) can help. Covid-19 has brought enormous pressure, with operational compliance costs and additional PPE taking their toll. Then there is Brexit – although a trade agreement has been struck, food costs are rising. All exacerbated by escalating business rates. Food and catering related costs are a significant element of any care home or group’s budget. Scrutiny of key areas will enable planning and ensure good due diligence. You may not have benchmarked your suppliers’ pricing for months if not years. How do your suppliers compare? Recipes should be accurately costed and areas for greater efficiencies and savings identified.
These unprecedented times present an opportunity - now may be the time to challenge long established ‘norms’, rethinking and reviewing your budgets for the better. Contact independent food procurement specialists, allmanhall to arrange your free of charge benchmark via www.allmanhall.co.uk See the advert on the facing page for details.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 33
Laundry is Critical as Covid-19 Survives on Healthcare Uniforms for Up To 3 Days As reported below, scientists at the De Montford University have been conducting an in-depth study of viruses with similar structures and survival patterns to Covid-19. The research was led by a team of microbiologist and virologist experts who monitored the stability of virus traces over 72 hours and evaluated different infection control methods. The results strongly reinforce the need for all healthcare workers’ uniforms to be washed on-site and using appropriate commercial or industrial washing machines. The University discovered that the virus can survive on polyester for 72 hours, on cotton for 24 hour and on poly-cotton for 6 hours. The scientists contaminated various textiles with virus traces and analysed different wash methods, using varying temperatures with both domestic and commercial/ industrial laundry machines. The results demonstrated that domestic machines did not fully remove the virus from contaminated textiles and that the water dilution and agitation was insufficient as a means of infection control. Their findings concluded that it necessitated detergent and a temperature of at least 67C for the virus to be efficiently killed. Encouragingly, the research showed that the virus did not transmit to other items within the wash load. However, traces can transfer from uniforms to other surfaces and consequently it is crucial that uniforms do not leave the healthcare environment
and are processed in laundry machines that will reach the requisite high temperatures to ensure that there is no onward transmission. Dr Laird, Microbiologist and Head of Infectious Disease Research Group, is quoted on the University’s website as saying, Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk of transmission of the virus. If nurses and healthcare workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of virus on other surfaces. Forbes Professional provides healthcare compliant commercial laundry equipment to the NHS, care homes and private hospitals across the UK. As proud partners of Miele, we offer premium laundry solutions that adhere to WRAS and CQC guidelines whilst enabling both sluice and thermal disinfection. Our commercial washers hold validated temperatures of 71°C for 3 minutes and 83°C for 15 minutes, killing viruses and bacteria in adherence with the most stringent hygiene requirements. With our Complete Care solution, all laundry equipment is supported by our multi award-winning service support, with no repair or replacement bills for the life of the contract. Forbes Professional Telephone 0345 070 2335 firstname.lastname@example.org www.forbespro.co.uk
Infection Control and Laundry Cash’s Labels- “The Name Study Published Behind the Name” In a study looking at how coronavirus behaves on three fabrics commonly used in the healthcare industry, scientists at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have warned tthat traces can remain infectious for up to three days. Led by microbiologist Dr Katie Laird, virologist Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar and postdoctoral researcher Dr Lucy Owen, the research involved adding droplets of a model coronavirus called HCoV-OC43 – which has a very similar structure and survival pattern to that of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 – to polyester, polycotton and 100% cotton. The results showed that polyester poses the highest risk for transmission of the virus, with infectious virus still present after three days that could transfer to other surfaces. On 100% cotton, the virus lasted for 24 hours, while on polycotton, the virus only survived for six hours. “When the pandemic first started, there was very little understanding of how long coronavirus could survive on textiles,” said Dr Katie Laird, Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group at DMU. “Our findings show that three of the most commonly used textiles in healthcare pose a risk for transmission of the virus. If nurses and healthcare workers take their uniforms home, they could be leaving traces of the virus on other surfaces.” In response, she advised the government that all healthcare uniforms should be laundered in hospitals to commercial standards or by an industrial laundry. She has since co-published an updated, fully comprehensive literature review which evaluates the risk of textiles in the transmission of disease, highlighting the need to for infection control procedures when handling contaminated healthcare textiles. “After the literature review, the next stage of our work was to evaluate the infection control risk of washing healthcare uniforms contaminated with coronavirus,” she continued. “Once we had determined the survival rate of coronavirus on each of the textiles, we turned our attention to identifying the most reliable wash method for removing the virus.” Using 100% cotton, the most commonly used healthcare textile, the scientists conducted a number of tests using different water temperatures and wash methods, including domestic washing machines, industrial washing machines, on-premise hospital washing machines, and an ozone (a highly reactive gas) wash system. The results showed that the agitation and dilution effect of the water in all of the washing machines tested was enough to remove the virus. However, when the team soiled the textiles with an artificial saliva containing the virus (to mimic the risk of spread from an infected person’s mouth), they found that domestic washing machines did not fully remove the virus and some traces survived. It was only when they added a detergent and increased the water temperature that the virus was completely eliminated. Investigating the tolerance of the virus to heat alone, findings showed that coronavirus was stable in water up to 60°C, but was inactivated at 67°C.
Next, the team looked at the risk of cross contamination, placing clean items of clothing in the same wash as those with traces of the virus. They found all wash systems removed the virus and there was no risk of the other items being contaminated. Dr Laird explained: “While we can see from the research that washing these materials at a high temperature, even in a domestic washing machine, does remove the virus, it does not eliminate the risk of the contaminated clothing leaving traces of coronavirus on other surfaces in the home or car before they are washed. “We now know that the virus can survive for up to 72 hours on some textiles and that it can transfer to other surfaces too. “This research has reinforced my recommendation that all healthcare uniforms should be washed on site at hospitals or at an industrial laundry. These wash methods are regulated and nurses and healthcare workers do not have to worry about potentially taking the virus home.”
With the support of the UK Textiles Trade Association, Dr Laird, Dr Shivkumar and Dr Owen have since shared their findings with industry experts across the UK, USA and Europe. “The response has been very positive,” said Dr Laird. “Textile and laundry associations around the world are now implementing our key messages in their guidance for healthcare laundering, to prevent further transmission of coronavirus.” David Stevens, CEO of Textiles Services Association UK, the trade association for the textile care services industry, said: “Going into a pandemic situation, we had the basic understanding that textiles were not among the top transmission media for coronaviruses. “However, we really had a lack of information about the stability of these viruses in different fabric types and in different wash programmes. This resulted in several misinformation floating around and excessive recommendations for washing. “We have considered in detail the methodologies and research practices used by Dr Laird and her team and find this research to be reliable, repeatable and reproducible. The conclusion of this work completed by DMU reinforces the vital role of contamination controls – whether it is domestic or industrial settings.” To further the research, the team is also working on a project in collaboration with DMU’s Psychology team and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, surveying nurses and healthcare workers about their knowledge and attitudes towards washing their uniforms during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At Cash's, we aim to capture, reinforce and communicate our clients’ brand equity through quality and innovation, from design to distribution. Our product range fully caters for the needs of both small and large retailers and brand owners alike comprising of woven and printed labels, woven badges, care labels, branded and promotional swing tags, garment accessories, packaging and barcoding. Our ground breaking labelling and security technologies are also able to provide an unrivalled level of protection to our customers'
brand by assisting to combat counterfeiting and grey market activity. Our industry leading eCommerce system is designed to reduce cost, improve efficiency and streamline supply chain management and will fully protect the integrity and accuracy of critical business data. The order entry process is very simple meaning suppliers and vendors can spend their valuable time on tasks other than ordering apparel labelling and accessories. See the advert this page for details.
PAGE 34 | THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52
Omnicell's eMAR Solution Helping Care Homes to Manage Their COVID-19 Vaccination Programmes As the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out across the UK, Omnicell’s eMAR solution has recently been enhanced to help support care homes to manage recording of the medication in terms of timings, dosage as well as the type of vaccination used. As with any other medication, this vaccine needs to be managed and administered safely. New features to the eMAR care home solution have been introduced to ensure that staff can easily record the type of vaccine, when it was administered and whether it was the first or second injection. As with all medication, residents have the right to refuse and should that be the case, the Omnicell eMAR solution also captures this information too. The Omnicell eMAR system automates the entire medication management and administration process for each care home resident, ensuring they receive their right medication at the right time. Now, care home management and staff can have the COVID-19 vaccine status of each resident at the touch of their fingertips as part of the eMAR Reporting Suite. The eMAR system gathers information, provides prompts and accurate instructions for staff and managers in real time at the touch of a button. Each individual medication is identified through a barcode, normally applied in pharmacy, which can then be tracked at all stages from check in at the care home through to administration to a resident. It provides an invaluable medicines history for each patient and includes a simple alert and verification system to minimise the risk of medication errors in the home. Residents in care homes take an average of 7.2 medicines per day. With each additional medicine comes an increased risk of errors in prescription, monitoring, dispensing or administration, adverse drug reactions, impaired medicines adherence which can lead to compromised quality of life for
patients. CQC’s annual state of care report found that safety was the biggest concern with one of the main contributing factors being poor medicines management.1 Recently, Omnicell UK, the market leader in medication and supplies automation, and Nourish Care, a leading electronic care planning provider, came together to provide a new integration that gives care staff greater visibility of a patient’s medication regime as part of their overall care plan. Managing and monitoring resident’s medication regimes effectively can significantly impact the delivery and quality of care. Historically care plan-
ning and medication administration systems have been managed completely separately. This can potentially contribute to failings in support of residents’ care. The new integration means that Omnicell eMAR can now share data related to medication with the Nourish Care system, giving greater insight and driving best practice into the safety and individual care of each resident in the home. Heather Bethune, Care Home Manager at Abbeyfield House Care Home, comments; "The new COVID-19 recording feature has been a huge help for our care home. All of the vaccine information is recorded in one place and it's presented alongside all the medication that we've administered - where it should be, so it's great to have a simple overview of everything that’s medication related. We can record the type of vaccine that resident has been given and the date they were administered it, this allows us to know when the second vaccination is required for each resident. The system allows you to input information retrospectively which is a great help when we have new residents join the home who have already had the vaccine. It's a really simple and easy to use system that is helping us to manage the COVID-19 virus.” Cyrus Hodivala, Medicines Adherence Sales Director at Omnicell UK & Ireland, comments; “Here at Omnicell we are constantly looking at new ways to respond to our clients needs with innovative solutions. And as such, we are pleased to announce the new features and enhancements to our eMAR solution which will help support care homes to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programmes. We anticipate that this will help to drive much needed times efficiencies for staff during this difficult time, as well as ensure patient safety within the care sector.” For further information contact www.omnicell.co.uk/products/emar
ATLAS eMAR - The Only Proven eMar for Care Homes in the UK ATLAS eMAR is the only independently evaluated medication administration system that has been shown to eradicate 21 out of 23 medication error types, save 65 staff hours per month on medication, representing over £1500 savings per month and improve accountability by reducing missing entries by 85%. There are four unique features of ATLAS eMAR: 1. Use of barcode validation to ensure all the rights of medicine administration are checked. This feature eradicates most common medication errors. 2. Automatic two-way link between the pharmacy and care home. This ensures that the pharmacy is aware of therapy changes made at the home and can sort out discrepancies with prescriptions before they become errors. The pharmacy can also see all prescription requests and the actual stock counts of each medicine at the care home. This leads to efficiencies in ordering, booking in and returning of medicines.
3. The data from ATLAS eMAR on medication administrations can now be viewed on most e-care planning platforms through our open API. This means that all aspects of resident care including medications can now be viewed in one place. 4. ATLAS eMAR can now be used on any suitable android device. This means that if you already have an android device for e-care plans, then you can run ATLAS eMAR on it, making it a very cost effective option. ATLAS eMAR has a national network of enabled pharmacies and can work with any pharmacy, as long as they agree to support the care home with the technology. The implementation is detailed and fully supported. Training is via on-line elearning and webinars. Over 95% of care homes who implemented ATLAS eMAR indicated that they would never go back to their traditional medication system. Visit www.atlasemar.com or see the advert on page 44 for further details.
Well Pharmacy Partners with PainChek to Promote Person-Centred Care Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, is pleased to announce a partnership with PainChek®, the world’s first AI-powered pain assessment tool to help people who are unable to verbalise if they have pain, such as those living with dementia. Sadly, pain often goes un-detected and under-treated in people with communication difficulties from medical conditions. The Well Care Home Services Team are actively signposting more than 350 care homes across the UK to use PainChek® as an effective solution to help measure pain in residents and promote the highest standards of care in residential homes. This secure medical device is simple and straightforward to use via mobile or tablet. It uses artificial intelligence (facial detection and analysis technology) and smart automation to detect and score pain in real time allowing informed clinical decisions around appropriate and effective pain management to be made. This partnership further highlights how Well Pharmacy are committed to offering a local community service with a real focus on person-centred care, quality and safety. Tandeep Gill, Care Home Business Lead at Well Pharmacy said: “Well Pharmacy is delighted to partner with PainChek®. At Well we strive to offer an outstanding local service to care homes and their residents. PainChek® uses innovative technology to help residents who are not able to communicate for themselves to identify
the presence of pain. “We’re delighted that through this partnership we are able to pass on an exclusive discount to benefit our care homes customers across the UK, so they can help improve the quality of life for their residents and offer person-centred care.” Pete Shergill, PainChek® UK&I Country Director said: “About half of people living with dementia suffer from pain, but they are often unable to verbalise they have pain, and sadly, it goes unmanaged and untreated. “Ensuring residents’ pain is assessed effectively is critical for care home operators, healthcare professionals and carers but it can be challenging. Therefore, we are really pleased that Well Pharmacy is partnering with us to promote and deliver a quick and easy-to-use solution that will allow carers and healthcare professionals to measure pain in residents, document checks and make informed clinical decisions for effective pain management. “By harnessing the power of medtech, care providers can deliver more efficient and effective care, streamline processes, and ultimately cut costs and save time – allowing staff to focus on delivering the highest standard of care.” For more information, about Well Pharmacy’s Care Home Service please visit www.well.co.uk/carehomes For more information about PainChek® email: email@example.com or visit: https://painchek.com/uk/
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 27
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL
Seconds Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Skin and surface hygiene specialist, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd, supports the WHO’s annual ‘Save Lives: Clean Your Hands’ campaign
Skin health and surface hygiene expert, GOJO Industries-Europe, is proud to be part of the global movement to improve hand hygiene and is once again supporting the World Health Organization’s annual ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ campaign. Its worldwide advocacy day falls on 5th May, and this year it is focused on achieving appropriate hand hygiene action at the point of care. Its ‘seconds save lives – clean your hands!’ slogan reinforces the message that taking a little extra time to practise hand hygiene makes all the difference. To achieve this, healthcare workers should have access to goodquality alcohol-based hand rub products, clean water, soap, single-use towels and an adequate number of functioning sinks within patient zones. This enables hand hygiene practise at the five key moments: before touching a patient, before clean/aseptic procedures, after body fluid exposure/risk, after touching a patient, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. 2021 has also been designated the ‘International Year of Health and Care Workers’, so focusing on their protection is just as crucial. The PURELL brand’s focus on ‘formulation without compromise’ means that products in the range have been proven to maintain skin health and have high antimicrobial efficacy. In fact, in scientific tests, PURELL Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub was found to kill 99.99% of the most common germs that may be harmful, including Coronavirus, with a contact time of just 30 seconds.
Chris Wakefield, Managing Director UK & Ireland, GOJO IndustriesEurope Ltd comments, ‘As a founder member of the WHO Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, we are strong advocates of making hand hygiene second nature to everyone – this past year has shown how this is more important than ever. We hope that this year’s campaign encourages everyone to do their part, as it takes commitment from all for hand hygiene programmes to be successful.
‘We strongly encourage everyone in the healthcare industry to unite in support of hand hygiene improvement. As well as healthcare workers cleaning their hands, IPC practitioners need to continue mentoring and championing the act, facility managers must ensure that supplies are available at every point of care, and policy makers should invest now to enable hand hygiene for all. Everyone, the general public included, must make clean hands a habit. It protects us all.’ Backed by a wealth of scientific expertise, and specialist formulations, GOJO has the technology and experience to work in partnership with healthcare managers to implement effective hand and surface hygiene regimes, and promote hygienic and compliant hand hygiene behaviour. Assets, such as posters and product placement guides are available to download from GOJO’s dedicated ‘Hand Hygiene Day’ page at www.gojo.com/WHO-May-5 from mid-April. Free advocacy toolkits to support the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands campaign are available on the WHO website: http://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/en/ WHO invites everyone to use the hashtags #CleanYourHands #HandHygiene #InfectionPrevention on social media to ensure Save Lives: Clean Your Hands posts are picked up by the campaign. For more information, call +44 (0)1908 588444, email infouk@GOJO.com or visit www.GOJO.com
Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifiers Certified to Remove 99.9% of Airborne Coronavirus and H1N1 Flu Leading commercial air purification manufacturer, Fellowes, is pleased to announce its AeraMax Pro air purifiers have shown a 99.99% airborne reduction of a coronavirus surrogate within 60 minutes of operation.
tified by Airmid Health Group Limited in Dublin, Ireland. When installed in a care home environment, AeraMax Pro therefore offers outstanding protection against the transmission of coronavirus 229E and the H1N1 virus between staff, visitors and vulnerable residents.
With the recent, intensified focus on the reduction of airborne transmission of viruses, a number of worldwide bodies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASHRAE, as well as ‘healthy building’ scientific advocates, have recommended that portable air cleaners using HEPA filtration can help in the protection against SARS-Cov-2. This is particularly key for settings such as care homes, where occupants have an increased level of vulnerability to the spread of disease and therefore require this additional protection.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory at Pure Air Control Services based in Clearwater, Florida commented: “These latest test results on the Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers provided by an independent third-party accredited (ISO/IEC 17025) laboratory are significant. I continue to be impressed with the findings on the efficacy of this technology/device by Fellowes. Typically, singlestrand RNA envelope viruses (e.g. common cold coronavirus 229E, etc.) are used as a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 to study the antiviral effect of a specific device.”
In response to this, air purification expert, Fellowes recently arranged for its AeraMax Pro purifier, which has a four-stage TRUE HEPA filtration system, to be independently tested for efficacy in the reduction of two of the most health-threatening airborne-transmitted contaminants seen in recent times – coronavirus and the H1N1 virus. Certified by Shanghai WEIPU Chemical Technology Service Company, Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the aerosolised airborne concentration of Human Coronavirus 229E in a test chamber, reaching 99.99% airborne reduc-
tion within one hour of operation. As it is not yet possible, or ethically responsible to aerosolise Sars-CoV-2 for airborne testing in the current climate, the coronavirus 229E was used as a surrogate to Sars-CoV-2.
Fellowes Brands Global CEO, John Fellowes concluded: “Our company is proud to be of service to many businesses, schools, professional arenas and stadiums, and the fragile healthcare population’s reopening stories. While we’ve been providing health and wellness solutions to workplaces for years, our air purification business is among our most meaningful commitments to workplace health ever in our history.”
Furthermore, AeraMax Pro air purifiers have also been proven to remove 99.9% of the H1N1 virus within 35 minutes of operation, as cer-
For more information about Fellowes AeraMax Pro air purifiers, visit www.aeramaxpro.com/uk
Keeping Care Homes Clean: Practical Advice for Preventing Infections By Professor Neil Bacon, Medical Director of GermErase and CEO of JVS Health (www.germerase.com) For care homes across the country, the Covid-19 pandemic gave “cleanliness” a new meaning. While hygiene has always been a priority - vital in ensuring that residents are both comfortable and well protected against infections - Coronavirus has given it a newfound importance. As the Covid-19 infection rate continues to decline and more and more healthcare workers are vaccinated, we now face a pivotal moment in determining practices going forward. Will we continue to follow the “hands, face, space” mantra, or simply go back to the way we were working before? Looking forward, it is clear that it would be a missed opportunity to revert to old hygiene standards - and not just due to the lingering threat of a coronavirus resurgence. Across the globe, the risks posed by superbugs, antibiotic resistance and future pandemics is growing, and we must ensure that the hygiene practices implemented during the past year due to COVID remain in place in order to minimise risks of new, potent infections. For care homes, maintaining scrupulous levels of hygiene does not need to be an additional source of stress on already pressured and busy carers . A few simple steps can ensure that residents have protection from infections, even those which pose as large a threat as COVID.
CHOOSE THE MOST EFFECTIVE SANITISER, AND ENSURE THAT IT IS SAFE Over the past year sanitising hands has become a regular part of our daily routines. Care homes have encouraged the use of sanitisers amongst both staff and, when permitted, visitors, in order to prevent Covid transmission through contact. Regular sanitising will be just as vital in protecting against infections in the future. However, staff must carefully consider the sanitisers used in the care home setting order to keep vulnerable residents as safe as possible. The standard alcohol-based sanitisers widely used in care homes hold a number of risks when used by vulnerable residents. Not only can they exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, but if accidentally ingested they can cause alcohol poisoning resulting in serious illness. During the pandemic cases of alcohol poisoning due to hand sanitiser have increased dramatically, particularly amongst children and older people. A lower-risk option for care homes is ultra-low toxicity, non-alcohol based sanitisers. These carry fewer risks, meaning that staff can keep sanitisers in accessible spaces without worrying about residents. This also promotes more frequent use of sanitiser, increasingly high cleanliness standards and efficacy of hygiene practices.
DISINFECTING SURFACES WITH PROTECTIVE DISINFECTANTS Staff must also consider the disinfectants used on surfaces in care home settings. Opting for a disinfectant with the highest efficacy possible against the broadest range of microbes will ensure protection against the widest range of infections, whether transmitted through
droplets, spores or blood. Looking at the percentage of micro-organisms killed by a disinfectant is one good indicator of its efficacy. Although a disinfectant killing 99.9% of microbes may sound highly effective, it is vital to remember that one eliminating 99.9999% of microbes has 1000x higher efficacy. Care home managers should also look for protective disinfectants, which not only kill the pathogens on a surface at the time of application but continue to kill those that come into contact with the surface for a specified period afterwards. This is particularly important for communal spaces such as reception desks or dining tables, which may be coming into regular contact with different people, and so would need to be disinfected with a traditional disinfectant more regularly than possible in order to best protect against bacteria and viruses.
MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE & VENTILATE SPACES WHERE POSSIBLE The phrase ‘social distancing’ has become synonymous with Coronavirus, but social distancing and mask-wearing do not only reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they can also give protection against airborne infections such as TB and MRSA. Even when social distancing and mask-wearing are no longer legal requirements, care homes should continue to consider ways to limit physical contact between staff, visitors and vulnerable residents, so far as this is possible without affecting the mental health of staff, residents and visitors.
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL GermErase Launches to Give Confidence to UK Businesses and Hospitals, With Efficacy Against SARS-Cov-2 First British commercial product to be tested on live SARS-Cov-2, the virus causing COVID-19 Multi-surface protector kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens in under 30 seconds and provides a protective barrier for up to 48 hours British scientific breakthrough can turn the tide against hospital infections and superbugs, while supporting vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 and saving the NHS billions GermErase, a new brand at the frontline of protecting against COVID19, infections and superbugs, has today launched its first product range. Available as a cleaning spray and a hand spray with wipes, with aerosols and hand wash to follow, GermErase is a unique formulation that kills up to 99.9999% of pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19, in under 30 seconds – faster and more effective than the next best product. It bonds to surfaces to provide total protection without any reduction in performance for up to 48 hours and remains effective for 28 days. GermErase has been tested to global standards in independent facilities at the University of Southampton, including on live strains of SARSCov-2. The British business has invested £1m in testing the product.
As 99.9% water, GermErase is safe and has low toxicity, meaning it does not irritate skin in the way alcohol gels can and, unlike alcohol gels, is not flammable. It uses common ingredients that have already been approved for medical and cleaning purposes and is ready to distribute at scale across the country via specialist cleaning supplier, Denis Rawlins Ltd. Professor Bill Keevil, Professor of Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, comments, “An invention like this does not come across your desk very often. We have found that GermErase demonstrates remarkable breadth of efficacy against bacteria and viruses, speed of kill, residual efficacy and shows no evidence of antimicrobial resistance.” GermErase is more effective than alcohol gel and, alongside vaccines, can help to turn the tide against COVID-19 and a broad spectrum of other dangerous pathogens. While alcohol gels and sanitisers – products recommended by the World Health Organisation – are dependent on concentration levels and a lengthy period of application, GermErase is easy to use and completely kills the virus within seconds with a simple spray. The products can be used by medical professionals in hospitals but are also quick and easy to use by private sector businesses – giving employers and employees the confidence to return to work safely and unlock the economic recovery in the UK. GermErase will launch a consumer product range for the general public in Spring 2021. The urgency of antibiotic resistance is well known among the medical community and increasingly by wider society. GermErase provides a defence by preventing infection, instead of relying on the development of new cures and antibiotics.
Inspired by the most human of stories, GermErase was invented by Rob Scoones, a former retail business owner. After losing someone very close to him, Rob dedicated his life to eradicating the superbug crisis in our hospitals and worldwide. Through the relentless pursuit of this vision, Rob developed the GermErase product, combining common ingredients in a way that has delivered remarkable efficacy against all known pathogens, including SARS-Cov-2. It has been estimated that a 10% reduction in infections and superbugs in hospitals would save the NHS £1bn annually. GermErase can kill and protect against all known infections and superbugs and is available to use throughout healthcare facilities immediately. Matthew Higdon, Chairman of GermErase, comments, “Our intention is for GermErase to become the first line of defence against infection for hospitals, businesses and families across the country. This product will allow us to get our freedom back and live with peace of mind that we are protected against pathogens like Coronavirus. Our ambition is for this British breakthrough to represent a landmark moment in the fightback against COVID-19, infections and superbugs.” GermErase is the new British brand at the frontline of protection the fightback against coronavirus, infections and superbugs. It provides a new multi-surface protector proven to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 within 30 seconds and provides protection for 48 hours. Clinically proven to be more effective than alcohol gel or existing disinfectant, GermErase products are the breakthrough Britain needs to get back to work, turn the tide against the Coronavirus in healthcare and save the NHS billions of pounds handling infections and superbugs.
Regular Cleaning Plays a Vital Role In Limiting the Transmission of Covid-19 In 2020, TCFM completed over 500 nationwide Covid-19 decontamination and electrostatic sprays, in 4-hour response times National Coverage Over the last six months we have completed specialist Covid-19 cleans across a dynamic, nationwide portfolio of sites for clients in a variety of industries, ranging from retail, distribution to corporate. All calls for our Covid-19 cleaning solution have been attended to within 24 hours. Our electrostatic sprays kill Coronavirus on contact and offer up to 4 weeks protection from pathogens, providing you with: • A safe working environment • Employees which feel valued
• Credibility with your clients • Peace of mind TCFM is proactively working with a diverse portfolio of national customers to keep their sites safe including: Tesco, Yodel, Makro, RS Components, Travis Perkins, Wincanton and many others across a range of industries including distribution, retail, telecommunications and finance. TCFM’s national coverage is key to responding promptly to calls for the Covid-19 decontamination solution, which mitigates disruption to BAU at even their most remote sites. See the advert below for further details.
In 2020, TC Facilities Management (TCFM) completed over 500 nationwide Covid-19 decontamination and electrostatic sprays, in 4-hour response times. As we enter Lockdown 3.0, TCFM is continuing to keep their customers’ sites safe across the UK with their Covid-19 decontamination solution. The electrostatic spraying technology that TCFM offers provides 360° coverage to the premises, in contrast to traditional fogging methods which only protect surfaces. Environmentally f riendly, human and food-safe chemicals kill Coronavirus on con-tact, offering up to 4 weeks’ protection f rom pathogens. This solution provides TCFM’s customers with: A safe working environment;
Credibility with their clients;
Employees who feel valued;
Peace of mind.
Working tto Working o Minimise Disruption A Across cross a National Portfolio P ortffolio TCFM is proactively working with a diverse portfolio of national customers to keep their sites safe including: Tesco, Yodel, Makro, RS range of industries including distribution, retail, telecommunications and finance. TCFM’s national coverage is key to responding promptly to calls for the Covid-19 decontamination solution, which mitigates disruption to BAU at even their most remote sites.
Ho How wT TCFM CFM C Can an Suppor Supportt You You Thr Through ough Th The e Developing Developing C Covid-19 ovid-19 Cr Crisis isis TCFM is committed to supporting customers across the country to safeguard sites against Coronavirus as the situation continues to develop. To ensure they can deliver a solution tailored to the requirements of your premises, TCFM offers a f ree site visit and quote for their Covid-19 decontamination solu-tion and a certificate on completion. As many of your colleagues will be site-based, this will give them the peace of mind that you are committed to safeguarding their health and safety. This identifies TCFM as a trusted partner in the fight against Coronavirus. Haris Niksic, TCFM’s Head of Specialist Services, comments: “Our specialist service colleagues wor work extremely hard to prevent disruption d to y your our business while saffeguarding a saffe ew wor orking environment ffor or your colleagues and customers.”
To book your free site assessment & Covid-19 quote please visit: https://tcfm.online/return-to-work-safely-with-covid19-decontamination-cleans/ or contact Nicola Heywood directly on: 07920 539 265
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL Angloplas Dispensers Help Reduce the Risk of Cross Infection Angloplas are a UK manufacturer who specialise in producing dispensers for the health and hygiene industry. Although these are designed to keep the workplace tidy and uncluttered they are, more importantly, built knowing the control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a priority for healthcare providers, and who are employing a combination of infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene, cleaning, training and the adoption of new technologies, to tackle the problem. As a result, a wide range of infection control products and technologies are emerging on the market, including antimicrobial technology. Angloplas’ range of dispensers are produced in the world’s first proven Antimicrobial PVC with silver ion technology and which is
exclusive to Angloplas. This helps reduce the risk of cross infection by stopping the growth of bacteria and mould and works continuously for the lifetime of the product, reducing levels of bacteria such as MRSA, E Coli, Legionella, Salmonella and mould by up to 99.99%. For non-clinical environments Angloplas has recently launched its new Budget Range of products which are made to the same exacting standards as the antimicrobial protected ones but with lower price tags. You can order Angloplas products directly from its website by going to www.angloplas.co.uk and clicking Hospital, Health and Hygiene or by using the Quick Response code.
Safe Infection Control Solution Gives Day Centre Residents Increased Reassurance Award-winning First City Nursing, provider of nursing care that is rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, was swift to develop a robust Covid-prevention protocol prior to re-opening its day-centres following the first lockdown of the current pandemic. Central to this protocol is MicroSafe® disinfectant, a new arrival in the UK, making First City Nursing one of the pioneers to adopt this 100% toxin-free, highly effective disinfectant and one that sets the gold standard in safe sanitisation. Covid-19 has forced us to look at infection control in a new way; none more so than in the care home and day-centre setting. There is mounting concern that many commonly used disinfectants may not be up to the job of dealing with a pandemic; contact time may be too long, efficacy questionable with often a moderate pathogen control and many include chemicals that could be harmful to health and the environment, especially when used with the frequency required to prevent spread of the virus. The vaccination programme has brought down levels of the virus substantially and in turn a reduction in cases; but with the opening of care homes to one visitor per resident from the 8th March, there is still a risk that residents could be exposed to a new variant which may be resistant to vaccines. Following the first lockdown, First City Nursing needed a disinfectant
that was effective, safe and easy to use around elderly and vulnerable residents in their care, particularly in day-centres where they gather for meals and socialising. It also needed to be kind to the environment and able to be stored safely. The day-centre environment, with a number of residents coming and going, could be a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria as well as contributing to the spread of Covid-19, therefore infection management is a top priority for First City Nursing. “The day-centres are essential to the residents’ mental as well as physical well-being and it is important that they feel safe, especially within the current climate. We are careful to disinfect everything that is touched by staff and residents right down to their bingo chips, cutlery and handrails so we have a handy spray for intermittent treatment between fumigation sessions before and after new groups enter the centres. It is super easy and time saving; we simply spray and leave it to dry naturally within about a minute. We will be relying on MicroSafe to help us reopen the day centres as soon as possible post lockdown” says Kerry Harris, Community Living Manager. MicroSafe is 99.9999% (Log 6) effective in killing viruses, bacteria and other pathogens within a contact time of 30 seconds, and has a proven track record of combatting epidemics around the world (MERS, SARS,
Ebola) as well SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in Australia and the Middle East. Purazine introduced MicroSafe to the UK in 2020 in direct response to the pandemic. The result of 20 years’ research, the patented and internationally approved Microcyn® technology that makes MicroSafe so unique, uses an electrochemical process to produce Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) similar to the natural HOCl produced by the human immune system to fight pathogens. This process results in a pH balanced disinfectant, that is free of harmful chemicals. MicroSafe can be ‘fogged’ as a fine mist to ensure that no surface is left un-sanitised. Historically, HOCl disinfectants’ shelf life was very limited but uniquely, MicroSafe remains shelf-stable for two years, needing no special storage, handling or disposal and is kind to the environment. Dr Hugh Martin, recent former Head of Agricultural Science at RAU and consultant with HOCl Trust said: “With this level of efficacy, contact time, shelf life and being non-corrosive, MicroSafe sets the gold standard in disinfectants making it ideal for use in clinical and care home settings as well as for general disinfection application.” Dr David Cox of Purazine who distributes MicroSafe in the UK says; “It is clear, with new variants still being discovered, that we are going to have to learn to co-exist with Covid-19 and other viruses in the future but it is vital that our solution to the virus does not cause additional problems. Increasingly, care homes are using MicroSafe as they have embraced the importance of putting measures in place to prevent Covid-19 that are free of harmful chemicals, efficient and easy to use, and most importantly limit the interruption in the vital care they provide for their residents.”
To book your Covid prevention protocol consultation please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 03300 880660 or visit www.purazine.co.uk
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL React-Air Pathogen Neutralisers
React-Air pathogen neutralisers have helped to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff in Britain’s care homes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain. Designed for use in virtually any indoor environment, the React-Air range utilises the power of UVC, HEPA 13 and activated carbon filtration to clean air and surfaces, killing viruses such as Covid-19, norovirus, flu and the common cold. Manufactured in the UK it is the only system of its kind and has already been successfully utilised in the fight against coronavirus in many care homes across the country. There are 4 products in the React-Air range including
the React-Air X - a portable air sanitiser designed for use in hospital and care environments. Using a unique UV-C light array, powerful fans drive the airflow through the decontamination chamber, neutralising bacteria, viruses, pollen and odours, delivering clean and sterile air to a room. It can be used whilst people remain in the room and generates no harmful gasses, and at a fraction of the price of leading portable ozone generators. When used in conjunction with normal cleaning techniques, it is highly effective in the fight against bacteria and viruses. Deborah Blick of Parmenter Care said, “We realised it was a way of keeping our rrsidents, staff and visitors safe, primarily during the pandemic but going forward when this does pass. It won't just be Covid it can deal with, but other pathogens - flu, norovirus and many others.” For further information, see the advert on this page or contact the Reaction Group Limited: www.reaction-grp.com or Tel: 0203 885 2299
Haigh Engineering Resident and patient waste is a day to day practical matter that simply cannot become a problem for frontline carers and nursing staff. With the raised awareness of cross infection risks, the proven reliable waste disposal systems from Haigh are recognised more than ever as being a key part of the toolkit for ensuring that human waste is effectively and efficiently removed as a source of risk, day in day out, without the risks and complications of either washing pots or manual bagging waste for collection. The team from Haigh have been working hard to support this beyond just the manufacture of the
Incomaster and Quattro waste disposers here in the UK, but also developing innovative and safe methods to enhance the servicing provisions that are available to customers. The recently launched allinclusive rental proposition has proven particularly effective and popular with new and existing customers alike, not least as it reduces the operational, maintenance and financing headaches from sites which have more critical matters to address. For more information about incontinence and bedpan waste disposal please feel free to contact the Haigh team on 01989 763131 or email@example.com
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HYGIENE & INFECTION CONTROL CleanRite, Proves Efficacy of Hypochlorous Against SARS-CoV-2 to Offer New Generation of Alcohol-Free Sanitisers Launching in the UK CleanRite sanitisers, a new dermatologically advanced solution to keeping surfaces and hands guarded against COVID-19 is launching in the UK in April 2021. CleanRite is a new generation disinfectant range to ensure surfaces, the air in areas such as care homes, as well as hands - are all protected from the SARS-CoV2 virus.
THE ‘WONDER’ OF HYPOCHLOROUS The CleanRite range of sanitising products are Hypochlorous-based (HOCl) which is an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial solution, proven to kill 99.9% of germs on contact. Specifically, Hypochlorous has been proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 in an independent lab test carried out by Richard Stanton, a Reader in Division of Infection & Immunity at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. Fully regulated and child-friendly, CleanRite, which dries quickly and leaves no sticky residue, is perfect for use in care homes - as well as being dermatologically tested and suitable for use from birth. Caroline Fogarty, Managing Director, CF Pharma, said, “In laboratory tests we were able to show that the Hypochlorous ingredient in CleanRite killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 30 seconds. Hypochlorous is a ‘wonder’ ingredient because not only is it free of alcohol and harmful chemicals, it is hypoallergenic and skin friendly. It is as natural as water and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. So not only is it people-friendly, but it is planet-friendly too. “I believe that Hypochlorous is the future of everyday sanitisation. As we learn to live with the need for heightened sanitisation even after lockdown is eased, choosing something that is gentle on your skin, eyes, lungs and even the
environment makes CleanRite ideal for long-term usage.”
CLEANRITE – BOTH POWERFUL AND SAFE CleanRite is an alcohol-free hypoallergenic sanitiser. It is highly effective without dehydrating, irritating, stinging or damaging skin or eyes making it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin. CleanRite is highly effective on multiple surfaces and equipment including kitchen worktops (since it is food safe). And unlike most alcoholbased products, CleanRite is non-flammable. Clare Hughes (MPSI BSc PHARM), Founder, CF Pharma said, “The advanced CleanRite formulation based on Hypochlorous, makes this ‘nature’s powerful disinfectant’. Indeed, Hypochlorous, which is produced naturally by the body’s white blood cells to support the human immune system in fighting infection and bacteria, has been used in wound-healing for decades.” Caroline Fogarty said, “It looks like we are going to be living with the need for increased sanitisation for some considerable time. So being able to offer a sanitisation range that has a skin friendly pH for family use, from birth, makes CleanRite an essential tool for everyone as we navigate the new normal.”
AVAILABILITY CleanRite is manufactured in various sizes from 60ml to 4500ml with convenient 60ml and 150ml finger sprays for travel available, which are for sale on Amazon For further information, to view the full range of products or to place an order for your business, visit CleanRite CF Pharma http://cleanrite.ie
Care Home Industry Facing Customer Exodus Due To Infection Fears As care homes continue to contend with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, new research reveals that care homes across the country are facing millions more in lost revenues due to customer fears around infection risk. According to the nationally-representative survey into 2,000 members of the public, more than one in three Brits (34.5%) are less likely to trust care homes with their loved ones’ care due to fears around infection. The findings also revealed that the overwhelming majority of the public (80.5%) would be reassured by visible proof that a care home takes cleanliness and infection control seriously. Significantly, 10.7% would be less likely to use a care home that did not have this proof, and 6% would no longer use a care home that could not prove that they adhered to the highest standards of hygiene and infection control. The research was carried out by infection control specialist JLA, a trusted partner to thousands of care homes across the UK, as part of its “Infection Insights” campaign to improve industry standards, customer reassurance and peace of mind across the care sector. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was revealed that the events of 2020 have prompted a nationwide change in attitudes towards hygiene and infection control, with 77% of the public holding greater concerns in this area than a year previously – attributing this change directly to COVID-19. Concerningly, over a fifth (20.4%) of the public also currently hold a poor opinion of hygiene and infection control in care homes, and do not believe standards are currently at the levels required. Just under a third
(30.1%) of Brits feel confident that care homes are clean and sanitised, and a further 10.7% reported that they believed standards are “excellent”. According to the research, 87.6% of Brits now deem it important that a business has a good reputation for hygiene and infection control, and 58.1% of these proclaim a positive standing for hygiene “extremely important”. This indicates that hygiene ratings – traditionally a significant indicator of quality for many care home customers – have also become more important than ever before in the eyes of the public. Ben Gujral, CEO at JLA, commented: “The events of the past year have laid bare the need for care homes to do everything they can to reassure anxious residents over the coming weeks, with major growth opportunities in store for those that do invest what is needed now. “Expectations of the businesses customers will trust their money – and their loved ones’ health – with are virtually unrecognisable from even a year ago and, at a time where care homes need the continued loyalty of their customers more than ever before, it is crucial that they action all possible infection control measures to put the public’s minds at ease. “Care homes that take the time to do this now will reap the benefits over the coming months, providing reassurance to those who need it, and ensuring the loyalty of customers both old and new for years to come.” For more information about JLA, the research findings and for products which can help with infection control, please visit: https://jla.com/knowledge/icir-2021-care
ASAP Innovations Ensures Medi-Inn’s PPE Supply to UK Healthcare Sector is Maintained Throughout Pandemic Certified PPE manufacturer and leading supplier of medical and hygiene consumables join forces to ensure the UK healthcare sector continues to have access to certified PPE Following an unreliable and sporadic PPE supply during the beginning of the pandemic, supplier of medical and hygiene consumables, Medi-Inn partnered with ASAP Innovations, a leading manufacturer of medical PPE for the healthcare industries, to ensure dependable and trustworthy supply of critical equipment. Throughout 2020, Medi-Inn – which manufactures and distributes medical and hygiene products to the UK healthcare sector – saw its supplies of medical gloves became sporadic and unreliable due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many central governments were buying PPE directly from manufacturers and as a result, manufacturing companies were bypassing distribution companies, even suppliers they had worked with for years. At the same time, demand continued to increase throughout the summer of last year and Medi-Inn was in need of a reliable and certified PPE provider that could ensure it was able to keep serving its customers at this difficult time. Wayne Dobson, Managing Director, Medi-Inn explains, “In 2020 we were approached by ASAP Innovations as it was seeking a glove distributor in the medical field. While the brand was fairly new to us, we were familiar with its impressive presence in Asia and everything we had heard about the manufacturer was very positive. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as a partnership with ASAP Innovations meant we were able to continue supplying certified and high-quality PPE to
our loyal and longstanding customer base, at a time when they needed our supplies the most. “ASAP Innovations’ packaging stands out from other products on the market and it also incorporates a grading system so that the different glove types are easily identifiable, which – as far as we are aware – is fairly unique. In fact, this design feature of the products is something we leverage in our marketing activities as the colour coding certainly increases brand awareness. We have been particularly impressed with ASAP Innovations’ development initiatives and are looking forward to supplying its soon-to-be launched vitrile gloves and children’s face masks. “Despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in, the support levels we have received from ASAP Innovations has been second to none which has made our partnership run that extra bit smoother. PPE is the sort of product where customers would complain if they had
problems with the quality of the products and seeing as we have had no complaints about ASAP Innovations products, we have the reassurance that our customers are more than satisfied with its products. “When ASAP agreed to fulfil our requirement for the rest of 2020 and up until October 2021 we were delighted, and I believe this is just the beginning of a long-term relationship where MediInn can help establish the brand in the medical and hygiene sector in the UK. We are excited for what’s to come from our partnership with ASAP Innovations and we look forward to expanding business with the manufacturer in the months ahead,” Wayne concludes. Sean Keller, Managing Director, ASAP Innovations adds: “We are delighted to have entered a partnership with a highly regarded supplier of medical and hygiene consumables to the UK healthcare sector. It goes without saying that healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to serve the public throughout what has been a very challenging year and we are very glad we have been able to continue supplying PPE to the people that need it the most, through our trusted partner, Medi-Inn. This is just the beginning of our partnership and we are thrilled to be able to continue providing certified PPE to the UK’s healthcare sector.” For further information, visit Medi-Inn at www.medi-inn.co.uk and ASAP Innovations at www.whyasapco.uk
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 43
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Reliant Care Solutions Ltd WHY SHOULD CARE HOMES MOVE FROM PAPER TO ELECTRONIC TIME SHEETS
The industry is under considerable financial pressures. An efficient electronic booking on/off system that will schedule, provide budgets, calculate hours worked, overtime and absence such as sickness and holiday entitlement will save Time and Money.
HOW IS TIME AND MONEY SAVED BY DOING THINGS ELECTRONICALLY?
Collecting payroll information from paper timesheets can be slow, prone to errors, and very labour intensive. Staff rosters can be produced as far in advance as practical and accurate within budgeted hours. Staff book on and off-duty electronically, thus eliminating any time errors. Wage queries are virtually eliminated and immediate checks can be made without wading through reams of paper which invariably are inaccurate, misfiled or even 'lost".
THERE ARE MANY SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET WHY FACIAL RECOGNITION IS IMPORTANT AND HOW IT WORKS
Some systems use tokens, which can be lost or left at home, requiring management involvement in the booking on/off procedure. Fingerprint systems can be beaten and Social media is awash with ways to copy fingerprints. Face recognition combined with a staff PIN is simple to use and manage using touch screen technology and web cams. Staff see their image displayed immediately when booking on or off and confirms their identity visually. It provides the best deterrent available as it builds a greater 'image knowledge’ of each employee, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eliminates 'buddy punching' where employees can book colleagues on/off duty using someone’s tokens, swipe card or even fingerprint.
HOW IS DATA PROTECTED? With the correct security setup computer systems provide more data protection than paper-based records which can be easily removed or stolen. GDPR covers all data including paper records and therefore the chances of infringing the rules and incurring fines is greater with paper. For further information visit www.rcscare.net or call 03333 444 562.
WristPIT from Pinpoint The WristPIT from Pinpoint,is a bespoke patient call transmitter designed to be worn on the wrist. This wrist-worn personal infrared transmitter (WristPIT) is easily accessible and allows patients to activate a call for even if they are away from their bed or a fixed call-point. Pinpoint’s renowned PIT technology (usually worn by staff for personal safety) has, for the first time, been designed around patient use. The WristPIT can withstand showering and brief submersion in water and also incorporates antimicrobial product protection, reducing the ability for bacteria to grow. According to figures published by the National Reporting and Learning System, around 250,000 incidents where patients required assistance in hospital were reported in 2015/16. In many cases, nursing staff remained unaware that a patient had had a fall for quite some time.
Pressing the clearly labelled call button on the WristPIT notifies the personnel on duty that a patient is requesting help and informs staff exactly where the patient is. The call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. Pinpoint Alarm Systems are installed in thousands of medical facilities throughout the UK and USA. The new WristPIT is backward compatible and easily integrated into existing Pinpoint Systems. A green LED indicates the WristPIT is ‘activated’ with good battery level. When the battery requires changing, the LED flashes red until the battery is changed and the device has been retested. In addition to being water-resistant, the WristPIT has been designed to withstand harsh environments and user tampering, meaning suitability for facilities where service users may be at risk of self-harm.
Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
PINPOINT WRISTPIT The WristPIT is a wrist worn Personal Infrared Transmitter designed exclusively for patient use. The latest call button is recessed and surrounded by a bump guard to prevent false alarms. It is also backward compatible, allowing seamless integration into existing Pinpoint Systems.
DID YOU KNOW? Biomaster Technology is incorporated into all surface areas of the product during manufacture, inhibiting the growth of contaminating bacteria 24/7 for the lifetime of the product.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 45
TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE Imagine a Piece of Equipment for Your Care Home CARE VISION That Can Enhance the Experience of Your Residents Mentally, Physically and Also Emotionally Inspired Inspirations have been working directly with care homes in developing their interactive touch screen activity tables over the last few years, to provide a range of screen sizes and units to suit every care setting. Just think of a giant Android tablet built into a solid oak surround, on a base that houses a large battery to allow you to use it all day long and smooth running wheels for easy movement between rooms in your care home. "This amazing bit of technology is making a huge difference to our residents" Melanie Dawson Manager, The Lawns at Heritage Manor ' The screen is 5mm tempered glass for your residents safety and sealed against fluid ingress meaning a spill of a cup of tea won't ruin your equipment. It also means an easy clean solution to stop cross contamination using any normal surface cleaner.
How to enhance your residents experience Mentally - Brain training apps, memory apps, quizzes, board games, reasoning challenges.
Physically - Exercise for the elderly online classes, hand eye coordination, increased movement to move hands around a large screen. Emotionally- Reminiscence tours on Google Earth, past and present clips on YouTube of hobbies or interests, religious services and Group ZOOM calls to loved ones who cant get to visit in your residents person! "We use it daily and would not be without it now, even the residents find it easy and fun to use. Thank you!" Sandie Evans, Registered Manager, Oakland's Care Home, Crickhowell All tables are made to order, if you'd like to enquire on a price guide and time scales for deliveries, just visit their website www.inspiredinspirations.com or scan the QR code on the right. "We've noticed that quieter residents who didn't interact too much with others have suddenly been more active and more vocal." Lindsey Davies, Home Manager,Cwrt Enfys See the advert on page 10.
Care Control Systems Care Control Systems Ltd is proud to create the UK's best Care Management Software designed for use within all standard, niche and complex care settings. Care Control has been in constant development since 2010 and was made commercially available in 2016. Since then we have expanded across hundreds of providers within the UK and are well recognised as leaders in our field. Care Control is used by over 15,000 care professionals daily across the UK in multiple service types ensuring their services have
live, up-to-date essential information. Located in Tavistock, Devon our expert team is comprised of numerous industry specialists with many years of direct, hands-on care experience. This is one of our key USP’s. Our Managing Director, Matt Luckham started the creation of the original Care Control Software in 2010 with the aim to provide essential, accurate information for Spring House Care House in Devon. Matt had purchased Spring House in 2010. Matt developed the software and then spent 6 years proving its functional-
ity within Spring House. It soon became apparent the software could add real value to other service providers and after numerous requests we decided to commercialise the software. In 2016 Care Control Systems Ltd was founded and since then has gone from strength-tostrength with exponential growth. We now have an exceptional team of more than 20 staff who have over 70 years of direct hands-on care experience between them. On top of this our team of Software Developers are experts in their field and are constantly developing our products to ensure they offer everything our customers expect in what is a particularly complex sector. 2020 has been a record year for Care Control with record numbers of customers choosing us, office expansion, overseas sales and an ever growing team to name just a few things. We are so excited for the future! Visit www.carecontrolsystems.co.uk or see the advert below for further details.
At Care Vision we believe care may never be the same again. Outstanding care truly is at the heart of everything we do, with a clear purpose of Less Admin, More Care. Growing up and working in a family owned care home, Rishi Jawaheer saw at first hand the main needs in the care sector; to cut down on the burden of manual paperwork while maintaining good practice and to encourage people to become more involved in care. Using his experience as a registered manager, with some of the smartest minds in tech, Rishi was driven to create Care Vision, an all in one cloudbased care management, system incorporating all your care and admin into one easy to use system. Presently the care industry has our work cut out to keep in line with statutory and legislative compliance in addition to the essential everyday tasks of looking after our clients. Care Vision acts as a bridge which uses technology that organises care work, ensures a safer, better and more intimate experience for every member of the community, from administration, the carer to family, friends and the people we care for. Care Vision provides An easy to use system for carers, managers, relatives; bringing care and admin into one platform; to manage time, attendance, rota, HR, housekeeping, maintenance and much more An E-mar system, fully compliant with NICE, reducing medication errors and keeping people safe An intuative daily notes section that can be completed at the point of service quickly and accurately A pictorial food order system that allows the individual to choose from a menu even if they forgot what a meal looks like Daily reminders in the form of care routines which reminds staff of key aspects of care for the individual
Care Plans / Risk assessments/ Life stories which allows you to customise care plans to specifically suit the person’s needs. Reminding all about one’s history and who Is important in one’s life A family app that allows families to keep track of their loved one’s wellbeing through videos and pictures, which has been essential during the pandemic. Care Vision gives you the freedom to access it using mobile, tablet, laptop, or pc in real time whilst safely securing and storing data. within the platform. Built flexibly to adapt to services of any size, large or small, Care Vision’s structured, interactive features engage carers in sharing information with the end-user and their family. Registered manager and director of Summerhayes Care says “The carers have taken to Care Vision like a duck to water and the information that we are gathering is streets ahead of the previous system we used we are very impressed. They make it easy to understand and nothing is any trouble. I highly recommend taking a look at this system if you are wanting to meet your quality standards and CQC requirements”.
Nationally our data has shown that working with homes Care Vision can save 2-4 hours every week per carer by reducing tasks that could be better spent with the people we care for. As both carers and developers, we are unique in our focus on developing software that benefits the care sector. This allows us to continually develop and update software for our clients. The Care Vision team would love to talk to you about what the system can do for you, come and join us, we believe the future of Social care is in good hands with “Care vision” Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 768 9809
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NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION Lotus Care Technology The New MPCSA11 from Medpage The NurseAlert pressure mat has been one of the most successful floor pressure mats due to it being non slip and carpeted which makes it feel very natural under a residents foot. Lotus Care Technology Ltd have many other fall saving devices that can give you peace of mind whilst caring for this at risk of falls. Having many years of experience in
fitting and maintaining Nurse Call Systems helps the guys at Lotus Care Technology understand that every home is different and has different needs. They can specify not only the best system for the environmental factors in the home but also take into consideration the best products that will make your carers and nurses jobs that little bit easier. Visit lctuk.com for details.
Medpage is a family ran company, with a huge heart and resources gathered over our 35- year trading history. The majority of the technologies we design, manufacture and distribute originate from enquiries received from healthcare professionals and personal family care observations. Our product portfolio provides a wide variety of care solutions for epilepsy, dementia, senior care, special needs and sensory loss. Our latest innovation, currently in use in several Hospitals, presents an effective fall monitoring, detection and reporting solution. The MPCSA11 is a complex software driven sensor monitor made to be user and operator friendly. This device has already proven successful in hospital and care home trials by reducing patient falls while
also reducing false positives from a safe patient. The device can monitor and interact with up to three sensor products: bed and chair occupancy pressure pads, PIR movement detection sensors and proximity signal products. In use, a patient or resident rising from their bed would be considered a falls risk, but what if they are simply moving to sit in a chair close to their bed? A standard bed monitor would raise an alarm alerting care staff, who would arrive to find the person safely seated. The MPCSA11 would only generate an alarm if the person was out of their bed or chair for a selectable time duration. Learn more www.easylinkuk.co.uk/mpcsa11 Or see the advert on page 2.
Fall Savers - Affordable Fall Monitoring Solutions Fall Savers®, are an experienced market leading healthcare provider of resident safety solutions for over 15 years.
FALL SAVERS ® WIRELESS MONITOR Eliminate all cables with our new generation falls management solutions! Upgrade your falls programme with the latest technology from Fall Savers®. The NEW Fall Savers® Wireless eliminates the cord between the monitor and sensor pad. This results in less work for nursing staff, improved safety for patients and reduced wear and tear on sensor pads. Wireless advantages include the ability to use one monitor with two sensor pads simultaneously and support for many new wireless devices.
Benefits include: Safer for patients; less work for staff Bed and chair pads available One monitor works with two sensor pads Integrates with most nurse call systems A variety of options, including: Call button Pager Floor sensor mat
Wireless door/window exit alerts
TREADNOUGHT ®FLOOR SENSOR PAD The TreadNought® Floor Sensor Pad is built to last with a durable construction that far out lasts the competition. Our antibacterial floor sensor pad is compatible with most nurse call systems or can be used with a portable pager to sound an alert when a person steps on to the sensor pad. Caregivers typically place the sensor pad at the bedside, in a doorway or other locations to monitor persons at risk for falls or wandering. An optional anti-slip mesh reduces the potential for slippage on hard surface floors.
Features include: Connects directly to most nurse call systems High Quality anti-bacterial Floor Sensor Pad Large Size Pad: Measures (L) 91cm x (H) 61cm Options (sold separately): Anti-slip mesh for hard surface floors
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 47
NURSE CALL AND FALLS PREVENTION
A Digital Future of Care in a Post COVID-19 Era The New Year brings good news and light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with the roll out of vaccination programs, despite this the UK has been forced into stricter lockdown regulations. Health and care sectors are acutely aware of their responsibilities and the importance to look after technology that is fundamental to caring for the vulnerable and their carers. Should systems fail, technology suppliers should provide help and assistance remotely with telephone support and using remote diagnostic tools. At Courtney Thorne we find that most issues are resolved over the phone, where this proves difficult and further checks or reconfiguration is necessary this is done by remotely accessing systems and running diagnostics. 95% of the service inquiries we receive are resolved this way reducing the need to physically attend the site. Inquiries that cannot be rectified remotely will require an engineer to visit. To ensure the safety of residents, staff and the engineers themselves, service providers need to adopt stringent policies with rigorous
clarification processes concluding with written confirmation that there is no COVID-19 on site or where there is, that those suffering are suitably isolated. In the case of Courtney Thorne our process includes asking authorised care home management to fill out a questionnaire prior to our engineer turning up. We also insist that our staff are regularly checked, including logging daily body temperature. Finally equipping field staff with necessary PPE, making sure it is always used and includes a hand washing regime before, during and after any site visit. Courtney Thorne provides our fieldbased engineering staff with overalls, gloves, face masks and plenty of hand sanitiser. By diligently observing these protocols, and despite our staff visiting care homes and hospitals on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, not one of them has developed any COVID-19 symptoms at any time. For further information visit www.nursecallsystems.co.uk or see the advert on this page.
Nurse Call from Edison Telecom We here at Edison Telecom Ltd have been providing specialist solutions to your call system requirements tailor-made to each customers needs for over 25 years, says director Bob Johnson. Is your current Nurse Call “legacy”, obsolete, so full of software bugs or commercially not viable for your current supplier/maintainer to maintain? We may have just the part and
expertise that you are looking for to give your nurse call a further extension to life, adds Bob, “Edison will treat your nurse call with the same compassion that you give to those in your care. There will come a time when your equipment is beyond repair but Edison are experts in extending the life of obsolete systems.” www.edisontelecom.co.uk
IT’S NOT OBSOLETE UNTIL THE OPERA LADY SINGS
EDISON TELECOM LTD (IN BUSINESS SINCE 1984)
have spares, enhancements and expertise for wired and wireless systems abandoned by the original manufacturer, whoever they are.
Call us on 01252-330220 We can give most systems a new lease of life and maintain them into the future.
www.edisontelecom.co.uk Please Please mention mention THE THE CARER CARER when when responding responding to to advertising. advertising.
THE CARER DIGITAL | ISSUE 52 | PAGE 49
TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Skills, Knowledge, and Skills Gaps in Health and Social Care Confidence Delivered Online By Nicole Bewley, Learning Curve Group (www.lcgonline.co.uk/carermag-skillsguarantee) It has been highlighted in recent years that the skills gaps within health and social care are set to be at an all time high with increasing numbers of vacancies across the sector. Nicole Bewley, Director of Skills at one of the largest providers of health and social care training, Learning Curve Group, explores the true impact that Covid-19 has had on the sector and ways that employers can adapt. I don’t think anyone can argue that the work of those across the health and social care sector has never been more appreciated. As Covid-19 has devastated care staff in many ways, it has also increased solidarity as our care workers across the country faced the crisis head on. For many years, health and social care has been tarnished as low skilled and low paid. Although care workers have not been afraid to show the harsh realities of Covid, with long shifts wearing PPE and losing patients and residents who haven’t seen their families in months, clapping for carers and praise for key workers has arguably glamorised the sector. University applications to study nursing were reported to be at a record high in February, increasing by almost a third. The work that carers have been doing for centuries has been under the microscope for all to see, and whilst the sector is incredibly rewarding, I think it would be wrong to suggest that it isn’t equally hard, both physically and mentally.
The Government launched a recruitment campaign to encourage people to re-skill and join the health and social care sector. Many sectors have been particularly hard hit from the pandemic; hospitality, aviation, travel and tourism, and it’s likely that they’ll take significantly longer to recover as we work through the easing of restrictions. With an aging workforce, and skills gaps left by brexit, if we don’t act now to fill vacancies, the sector is really going to struggle in the next few years. As vacancies are left unfilled and we see an increasing strain on services as people are living longer, Skills for Care have estimated a need for 650,000 to 950,000 new adult social care jobs by 2035. Employers across the sector need to look at how they are going to bridge the gap, and upskilling and reskilling is going to be key. Supporting individuals to transition into the sector would support the recruitment drive, however, a holistic approach to their training to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge for the job is vitally important. The government has announced a range of incentives for employers looking to support their staff with high quality training, and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee could be a lifeline for care providers looking for free training. Aimed at levelling up adults without an existing level three qualification, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee initiative from the government offers funding for a range of health and social care courses to individuals looking to progress their knowledge over and above the already free Level 2 qualifications. This is extremely welcome news from the government, as it means that employers in the care sector can really focus on upskilling any staff who aren’t already qualified to level three, and also recruit new members of staff who might not have any care experience, but want to get into the sector, narrowing skills gaps and providing better overall care. See the advert on the facing page for details.
With COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing and staff/employers looking ahead to a safer and more normal future, the Laser Learning team are proud to have supported both the large numbers of furloughed staff, as well as those in Care Homes and the NHS, who bravely worked on the frontline during the lockdown. Through the Laser Care Certificate course and Skills For Care endorsed CPD short courses, we are continuing to deliver skills, knowledge, and confidence online, to the sector which was undoubtedly affected the most during this pandemic. The Laser Care Certificate course provides knowledge to cover every standard included in the official Skills for Care specification. Every lesson includes bespoke video tutorials specifically for the Care Certificate course, as well as reading materials and good practice examples. Furthermore, a mandatory quiz at the end of each lesson (which requires a 100% pass mark) ensures both competence and confidence. Managers are able to create their own accounts to enrol staff on the course
and track their progress. All of the content is accessible remotely via computer, smartphone or tablet, enabling care professionals to make progress towards the certificate in a way that suits their circumstances. Additionally, Laser delivers CPD short courses to help the ongoing development of skills and expertise of both furloughed staff, who had the silver lining of time on their side, as well as those working through the pandemic amidst concerns of job security. Two courses in particular – ‘Causes and Spread of Infection’ and ‘Infection Control and Prevention’ – were especially popular during this period. Unlimited use subscriptions are available at affordable rates, for organisations wishing to take advantage of a large number of short courses. Whether you are an owner, manager or independent learner, please don't hesitate to get in touch for a free demo of the Care Certificate course platform, and/or the CPD short course offering. The Laser Learning team can be contacted on email@example.com or +44 (0)1753 584 112.
Engage With Your Residents - In-House Practical Training Workshop Scripts Bring About Happy Days Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design has created a new range of engagement training scripts for residential care and dementia homes. The workshops are designed to be presented in-house, saving time and costs. Easy to follow training scripts are practical in nature and help care teams engage with elderly and people living with dementia. Through activity, discussions, role-play and practise with nostalgic materials, carers can feel more equipped to engage and enrich social care. Packages include demonstration materials to use during your workshop. Training Scripts and engagement materials can be created to suit your organisation, care team requirements and resident interests. Ideal for home care services too - Help your carers engage and create meaningful
moments during visits. With Covid19’s restrictions and safety procedures, it makes sense to train your care teams on site. ‘Bringing your care teams together can build carer confidence, boost morale and uplift mood. If a carer feels good, this will reflect on the the person being cared for’ says Gillian Hesketh, MD of Happy Days Dementia Activities & Design. Passionate about helping people living with dementia to live well, Happy Days also supplies nostalgic displays, reminiscence baskets, conversation prompts and more - See The Carer front page or Shop Online: www.dementiaworkshop.co.uk - We accept NHS purchase order numbers and care home accounts. Phone Gillian direct on: 07971-953620 or see the advert on page 1.
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TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Looking For Finance For Your Business? Find Out What Your Main Options Are! “Many smaller businesses rely on established relationships when considering finance options” – this is a direct quote from a recent report from the British Business Bank, which states that 75% of SMEs only considered one finance provider in the last year. That is great if you have a relationship with a lender who can provide your business with the right finance – but not so useful if you don’t. Many small businesses are not always aware of the different options that could be available to them, and therefore can miss out on finding the right finance – simply because of this information gap. The commercial finance market is extensive, and some products are not always easy to understand, but knowing what type of products are available is a first step to accessing them. We set out some of the key options below: Working Capital Loans: You have heard the saying – “Cash is King”. A
By Johan Da Silva, ASC Finance for Business (www.asc.co.uk) business needs working capital to operate, whether it is for growth, or simply to pay for stock, wages, or other expenses. Working Capital Loans advantage is that they can be drawn down quickly. are useful when looking to improve immediate cash flow and can be proInvoice Discounting: Invoice discounting is a specific type of finance vided on a secured or unsecured basis. which helps businesses with their cashflow. The business effectively sells Secured or Unsecured Business Loans: A secured loan will have your an invoice to the lender, to get their payment up front. The lender is then property (or building, equipment, or anything high value) as a security in repaid once the business receives their income from their customer. This case you are not able to keep up with the repayments. Unsecured loans form of finance can be particularly useful for businesses whose clients are similar but riskier for the lender as there is nothing to back up your loan have long payment terms. repayments. Many business loans are unsecured, but to ask for higher Asset Finance: Helps businesses acquire an asset and spread the cost amounts it is generally required to have a ‘security’. over time. Asset finance can also free up valuable working capital. Overdrafts: Some lenders can provide a business with an overdraft facilPeer-2-Peer: P2P Finance is a newer way of raising capital. Instead of ity. The limit is often reviewed every year and it has a pre-agreed interest borrowing money form a single lender, the business effectively takes out rate. Businesses will be charged only on the amount they use. multiple small loans from lots of individuals – the provider simply ties all Commercial Mortgages: A commercial mortgage is similar to any other the loans together. It is a way of accessing finance without the need of mortgage but targeted to commercial purposes. It can be possible to a traditional bank. secure lower interest rates as lenders are keen on the security provided by There are many options available to small businesses, but it is important commercial property. to know which ones are right for you. Applying for finance can be really Bridging Loans: A bridging loan is a form of short-term finance where confusing and this is why it is important to have someone you trust working the borrower is awaiting future income (e.g. from the sale of a property, or on your side. Having a broker can help you navigate the process more easa long-term loan), but wants to access finance quickly and therefore needs ily, and there are different hurdles that having a broker can help you overto “bridge” the gap. Bridging loans can be quite expensive, but the key come.
Workers Added To Shortage Occupation List By Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors (www.astonbrooke.co.uk) The Social Care Sector has long called for senior care workers among other key roles to be added to the Shortage Occupation List. Aston Brooke Solicitors has worked with Care England to ensure that the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations are adopted by the Government. Initially, the Secretary of State refused to add the role of senior care workers to the shortage occupation list and she was faced with widespread criticism from the sector. This prompted calls from the sector to legal challenge the decision. This recent announcement means that the Government has finally recognised the voice of the sector and this important change builds on the government’s delivery of the new points-based immigration system introduced in January 2021. Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “Every year we welcome healthcare workers from across the world to our United Kingdom, with many having played a key role on the frontline of the NHS during the recent pandemic. This latest set of changes, combined with our Health and Care Visa, will ensure they can easily get the immigration status they deserve.” Professor Martin Green OBE said: “I am pleased that the Government has acknowledged the challenges of recruiting senior care workers and residential day managers, this is something we have long called for with our partner law firm Aston Brooke Solicitors. We hope that this is the
start of a process towards the creation of a migration system which supports rather than undermines the development of the adult social care workforce”. Kashif Majeed, Director at Aston Brooke Solicitors welcomed the announcement and said: “The addition of the senior carer position to the shortage occupation list means care providers are now able to recruit suitable candidates outside of the UK on a minimum annual salary of £20,480. Prior to this announcement, the minimum annual salary payable for this role would be £25,600, which is unsustainable in the sector.” As part of the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must reach 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a work visa. A job on the Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points. Combined with the mandatory criteria – having an acceptable standard of English, an offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, which are worth 50 points – will ensure people in these roles reach the 70 points necessary. For any further queries or to make an application for a sponsor licence, please contact Mr Kashif Majeed on firstname.lastname@example.org See the advert on page 17 for details.
Workshops & Webinars: Empowering Social Care with the Tools To Be Outstanding Meaningful Care Matters is a leading care and organisational development group that specialises in helping health and social care providers to access a variety of support services. The group helps to facilitate the creation, reinvigoration and sustainable implementation of person-centred care cultures where people matter, feelings matter, and we are ‘Free to be Me’. Currently, care providers can make use of the group’s range educational and innovative online tools, including:
• Finding ways of balancing infection control and quality of life • Enhancing individual problem solving and communication skills in a safe environment What does the course involve? • Six 60-minute zoom sessions over a six-week period with teams of 8 to 10 participants • Specific resources and tools from Meaningful Care Matters to support learning and outcomes • Wellness and mindfulness support with tools from The Coach Approach
BACK TO PERSON CENTRED CARE – THE IMPORTANCE OF SELFCARE
These webinar sessions offer support materials on 5 key topics unique to each home The weekly group support sessions can accommodate teams of up to ten. A facilitator will oversee the live discussion, exploring the impacts COVID-19 and other lifestyle factors that can result in decreased resilience and compassion fatigue. Based on 5 sessions over 5 weeks, the forums cover ideas, strategies, and support mechanisms for how to achieve a meaningful connection. The group sessions are split into two parts: 1. Connections Matter A 40-minute session where five key challenges unique to each home are reviewed, before looking at how they have impacted the team and how members can make positive changes to improve their well-being. 2. A Practical Approach A 20-minute session where practical implications are explored before looking at how to support the learnings from the aspect of the live webinar. For more information on these online training sessions and other services Meaningful Care Matters provides, please visit www.meaningfulcarematters.com/
This online workshop will focus on the compassion fatigue that has become prevalent with frontline teams in this COVID pandemic. The course is all about person centredness and coming back to the heart and soul of what care culture is about. Achieved through an action learning process, participants can: • Reflect - consider the feelings and emotions as well as the practical implications of operating in a person-centred way • Recharge - look at strategies that will energise and maintain mindfulness and well-being to help support individuals and teams • Regenerate – refresh the passion, vision, and structure of a personcentred approach in a tangible, practical and meaningful way Key outcomes include • Renewing the care team by bringing members together and having space to reflect on the emotional impact of working in the climate of COVID-19 • Building an emotionally intelligent and self-aware leadership team that has the confidence and clarity it needs to support person-centred approaches in challenging times • Establishing resilient and reflective care teams
ACTION LEARNING TO IMPROVE PERSON CENTRED CARE THROUGH MINDFULNESS
The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...
Published on May 5, 2021
The Carer Digital is delivered to our readers online every week. This new online edition is available online for the duration of the COVID...